Bret Easton Ellis
Bret Easton Ellis ©️ Casey Nelson

Southbank Centre announces new partnership with Intelligence Squared alongside stellar Spring Literature Season

  • New debates programme partnership with Intelligence Squared, opening with The War In Ukraine: How Does It End? 
  • Acclaimed international fiction authors Han KangLeïla Slimani and the return of the International Booker Prize Shortlist Readings
  • Memoir launches from Munroe BergdorfFern BradyElizabeth DayJeremy DellerSadiq KhanAndi Oliver and Michael Rosen 
  • Stellar literary names including Eleanor CattonBret Easton Ellis, a world exclusive reading by Max Porter and a new event with Granta Best of Young British Novelists 
  • UK’s poetry and spoken word is showcased with Out-Spoken’s return to the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and a new free Poets in Vogue exhibition at the National Poetry Library 
Leïla Slimani
Leïla Slimani ©️ Francesca Mantovani

The Southbank Centre announces its Spring 2023 Literature Season taking place from the new year until the end of May. The season welcomes a brand new partnership with Intelligence Squared which brings together leading experts to tackle today’s most topical debates, as well as a powerful line-up of authors, activists, poets and politicians in conversation. 

Ted Hodgkinson, Head of Literature & Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre says: “We start the year as we mean to go on, with a stellar spring season that brings together iconic authors and poets from around the world with the brightest talents of the next generation. From life-enhancing encounters with beloved figures from across the arts, to unmissable performances including Max Porter reading scenes from his new novel alongside Ruth Wilson, to a wealth of poetry and spoken word, this is a season with something for everyone. 2023 also sees us embark on an exciting new collaboration with Intelligence Squared, jointly curating timely debates on the burning issues of the moment.”

Full event listings are available here

PARTNERSHIP WITH INTELLIGENCE SQUARED 

Andi Oliver
Andi Oliver ©️ Tom Mattey

The Southbank Centre’s new debates programme with Intelligence Squared runs throughout the year, and offers a performance or reading element alongside leading experts in discussion. As we approach a year since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the programme opens with a debate on the possible paths to peace in Ukraine and how to end the war, in The War In Ukraine: How Does It End? (23 Mar). 

The second event in the series deliberates how important economic growth is in reaching a prosperous society. Can We Have Prosperity without Growth? takes place on 12 May. 

CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL FICTION 

Leïla Slimani grapples with the self as she discusses The Scent of Flowers at Night, her new book which confronts her past and her present, through her life as a Moroccan woman, as a writer, and as a daughter (23 Apr). On the same day in the Purcell Room, South Korean International Booker winning author Han Kang celebrates the launch of Greek Lessons, a powerful new novel of the saving grace of language and human connection (23 Apr). Opening up the world’s fiction and celebrating the art of translation, the International Booker Prize Shortlist Readings return to the Queen Elizabeth Hall following the shortlist announcement in April (18 May). 

NEW MEMOIRS

Internationally renowned activist and model Munroe Bergdorf launches her life-affirming, heartfelt and intimate memoir Transitional (12 Feb). Comedian Fern Brady discusses her memoir on sexism and neurodiversity, Strong Female Character (15 Feb). Author, broadcaster and host of the hit podcast How To FailElizabeth Day introduces her new book Friendaholic in a special event chaired by Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the Royal Festival Hall (26 Mar). Artist Jeremy Deller celebrates the launch of his book Art Is Magic – drawing together his key works with the art, pop music, film, politics and history that have inspired them (31 May). Mayor of London Sadiq Khan discusses politics, life, and the future of our city and planet as he celebrates the publication of Breathe, his uplifting new playbook that offers actions for tackling the climate crisis (24 May). Chef and broadcaster Andi Oliver introduces her long-awaited first cookbook The Pepperpot Diaries: Stories From My Caribbean Table in conversation with her daughter Miquita Oliver (27 Apr). Michael Rosen returns to the Southbank Centre to discuss Getting Better, his new memoir exploring the roles that trauma and grief have played in his own life (9 Feb). 

WORLD CLASS & EMERGING LITERARY NAMES

Eleanor Catton, the best-selling and Booker Prize winning author of The Luminaries, takes to the Queen Elizabeth Hall stage for a London exclusive event discussing her new gripping psychological thriller Birnam Wood (16 Mar). The celebrated and outspoken author of American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis discusses his first novel since 2010, The Shards, in a rare London appearance (2 Feb). The Southbank Centre presents a world exclusive dramatic reading led by Max Porter of scenes from his much anticipated second novel, Shy, followed by a discussion about his writing life with actor Ruth Wilson (2 Apr). For the first time the Southbank Centre hosts Granta Best of Young British Novelists, a celebration of Granta’s selection of the next twenty exceptional young writers in April 2023. This special event explores what is shaping the next generation of outstanding British voices with the brightest stars in the literary scene (11 May). 

POETRY

The Southbank Centre’s resident music and poetry night Out-Spoken returns with its premier evening of poetry and live music in the Purcell Room and regular masterclasses. In May, Out-Spoken again takes to the Queen Elizabeth Hall stage following last year’s hugely successful event, with a special line-up yet to be announced.  

Based in the Royal Festival Hall, the National Poetry Library’s brand new free exhibition Poets in Vogue (16 Feb – 25 Jun) presents the fashion worlds and poetic work of seven women poets through a series of displays. Sylvia Plath’s skirt, a reconstruction of Anne Sexton’s red ‘reading dress’ and creative interpretations of Audre Lorde’s, Edith Sitwell’s and Stevie Smith’s signature looks are among the items on display in this unique exhibition exploring the relationship between the language of poets and the clothes they wear. The free opening night event features live readings of newly commissioned poetry (16 Feb). The European Poetry Festival returns for its sixth year, this time celebrating contemporary Swiss poetry (26 Apr) and Latvian poetry (10 May) with special guests and readings. Special Edition: Non-human Poetry asks if poetry is only for humans and celebrates the nonhuman potential of verse (22 Feb). Special Edition: Grief Time explores the potential of poetry to give voice to the disconnected and non-linear nature of grieving (5 Apr). Poetry London launches its Spring 2023 issue with live readings from Imtiaz Dharker, John Challis, Karen Solie and Qudsia Akhtar in Poetry London Spring Readings (26 Mar). 

Tickets go on sale to the Southbank Centre Members on Tuesday 6 December and to the general public on Wednesday 7 December  www.southbankcentre.co.uk / 0203 879 9555 

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