Readings
The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Frank Cottrell Boyce and Geoff White, reviewed by Usma Malik

Frank Cottrell Boyce and Geoff White; Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Orbit stage, July 8 2017. Just as science and theory offer endless opportunities to invent and reinvent stories, so do our existing narratives, and the ‘What if?’ question pops up again, this time in Frank Cottrell Boyce’s incredibly entertaining talk. Stories? He queries. Oh, stories, […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Sara Maitland, Adam Marek, Dr Rob Appleby, Ra Page, reviewed by Usma Malik

How to Write Science-fiction: Sara Maitland, Adam Marek, Dr Rob Appleby, and Ra Page; Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Orbit stage, July 8-9 2017. When a Science-fiction writer’s panel kicks off with the sound of foxes howling you know you’re in for an interesting ride. The three men sitting on the front row are in full […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Tony Walsh and Dr Marcus Chown, reviewed by Usma Malik

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Orbit stage, July 7 2017. Science, Storytelling, Magic and the Universe. It’s been a starry three days at the 2017 Bluedot Festival. I would have loved to cover it all, unfortunately the TARDIS was in for repairs and so I had to make do with my, limited, human resources and the […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: The Dark Web – explained by Geoff White, reviewed by David Hartley

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Contact stage, July 8 2017. There’s a sense at Bluedot sometimes of the stark difference between the utopia of the open air fields and the darker undercurrent of misdemeanour inside the science talks. Not that there’s anything dangerous or dodgy going on, more that there are confrontations within these fabric walls […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Delia Derbyshire and Mary Casio, reviewed by Tessa Harris

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Delia Derbyshire Day – 80th Anniversary Tribute, Nebula Stage, July 8; Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia, Lovell stage, July 8 2017. At festivals, especially big ones with lots of good stuff going on, you get used to wisps of sound from other tents and stages intruding on your experience. I’ve always […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Sheena Cruickshank, The Amazing and Horrible World of Parasites, reviewed by Tessa Harris

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Mission Control, July 7 2017. It’s hot. I’ve danced in the sun throwing my head back, losing my hat. I’ve burnt my nose. I have an ice-cream and there are tents all round the edges of the field, they’re full of clever people giving talks. I’ll chose somewhere to sit and […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Professor Steve Fuller, Transhumanism: Can You Afford to Live Forever, reviewed by David Hartley

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Contact stage, July 8 2017. You come to Bluedot for music, sure, and maybe a few fun science experiments with plastic bottles and ping-pong balls. But you also come here to wrestle with some of humankind’s most fundamental and ethically demanding questions. On the table today is a simple one: want […]

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The Manchester Review

Bluedot: Jeff Forshaw, Universal: A Guide to the Cosmos, reviewed by David Hartley

Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Mission Control, July 7 2017. It’s a tall order trying to explain life, the universe and everything – or at least how it all started – to a tent full of festival folk on a cloudy Friday in a field in Cheshire in forty minutes. But particle physics Professor Jeff Forshaw […]

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The Manchester Review

An Evening with Chris Packham, The Lowry, reviewed by Emma Rhys

An Evening with Chris Packham: Growing Up Wild, The Lowry; May 9, 2016 I arrived at the Lowry early and was lucky enough to spot Chris Packham in his natural environment – or at least, natural to most of his species – eating lunch at the Tower Coffee Shop. He didn’t notice me. Perhaps if […]

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The Manchester Review

Kate Tempest in conversation with Dave Haslam, HOME, reviewed by Fran Slater

Kate Tempest in conversation with Dave Haslam, HOME, April 17 2016 Something feels a little bit special before the event even gets going. There’s a buzz in the room. You look around as Kate Tempest’s Everybody Down plays through the speakers and you see that the audience is made up of an interesting mixture of […]

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The Manchester Review

Irvine Welsh, The Dancehouse, reviewed by Fran Slater

Irvine Welsh in conversation with Kevin Sampson, April 3 2016 (Photograph of Irvine Welsh & Kevin Sampson, copyright Manchester Literature Festival) Entering The Dancehouse on this wet Sunday evening was a strange experience. We were here for a reading from a new novel and an onstage interview with its author, but the size of the […]

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The Manchester Review

Steve Roggenbuck at The Eagle Inn, reviewed by Lucy Burns

As part of my current project of ‘working on anything except my PhD’, I’ve been revisiting a conference paper I gave last year. The paper was on internet poetry and cuteness (and will hopefully resurface at some point) and uses Steve Roggenbuck’s poetry and the anthology, The Yolo Pages (Boosthouse, 2014) to make a claim […]

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The Manchester Review

Welcome to Night Vale, Albert Hall, reviewed by James D Ward

Welcome to Night Vale Albert Hall, Manchester, 24/09/2015     Podcasts are simply radio for our on demand times, so it’s appropriate that one of the more popular shows purports to be the broadcasts from a community station situated in an otherworldly part of the American Midwest. Welcome to Night Vale, with its mix of […]

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The Manchester Review

Catherine O’Flynn, reviewed by Caitrin O’Sullivan

Catherine O’Flynn at the Manchester Literature Festival Saturday 19th October Waterstones Deansgate   Drenched from the Manchester rain, I stumbled into Waterstones, Deansgate, to hear Libby Tempest warmly introduce the novelist Catherine O’Flynn. I seemed to be the only one in the room lucky enough to be caught in the sudden thunder and lightning, but I […]

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The Manchester Review

Deborah Levy & Sarah Hall, reviewed by Sarah-Clare Conlon

Deborah Levy & Sarah Hall Thursday 17 October, 7.30pm, International Anthony Burgess Foundation   While live Tweeting from Thursday evening’s celebration of the short story, it struck me that both quotes I picked out to share with the ether involved the word “great”. How fitting, I mused: more compact doesn’t have to mean less impact; […]

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The Manchester Review

Clare Shaw and Conor O’Callaghan, reviewed by Chloe Heard

Clare Shaw and Conor O’Callaghan, Manchester Literature Festival at Deansgate, reviewed by Chloe Heard The intimate surroundings of Waterstones was the chosen setting for a reading by contemporary poets Clare Shaw and Conor O’ Callaghan. With a rich northern twang Clare Shaw warmed up a gloomy Mancunian Friday with captivating wit and an insightful explanation […]

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The Manchester Review

A Passion for Sport: Ian McMillan and Owen Sheers, reviewed by Sara Allen

A Passion for Sport : Ian McMillan and Owen Sheers. Manchester Literature Festival at The Green, Oct 16th. Reviewed by Sara Allen   As I walk through the heavy doors of Manchester’s premier sports bar ‘The Green’ with its leather sofas, virtual golf machine and snooker tables, I can’t help but think it the most […]

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The Manchester Review

Elaine Feinstein in conversation with Michael Schmidt, Manchester, reviewed by Joe Carrick-Varty

Elaine Feinstein in conversation with Michael Schmidt, Manchester Literature Festival, 13.10.13.  Reviewed by Joe Carrick-Varty   Elaine Feinstein wrote her first poem when she was eight years old, ‘banging a ball against the garage door to create rhythm’. Who would have known that this Jewish child would flourish into one of the most influential poets […]

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The Manchester Review

I am I am I am: Jackie Kay and Ali Smith discuss Sylvia Plath, reviewed by Eve Foster

Literature Live – I am I am I am: Jackie Kay and Ali Smith discuss Sylvia Plath, Manchester Literature Festival at the Martin Harris Centre, Oct 13th, reviewed by Eve Foster Study windows bellied in Like bubbles about to break These were the opening images of Ali Smith and Jackie Kay’s thoroughly engaging discussion and […]

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The Manchester Review

Jeanette Winterson in conversation with Audrey Niffenegger, reviewed by Lauren Hill

Jeanette Winterson in conversation with Audrey Niffenegger: Manchester Literature Festival at Martin Harris Centre, October 13th, reviewed by Lauren Hill Tonight’s event, held at the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, was a discussion between acclaimed novelist Jeanette Winterson (author of such works as Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – 1985 – and […]

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The Manchester Review

Sarah Dunant, Manchester Literature Festival, reviewed by Danielle Page

Sarah Dunant, Friends Meeting House, Manchester Literature Festival, Friday 11th October, reviewed by Danielle Page Blood and Beauty is the latest masterpiece from the award winning and hugely renowned historical author Sarah Dunant, who graced the hall of the impressive and yet beautifully simply Friends Meeting House on Friday 11th October. Whilst her last 3 […]

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The Manchester Review

Jordi Punti, Manchester Literature Festival, reviewed by Theodora Gardouni

The Manchester Literature Festival: Jordi Punti Instituto Cervantes on Thursday, October 10th Theodora Gardouni “Maletes Perdudes” (“Lost Luggage”) is the latest award-winning novel of Jordi Punti, who is considered as one of the most important “voices” of Catalan Literature. While Punti is renowned for his short stories, he chose to pleasantly surprise his readership, with […]

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The Manchester Review

Louise Doughty, Manchester Literature Festival, reviewed by Amy Carrington

Louise Doughty at the Manchester Literature Festival: 7pm, October 10th Amy Carrington Louise Doughty, an accomplished author, radio broadcaster and literary judge, walked confidently onto the stage at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, offering a warm practiced smile at the neatly arranged, mostly female, audience. The intimate event was part of the Manchester Literature Festival, […]

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The Manchester Review

Moniza Alvi & Nadeem Aslam, Manchester Literature Festival, reviewed by Lola Albarn

Lola Albarn Literature Live-Moniza Alvi and Nadeem Aslam, Oct 7th 2013 Moniza Alvi and Nadeem Aslam each read a selection of their work at the Martin Harris Centre on the 7th of October 2013; despite both being incredible writers, who have drawn upon their Pakistani heritage to inspire and shape their work, for me, Nadeem […]

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The Manchester Review

Adam Marek and Guy Ware, reviewed by Jaisal Marmion

by Jaisal Marmion

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The Manchester Review

Wang Anyi, reviewed by Daisy Owens

by Daisy Owens

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The Manchester Review

Adam Marek and Guy Ware, reviewed by Nathan Harrison

by Nathan Harrison

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The Manchester Review

Hallgrímur Helgason, reviewed by Tomas Doherty

by Tomas Doherty

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The Manchester Review

Wang Anyi, reviewed by Emma Snowden

by Emma Snowden

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The Manchester Review

Hallgrimur Helgason, reviewed by James Watts

Upon seeing the phrase “A Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning” on my ticket, I instantly re-read it out of confusion. Would this event instruct me how to simply clean a house, or did clean have more sinister connotations? In all honesty, neither possibility interested me. A little research filled me with delight when I discovered that […]

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The Manchester Review

Guy Ware and Adam Marek, reviewed by Robynne Orley-Simmons

Manchester Literature Festival Event: Adam Marek & Guy Ware, Sunday 21st October, 3:00pm, International Anthony Burgess Foundation I arrive early at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. I grab a coffee at the entrance cafe and head through to the small brick-walled adjoining room, taking a seat on one of the red velvet chairs in the […]

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The Manchester Review

The Manchester Letters, reviewed by Sean Doherty

Words with Friends The Manchester Letters Saturday 20th October 2012 International Anthony Burgess Foundation An interesting project, The Manchester Letters consists of a series of correspondences between UK writer and University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing alumnus Jenn Ashworth and the Turkish novelist (now based in Barcelona) Nermin Yildirim. Meeting for only the second […]

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The Manchester Review

Manchester Letters: Jenn Ashworth & Nermin Yildirim, reviewed by Jessica Holloway

It’s the morning of Manchester Letters and having never been to an event within the Manchester Literature Festival before, I am wracked with curiosity. What will the event be like? What types of people go to these sorts of events? Will it be obvious that I haven’t been to these sorts of events before? The […]

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The Manchester Review

Wang Anyi, reviewed by Cicely Abdy Collins

As I enter the International Anthony Burgess Foundation I realise I’m early for Wang Anyi’s talk on the subject of her novel, The Song of Everlasting Sorrow. The room is empty but Anyi soon enters and begins talking with the organisers from Manchester Literature Festival as well as members of Confucius Institute, an organisation that […]

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The Manchester Review

Manchester Letters: Jenn Ashworth & Nermin Yildirim, reviewed by Charlotte Rowland

Letters, landscapes and the truth behind truth: shifting the solitude of writing Manchester Letters: Jenn Ashworth & Nermin Yildirim Saturday 20th October Manchester Literature Festival 2012 By Charlotte Rowland It might look like letters and landscapes have nothing in common besides their alliterative beginnings. One’s intimate; one’s endless and vast. If one’s paper and letters, […]

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