Despite the traditional summer break for many of our favourite regular nights, and news of the imminent sad demise of others, there’s still plenty of poetry and prose to catch, from brand-new tomes available at indie markets and national magazine dos to a brand-new series of talks and an exhibition dedicated to Banned Books, on at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation.
Glossy poetry periodical PN Review launches its latest edition with a summer party at Castlefield Gallery on 18 July, featuring various readers including Simon Armitage, while his Poetry Live! colleagues Carol Ann Duffy and Gillian Clarke launch the new People’s Poetry Lectures for the Manchester Writing School on 24 July with a chat about Dylan Thomas.
We’ve also had tons of avant garde evenings lately, including if p then q’s 10th birthday party at the Peer Hat, and more experimental poetry is yours for the taking at bi-monthly Peter Barlow’s Cigarette, back in August, and the next installment of new night No Matter, taking over The Other Room slot at The Castle – the next one is on the 15th and features Sarah Bernstein, Carl Gent and Linda Stupart (watch this space for more on those soon).
if p then q also crop up at a special Manchester Independent Books And Arts Fair on 28 July, when you can pick up lots of lovely books, pamphlets and zines from Manchester’s finest indie presses and collectives, including Dostoyevsky Wannabe, if p then q, ZimZalla, Knives Forks & Spoons, Generic Greeting and Dodo Ink. Look out also for the hot-off-the-press anthology Dostoyevsky Wannabe Cities: Manchester, the latest in a series featuring the likes of Bristol, Brooklyn, Glasgow, London, Santiago and fellow UNESCO City of Literature Norwich.
Hot summer streets getting you down? Might we suggest a literature trail in the hills that’s just perfect for blowing away the cobwebs… All aboard the Northern Poetry Train to Hebden Bridge for a lit trip up the Calder Valley (there’s an illustrated map you can download), via the Dantzic Street entrance of Victoria Station, where you can take in the first part of Helen Mort’s poem there & back, commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival. Keep going and you can head to Leeds Library for the launch of Strix #4 and the literary magazine’s first birthday or to Sheffield’s Electric Arc Furnace, with readings from Emilia Weber, Tom Betteridge and Katy Lewis Hood – both on 17 July.
And don’t forget to keep checking back; we’re regularly updating our top picks both in the currently-not-very-at-all Rainy City and further afield in the North West environs.
Here are our picks
Manchester Literature Festival and Northern have teamed up to take a literary trip around the city centre and up the Calder Valley, with two special trails and a newly commissioned poem about the train journey to Hebden Bridge by Helen Mort.
Join poet and national treasure Simon Armitage and other contributors to the bi-monthly literary journal PN Review at this special summer party, hosted by general editor and Manchester-based poetry publishing house Carcanet Press founder Michael Schmidt.
The People’s Poetry Lectures: Gillian Clarke on Dylan Thomas at The Principal Manchester (formerly The Palace Hotel), Manchester, 24 July 2018, from £3 - Book now
Former National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke chats all things Dylan Thomas to Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy in the first of a brand-new reading series from Manchester Writing School. Expect plenty about Llareggub, and much more besides.
Aka Dostoyevsky Wannabe Goes To Manchester, this special pop-up is your chance to pick up lots of lovely books, pamphlets, zines, t-shirts and tapes from Manchester’s finest indie presses and collectives, including Dodo Ink, Generic Greeting, if p then q, Knives Forks & Spoons and ZimZalla.
Exhibition ‘Banned Books: Anthony Burgess and Censorship’ displays some apparently mucky literary works – avert your eyes from the covers of novels by the likes of Kingsley Amis, Angela Carter and DH Lawrence, seized and destroyed in the 60s when the author of A Clockwork Orange went off on his travels.
Join the multi-award-winning author behind the Case Histories crime series as she chats to Guardian critic Alex Clark about her tenth novel, Transcriptions, out in September on Transworld. Part of Manchester Literature Festival 2018.
Do you prefer to hold a Kindle in your hands or a book? ‘BiblioTECH: From bookshelf to big data’ at The Portico Library uses art to examine the opportunities and challenges that arise when we adapt to new technological formats for storing and sharing information.