June’s here, and we’re feeling a bit slack. But although the summer blockbusters have rolled into town to lessen the load on our addled brains, literary London keeps on cranking out the heavyweights. Lightweight summer reading? Not here, not yet.
Tuesday: You might have inferred that we love London. We do, we really do. Which places us in the company of many a great poet: Wordsworth, Blake, Lawrence. Poems by these and plenty of other London-lovers are collected together in the just published All That Mighty Heart. The Swedenborg Society hosts a launch party for the book tonight, which will include readings by, among others, Al Alvarez, Ravi Shankar, and Iain Sinclair (7pm, free).
Wednesday: More poetry tonight, if you will. The Calder Bookshop hosts a Tall Lighthouse Poetry Night, featuring poets Matthew Sweeney, Jay Bernard, Todd Swift, and Sonya Smith (7.30pm, £6/£4 concessions).
Thursday: Argh. Everything seems to be happening on Thursday this week. Our first pick will have to be One Eye Grey’s Chris Roberts at Housmans (7pm, free). The Londonist favourite will be telling tales of “shape shifting rats and feral pigs in the Fleet, lost zoos, pagan estate agents, Camden cannibals, ghosts of politicians and peculiar graveyards”. How can you go wrong? Another top pick: Visions of the City at Bishopsgate Institute, featuring Tim Wells, Simon Barraclough, Jay Bernard again (see Wednesday), and Tom Chivers and brought to you by the same group who sponsored the lovely London Word Festival (7pm, £7/£5 concessions).
Also on: Marxist critic Terry Eagleton, whom we last saw engaged in a balls-out, gloves-off, bruising verbal brawl with Martin Amis, will be at SOAS to give the Amiel and Melburn Trust annual lecture, Socialism and Culture (7.30pm, £3/£2 concessions); Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman is at the British Museum discussing his latest book, Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why the World Needs a Disruptive Green Revolution (6.30pm, £5/£3 concessions); and Lewisham’s Blackheath Village Library showcases the writing of rapper Tatiana Mais, author of the recently published Melodies of a Ghetto Princess, with a spoken word performance by Victoria Summers (8pm, free).
Saturday: China Now’s literature series wraps up tonight at the Southbank Centre, with the Poetry of Yellow Mountain, featuring, well, poetry inspired by the Yellow Mountain festival in China (7.45pm, £10, 50 percent off concessions).
Sunday: Possession by AS Byatt? Loved it – but that should probably go without saying as one of the target audiences for that novel was definitely “book geeks”. The movie adaptation? To put it diplomatically: not as good as the novel. Still, we think that attending the ICA’s screening of the movie with AS Byatt there to discuss the adaptation process might be a pretty interesting experience (4pm, £10/£9 concessions/£8 members).
Know of an event that belongs in the Book Grocer listings? Please e-mail us at londonist-at-gmail-dot-com.
Image courtesy of DG Jones’ Flickrstream via the Creative Commons Attribution license