Literary places in LeedsSarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
There’s plenty to spout about when it comes to literature in Leeds, including a number of regular nights and a thriving festival scene – including the North’s only dedicated short story weekend, the grassroots Leeds Poetry Festival in July and the famous Ilkley Literature Festival, just a short and picturesque train trip away. Head to Farsley for spoken word performances at the Old Woollen, courtesy Tubthumping, and Bradford City of Culture 2025 for monthly showcase of innovative northern writing More Song, at The Record Café. Headingley hosts the monthly Soundbites open mic with guest poet at the Enterprise & Arts Centre, or stay more city centre Leeds for Chemistry each month at The Chemic Tavern, with headliners and an open mic, and the Radical Reading Book Group at Left Bank. Bookshops include The Bookish Type, moving from the Merrion Centre very soon, and continuing its outdoor queer book club, Bookish Stroll. Further afield, in Sheffield, La Biblioteka is the place for book-buying, while, for events, check out Resonance, Nine Lives Poetry and May’s Sheaf Poetry Festival, and in Huddersfield, try Ink Spill (now at The Head Of Steam) and monthly Attic Stories at Lawrence Batley Theatre, hosted by the talented Rose Condo. There’s even a dedicated poetry library on the cards, courtesy the University of Leeds’ first-ever Professor of Poetry, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.