Words are useful.
They help us communicate with one another.
Words are entertaining.
We can play games with them and listen to stories.
Words are powerful.
A single utterance can change someone's whole mood, change their entire day, even completely alter their future.
For the next fortnight, the Southbank Centre is celebrating the power of words during the London Literary Festival. This year they are focussing on the themes of freedom, justice, and democracy, as part of a tribute to Maya Angelou, who will be remembered on the 5th October with readings of her poetry and works.
Hilary Mantel will be read a story from her latest collection The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. Stephen Fry will make an appearance to mark the publication of the latest volume of his memoirs, More Fool Me. Everyone who buys tickets will get a copy of the book, which Fry will be signing after the show. Other events include National Poetry Day Live, Scratch Mixer, and Have Your Say. In this workshop, you will be able to write your own five-line manifest to put on a placard for miniature protest figures to hold. These figures are part of an exhibition at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and your contribution will be added to the display.
There will be lots of other workshops too. Get help from The Poetry Butcher, join a Think-In as you discover how stories build children's empathy, or a join activist groups in a Do It Yourself Zine Day. If you took part in the Books About Town trails, then you might also be keen to go to the auction on the 7th October, when the literary benches will be bid on for charity.