London Book And Poetry Events: 2-8 October 2014

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 93 months ago
London Book And Poetry Events: 2-8 October 2014

An evening with Benjamin Zephaniah


Throughout October, Footprints of London tour guides are running the Literary Footprints Festival, with over 40 author and book themed talks and walks dotted about the city.

Clare Balding is at Cadogan Hall interviewing the likes of Lorraine Pascale, Caitlin Moran and Kate Mosse. 3-4 October

Somewhere in a corner of south west London, Wimbledon Book Fest brings in the likes of Alexander McCall Smith, Colm Toibin and Victoria Hislop talking fiction, David Starkey (who the website refers to as Dave; we find this hilarious) and Tracy Borman for 9 days of literary goodness. 3-12 October

Thursday 2 October -National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day. Several events are going on at venues around London including National Theatre, Southbank Centre and The Bloomsbury Hotel.

ROYAL SOCIETY: The Royal Society of Literature holds an event at its building on The Mall. And 50 years after the death of Rachel Carson, the American writer responsible for putting the environment on the political agenda, her 1962 poem Silent Spring is being debated. Does the poem persuade because of the strength of its arguments or the beauty of its language? And have Carson’s warnings been sufficiently heeded? Free, just turn up, 6pm

ALAN BENNETT: On National Poetry Day, the writer of the History Boys presents his anthology of verse, Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin, accompanied by his own commentary in a dedicated National Theatre Platform. £4/£3, prebook, 6pm

WAR POETRY: At Southbank Centre, four poets, Denise Riley, Steve Ely, Warsan Shire and Zaffar Kunia premiere work about the First World War. £10, prebook, 6pm

BLACK HISTORY: Poet Benjamin Zephaniah will speak about his latest work as part of a series of Black History Month events. At Stratford Picturehouse, in association with Newham Bookshop. £5, prebook, 6.30pm

QUEER SAY: Apples and Snakes presents a LGBT and queer spoken word night at Canada Water Culture Space. Hear three poets perform and then be interviewed by presenter Rosie Wilby.£8/£6, prebook, 7.30pm

BANG SAID THE GUN: Expect poetry, spoken word, and an open mic at Bang Said The Gun. Tonight’s performances are by Jess Green and James Massiah. At The Roebuck in Borough. £7/£5, just turn up, 8pm

MICHAEL DONAGHY: The tenth anniversary of the death of UK poet Michael Donaghy at the age of 50 is marked at Southbank Centre. There will be readings from Sean O'Brien, Jo Shapcott, Paul Farley, Don Paterson, Eva Salzman, Greta Stoddart, John Stammers and Adam O'Riordan, as well as Michael's partner Maddy Paxman and son Ruairi. £10, prebook, 8.15pm

Friday 3 October

HERB POETRY: Poet Chris McCabe and herbalist and artist Maria Vlotides host a poetry writing workshop at Chelsea Physic Garden, inspired by an art piece and book called Pharmapoetica: a dispensary of poetry. £20, prebook, 10.30am

GILLIAN ANDERSON: Actress and author Gillian Anderson will be signing copies of her first novel Vision of Fire at Waterstones flagship store on Piccadilly. Arrive early to avoid disappointment. 11.30am

NORA WEBSTER: Colm Toibin will be signing copies of new novel Nora Webster at Hatchards on Piccadilly. Free, just turn up, 5.30pm

PURSUIT OF LOVE: King’s College Joy Of Influence series, with journalists talking about the novels that inspired them, concluded this week. India Knight is interviewed by Andrew O'Hagan about Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love. £5/£3, prebook, 6.30pm

OPEN MIC: Scratch Mixer at Southbank Centre gives new poets and spoken word artists a chance to showcase their work. Tonight's acts include storyteller Anthony Hett. £5, prebook, 7pm

SAFE PLANET: Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green hosts the launch of Safe Planet by John Cowsill, an environmental activist from Islington. The book is a rallying cry for all those concerned about the destruction of the environment and its effect on all of our lives, and Cowsill will be talking about it and answering questions. 7pm

LIVE POETRY: Poetry in London hosts its first live event at the Poetry Cafe. Expect open mic spots, a surprise feature act, a discussion on this month’s theme, collaboration, and the opportunity to network. £5/£7, prebook, 7.30pm

TIM LEACH: Tim Leach is at West End Lane Books in West Hampstead  where he will be launching The King And The Slave, the follow up to Last King Of Lydia, The King And The Slave, set 10 years after the fall of Babylon. It is a tale of the diplomacy and charisma of King Cyrus versus the violence and vanity of his heir’s vision.Free, prebook, 7.30pm

SCARY STORIES: Vanessa from London Dreamtime tells scary stories for adults only at a secret location near South End Green NW3, along with  One Eye Grey’s Chris Roberts. It'll be dark so bring a torch. £3, prebook, 9.30pm

Saturday 4 October

POETRY ADVICE: Need some help with your poetry writing? Get a slice of feedback from the Poetry Butchers at Southbank Centre. Only one poem should be brought along, which should be one page of A4 at the most. Free, just turn up, 12pm-5pm

BOROUGH TOUR: The inaugural Borough literary walk takes place, walking from Southwark station to Borough station and covering the many writers who hail from the area. £10, prebook, 2pm

NATURE WRITING: Nature writers Helen Macdonald and Mark Cocker are in conversation at Southbank Centre. £10, prebook, 6pm

Sunday 5 October

SCOTT WESTERFIELD: Teen author Scott Westerfeld will be signing his latest book, Afterworlds, at Waterstones in Bromley. 11am

WALKING BOOK CLUB: Daunt Books in Hampstead is the start point for a literary walk across Hampstead Heath, discussing Dorothy Canfield Fisher's novel The Home-Maker. 11.30am

MAYA ANGELOU: Southbank Centre hosts a celebration of the life of Maya Angelou, one of the world's most important writers and activists. £15, prebook, 7pm

TORRIANO POETS: This week’s poetry reading at Torriano Poets Meeting House in Kentish Town features poet Osita Nwankwo and musician Mark Mayoral. £5/£4, just turn up, 7.30pm

Monday 6 October

POETRY PORTRAITS: What does it mean to be a poet? Poets including the late Seamus Heaney, Sir Andrew Motion and Wendy Cope have been captured in a series of portraits at Kings Place, and this special event has live readings and conversations.  £9.50, prebook, 7pm

NAOMI KLEIN: Head to Central Hall Westminster for a Guardian Live event featuring author and journalist Naomi Klein, in conversation with columnist and writer Owen Jones. £20, prebook, 7pm

DETAINEE POEMS: Poet Holly Hopkins explores some of the poems written by detainees in a workshop with the Koestler Trust, to gain an insight into the thoughts and lives of the UK's detainees. At Southbank Centre. £5, prebook, 7pm

SEAFARER: Drift, by Penned In The Margins is a performance inspired by the anonymous Anglo-Saxon poem The Seafarer. At The Forge in Camden. £10, prebook, 7.30pm

EXILED WRITERS: The monthly gathering of writers exiled from their homeland takes place at Poetry Cafe, with featured performances. Hosted by Jennifer Langer.£4/£2, just turn up, 7.30pm

Tuesday 7 October

TREVOR BROOKING: West Ham and footballing legend Sir Trevor Brooking is at Waterstones London Wall to sign copies of his new autobiography, My Life in Football. 1pm

QUEEN VICTORIA: A.N. Wilson is at Hatchards on Piccadilly to talk about his biography of Queen Victoria, which explores the curious set of circumstances that led to Victoria's coronation, her strange and isolated childhood and her passionate marriage. £8, prebook, 6.30pm

TALE OF TWO AUTUMNS: There's an evening evening of conversation and readings at Keats House in Hampstead, focusing on the Autumns of 1819 and 1820. Free, prebook, 7pm

POETRY UNPLUGGED: The Poetry Cafe hosts Poetry Unplugged, a weekly open mic night. Anyone is welcome to sign up. £5/£4, just turn up, 7.30pm

BOOK BENCH AUCTION: Remember the book benches that were spread liberally throughout the city earlier in the year? They're being sold off at a public auction at Southbank Centre, with all proceeds going to the National Literacy Trust’s vital work to raise literacy levels in the UK. Many of the artists and authors involved will be at the event. £25, prebook, 7.45pm

SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE: The life of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge is being discussed by poets Poets Malika Booker and Dorothea Smartt at Southbank Centre. £10, prebook, 8.15pm

Wednesday 8 October

POINTLESS: Head to Waterstones London Wall for a signing of the new pointless quiz book, The Very Pointless Quiz Book by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman. 1pm

RIO FERDINAND: Meet the footballer: he's signing copies of his autobiography, #2Sides, at Waterstones Canary Wharf. Free, just turn up (get there early to avoid disappointment), 11am or at Waterstones Leadenhall Market at 5.30pm

MESSENGER OF FEAR: Michael Grant, the author of the global best-selling Gone series is in conversation with Journalist Lucy Mangan, where they will be discussing his new book Messenger of Fear. At Waterstones Piccadilly. £4/£3, prebook, 6.30pm

PETER F HAMILTON: The UK's biggest selling science fiction author Peter F Hamilton is at Foyles on Charing Cross Road for a pre-launch event surrounding his new book, The Abyss Beyond Dreams. £5, prebook, 7pm

MUSIC AND POLITICS: John Hutnyk is at Housmans bookshop in King's Cross to discuss his most recent book, Pantomime Terror: Music and Politics. £3, prebook, 7pm

ANDRES NEUMAN: Novelist, short-story writer, poet and essayist Andres Neuman is in conversation with author Elif Shafak to discuss his recent novel, The Things We Don't Do. At Waterstones Covent Garden. 7pm

DERMOT O'LEARY: The TV presenter is at Waterstones Piccadilly for the launch event for The Soundtrack To My Life, a memoir told through the songs that have shaped his life and career in TV and radio. £20, prebook, 7.30pm

BOOK SLAM: The event returns to Clapham Grand, with £1 from each ticket going to Women's Aid. Writers involved in tonight's event include Laura Bates from Everyday Sexism, Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights group Liberty, and Salena Godden. From £7, prebook, 7.30pm

POLARI: The LGBT Literary Salon returns to Southbank Centre with award-winning writer Ali Smith and winner of The Polari First Book Prize 2013, Mari Hannah. The evening also features Will Davies, Karen Mcleod and Justin David. £10, prebook, 7.45pm

PLAY READING: An audience of 20 people read together from the latest edition of Tom Phillips’s ongoing project A Humument. The audience for this shared reading will each be given sections to read as the work is brought to life in the Poetry Library. £5, prebook, 8pm

LOOSE MUSE: Hosted by Agnes Meadow, Loose Muse at the Poetry Cafe is event for women writers of all genres, with an open mic spot.£6/£5, just turn up, 8pm


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

Last Updated 01 October 2014