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It isn't Christmas without a Dickensian orphan boy made good, and here we have a discussion about the two greatest; Oliver Twist (did anyone see the Polanski film [pictured]?) and Pip from Great Expectations. 6.30 - 8pm, £6/£4, the British Library, Conference Centre, St Pancras.
Celebrate the launch of Strange Attractor Journal Three with live music, visual delights and books galore. As a side note, all copies of the journal sold tonight will be marked with a special stamp that shall never again see the evening light. Intriguing. 7.30pm-midnight, Free, The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, WC1N 1HX, 020 7833 3644.
Carol Ann Duffy, the poet and playwright, will be reading a selection of her poems. Here's one she prepared earlier, Words, Wide Night:
Somewhere on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.
The room is turning slowly away from the moon.
This is pleasurable. Or shall I cross that out and say
it is sad? In one of the tenses I singing
an impossible song of desire that you cannot hear.
La lala la. See? I close my eyes and imagine the dark hills I would have to cross
to reach you. For I am in love with you
and this is what it is like or what it is like in words.
7 – 7.45pm, The Goethe-Institute, Exhibition Road, 50 Princes Gate, SW7, Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7405 0338 to reserve tickets.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit) and Ali Smith (The Accidental ) read at the Oxfam Bloomsbury shop, a night hosted by poet Todd Swift. £8, 7.30pm, Oxfam Bloomsbury, 12 Bloomsbury St, WC1. Reserve tickets by calling 020 7637 4610 or emailing email@example.com.
Michael Moorcock reads from, and discusses, his new book The Vengeance of Rome - read a review here. 7pm, £6/£5, RADA Gower Street, WC1, 0845 456 9876.
Last but not least, this year's the 3:AM Xmas Bash has special guests Iain Sinclair, Nicholas Royle and Stewart Home. Join in the celebrations at 7pm, The Wheatsheaf, 25 Rathbone Place W1T 1JB.