Looking at the week ahead in literary London
Tuesday: Fancy of a bit of festive spirit? The Poetry Ambassadors of Keats House are doing readings from Dickens’s Christmassy poetry and prose in a variety of locations around the city over the next few weeks. This afternoon, it’s the Guildhall Art Gallery (3-4pm, free), but you can also catch them tomorrow at the Barbican Library (6.30-7.30pm) and Sunday at Keats House (2-3.30pm).
Wednesday: It’s nearly a year since poet Adrian Mitchell died, and the Southbank Centre are putting on a celebration of his life and work. Carol Ann Duffy, Patience Agbabi, Roger McGough, Liz Lochhead and Jackie Kay are among the many fantastic people who’ll be present (7.30pm, £12).
Kate Williams, Rosemary Furber and friend of Londonist Clare Mulley are talking about, and signing, their books at the Pall Mall Stationers in the Royal Opera Arcade between 5-7pm (free). It’s all part of a larger Christmas evening with music, drink and food.
Want to get stuff signed for Christmas? Try Michael Palin at Daunt (Marylebone, 7pm, £5), Harry Hill at Waterstones Canary Wharf (12.30-1.30pm) or the Private Eye team at Waterstones Leadenhall Market (12.30pm-2pm).
Thursday: Michael Frayn is in conversation at the National Theatre, but not about his playwriting. His new book, Travels with a Typewriter, is a collection of the journalism he did in the 60s and 70s. (6pm, £3.50 / £2.50)
Friday: Dodo Modern Poets are celebrating the life of Aeron Thomas, daughter of Dylan, at the Poetry Cafe (8pm, £6 / £5). Sue Johns, Rhian Edwards and PR Murry are some of the poets who worked alongside her and will be appearing tonight.
On a more arty note, Anish Kapoor is signing copies of his new monograph at the pop-up Phaidon store (173 Piccadilly, 6-7pm). To guarantee your place in the queue you can pre-order your copy (at 20% discount) from Phaidon.
Saturday: Southbank Artist in Residence Yemisi Blake leads a writers’ workshop for people aged between 16-25 at Balham Library (10.30am-1.30pm). Be prepared to explore character and place through photos and sound. It’s also the last John Hegley’s Elevenses of the year at the Poetry Cafe; expect a mix of old and new poets reading their new work (11am-1pm, £6 / £4).
Monday: The British Library opens a new exhibition today (running until 21 Feb) marking the 150th anniversary of Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The 11th century Persian poem is one of the best known in the world, published in 85 languages and the English version running into 2,000 new editions. A jewel encrusted binding, 16th century Persian manuscript and Fitzgerald’s letters are just some of the items on display.
- Simon Armitage, All Points North
- Mark Haddon, A Spot of Bother
- Julian Barnes, The Lemon Table
- Ali Smith, The Accidental
- Jonathan Coe, What a Carve Up!
- Catherine O’Flynn, What Was Lost
- AL Kennedy, Paradise
- Hari Kunzru, My Revolutions