A Season for all Tastes and Ages at the London Southbank Literature Festival, 2022

The London Southbank Literature Festival – 20th October – 30th October 2022

Greta Thunberg. Photo credit: Kim Jakobsen.

The London Southbank Literature Festival is back this autumn with a full programme of events, promising something for everyone.  With talks, readings, poetry recitals, spoken word events, a free family programme plus many celebrated authors, artists, opinion makers and aspiring writers, the 15th edition of the festival, is looking like its strongest and most varied yet. 

Headlining the festivities is climate change champion Greta Thunberg. She will be discussing her new book, simply called  ‘The Climate Book,’ in this world exclusive event on 30th October. Featuring experts from all over the world, Greta will again raise the urgency of the climate crisis and inspire action for change.The event will be live streamed for free around the world and is in partnership with Penguin Books.

Abdulrazak Gurnah; Photo credit: Mark Pringle

An anticipated event is the presentation of the Edward Said London lecture by Noble Prize winner for literature, Abdulrazak Gurnah on 26th October. The Tanzanian author and academic has been living and working in the UK since he fled persecution in Zanzibar in 1968. His works address the brutal and disruptive legacy of colonialism. Themes of displacement, migration, identity and belonging re-occur in his books. Since receiving the Noble Prize, Gurnah has seen a resurgence of interest in his writing. His latest book ‘Afterlives’ published in 2020 gives an intimate exploration of the effects of the German colonial regime on the lives of a small village on the Swahili coast of East Africa . The Edward Said Lecture will shed light on these and other works by authors who share the same themes. The annual Edward W. Said London Lecture series is supported by The Mosaic Rooms/AM Qattan Foundation and the London Review of Books.

Malorie Blackman. Photo credit; Paul Akinrinlola

Malorie Balckman OBE and Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015, will share her journey from childhood to renowned author at the launch of her autobiography ‘Just Sayin’ on 26th October. Blackman has been forefront of British literature, creating narratives for children and young people that reflect a diverse Britain. She has adapted many of her own books for TV.  Her most recent drama ‘Noughts and Crosses’ was featured on the BBC. Blackman will be in conversation with the journalist and TV presenter Candice Brathwaite, giving hope and inspiration to young writers. The event is hosted in partnership with Penguin Live.

The festival offers plenty of events for younger visitors, including a free family programme.  Wild Wild Words on 22nd  October, encourages children to explore the natural world through words, performance and storytelling.  Rug Rhymes led by the National Poetry Library staff, offers entertainment for the youngest ones with songs, poems and nursery rhymes. For older children, Adam B Wins The Internet on 23rd October, brings the popular former Blue Peter presenter and YouTube star to present his debut children’s book of the same title. Tongue Fu For Kids on 28th October features a wacky show for all the family using spoken word led by poet and musician, Chris Redmond of CBBC, BBC 6Music fame. 

Ted Hodgkinson, Head of Literature & Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre said; “This year’s London Literature Festival promises to inspire, entertain and empower audiences of all ages. We’re combining the very best of our year round programme with a wider range of aspiring writers and events, featuring emerging homegrown London talent alongside internationally acclaimed authors, artists and thinkers, plus an exciting and engaging free programme for all the family.”

For more information visit; https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/festivals-series/london-literature-festival

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