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Upcoming events hosted by award-winning LGBTQ+ literary salon 


Coming soon

Coming up


Mar 7 - Polari at York Literature Festival. 7pm. £10


With Barbara Brownskirt, Paul Burston, Jay Gadhia and Hook. 

This event will be BSL interpreted by Fiona Hudson.


Mar 21 - Polari on Sea at The Printworks, Hastings 7.30-9.15pm. £6-£8


With VG Lee, Alexis Gregory, Dillon Jaxx and Paul Burston.


Mar 26 - Polari at John The Unicorn, Peckham. 7.30-9pm. £8-£10

With Nathan Evans, JP Seabright and Marilyn Smith. 

Mar 28 - Polari at Komedia, Bath. 8-10pm. £18

With Polari Prize winner Julia Armfield, Paul Burston and Alexis Gregory.


Apr 10 - Creative Writing Course : Truth and Fiction 7.30-9pm. £60 for six weeks

Online creative writing course with Paul Burston and Karen McLeod, weekly for 6 weeks on Zoom. 

Apr 15 - Polari Prize Panel at Queer Britain


Apr 27 - Polari presents Glitter Boy at Huddersfield Literature Festival.

1-2pm. FREE but please book.

Talk with Polari Children's Book Prize winner Ian Eagleton. 

Apr 27 - Polari at Huddersfield Literature Festival. 7pm-8.45pm. £8 (£5 conc)

With Julia Armfield, Paul Burston, Paul David Gould and Andrew McMillan.


This is a hybrid event at Small Seeds and online


May 15 - Polari at Word on the Wall, Liverpool

Details TBA

May 17 - Polari at Aye Write, Glasgow

Details TBA


Sep 29 - Polari at Ironworks Studio, Brighton. 7.30pm-9.15pm. £15

With Neil Bartlett, Joelle Taylor and more TBA.

York Lineup.jpg

In these uncertain times, you can support Polari’s vital work by buying us a coffee HERE


For more info, see Polari Prize in menu above.


Founded in 2007 by author Paul BurstonPolari is a multi award-winning LGBTQ+ literary salon. Known for its high energy, thought-provoking performances, Polari is a heady mix of live literature and cabaret, in which the performers happen to be writers. 


Described by The Huffington Post as “the most exciting literary moment in London”, the salon also tours regularly, supported by Arts Council England. We also host events online.


Ever adaptable, Polari has appeared at bars, book festivals, libraries, museums, nightclubs and theatres across the UK and beyond. Each event showcases the best in established and emerging LGBTQ+ talent. 

In 2009, Polari began a long residency at London’s Southbank Centre. In 2022 we moved to The British Library. We also tour regularly, funded by Arts Council England.

We also run the Polari Prize book awards for LGBTQ+ writing. 


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

There’s a history of our touring activities HERE

There’s a history of The Polari Prize 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, Livia Kojo Alour, Julia Armfield, Jake Arnott, Neil Bartlett, Dustin Lance Black, Sophia Blackwell, John Boyne, Russell T Davies, Juno Dawson, Maureen Duffy, Stella Duffy, Carey Wood-Duffy, Janet Ellis, Cerys Evans, Bernardine Evaristo, Patrick Gale, Rosie Garland, Nikita Gill, Salena Godden, Niven Govinden, Kit Green, Garth Greenwell, Alexis Gregory, Saleem Haddad, Mari Hannah, Philip Hensher, Celia Imrie, Juliet Jacques, Keith Jarrett, Jackie Kay, VG Lee, Kirsty Logan, Adam Lowe, David McAlmont, John McCullough, Val McDermid, Karen McLeod, Adam Lowe, Andrew McMillan, Paul McVeigh, Charlotte Mendelson, Fiona Mozley, Golnoosh Nour, Okechukwu Nzelu, Musa Okwonga, Diriye Osman, Jon Ransom, Juno Roche, Ali Smith, Diana Souhami, Andrea Stuart, Joelle Taylor, Tracey Thorn, Paula Varjack, Sophie Ward, Sarah Waters, Mohsin Zaidi and Adam Zmith.

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


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


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