Postcards from Oxford Road at MLF Digital

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Postcards from The Road Poet Hafsah Aneela Bashir.
Poet Hafsah Aneela Bashir.

Postcards from Oxford Road, 21 October–30 November 2021, free entry - Visit now

Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Poetry Library have co-commissioned three acclaimed poets to create new works for Corridor of Light that capture their personal connections, memories and reflections of Oxford Road. This event is now freely available to watch until midnight on Tuesday 30 November with MLF Digital via the MLF website (see the link below).

Postcards from Oxford Road sees poets Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Reshma Ruia and Andrew McMillan read their specially made pieces – filmed on location in the area.

Corridor of Light was a brand-new three-night celebration of the Oxford Road Corridor through language, light and ideas, inviting the exploration pf Manchester’s innovation district as its stories were revealed by encounters with visual art, installations and live entertainment. Postcards from Oxford Road originally saw poets Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Reshma Ruia and Andrew McMillan read their specially made pieces – filmed on location in the area – on the big screen at Manchester Poetry Library, which has barely even opened its doors to the public, but now you can catch the project on a small screen where you are.

Manchester-based poet, playwright and founder of both Poetry Health Service and Outside The Frame Arts, Hafsah Aneela Bashir is a Manchester City of Literature Trustee and was one of the contributor’s to this year’s Manchester International Festival I Love You Too commission in partnership with Library Live and Creative Spaces. Her poetry collection The Celox And The Clot (Burning Eye Books) was described by Helen Mort as: “A startling, bold debut from a voice that needs to be heard in contemporary poetry.”

Reshma Ruia, is co-founder of The Whole Kahani Collective and an award-winning writer across all poetry, short stories and novels, including Something Black In The Lentil Soup and A Mouthful Of Silence. Last year’s poetry collection, A Dinner Party In The Home Counties, was praise by poet and University of Manchester Chancellor Lemn Sissay MBE, who said: “Her voice is intimate and confident. Her poetry shines bright.” Her latest book, Mrs Pinto Drives to Happiness, is a collection of short stories and was published on 12 October; join her for the official launch on 17 November at Blackwell’s Bookshop.

Manchester Writing School lecturer Andrew McMillan launched his third collection, pandemonium, with Jonathan Cape in May, and it was named one of the picks of the year in the Guardian. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, his debut, physical, was the first poetry collection to win the Guardian First Book Award and it went on to win many other prizes and his second collection, playtime, won the inaugural Polari Prize and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for autumn 2018, a Poetry Book of the Month in both The Observer and The Telegraph, and a Poetry Book of the Year in The Sunday Times. Alan Bennett called it “vivid, accessible and honest, sometimes uncomfortably so” in the London Review of Books.

For more on the Corridor of Light Festival, head here.

Mrs Pinto Drives To Happiness by Reshma Ruia cover
Mrs Pinto Drives To Happiness by Reshma Ruia cover

Postcards from Oxford Road

21 October–30 November 2021
Free entry