Chorlton Arts Festival at various venues

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Dave Haslam
Writer and DJ Dave Haslam.

Chorlton Arts Festival at Chorlton Library, Chorlton 19 — 28 May 2023 Entrance is free — Visit now

The bunting’s up to celebrate Chorlton Arts Festival’s 21st birthday, with the multi-venue event running 19 to 28 May, and serving up a whole host of literary arts and spoken word performances by contributors from the Manchester area.

Literary proceedings get underway with a creative writing workshop courtesy Chorlton-based The Former Boy Wonder author Robert Graham on the morning of Saturday 20 May (10.30-11.30am Lloyds). The same day sees avant-garde goodness return to the Carlton Club with the latest instalment of Peter Barlow’s Cigarette (4-6pm), then there’s just chance to hotfoot it over to Chorlton “Four Banks” and catch Confingo Publishing: Collection of Authors, 7-9.30pm (Royal Oak Marquee).

This showcase event welcomes eight writers (below, top then bottom row, left to right): Dave Haslam, Sarah-Clare Conlon, Adrian Slatcher, Imogen Tomlinson, David Gaffney, Zena Barrie, Nicholas Royle and Jo Howard. You might have spotted former Haçienda DJ Dave Haslam at Whitworth Art Festival recently chatting with Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller about his latest short format book, Adventure Everywhere: Pablo Picasso’s Paris Nightlife, just out with Manchester’s Confingo Publishing. The author of Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor – proclaimed Book of the Year by Gilles Peterson – is joined by other Confingo authors, including Nicholas Royle, of short story collections London Gothic and Manchester Uncanny (Paris follows shortly), and David Gaffney, whose third novel Out Of The Dark came out with the press in 2022, along with names featured in the literary journal Confingo Magazine.

The bunting’s up to celebrate Chorlton Arts Festival’s 21st birthday, with the multi-venue event running 19 April to 28 May, and serving up a whole host of literary arts and spoken word performances by contributors from the Manchester area.

Jam Street on Upper Chorlton Road, teetering on the edge of Whalley Range, welcomes Pete and Naomi Kalu and friends on 23 May (7.30-9.30pm) and, on 26 May (8.30-9pm), poet Tina Tamsho-Thomas. Tina has performed her work alongside other noted writers including Lemn Sissay, Benjamin Zephaniah, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, Linton Kwesi Johnson, John Cooper Clarke, Ntozake Shange and John Hegley, and her collection Someone Is Missing Me is out with Fly On The Wall Press. BBC Radio 3 The Verb‘s Ian McMillan says: “Tina Tamsho-Thomas is a poet for the page and the stage, her poems work just as well in print as they do in the air… These poems are a two way mirror to uncomfortable truths about society and to the poet telling these truths… well worth reading.”

If you want to be at the dead centre of literary activities, join renowned tour guide Emma Fox and award-winning writer Tania Hershman in the Southern Cemetery for a tour and workshop (28 May, 11am-2pm, £25) entitled Getting Curious About The Dead. Take a tour of the UK’s biggest municipal cemetery, then take elements of the tour and its rich history as inspiration for writing of all shapes, from flash fictions and short stories to poems and creative non-fiction. No previous writing is experience necessary, and the walking pace will be slow, so all are welcome. Tania Hershman is the author of nine books – last year, she published her second poetry collection, Still Life With Octopus (Nine Arches Press), and debut novel, Go On (Broken Sleep Books) – this fictional memoir-in-collage is partly inspired by being writer-in-residence in Manchester’s Southern Cemetery.

Also worth looking out for are the Young Talentless Millennial Poets (22 May, Spread Eagle), Shanty Night (23 May, Dulcimer), Door To Door Poetry (27 May, 7.30pm, The Edge) – when Rowan McCabe chats about knocking on strangers’ doors and writing poems for them – and the We’re Still Here poetry night (28 May, Royal Oak).

Confingo Collection of Authors CAF 2023
Confingo Collection of Authors CAF 2023

Chorlton Arts Festival at Chorlton Library, Chorlton 19 — 28 May 2023 Entrance is free Visit now

Where to go near Chorlton Arts Festival at various venues

Chorlton
Bar or Pub
Into The Woods Chorlton

Delightful cafe, bar and restaurant in the heart of Chorlton. Wonderfully welcoming with a great range of food and drinks for all ages.

Chorlton
Shop
Chorlton Bookshop

A family-run bookshop in Manchester’s bohemian suburb, Chorlton Bookshop is a haven of great titles and unknown gems.

Horse and Jockey Chorlton
Chorlton
Restaurant
Horse and Jockey Chorlton

The Horse and Jockey is a popular gastro pub located on Chorlton Green, at the end of Beech Road, a beautiful building and a Chorlton landmark.

Chorlton
Bar or Pub
Proof

A cocktail bar in Chorlton, South Manchester. If you like your drinks exotic and boozy, look no further.

Chorlton
Bar or Pub
The Beagle

Helmed by the people behind Common and Port Street Beer House, The Beagle is one of the most popular bars in Chorlton.

Beech Road, Chorlton
Restaurant
97 Chorlton

97 is a smart new cocktail bar from the team behind Tariff & Dale and The Lead Station, based on Beech Road in Chorlton.

What's on: Literature

Luke Kennard
LiteratureManchester
Luke Kennard at Manchester Poetry Library

We’re looking forward to hearing from Birmingham-based poet, critic and fiction writer Luke Kennard, the third guest to appear in Manchester Poetry Library’s events programme.

free entry

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