Henry Normal in conversation online

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet Henry Normal
Writer Henry Normal.

Henry Normal in Conversation, 14 July–1 September 2021, free entry - Visit now

Join Henry Normal online every Wednesday from 14 July to 1 September as he chats and shares poems with award-winning wordsmiths from Salford-based Flapjack Press. Brought to you by Flapjack Press, Manchester Libraries, Manchester UNESCO City of Literature and New Poetry Society, and including the chance to ask your own questions, these weekly get-togethers are free, although you’ll need to book a place via Eventbrite. What better way to spend your lunchtime?

Starting on 14 July with Gerry Potter and ending on 1 September with Paul Cookson, joining Henry for his lunchtime chats in between will be Geneviève L Walsh, Thick Richard, Anna Percy, Tony Curry, Dominic Berry and Rose Condo. All have books with Flapjack Press, shortlisted for Saboteur Awards’ Most Innovative Publisher and Northern Soul Awards’ Best Northern Publisher, and coordinator of the monthly Word Central spoken word shindig in association with Manchester Libraries and, when circumstances allow, live at Manchester’s Central Library (currently events are taking place online).

Starting on 14 July with Gerry Potter and ending on 1 September with Paul Cookson, joining Henry for his lunchtime chats in between will be Geneviève L Walsh, Thick Richard, Anna Percy, Tony Curry, Dominic Berry and Rose Condo.

Poet, playwright, actor and director Gerry Potter hails from Liverpool, where he trained at Everyman Youth Theatre and is listed by National Museums Liverpool among the city’s leading LGBTQ+ icons. Says Polari Literary Salon: “Will amuse, move, inspire and provoke.”

Geneviève L Walsh founded Halifax’s spoken word night Spoken Weird in 2013 and has hosted Manchester’s Stirred Poetry collective since 2017. Walsh debuted and toured their one-person show A Place In The Shade in 2019, and their second poetry collection, Vitriol Works, was published by Flapjack earlier this year, following up The Dance Of A Thousand Losers.

Thick Richard has performed on BBC Radio 4 and gigged with, among others, Kae Tempest, who says: “His words are rattling and brilliant and shoot life back at you in all its futility and chaos and wonder.” He co-curated the Manchester leg of Bang Said The Gun and toured his show Swear School nationally. His latest collection, Read ’em And Weep, came out last year.

Described by Young Identity’s Shirley May as “a fabulous feminist fighter”, award-winning Anna Percy co-founded Stirred, the pro-feminist collective which organises performances and writing workshops throughout the North West. She writes for both page and stage, and her third collection with Flapjack Press, Jumping Into A Waterfall, was published in 2020.

Tony Curry is a performance poet, playwright, workshop facilitator, soundsmith and host of Word Central. He runs literature-in-the-community projects with a specific leaning towards mental health and wellbeing across the North West. His third poetry collection, We Kid Ourselves, came out in April. Tony Walsh says: “This is our poetry. These are our poems.”

Dominic Berry is an award-winning performance poet whose work for adults and children has taken him across five continents. He has been Glastonbury Festival’s Poet-in-Residence and regularly performs at the Edinburgh Fringe. His third collection for adults, No Tigers, was reissued in 2020, and his fifth for children, Best Adventure Ever!, was published in 2021.

Rose Condo is a Canadian poet now based in Salford. Her debut collection, After The Storm, came out last autumn and contains the scripts of her three award-winning poetry theatre shows: The Geography Of Me, How To Starve An Artist and The Empathy Experiment, which received critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Paul Cookson has worked as a poet for over three decades and has more than sixty titles to his name. Poet-in-Residence at the National Football Museum, in 2020 he was commissioned by the BBC to perform a poem for the Women’s FA Cup Final. The third volume of his poem-a-day lockdown diaries, Pig’s Ear, Dog’s Dinner, is out on 19 July; the fourth follows in November.

Henry Normal is a poet, writer, TV and film producer, founder of the Manchester Poetry Festival (now the Manchester Literature Festival) and co-founder of the Nottingham Poetry Festival. He co-wrote the first series of The Royle Family and The Mrs Merton Show and its spin-off series Mrs Merton and Malcolm. Setting up Baby Cow Productions Ltd in 1999, he executive produced and script edited shows including Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Red Dwarf, Nighty Night and Alan Partridge – he has collaborated extensively with Steve Coogan, including on the Oscar-nominated film Philomena. In 2017, he was honoured with a special BAFTA for services to television and, since retiring, has written and performed seven BBC Radio 4 shows in his ‘occasional series’ A Normal…

Free and online, but booking essential.

Henry Normal in Conversation

14 July–1 September 2021
Free entry

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