The European Camarade is back, bringing together “some of the finest modern poets of the thriving Manchester scene” and a number of their counterparts visiting from across Europe. Part of the European Poetry Festival, this unique now annual event showcases performances by collaborative pairs of writers of brand-new work made especially. The European Poetry Festival sees nine events in the space of a fortnight (4-15 April) and unites over 70 of Europe’s most innovative and dynamic literary and avant-garde poets. The Manchester leg is the penultimate prior to a trip to Dublin, and following a date in fellow UNESCO City of Literature Norwich plus a six-venue stint in London.
This special one-off at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation sees 12 duets of writers taking to the stage, including tour organiser SJ Fowler, teamed with long-time co-creator Tom Jenks, latterly of much-missed The Other Room reading series and appearing at Altrincham Word Fest in May. Another organiser of The Other Room experimental poetry reading series and creative writing lecturer at the University of Salford, Scott Thurston is back, teamed up with Romanian curator, critic and poet Simona Nastac, while Ted Hughes Award shortlistee Harry Man also returns, this time round working with Latvian poet Krisjanis Zelgis.
The European Poetry Festival unites over 70 of Europe’s most innovative and dynamic literary and avant-garde poets
Also hailing from Latvia, poet and short story writer Inga Pizane is in the Rainy City for a second year, presenting new work with German-born Martin Kratz, Project Manager for the exciting work-in-progress that is Manchester Poetry Library at Man Met University, who are supporting the European Camarade. Also Manchester based, Southern Cemetery Writer-in-Residence (among other things; watch this space for upcoming events) Tania Hershman has been working alongside Christodoulos Makris, editor of gorse literary magazine and popping over from Ireland.
One-third of the No Matter team (who’ve just won funding to commission new work from the likes of Anne Boyer, Bhanu Kapi, Jade Montserrat, Verity Spott and Lisa Robertson) Nell Osborne has teamed up with Vilde Valerie Bjerke Torset, a Spanish-Norwegian poet, actor and artist based in London, while another third, Jazmine Linklater (also of Carcanet) is collaborating with CT Literature Editor Sarah-Clare Conlon for the event. The week before, Sarah-Clare is also appearing at Peter Barlow’s Cigarette, back at Waterstone’s, alongside Sub-Voicive poetry reading series co-founder Gilbert Adair, Veer-published Patricia Farrell (on the 16th working with repeat European Camarade collaborator Robert Sheppard) and Glasgow University’s Colin Herd (for the European Camarade reading with Norway’s Morten Langeland).
Also of Glasgow University, Maria Sledmere is producing a piece with her German counterpart Sophie-Carolin Wagner, Norwegian poet Endre Ruset is back for another year and teams up with The Poetry Society-commended Tom Weir, and University of Leeds Poetry Centre’s Kimberly Campanello is back, this time with Léonce Lunette of Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, in Germany.