Literature Events in Manchester and the North

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor

We’re halfway through March (we know – right?) and there’s still plenty to tick off your literary list, including great Scot Irvine Welsh signing his latest novel, Poets & Players presenting performer Hannah Silva and Carcanet’s Anthony Rudolf, and one of our favourite live lit nights, Verbose, hosting legendary Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam. Away from the UNESCO City of Literature itself (follow @MCRCityofLit on the interwebs for details of their ongoing projects and special reading series), we head over the hills to Leeds for Zarf at Wharf Chambers.

If experimental poetry is what floats your boat, then check out The European Camarade in April, part of the touring European Poetry Festival, plus the last-ever outing of regular reading series The Other Room, coincidentally celebrating its tenth birthday and tenth annual anthology.

Carol Ann Duffy showcases her latest favourite new voices in the Laureate’s Choice and a special event with NZ-based poet Hera Lindsay Bird in May (more on that later), while psychotherapist Susie Orbach will see you now – she’s in town for all your self-help-books-with-a slant needs. She’s chatting to Jeanette Winterson, as is The Slits guitarist Viv Albertine, launching her new memoir To Throw Away Unopened (more here soon) as part of Manchester Literature Festival’s special Spring Programme. Another MLF event to note down is Jesmyn Ward in conversation with arts journalist and author Anita Sethi, presented in conjunction with the Centre for New Writing.

Scroll down to check out our regularly updated “other ace events to get on your radar section” (aka More in Literature), including acclaimed literature quarterly The White Review‘s special showcase, with a line-up including literary agent-turned-author Luke Brown and one-to-watch Sophie Mackintosh.

Here are our picks

More in Literature

Literature 12 April 2018, from £5.00

An Evening With Helen Pankhurst at People’s History Museum

In this centenary year, join the great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and social campaigner Helen Pankhurst as she discusses her new book Deeds Not Words.

Literature 27 March 2018, FREE

Irvine Welsh at Waterstone’s

In-store signing with legendary novelist Irvine Welsh, Edinburgh-born author of the quintessential 90s classic Trainspotting.

Luke Brown, contributor to The White Review.
Literature 30 April 2018, FREE

The White Review at Burgess Foundation

The White Review’s editors Željka Maroševic and Francesca Wade introduce an evening of readings from recent contributors to the literary magazine, including Luke Brown, Kayo Chingonyi, Nicole Flattery and Sophie Mackintosh.

Susie Orbach
Literature 16 April 2018, from £8.00

Susie Orbach in conversation with Jeanette Winterson at Martin Harris Centre

Psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, writer and social critic Susie Orbach will be in conversation with Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit author Jeanette Winterson at this Centre for New Writing special event.

Culture Guides

Theatre: RASA and Contact: Handlooms


Let us chase off those winter blues with our picks of the best theatre and performances happening in Manchester and beyond.


From the astounding new movie from Lynne Ramsay, to HOME’s One Film Wonders and Cumbria’s Picnic Cinema, we round up the best films showing in Manchester and the North.

Sonia Boyce at Manchester Art Gallery, exhibitions in the North West


In the wake of nation-wide controversy, Sonia Boyce opens at Manchester Art Gallery; Liverpool Biennial reveals its 2018 programme; and a Lake District-wide trail of contemporary art responds to the region’s new UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Feast of Fire


Outdoor feasts of fire, indoor theatrical adventure and space sagas with the Soyuz capsule that brought Tim Peake back to earth. March is looking hot to trot.


From death-themed musicals to day-long explorations of the current freakscene, via rising country stars and celebrations of our shared heritage with South Asia, the musical calendar for Manchester and the North is packed to the rafters.