From Rising Stars to World Literature, nothing says October in the Rainy City like Manchester Literature Festival. Many events are already booked up, but there’s plenty going on around the fringes, and the region is abuzz with words this month – and, in the case of the South Lakes, words and pictures.
Here are our top 5 picks
It’s National Poetry Day on 6 October, so why not celebrate by catching Lemn Sissay, practically the poet laureate of Manchester, not once but twice? Lemn, famous round these parts for his Tib Street pavement poems and his Landmark Poetry, including ‘Rain’ on Gemini chippy and ‘Hardy’s Well’ (which may soon disappear if the pub of the same name’s fate is sealed by demolition), is launching his first book in eight years, Gold from the Stone. First off, the Chancellor at the ‘University of’, no less, and official poet for the 2012 London Olympics, will be reading from the much-anticipated collection of new and old work, chatting to Dave Haslam and answering questions at HOME on 2 October. Then, at Contact on 8 October, he closes the eighth day-long Black and Asian Writers Conference, part of Manchester Literature Festival. And to round it all off, nip down to the Museum of Science and Industry Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond exhibition to see a specially commissioned poem by Lemn in situ until June.
Kendal welcomes back the Lakes International Comic Art Festival for a fourth outing, featuring talent from around the globe. The scale of this comic art get-together is like nothing else in the UK, and it’s worth a trip whether you like superheroes or super-cool graphic novels, or both.
Boasting the fabulous talents of Dan Simpson and Sam Illingworth and hosted by Salford’s own Kieren King, Evidently celebrates its third birthday in October, and launches a new YouTube channel with Bark Media, aimed at geeing you up to get up on stage.
Who doesn’t want to hear from some artists from Brooklyn, NY? This month, our city’s best regular experimental poetry night brings us some talent from the States. Hear from Charles Bernstein, Susan Bee and Maggie O’Sullivan. (And if you can’t get to Manchester, get to Storm & Golden Sky in Liverpool, 30 September.)
Plastic at the ready – tickets are now on sale for this year’s Manchester Literature Festival, and they’re selling out fast. We’re looking forward to hearing from doyenne of design Vivienne Westwood, plus Man Booker-longlisted Deborah Levy reading her Fashion and Freedom-inspired story and chatting to journalist Katie Popperwell.