Official website of award-winning LGBTQ+ literary salon 

polari

Polari Paul
Polari Paul

Image by Justin David

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Celia Imrie & Fidelis Morgan
Celia Imrie & Fidelis Morgan

Polari at Southbank

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Jake Arnott
Jake Arnott

Polari at Southbank

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Polari Paul
Polari Paul

Image by Justin David

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LATEST NEWS

In March 2020, Polari was awarded a grant from Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts, to fund a major 22 date tour. 

The Polari Prize Tenth Anniversary Tour showcases writers long and shortlisted for the 2020

Polari Prize awards for emerging and established LGBTQ+ literary talent, as well as winners from the Prize’s ten year history, dating back to 2011. 

The tour kicked off at Huddersfield Literature Festival and will end in October 2021with a special event at London’s Southbank Centre, when this year’s Prize winners will be announced as part of the London Literature Festival. 

The tour will also include events in Birmingham, Bradford, Canterbury, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York and at London’s legendary nightclub Heaven and gay sauna Sweatbox Soho.

NOTE - Due to Covid-19 many events are taking place online. See Coming Up for details.

BACKGROUND

Founded by author Paul Burston, Polari began in 2007 in a bar in Soho. Since 2009, we’ve been based at London’s Southbank Centre. We also tour regularly, funded by Arts Council England.

There’s a brief history of Polari on our YouTube channel HERE 

There’s a history of our touring activities HERE

For a taste of recent events, you can listen to the Polari podcast HERE

Writers and performers who’ve appeared at Polari include Adele Anderson, Amrou Al-Kadhi, Jake Arnott, Neil Bartlett, Dustin Lance Black, John Boyne, Russell T Davies, Juno Dawson, Maureen Duffy, Stella Duffy, Carey Wood-Duffy, Cerys Evans, Bernardine Evaristo, Patrick Gale, Rosie Garland, Nikita Gill, Salena Godden, Niven Govinden, Garth Greenwell, Alexis Gregory, Saleem Haddad, Mari Hannah, Philip Hensher, Celia Imrie, Juliet Jacques, Keith Jarrett, Jackie Kay, VG Lee, Kirsty Logan, David McAlmont, John McCullough, Val McDermid, Karen McLeod, Andrew McMillan, Paul McVeigh, Charlotte Mendelson, Fiona Mozley, Musa Okwonga, Okechukwu Nzelu, Diriye Osman, Juno Roche, Ali Smith, Diana Souhami, Joelle Taylor, Tracey Thorn, Paula Varjack, Sarah Waters and Mohin Zaidi.

Polari was named Cultural Event of the Year in the Co-op Respect Loved By You Awards 2013.

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

“Lively, funny and inspiring – a gay-themed salon of interest to anyone remotely interested in literature, whatever their sexual bent” – Patrick Gale

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Coming up

Sat Oct 30 - Polari Prize 2021 at London Lit Fest at Southbank Centre 7.30pm.

With Steven Appleby, Nikita Gill, Beatrice Hitchman and 2019 prize winner Andrew McMillan. 

Thur Nov 18 - Polari at G-A-Y Manchester 7pm for 7.30pm. £8 advance / £10 OTD

Special event marking our 15th birthday with Dale Booton, Rosie Garland and Val Qaeda.

Wed Dec 1 - Polari In Heaven 7pm doors for 7.30pm. £15 / £12 (+ booking fee)

With Neil Bartlett, Diana Souhami, Adam Zmith and Son of a Tutu.

Polari Paul
Polari Paul

Photography and artwork by Justin David

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Nikita_edited
Nikita_edited

Nikita Gill

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Kevin Maxwell
Kevin Maxwell

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Polari Paul
Polari Paul

Photography and artwork by Justin David

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PRAISE FOR POLARI

"The most exciting literary movement in London... crackling with energy, ideas, excitement"

HUFFINGTON POST

 
 

For enquiries, please contact paulburston@btinternet.com

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