London International Literature Festival

The capital’s first and foremost celebration of international literature

Southbank Centre, London, SE1 8XX, +44 (0)20 7960 4200

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Southbank Centre believes the arts have the power to transform lives and that they should be available to all.

London International Literature Festival furthers this mission through a programme of events -- half of which are free to attend -- that explore the power of language and the imagination. Each year the festival carries a thematic focus, which informs the programming and selection of authors.

For 2016, the theme of the festival is ‘Living in Future Times’ and features a range of internationally renowned authors, futurologists and scientists.

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International Priorities

Poetry International was founded by Ted Hughes at Southbank Centre in 1967. In 2017 to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Poetry International will open London International Literature Festival with a large-scale celebration of international poetry. Nordic literature will be a focus throughout 2017, as part of Southbank Centre's 'Nordic Matters' series, in partnership with the Nordic Council

Key Strengths

As the largest arts centre in Europe on a 21 acre site in the heart of London, we draw engaged and diverse audiences to literature events which range in scale from Royal Festival Hall performances and in-conversations (2900 capacity) to over 500 smaller scale events, including readings, panel discussions and workshops, a year. Attendance for LILF has been consistently high, attracting several thousand visitors each year. From newly commissioned poems to large scale readings of classics which incorporate performance elements from other art-forms, we present events you can't find anywhere else. Our thematic and multi-art-form approach provides us with a way to reach new audiences, by presenting a strong narrative, clarity of focus and variety of performances which range across the arts and sciences. 

Seeking Partnerships With

We are working closely with the Nordic Council across our programming for next year, and are seeking to establish links with a variety of publishers and performers from across the region. 

Purpose of Partnerships

We want to showcase the variety of literary output from the Nordic region, from performance poetry to graphic novels and prose fiction.