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LONDON: Cicely Herbert and Gerard Benson read love poems by the Brownings in the King's Library, British Library, Great Russell St, WC1; Sun 28, 3pm, free. 0171 412 7222

Ruth Rendell and P D James talk at the Olivier, NT, SE1; Mon 29, 6pm, pounds 3.50/pounds 2.50. 0171 938 2252

First novelists Alan Warner and John Lanchester read at the Voice Box, Royal Festival Hall, SE1; Tue 30, 7.30pm, pounds 4/pounds 2.50. 0171 960 4242

Sandra M Gilbert and Susan Gubar talk to Lisa Jardine and Margaret Reynolds about the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women; ICA, The Mall, SW1; Thur 2, 7.30pm, pounds 6.50/pounds 5.50. 0171 930 3647

EDINBURGH: poets John Purser, Sean Belcher and Gillian Ferguson read at the Fruitmarket Gallery, 29 Market St; Sun 28, 8pm, pounds 1. 0131 225 2383

ABERDEEN: poet Kathleen Jamie reads at the Arts Centre, 33 King St; Tue 30, 7.30pm, pounds 3/pounds 2. 01224 641122

SWINDON: Festival of Literature begins Wed 1; six Slam Poets perform at the Arts Studio, Link Centre; Wed 1, 8pm, pounds 4/pounds 3. Andrew Motion and Candida Lycett-Green on poetry and biography at the Town Hall, Regent Circus; Thur 2, 8pm, pounds 5/pounds 4. Novelists Louise Doughty and Melvyn Bragg talk to Terry Waite at the Town Hall, Fri 3, 8pm, pounds 7/pounds 5. Festival office: 01793 644510

MANCHESTER: A S Byatt reads from her new novel Babel Tower at Waterstone's, 91 Deansgate; Thur 2, 7pm, pounds 3. 0161 832 1992

BRIGHTON: the Festival begins Sat 4. Pat Barker discusses war and fiction with Paul Bailey at the Pavilion Theatre, New Rd; Sat 4, 2.30pm, pounds 5/pounds 4. John Lanchester and Patricia Duncker talk about their well-received debut novels at the Pavilion Theatre; Sat 4, 5pm, pounds 4/pounds 3. Festival office: 01273 709709