Running from October 18 29 at the iconic Southbank Centre, the London Literature Festival (now in its 16th year) is the capitals longest running celebration of the written and spoken word. This annual literary extravaganza unites bibliophiles from across the country and this year, the festival will feature an impressive line-up and will showcase the explosive popularity of spoken word poetry.
Oliver Jeffers and Helen Oyeyemi will join Jacqueline Wilson at the Southbank Centres London Literature Festival 2023 alongside stars such as Patrick Stewart and Jada Pinkett Smith. The Black British Book Festival will also join as a partner for the first time.
London Literature Festival is the longest running celebration of the written and spoken word of its kind in the capital.
For the first time ever, the opening night will be guest-curated by George the Poet, a London-born spoken word performer of Ugandan heritage. The first night will be dedicated to the artists he believes are making waves in the spoken word scene and are driving forces for the future of the artform.
The Black British Book Festival is moving its annual day-long event out of Birmingham for the first time, partnering with the Southbank Centre and presenting the memoir of “Little Mix” member Leigh-Anne Pinnock and celebrating Black British authors across all genres.
As an exclusive London event, activist and actor Kerry Washington discusses her new memoir, Thicker Than Water (Sphere) while Stewart and Pinkett Smith will also present their autobiographies.
Korean author and winner of Japans most prestigious literary prize, the Akutagawa writing in Japanese, Yu Miri will discuss her latest novel to be translated into English, The End of August (Tilted Axis). Artist and novelist Teju Cole introduces his latest book Tremor (Faber), while Dylan Thomas Prize-winning author Bryan Washington presents the novel Family Meal (Atlantic Books).
Jeffers introduces his new picture book for adults, Begin Again: The Story of How We Got Here and Where We Might Go (HarperCollins), and actor and writer Nick Frost discusses A Slice of Fried Gold (Bonnier Books UK), his new memoir about friends, food and films, with his long-time collaborator Simon Pegg.
There will also family events running over October half term, with new books from authors such as Jeffrey Boakye and a London premiere from Zeb Soanes with the Oprheus Sinfonia. Wilson presents will present sequel to her bestseller Sleepovers after 22 years, The Best Sleepover in the World (both published by Puffin).
In terms of new talent, there will be a showcasing from Debut London Literature, platforming debut titles from new writers, including Hong Kong author Nicola Dinan, Dublin-born Bryan Moriarty and London-born author Wiz Wharton of Chinese-European heritage.
London Literature Festival will also partner again with Creative Future Writers, an arts organisation empowering some of the UKs most talented underrepresented artists. The Creative Future Writers Award Showcase celebrates its 10th anniversary with readings by this years winning writers, while Creative Future Writers Day welcomes insider knowledge from leading literary professionals, advising underrepresented writers.