Word Central at Central Library

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Gerry Potter (credit Lee Baxter)
Poet Gerry Potter. Photo Lee Baxter

Word Central at Manchester Central Library, Manchester 25 July 2023 Entrance is free — Visit now

Manchester Libraries and Flapjack Press present Word Central, a free event every month at Central Library featuring open mic performers and a special guest.

Join some of the award-winning wordsmiths of Salford-based publishing house Flapjack Press and performers from further afield for the latest instalment in what you can expect to be a no-holds-barred evening of performance poetry, all compered by the affable Tony Curry.

Following in the footsteps of the inimitable stalwart of the Manchester and Liverpool spoken word scenes Gerry Potter for Word Central headliner duties at July’s event is Winston Plowes, over the Pennines for the evening. His bio reads: “Winston Plowes lives in Calderdale aboard his floating home, which doubles as lodgings for lost and wayward words. He is a teacher of creative writing at primary schools and universities.” His collection of surrealist found poetry Telephones, Love Hearts & Jellyfish was published by Electric Press in 2016 and he has had poetry in the likes of Streetcake Magazine.

On the Calder Valley Poetry website, Michael Brown says: “This cohesive collection manages to leaven the anonymity of Britain’s “beautiful and strange” motorway system with the deft touch of those who have inhabited and been affected by these superficially nondescript settings. The deeply felt work leaves its impression in its strength of imagery. ‘We are all nameless travellers on the edge of leaving.'”

There’s a sign-up-in-advance open mic for Word Central, but if you fancy taking part, you need to be quick – the three-minute performance slots are bookable from noon two weeks before via email and are allocated on a ‘first come first served’ basis (if none are left you will be offered a space on the reserve list). See the event page for more details.

Fiona Erskine
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There’s murder and mayhem in the library! Manchester Libraries’ monthly event Crime Central welcomes new guests every month at Central Library, hosted by Rob Parker.

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Where to go near Word Central at Central Library

St Peters Square Manchester
City Centre
St Peter’s Square

St Peter’s Square is a public space in Manchester – home to the city’s iconic library, town hall, Pankhurst statue, art gallery and famous Midland Hotel.

Manchester Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Brooks
City Centre
Manchester Art Gallery

The Charles Barry-designed, Grade I-listed Manchester Art Gallery is one of the city’s leading galleries and is back open for visitors once more.

The Alan

This high-end city-centre restaurant has an excellent afternoon tea option that more than matches up to the superb main menu.


1847 Manchester is an excellent vegetarian restaurant in the centre of town.

Salut Wines
Bar or Pub
Salut Wines

Salut wines pride themselves in offering “wider horizons beyond the safe choices.” With 42 wines by the glass and a regularly changing selection of bottles in their Enomatic wine preservation machines (or  “wine jukebox,” as they’re colloquially known), this is one of be best bars in Manchester for exploring new vintages.

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3Space Manchester

The building consists of five floors of 10,000sqft in an L shape configuration – three of which are open-plan and the other two floors are divided into studio size spaces.


Latest branch of Friska, the independent healthy fast food chain.

Don Giovanni

Traditional Italian restaurant, serving everything from pizza to steak. All this in a large modern venue with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Manchester Art Gallery Cafe

Summery bakes, seasonal salads and fresh light meals at Manchester Art Gallery’s in-house café, courtesy of highly-regarded Head Chef Matthew Taylor.

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Manchester Town Hall

Re-opening in 2024, Manchester Town Hall is a monument to Victorian Manchester’s ambition, and one of the city’s most-loved landmarks.

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Albert Square

A public square in the heart of Manchester which plays hosts to festivals and major events. Home to the Albert Memorial and statues of Bishop James Fraser, John Bright, Oliver Heywood and William Ewart Gladstone.

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