George The Poet. Photo credit Feruza Afewerki

Things To Do

Jason Allen 10/07/23

London Literature Festival

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx

Truer words have never been spoken.

And to celebrate this fact, the London Literature Festival is gearing up to mark its 16th year of excellent prose-worshipping events.

It’s all taking place at the Southbank Centre over an eleven-day stretch of late October, which will be stuffed full of talks, recordings, performances, masterclasses, readings, and more. The line-up is so well curated that essentially everything feels like one of the highlights, but here are a choice few picks to give you an idea of what’s on offer:

  • George The Poet steps in as guest curator for a gala night featuring performances from his personal pick of musicians & spoken word artists;
  • Sir Patrick Stewart, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and Jada Pinkett Smith have all written memoirs recently, and they’ll each be appearing on stage to discuss their lives and careers to date;
  • The Black British Book Festival comes down from Birmingham for the first time with a full-day takeover of talks & workshops;

Jada Pinkett Smith – credit Matthew Brookes

  • Brand new work from internationally renowned authors including Bryan Washington, Oliver Jeffers and Helen Oyeyemi;
  • An evening with writers-to-watch who have recently published debut novels, including Bryan Moriarty and Wiz Wharton;
  • A live recording of the Radio 4 show Open Book, hosted by Johny Pitts and Elizabeth Day; and
  • A celebration of the National Poetry Library’s 70th birthday, with esteemed poets reading some of the collection’s most treasured works followed by a quick-fire introduction to the capital’s most exciting new verse writers.

To reiterate, these are but a few choice canapés in an extremely large feast of literature that you’ll be able to tuck into when the festival rolls into town later this year – providing you’ve secured tickets in advance.


NOTE: The London Literature Festival takes place from 18th-29th October 2023 at the Southbank Centre. Tickets are on sale now, and can be booked right HERE.

Southbank Centre | Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX

If you’re there over the weekend and happen to need sustenance… you should pop into the Southbank Centre Food Market.

London Literature Festival

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Southbank, SE1 8XX