Book Grocer: 5-11 October

The week ahead in literary London

Wednesday: Storywarp 2 focuses on character development, with more than able support from Sydney Padua, Ed Caesar and Alex Butterworth (6.30pm).

Christopher Ondaatje tells of a life well travelled, at Daunt Books Marylebone (7pm, £8).

Wimbledon Book Fest welcomes Adele Parks, Jessica Ruston and Penny Vincenzi (12.30pm, £30 inc lunch), Alistair Darling (7.30pm, £15) and Susan Hill (7.30pm, £8).

Radical poetry publishers Smokestack Books host an evening at the Poetry Library with poets Victoria Bean, Alan Morrison, NS Thompson and Mike Wilson (8pm, free).

Hear Slovenian poets Ana Pepelnik, Barbara Pogacnik, Marjan Strojan, Gregor Podlogar with Stephen Watts and Ana Jelnikar at the Horse Hospital (7pm, £5).

Thursday: It’s National Poetry Day! There’s tons of stuff happening – check out our earlier preview for what’s going on near you.

Steve Stack AKA Scott Pack launches his new book, 21st Century Dodos, at the newly opened Belgravia Books (7.30pm, free).

Iain Sinclair and MacGillivray are evoking ghosts at Swedenborg Hall (7pm, £10).

Fresh from Wimbledon, Susan Hill is at Keats House talking about the latest Detective Serrailler novels (7pm, £5).

Hannah Gadsby and Martin Dockery are the tale tellers at the London Storytelling Festival (7.30pm, £10 / £7.50 / 9.30pm, £10 / £7.50).

Friday: It’s basically Festival Weekend: the South Asian Literature Festival kicks off with Sonia Gandhi talking at Rich Mix (6.30pm, £5 / £7).

Notes and Letters combines words and music all weekend at Kings Place, starting with Jonathan Coe, Sean O’Hagan and Philippe Auclair (7.30pm, £9.50-£19.50).

More from the London Storytelling Festival: Martin Dockery wanders into Africa (7.30pm, £10 / £7.50) followed by storytelling improv (9.30pm, £10 / £7.50).

Back at Wimbledon: the shortlisted authors of the Bookfest 7 Deadly Sins competition read their entries (6pm, £6); everything else is sold out. Sorry. There’s always some comedy (8pm, £15).

We’ve already mentioned Comics Passion at Institut Francais, and here are the details for Friday: China Mieville from 6.30pm (£10 / £8) and the short film premiere of Moebius and Niquet’s La Planete Encore from 8pm.

Not part of a festival is Misha Glenny, talking about cybercrime over at the British Library (6.30pm, £7.50 / £5).

The Arvon Foundation presents an evening of free poetry at the Free Word Centre, with Mimi Khalvati, Carole Bromley and Maitreyabandhu (7pm).

Kat Francois hosts an Intimates SLAM night at the Poetry Cafe (8pm, £5 / £3).

Cathi Flowers and Jack Dean are the poets at Poetry Jam at Richmond’s Tea Box (8pm, free).

Camden Poetry Series welcomes Martin Lyon and Jonathan Steffen to the floor (7pm, £5 / £4).

Poets Anonymous meet in SE25 – take your open mic slot (8pm, £2).

Saturday: Big day at Wimbledon Book Fest: a panel discussion on getting published (11am, £8), Python Terry Jones talking his children’s books (2pm, £7), the Countess of Carnarvon on the ‘real’ Downton Abbey (4pm, £10), Daisy Goodwin talking about her novel My Last Duchess (2pm, £10), Dipika Rai discusses India (5.30pm, £10), find out about Liszt and the women he loved (7.30pm, £15), plus more comedy (8pm, (£15).

Another big day at Notes and Letters: Caroline Lawrence reveals the inspiration behind her new kids’ history series (11am, £9.50-£14.50), Anthea Bell talks translation (2pm, £9.50-£14.50), Diana Athill talks to Suzi Feay about her correspondence with poet Edward Field (3.30pm, £9.50-£14.50), Will Self looks at the connections between writing and music (5pm, £9.50-£14.50), Ahdaf Soueif discusses the Arab Spring (5pm, £9.50), David Crystal gives an illustrated talk about tones of voice (6.30pm, £9.50-£14.50) and Philip Ball explores how music communicates (8pm, £9.50-£14.50).

The South Asian Literature Festival has, for your delight – and a £12 all-day ticket – Kamila Shamsie paying tribute to Agha Shahid Ali (12pm), Afghan storytelling (1.30pm), writing from Bhutan (1.30pm), inspiring tales of elephants (1.30pm), the children’s books Mister Jeejeebhoy and the Birds (3pm) and The Glum Peacock (4.30pm), poetry from Eisha Karol, Rowyda Amin, Sandeep Parmar, Saradha Soobrayen and Sascha A Akhtar (4.30pm) and a new commission, Borderland, inspired by Rabindranath Tagore (8pm).

At the London Storytelling Festival, Martin Dockery is back again with tales of heaven (7.30pm, £10 / £7.50), and Sarah Bennetto hosts a special edition of Storytellers Club with Sarah Kendall, Rachel Rose Reid, James Dowdeswell and Deborah Frances-White (9.30pm, £10 / £7.50).

Head for Comics Passion to see illustrators Dave Gibbons and Jean-Claude Mezieres (2pm, £10 / £8), Benoit Sokal and Bastien Vives creating a new comic together (3.30pm (£8 / £6), Andre Juillard and Yves Sente talking about making Blake and Mortimer (4.45pm, £8 / £6) and Audrey Niffenegger discussing Aubrey Beardsley (6pm, £10 / £8).

Get to Peckham library for a poetry SLAM: judges include Janett Plummer and Sandra Agard, plus performance from Patricia Foster (7pm, free).

Salt Publishing launch their anthology of younger poets, at the Betsey Trotwood (4.30pm, free).

Sunday: At the South Asian Literature Festival (£12 for all day): a look at Indian mythology (12pm), Bangladeshi literature (12pm), Dipika Rai and Kishwar Desai talking about strong women in fiction (1.30pm), the Grand Trunk Road with Irna Qureshi (1.30pm), the Panchatantra fables (1.30pm), the tale of Little Yash and his lost smile (3pm), storyteller Seema Anand and tales of the Hamzanama (3pm), the Kashmiri storytelling tradition (3pm), Jamila Gavin’s tales from India (4.30pm), Moni Mohsin and Farahad Zama on using levity to address serious issues (4.30pm), Islamic punk (4.30pm) and Barry Miles, Michael Horovitz and Roger Elsgood discuss Allen Ginsberg (6pm).

The inevitable Wombles make an appearance at the Wimbledon Book Fest (2pm, £5), Lauren Child is signing books from 11.30am, Maureen Lipman performs extracts from her book of monologues (5pm, £15) and Robert Harris closes the festival chatting with James Naughtie (7pm, £15).

Michael Rosen and the Homemade Orchestra (11am, £9.50-£14.50) is at Notes and Letters, as well as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies on madness and myth (12.30pm, £9.50-£14.50), Simon Rees talking libretto translation (12.30pm, £9.50 / £12.50), Marina Warner giving an illustrated talk about Arabian Nights (2pm, £9.50 / £12.50), translators Ros Schwartz and Sarah Ardizzone (2pm, £9.50), Professor Brian Foster and Dr Vesna Petresin Robert discussing string theory (3.30pm, £9.50 / £12.50), Ann Wroe on Orpheus (3.30pm, £9.50), John Spurling on Liszt (5pm, £9.50 / £12.50), A.L. Kennedy talking about how she found her beautiful (writing) voice (5pm, £9.50), Austrian artists Alois Hotschnig and Thomas Larcher on the interplay between sound and sense (6.30pm, £9.50 / £12.50), Helen Barry looking at castrati and Georgian England (6.30pm, £9.50) and Norman Lebrecht on Gustav Mahler and the birth of celebrity (8pm, £9.50 / £12.50).

Anthea Bell talks about translating Asterix (11.30am, £8 / £6) at Comics Passion, followed by Bryan Talbot on anthropomorphism (2pm, £8 / £6) and Paul Gravett on the most important comics creators ever (3.30pm, £8 / £6).

Dinah Livingstone appears at the Torriano Meeting House in Kentish Town (7.30pm, £5 / £3).

Adisa, Den Rele, Katrina Naomi, Chip Grim and Clare Foster join Jumoke Fashola for Jazz Verse Jukebox at Ronnie Scott’s (8pm, £7).

Monday: The closing gala of the London Storytelling Festival has guests including Mark Thomas, Harry Shearer (yes, that Harry Shearer), Judith Owens, Phil Kay and Martin Dockery (7.30pm, £15 / £12.50).

The Commonwealth Prize winning author Mohammed Hanif joins the South Asian Literature Festival for the evening (6.30pm, free).

Be part of The Book Stops Here crowd and hear Helen Gordon, Oliver Harris and Marius Brill read from their work (8pm, free).

Martin Gayford is at Daunt Books in Marylebone talking about David Hockney and creativity (7pm, £8).

Marilyn Hacker, Nathan Hamilton, Carol Watts and Norbert Hirschhorn read at the launch of Wolf issue 25, at the Poetry Studio (7.30pm, free).

There’s a celebration of poetry and geology at the Geological Society – Helen Mort, Alyson Hallett, Michael McKimm and Matthew Hollis are the poets (10am-7pm, free).

Tuesday: Writers write and actors read at Liars’ League. This month’s theme is Fear and Loathing (The Phoenix, 7.30pm, £5).

Poejazzi celebrates its fifth anniversary at Camp London, with Nikesh Shukla, Mista Gee and music from Cornelia and Rosie Sleightholme (7pm, £6).

Alex Wheatle, author of Brixton Rock, tells the story of how he became a writer, at the Deptford Albany for the rest of this week (7.30pm, £10).

Niall O’Sullivan hosts Poetry Unplugged open mic night at the Poetry Cafe (7.30pm, £4 / £3).

Follow @LondonistLit for our pick of that day’s literary events

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  • Shilpa B.

    I doubt Sonia Gandhi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Gandhi), India’s most powerful politician, and the world’s 9th most powerful woman, would have the time or inclination to speak at Rich Mix. :) The talk is by Rani Singh *on* Sonia Gandhi.