Hayling Island: Stories at Sea Level at Burgess Foundation

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Writer Michelle Green.
Hayling Island lead artist, writer Michelle Green.

Hayling Island – Stories at Sea Level at International Anthony Burgess Foundation (IABF), Manchester 26 October 2017 Entrance is free — Visit now

Here on the CT Literature desk, we like a few things other than words, and one of those is maps. Hayling Island: Stories at Sea Level is therefore right up our street, telling tales of life on the edge through a digital story map and a series of spoken word events, each giving momentum to the narrative.

So far, the project – combining short stories, soundscapes, visual art and the creative forces of four artists – has dropped into Durham Book Festival, gathering more anecdotal evidence, and Hayling Island itself, by way of the local library there. So where is Hayling Island, exactly? Well, it’s just off the south coast of Hampshire, not far from Portsmouth, and even though it’s just four miles long and completely surrounded by sea, it has plenty of tales to tell.

Refugees, tourists, circus acts, smugglers, military personnel, a destitute Russian princess and escapees from the industrial mainland: these are the people who welcome you to Hayling Island. It is a place of resilience and contrasts, we’re told, and as the sea level rises, there are no climate change deniers to be found.

Acclaimed writer Michelle Green (pictured) – recently seen at Manchester Literature Festival’s Protest! event – was born on Hayling (to its friends) and although she moved away when she was just two years old, is intrigued by the place. Having only hazy memories herself, she has drawn upon the tales of her family, their friends and the island folk she has met as a result of her research.

Along with creative non-fiction author, literary geographies consultant and Senior Lecturer in English at Manchester Metropolitan University Dr David Cooper, Michelle has taken the place as a starting point for a collage of stories, historical documents, hand-drawn elements and recordings, real and made, for interactive artist Maya Chowdhry to turn into a digital story map and for artist, engineer and facilitator in sound Caro C (a “sonic enchantress”, according to BBC R3) to turn into a unique piece of music that responds to the sonic environment of the island.

Looks and sounds promising!

Hayling Island – Stories at Sea Level at International Anthony Burgess Foundation (IABF), Manchester 26 October 2017 Entrance is free Visit now

Where to go near Hayling Island: Stories at Sea Level at Burgess Foundation

Manchester
Café or Coffee Shop
Burgess Cafe Bar
at IABF

Small but perfectly-formed café – which also serves as the in-house bookstore, stocking all manner of Burgess-related works, along with recordings of his music. It’s a welcoming space, with huge glass windows making for a bright, welcoming atmosphere.

Manchester
Bar or Pub
Black Dog Ballroom NWS

Black Dog Ballroom is a three-level bar, club and restaurant complete with roof terrace covered to provide protection during Manchester’s rainy season.

Dog Bowl bowling alley and restaurant Manchester.
Manchester
Bar or Pub
Dog Bowl

A bar and 10-pin bowling alley combined, Dog Bowl is a neon-lit venue that serves up cocktails and Tex-Mex food to go with your time on the lanes.

The Ritz Manchester live music venue
Manchester
Music venue
The Ritz

The Ritz was originally a dance hall, built in 1928, has hosted The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and The Smiths and is still going strong as a gig venue now.

Gorilla, Whitworth street Manchester
Manchester
Bar or Pub
Gorilla

Gorilla is a good choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner. From a hearty full English to meaty burgers via good vegan and veggie options. It also hosts some of the best gigs and events in Manchester.

HOME Manchester
Manchester
Theatre
HOME Manchester

Now back open with a packed schedule of events and things to do, HOME Manchester is one of the city’s leading hubs for arts and culture.

Manchester
Restaurant
Indian Tiffin Room, Manchester

Indian Tiffin Room is a restaurant specialising in Indian street food, with branches in Cheadle and Manchester. This is the information for the Manchester venue.

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