Polari Literary Salon


                                                                                       Photo of Paul Burston by Krystyna FitzGerald-Morris


“The most exciting literary movement in London... crackling with energy, ideas, excitement” – Huffington Post

“Polari is a unique mix of voices that provokes the strongest responses from its audience – love, laughter, tears, but most of all, thought” – Val McDermid

“London’s most theatrical salon” – The New York Times

“An essential night on the LGBT+ calender” – Time Out

“Hugely entertaining, thought-provoking and often very funny, Polari presents as many aspects of the ‘queer voice’ as it can find and is leading the way in being diverse” – Boyz Magazine

“London’s peerless gay literary salon” – Independent on Sunday

Named one of the world’s best LGBT events by ART INFO

Winner ‘LGBT Cultural Event of the Year’ in the Co-operative Respect ‘Loved by You’ Awards 2013

Winner ‘Golden Kitty Award’ for ‘Best UK Event (Local)’ 2013

“Lively, funny and inspiring – a gay-themed salon of interest to anyone remotely interested in literature, whatever their sexual bent. Paul Burston’s achievement in consistently bringing together writers and performers who will stimulate and inspire is remarkable” – Patrick Gale

“Always fun, always thought-provoking – a guaranteed good night out” – Sarah Waters

“I love doing Polari – a blend of audience sweetness, panache, cleverness and really good fun” – Ali Smith

Polari began in November 2007 in the upstairs room of a pub in Soho. We’re now based at the Southbank Centre, where events are held every month. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets are £5.

We also tour regularly, funded by Arts Council England.

Polari has appeared at Aye Write! Glasgow, Books on Tyne, Bradford Literature Festival, Chapter in Cardiff, Dublin International Literature Festival, Edinburgh’s Academy Roxy, Homotopia, Huddersfield Literature Festival, London Literature Festival, Manchester Literature Festival, May Festival Aberdeen, Pride in Hull, Shout Birmingham, Stoke Newington Literary Festival and Wow Worthing, as well as libraries across the UK.

Authors and performers have included Penny Arcade, Jake Arnott, Dean Atta, Adele Anderson, Paul Bailey,

Neil Bartlett, Rikki Beadle-Blair, Andy Bell, Sophia Blackwell, John Boyne, Joanna Briscoe, Juno Dawson, Maureen Duffy, Stella Duffy, Fenella Fielding, Christopher Fowler, Patrick Gale, Philip Hensher, Philip Hoare, David Hoyle, Celia Imrie, Juliet Jacques, La JohnJoseph, Jackie Kay, Francis King, VG Lee, Adam Lowe, James Maker, David McAlmont, Adam Mars-Jones, Val McDermid, Paul McVeigh, Charlotte Mendelson, John McCullough, Fidelis Morgan, Diriye Osman, Gerry Potter, Marcus Reeves, Bethan Roberts, Tom Rob Smith, Will Self, Ali Smith, Andrea Stuart, Joelle Taylor, Paul Varjack, Sarah Waters, SJ Watson and Jack Wolf. 

For upcoming events see www.southbankcentre.co.uk or visit the Polari on Tour and Polari on Sea pages.

For video footage of recent Polari events, including the Polari National Tour, CLICK HERE

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