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Upcoming Poetry Events at Southbank Centre

For anyone who wants to procrastinate uni while still feeling productive, the Southbank Centre has three exciting events coming up! This brutalist arts centre next to Waterloo Campus may not have Larry the cat, but he would surely appreciate the poetic events they are hosting.

First up, on Sunday 15th January is a selection of readings from the T.S. Eliot Prize shortlist. The Prize is the place to hear some of the best new poetry coming out of the UK and Ireland!This annual prize is awarded by the Poetry Book Society to one brand new book of poetry each year, making the readings an exciting opportunity to hear a selection of poetic styles and voices. This year the readings are being hosted by Ian McMillan, English poet, journalist and broadcaster. The shortlist includes Dr Anthony Joseph, who is not only a leading poet but an academic and lecturer here at KCL. A polymath, he has also published multiple novels and is a musician.

After a short break (or enjambment given that this is poetry – please pretend to laugh for the bad joke) is ‘After Sylvia’ on Wednesday March 1st. This event will celebrate the publication of a collection commemorating the poet and famous author of The Bell Jar alongside being the favourite poet of countless English Lit students, Sylvia Plath. The event will feature readings from leading poets including Mary Jean Chan, author of Fleche (and one of my favourite poets!) The event will also feature a discussion of the importance of Sylvia Plath’s legacy alongside the influence on these poet’s work.

Finally, on Sunday 26th March is the launch of Poetry London’s spring 2023 issue, a leading poetry magazine publishing contemporary poets. The event will consist of a series of readings, including Imtiaz Dharker – familiar to anyone who did AQA English Literature for GCSE! Without the pressure of an exam afterwards, hearing such an iconic poet speak live is bound to be exciting.

All events are in the Royal Festival Hall, a lovely venue which, even after having spent the entire summer working full time on the Southbank, I still embarrassingly can’t navigate. It is also genuinely worth exploring; tucked away on the 5th floor is the National Poetry Library, which, as the name suggests, has a very large collection of poetry. It’s beautiful. And it’s free!


Edited by Holly Cornall, Literature Editor


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