Who to see at the London Literature Festival 2017

Who to see at the London Literature Festival 2017

credit: Barbara Kinney for Hillary for America

From Hillary Rodham Clinton to Tom Hanks, here are the top appearances and events you won't want to miss at this year's festival

Back for its 11th year, the London Literature Festival is set to once again take over the Southbank Centre for twenty days this October, celebrating some of the best literary talent out there. This year's programme includes readings, performances, talks, workshops and more from guests ranging from Hollywood actors and world-renowned DJs to Man Booker Prize shortlisted authors and former presidential candidates. We round up the events and guests we're most looking forward to seeing this month.

Poetry International

Opening London Literature Festival for the first time, Poetry International is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with some of the world's finest poets and storytellers taking part. The biennial festival, founded in 1967 by former poet laureate Ted Hughes, will focus on the idea of cultural sustainability this year, looking at the role of poetic language in our changing world. Highlights from the weekend include Caroline Bergvall, Claudia Rankine, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Anne Carson and Ten: Poets of the New Generation, an event which showcases some of the most internationally in-demand Black and Asian poets in the UK.
Southbank Centre, Fri 13–Sun 15 Oct.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

You'll have to beg, steal and borrow to get tickets to this one but who knows, you might be lucky? As well as being the first woman to be nominated for the US presidency by a major party, Clinton's career is full of accomplishments from serving as Secretary of State in the Obama administration to fighting tirelessly for gender equality and healthcare reform. She will be stopping by the London Literature Festival for her only London appearance, where she'll be discussing her memoir What Happened and going into detail about the election, how she recovered and what the whole experience has taught her.
Royal Festival Hall, Sun 15 Oct.

Philip Pullman

Set 10 years before the events of Northern Lights, Philip Pullman's new novel sees the return of much-loved character Lyra Belacqua as well as the introduction of a host of new characters and adventures. Join Pullman for the London launch of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One, and hear all about his writing process and what drew him back to Lyra after 22 years.
Royal Festival Hall, Fri 20 Oct.

Annie Leibovitz

In her long and impressive career, Annie Leibovitz has photographed everyone from Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II to Zaha Hadid and Leonard Cohen, with her images appearing in Vogue, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and a number of other publications. The acclaimed American portrait photographer will present a selection of works from her new book Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005 – 2016, which contains portraits of the people that have shaped the world we live in today.
Royal Festival Hall, Sun 22 Oct.


Goldie's contributions to the UK rave scene in the 1990s are unrivalled, with his music playing a key role in the popularity of jungle and breakbeat hardcore. The musician/DJ's new memoir All Things Remembered offers an insight into his life and career, providing an often touching look at his experiences of abuse, graffiti, fame and reality TV. Goldie discusses his new book and reflects on how a countercultural movement came to be gentrified.
Royal Festival Hall, Sun 22 Oct.

Karl Ove ​Knausgård

Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård is perhaps best known for his series of autobiographical novels My Struggle, which have gone on to sell over one million copies in Norway and have been translated into 22 languages. ​Knausgård presents his new book in conversation with Ted Hodgkinson, Southbank Centre's Senior Programmer for Literature and Spoken Word. Autumn is the first in a new autobiographical quartet based on the seasons which is addressed to his unborn daughter, offering details of the life she will one day inherit.
Royal Festival Hall, Mon 23 Oct.

Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit is a force to be reckoned with in the world of feminism, having popularised the concept of 'mansplaining' in her national bestseller Men Explain Things To Me. Solnit introduces her new collection of essays, The Mother of All Questions, which aims to open up feminism for everyone, through discussions of topics like misogynistic violence, rape jokes, the gender binary and more.
Royal Festival Hall, Mon 30 Oct.

Tom Hanks

It may come as news to some people but when he's not acting, directing and producing; Tom Hanks is also a writer. His work has appeared on the pages of Vanity Fair, the New York Times and the New Yorker and now, with the release of his first collection of short stories, he heads to the London Literature Festival to give audiences a taster of his fiction. Uncommon Type features a range of stories which explore the human condition, all connected by one familiar element that appears throughout: the typewriter.
Royal Festival Hall, Wed 1 Nov.

London Literature Festival

The London Literature Festival​ returns for its eleventh year with an expanded edition featuring live readings, performance, talks, debates, visual displays, workshops and music across Southbank Centre’s site. Guests for 2017 include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tom Hanks, Philip Pullman, Annie Leibovitz and more.

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