There are plenty of online readings and live launches as Manchester and the North welcomes some great writers with book festival season getting underway, and there are loads of new spoken word nights and open mics to check out…
The Portico Library’s Rewriting the North series continues in October, while Central Library is the place to head for some Northern noir courtesy the monthly Crime Central hosted by Rob Parker. Meanwhile, Manchester Poetry Library celebrates its first birthday, and up the Oxford Road Corridor at Blackwell’s Bookshop, there’s loads going on, including Thea Lenarduzzi talking to Kaye Mitchell about her debut Dandelions.
In Liverpool, various nights like A Lovely Word, Blast!, Give Poetry A Chance, Liver Bards and the popular Spoken Word night at the Mansion House are back for the autumn season (along with Gravity Festival). Meanwhile, The Reader’s weekly Poetry Walks also continue in south Liverpool’s Calderstones Park every Thursday morning – bring a brolly and find out more here.
Over in Leeds, Chelping returns for the autumn, and its open mic compère Matt Abbott co-hosts Tubthumping with Maria Ferguson at The Constitutional in Farsley. Also in Farsley, head to Truman Books for various events and the new Ink Slinging: Farsley Literature Festival, while Leeds has a brand-new night, with its second outing on 30 September – Chemistry, hosted by Leeds poet Joe Williams. In Sheffield, keep an eye out for new night Resonance and also Nine Lives Poetry, in new venue John St Kitchen. In Hebden Bridge, meanwhile, get ready for this October’s inaugural Sylvia Plath Literary Festival, and, in Huddersfield, check out the new poetry night Ink Spill at The Grove.
West of the Pennines, we have a few new nights in town – or just out of town: Sour Theatre Collective’s Blah Blah Blah poetry night takes place at Café Blah in Withington, just round the corner from Beatification at Fuel. There’s also Crooked Poets hosted by John Darwin at Crooked Man Bar in Prestwich on the first Tuesday of the month, as well as Express Yourself hosted by David Scott (aka Argh Kid, BBC Radio Manchester) at Bask in Stockport on the last Wednesday of every month. Saboteur Awards Best Regular Spoken Word Night Verbose is back at the King’s Arms in Salford on 26 September, and Poets & Players returns on 24 September, with a new venue in the form of Burgess Foundation, and readers including Fiona Benson and Anthony Anaxagorou. Word Central takes over Manchester Central Library’s events space monthly and don’t forget Speak Easy’s bumper open mic is at Dulcimer in Chorlton every first Thursday of the month.
At Chorlton Library, the Manchester Poets line-up in September welcomes Carcanet-published Carola Luther on the first night of Chorlton Book Festival – read our guide to the highlights of the 18th CBF here, including a Flapjack Press showcase and reading and Q&A with David Gaffney. Online, Manchester-based poetry publisher Carcanet Press continues with its virtual launches and Salford-based Flapjack Press poets are the guests of Henry Normal In Conversation, back on a small screen near you throughout September.
For book purchases, head to Northern Monk on the afternoon of 25 September, when indie press Death Of Workers While Building Skyscrapers is putting together a small publishers fair. You can also delve into our Bookshops in Manchester Guide and don’t forget you still need to book in advance for the monthly Elizabeth Gaskell’s House book sale. Manchester Poetry Library, Chetham’s Library, the Portico Library and the Pankhurst Centre are all welcoming visitors, so pop them on your list too. Scroll down for more events and activities, or see our literary guides to Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Cumbria if you’re venturing further afield.
Here are our picks
Following on from Lancaster’s 43rd annual literature festival in March, now there’s a special autumnal edition of Litfest 6-12 October, in which you can take part either in person or virtually as the programme goes hybrid. With an opening event on National Poetry Festival hosted by Clare Shaw, and readings from Kim Moore, Eoghan Walls and more.
Manchester Literature Festival takes place 7 to 23 October 2022, showcasing a range of poetry, prose and more from both household names as well as up-and-coming talent. We’re looking forward to Jon McGregor, Kit de Waal, Inua Ellams and Kayo Chingonyi, among others…
It’s the 30th anniversary of the Forward Prizes for Poetry, the most influential awards for new poetry in the UK and Ireland, honouring fresh voices alongside internationally established names – and this year the glittering awards ceremony will take place right here in Manchester, on 28 November.
Take your pick from The Little Library’s carefully curated collection of classics and new releases, adding a recently read book of your own as a replacement.
Visit the home influential Mancunian writer Elizabeth Gaskell, with expert guides and refreshments within the home it’s a truly immersive way to learn about her life.
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and award-winning garden is a must-see, with the famous book sale every second Sunday of the month throughout 2022.
Every Thursday morning you’re invited to join the Poetry Walk with The Reader in Calderstones Park. Get into the great outdoors and escape the everyday, while exploring poetry and making the most of the beautiful surroundings in a safe and socially distanced way.
Poetry meets tennis and live literature meets theatre in LOB, a piece that explores moving through sporting spaces as a queer body, written and performed by Roma Havers, Young Identity alumna and Learning Officer at Manchester Poetry Library.
Part of the Manchester Literature Festival, Baby Bear is a nature-inspired show for families.
Part of Ink Slingers: Farsley Literature Festival, Truman Books presents a panel with five highly respected Northern indie publishers to dive beneath the surface of what can be an opaque industry.