literature & poetry

Southbank Centre is the home of literature and spoken word events in the UK and the venue for London Literature Festival and Poetry International. Our programme is brimming with today’s bestselling authors, award-winning poetry and spoken word, and dramatised readings of iconic novels from some of the world’s most inspiring writers.

This season Malcolm Gladwell explores the mysteries of strangers, Celeste Ng talks character development, Richard Dawkins makes an argument for atheism and Richard Ayoade reflects on his award-winning films and comedy. Our upcoming events also include talks from Louis Theroux, Nadiya Hussain and Sir Lenny Henry. 

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London Literature Festival & Poetry International

16 – 27 OCT 2019

Over 11 days of talks, readings, poetry and performance, featuring Elizabeth Day, Armistead Maupin, Brett Anderson, Heather Morris, Lemn Sissay, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) – and many more.

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Guernica Remakings at Southbank Centre

Free

Free

Various times
26 Jul 2019 - 22 Sep 2019
Various times | 26 Jul 2019 - 22 Sep 2019
art & exhibitions
literature & poetry
Picasso's anti-war masterpiece is seen anew in a multimedia exhibition curated by Nicola Ashmore
Picasso's anti-war masterpiece is seen anew in a multimedia exhibition curated by Nicola...
Etgar Keret, writer
7:15 pm
Tue 03 Sep 2019
7:15 pm | Tue 03 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Hear from renowned short-story writer Etgar Keret as he presents a new collection, Fly Already
Hear from renowned short-story writer Etgar Keret as he presents a new collection, Fly Already
A Homage to Razz at Southbank Centre
8:00 pm
Wed 04 Sep 2019
8:00 pm | Wed 04 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
Celebrate the life of poet and musician Razz in an evening of readings and tribute
Celebrate the life of poet and musician Razz in an evening of readings and tribute
Richard Ayoade, actor, comedian, writer and director
7:30 pm
Thu 05 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 05 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam Buxton
The writer and director reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam...
Malorie Blackman, writer
2:00 pm
Sun 08 Sep 2019
2:00 pm | Sun 08 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
The wait is over for the next novel in the groundbreaking young adult fiction series Noughts & Crosses
The wait is over for the next novel in the groundbreaking young adult fiction series Noughts &...
Sara Pascoe, comedian
7:30 pm
Sun 08 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 08 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Assess what really matters to humans at this talk with the award-winning comedian and author
Assess what really matters to humans at this talk with the award-winning comedian and author
Nathan Filer, writer
7:15 pm
Mon 09 Sep 2019
7:15 pm | Mon 09 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
talks & debates
Hear from two award-winning writers as they challenge myths and misconceptions around patient care
Hear from two award-winning writers as they challenge myths and misconceptions around patient care
7:30 pm
Fri 13 Sep 2019
7:30 pm | Fri 13 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
performance & dance
Taking us from Lagos to London, the writer tells the story of her life through narrative, music and dance
Taking us from Lagos to London, the writer tells the story of her life through narrative, music and...
Akala, rapper and activist
2:45 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
2:45 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Consider who decides how and where black cultural memory is preserved at our talk
Consider who decides how and where black cultural memory is preserved at our talk

Free

Free

6:00 pm
Sat 14 Sep 2019
6:00 pm | Sat 14 Sep 2019
literature & poetry
poetry
What is the experience of Black men in Britain? Black British poets present a night of poetry and music
What is the experience of Black men in Britain? Black British poets present a night of poetry and...

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highlights

22 Sep
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Join the author as he helps us rethink the big questions about how our world came to be
3 Sep
literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature
Hear from renowned short-story writer Etgar Keret as he presents a new collection, Fly Already
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A variety of events in our literature and poetry programme, including talks, spoken word and live performances, are British Sign Language interpreted and/or Speech-to-Text transcribed. Access information for each event can be found in the ‘need to know’ section, underneath the main description of the event. 

If an event in our literature programme does not have an access provision, you can request one by emailing Customer Relations at customerrelations@southbankcentre.co.uk or by phoning our Ticket Office on 020 3879 9555 at least one month ahead of the event. We will try to provide a service wherever possible.

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You may be eligible for concessionary tickets if you have specific seating requirements, with a complimentary seat for your companion, under our Access Scheme.

find out more about access & facilities

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Multi-buy ticket offers

Book three or more literature and poetry events in the same transaction and receive a 25% discount. Selected events only.

To take advantage of our multi-buy offers look out for literature and poetry events displaying the yellow multi-buy label. You will be able to navigate back to the full list of events in each multi-buy by clicking the links below the titles on event pages or the multi-buy links in the 'what's on' listings. 

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blog: literature & poetry

story
The poet on the importance of Picasso’s work and the challenge of responding to it
story
Take the chance to hear from authors, writers and publishers in a series of intimate short talks
story
Introducing an award-winning author with an increasingly global following

explore our programme