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Upcoming events hosted by award-winning LGBTQ+ literary salon 


Coming soon

Coming soon

Sep 27 - Polari on Sea at The Printworks, Hastings. 7pm doors. £6-£10

With Paul Burston, Heleana Blackwell and Sophia Blackwell.

Plus we announce this year's Polari Prize shortlists with local author VG Lee.

Oct 14 - Polari at The Astor Theatre, Deal. 8pm. £17.50

With Paul Burston, Heleana Blackwell and Sophia Blackwell.

Oct 24 - Polari Prize Shortlist Showcase at The British Library 7.15-8.30pm

Lineup TBA

Nov 9 - Polari at G-A-Y Manchester 7.30-9.15pm. £6-£8

Lineup TBA.

Nov 22 - Polari at The Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh.

Lineup TBA

Nov 24 - Polari Prize 2023 at The British Library 7-8.45pm. £5-£10


Hosted by founder Paul Burston with 2022 Prize winners Adam Zmith and Joelle Taylor, live music from Kit Green and the announcement of this year's Polari Prize winners.



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 by author Paul Burston, Polari began in 2007 in a bar in Soho.


In 2009, we moved to London’s Southbank Centre.


Since 2014, we’ve also toured regularly, funded by Arts Council England.

We’ve appeared in bars and clubs, at book festivals, libraries, museums and theatres.


We also host events online.

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, 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, 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, Andrew McMillan, Paul McVeigh, Charlotte Mendelson, Fiona Mozley, Musa Okwonga, Okechukwu Nzelu, Diriye Osman, Juno Roche, Ali Smith, Diana Souhami, Andrea Stuart, Joelle Taylor, Tracey Thorn, Paula Varjack, Sophie Ward, Sarah Waters and Mohsin 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

















July 21 - Polari In Heaven at Heaven nightclub.7pm-9.15pm. £10-£15.

With readings from Barbara Brownskirt, James McDermott and lisa luxx, plus live music from Kit Green. Pippa Dee on the door.


July 27 - Polari at Sangam Festival online. 7.30pm

With Nikita Gill and Mukahang Limbu.

Aug 12 - Polari at Serious Nonsense Festival Shakespeare North Playhouse, Prescot. 5pm. £3.

With Heleana Blackwell, Sophia Blackwell, Paul Burston and Kate O'Donnell. 

Sep 27 - Polari on Sea at The Printworks, Hastings. 7pm doors. £6-£10.

With Paul Burston, Heleana Blackwell and Sophia Blackwell.

Plus we announce this year's Polari Prize shortlists.


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


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