Put your purse away, love – live literature comes largely free this month. What better way to celebrate Manchester’s shiny new status as the UK’s latest UNESCO City of Literature? You can raise a complimentary glass of wine at avant-garde’s regular afternoon out Peter Barlow’s Cigarette, complete with Forward Prize-winning poet Vahni Capildeo, and at the glittering gala for the Manchester Prizes for both poetry and prose at Chet’s famous library, co-hosted by Nicholas Royle, also to be found performing at this month’s Verbose. Another double-dater is poet Helen Mort, introducing Adelle Stripe at the second Lit Up in everyone’s favourite indie bookshop, Chapter One, then headlining the last Bad Language of 2017, now ensconced in its new home Gullivers. Central Library’s new Library Lounge “in conversation” events are launched, while Word Central hits the ‘burbs as part of the 13th outing of the Chorlton Book Festival, with mainly free events and authors a-go-go. Elsewhere, the Word War Four poetry slam from the Evidently gang culminates in its much-anticipated grand final, with trophy and cash prize to be had.
Here are our picks
The annual announcement of the UK’s biggest literary awards for unpublished writing – the Manchester Poetry Prize, for best portfolio of poems, and the Manchester Fiction Prize, for best short story.