Literary London: London Lines at Southbank Centre

One of the poetry installations at London Lines. Picture: Southbank Centre

There’s always so much going on in London, so I’ve decided a new semi-regular feature is in order to let people know about some of the great literature themed events. 

First up is a bit of poetry in the form of London Lines, which takes place this weekend at Southbank Centre, and is completely free to view.

Why not head down, take in some poetry, and even help create some?

London Lines, a collaboration between Southbank Centre and Jaybird Live Literature, is a project featuring poetry from all of London’s 33 boroughs.

After a public call-out to poetry organisations and enthusiasts, 33 poets were chosen – one for each London borough. Each of the poets either lives, works or has some other significant connection to the borough which they are representing, such as having been born there or having celebrated their marriage there. 
Poets are from a range of ages and have different heritages. 


Eleven poems by some of the poets will appear as art installations on Southbank Centre’s site and the final 22 poems will be created with the public’s help this weekend.
Art installations include a projection of poetry onto Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall which can be seen at night-time; a poem printed on wrappers covering apples at pop-up fruit stall Cherry Berry Company on Southbank Centre’s Queen’s Walk; a poem on postcards that are hidden in books in Southbank Centre’s Saison Poetry Library; and a giant mural poem on the bridge between Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery and Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Members of the public are invited to come to Southbank Centre to write a memory, story, thought or idea about a London borough that means something to them on special cards created by design and architecture duo Cabinet of Curiosity. Contributions can also be made by tweeting @litsouthbank and @JaybirdLiveLit using the hashtag #londonlines. Tweets will appear live throughout the weekend on a giant screen on Southbank Centre’s Clore Ballroom. 
The cards will be used by the 22 poets as inspiration for their final poem, which will be written overnight on Saturday. On Sunday all the cards and the final 33 poems will be installed on The Clore Ballroom in a giant 3-D map of the city created by Cabinet of Curiosity which members of the public can walk through and explore.
For more information visit Southbank Centre’s website here.

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