Readings
The Manchester Review

Richard Clegg makes the case for Neil Campbell

Give Him A Reading: a review of Lanyards by Neil Campbell and a reading at Waterstones, Deansgate by the author, chaired by Nick Royle, on November 7th, 2019   When the team meets up to plan the Manchester Literature Festival, Neil Campbell deserves a place on any events list. He is one of the few […]

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The Manchester Review

Louder than Words Festival: Jordan Mooney and Cathi Unsworth, reviewed by Alienor Bombarde

Books, Ballet and Bodacious Backgrounds – Defying Gravity and Defining a Punk Ethic Jordan Mooney and Cathi Unsworth were interviewed by John Robb on Saturday, 9th of November, 2019, at the Louder than Words Festival Jordan Mooney, the punk symbol who disappeared from London in the 1980s, has come back to the public eye among […]

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The Manchester Review

MLF 2019: Emilie Pine and Sinead Gleeson at the IABF, 13/10/19, reviewed by Erin McNamara

Emilie Pine and Sinéad Gleeson were interviewed by Kate Feld at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on 13th October. After introductions, Gleeson read from an essay entitled ‘On the Atomic Nature of Trimesters’ from her collection Constellations, and Pine from the first of her book Notes to Self – ‘Notes on Intemperance’. While very different […]

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The Manchester Review

MLF 2019: Booker Prize Shortlist, with Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, Martin Harris Centre, 11/10/19, reviewed by Georgia Way

“The suffering of the novelist”: 2019 Booker Prize Shortlist Bernardine Evaristo, Lucy Ellmann & Chigozie Obioma in conversation with Ellah Wakatama Allfrey 11th October 2019, Martin Harris Centre An evening with three of the Booker Prize nominees – Bernardine Evaristo (Girl, Woman, Other), Lucy Ellmann (Ducks, Newburyport) and Chigozie Obioma (An Orchestra of Minorities) – […]

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The Manchester Review

Cork International Short Story Festival 2019 (25 – 28 September), reviewed by Phil Olsen

A Partial Diary of the Cork International Short Story Festival 2019 (25 – 28 September) Phil Olsen Like me, the Cork Arts Theatre was established in 1976 (though I was never fondly referred to as the “CAT Club” in my early years). It is here that I arrived on a rainy late September evening to […]

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The Manchester Review

MLF 2019: Elif Shafak at Central Library, 10/10/19, reviewed by Probert Dean

When Elif Shafak finished her talk, I looked back on the event – an intimate gathering at Manchester Central Library – and reflected on her aesthetic turns of phrase, the lingering visions of her lively prose, and the sobering inevitability with which all discussions now turn to politics. Shafak is described as British-Turkish (or Turkish-British) […]

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The Manchester Review

MLF 2019:  ‘A Little Body Are Many Parts / Un Cuerpecito Son Muchas Partes’, 9/10/19, reviewed by Charlotte Wetton

‘A Little Body Are Many Parts / Un Cuerpecito Son Muchas Partes’ is one of those rare and lovely things: a poetry book with the original language and the English translation side by side. Poems from Legna Rodríguez Iglesias’ eight collections, written in Spanish, sit beside Abigail Parry and Seraphina Vick’s English translations. During the […]

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The Manchester Review

MLF 2019: Isabel Galleymore and Stephen Sexton, Blackwell’s, 7/10/19, reviewed by Kathryn Tann

Introduced to Blackwells on a chilly October evening are poets Isabel Galleymore and Stephen Sexton, along with their shining debut collections. Both with previously published pamphlets, both lecturers in Creative Writing, yet both with a unique and distinctive voice; each takes their place before the keen audience to read and discuss their latest work. First […]

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The Manchester Review

MLF 2019: Take 2, Jonathan Safran Foer at the Cosmo Rodewald, 8/10/19, reviewed by Erin McNamara

Jonathan Safran Foer has a plan to tackle climate change – but he wants you to come up with your own. In conversation with Erica Wagner, former literary editor of The Times, the writer discussed his latest book – a non-fiction work on climate change that is not so much a call to arms as […]

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The Manchester Review

MLF 2019: Take 1, Jonathan Safran Foer at the Cosmo Rodewald, 8/10/19, reviewed by Joss Areté Kelvin

Jonathan Safran Foer, Literature Live at the Martin Harris Centre, Centre for New Writing, 8/10/19, reviewed by Joss Areté Kelvin Acclaimed novelist and non-fiction writer Jonathan Safran Foer is sharing his own vulnerabilities in an effort to get his audience to question our own. His new book, We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Starts […]

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The Manchester Review

MLF 2019: Jeanette Winterson, Frankissstein, RNCM Theatre, 5/10/19, reviewed by Georgia Hase

Jeanette Winterson, Frankissstein: Manchester Literature Festival at the RNCM Theatre in partnership with the Centre for New Writing, 5/10/19, reviewed by Georgia Hase On the evening of Saturday the 5th of October Jeanette Winterson gave a reading unlike any other. Interactive, dramatic, futuristic, her performance was electrifying. Winterson animated the audience with her insightful and […]

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The Manchester Review

MLF 2019: Common People at The Cosmo Rodewald Theatre, Martin Harris Centre, 5/10/19 reviewed by Charlotte Wetton

Review of Common People, Manchester Literature  I went to the ‘Common People’ event because I crave new stories and new voices. Working-class experience in literature is a rich seam not yet tapped. If I were a publisher, I would be signing up some of these debut writers pronto. Common People is an anthology of memoir – […]

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The Manchester Review

MLF 2019: David Nicholls in conversation with Alex Clark, at the Cosmo Rodewald Hall, Martin Harris Centre, 4/10/19, reviewed by Georgia Way

David Nicholls in conversation with Alex Clark The last time journalist Alex Clark interviewed writer David Nicholls in Manchester, it was, she says, a “mad experience” involving the police and broken microphones. David returned to Manchester on 4th October 2019 as part of his book tour for Sweet Sorrow – a story of first love […]

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The Manchester Review

Paul Muldoon and Alice Oswald: Literature Live at The Martin Harris Centre, Centre for New Writing, 3/10/19, reviewed by Georgia Hase

Paul Muldoon and Alice Oswald: Literature Live at The Martin Harris Centre, Centre for New Writing, 3/10/19, reviewed by Georgia Hase An evening in time, out of time, about time. Last night the remarkable Alice Oswald and Paul Muldoon gave the Centre of New Writing an evening of laughter and reflection. Both poets chose from […]

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The Manchester Review

Jim Crace and Jenni Fagan: Manchester Literature Festival and Literature Live at the Centre for New Writing, 5/11/18, reviewed by Adam Wolstenholme

Beauty in the dark – an evening with Jim Crace and Jenni Fagan Jim Crace and Jenni Fagan were interviewed last night by Ian McGuire at the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama. It was an evening of parallels and contrasts – of the relationship between the human and the animal, luxury and poverty, […]

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The Manchester Review

Take 2: Terrance Hayes, Manchester Literary Festival at the Central library, reviewed by David Adamson

Review: Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin Manchester Literary Festival Central Library, Friday 19th October 2018 David Adamson “something happened / In Chicago & Cleveland & Baltimore & happens / Almost everywhere in this country every day” -Probably twilight makes blackness dangerous A few years ago the intended subject of these […]

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The Manchester Review

Take 2: Filigree, Contemporary Black British Poetry Manchester Literary Festival at the Central Library, reviewed by David Adamson

Review: Filigree, Contemporary Black British Poetry Manchester Literary Festival Central Library, Friday 19th October 2018 Tonight, in the surgically bright Performance Space of Manchester’s Central Library, three young poets talked about darkness. This wasn’t, however, the usual darkness that audiences of poetry nights are accustomed to. Instead, Momtaza Mehri, Victoria Adukwei Bulley and Rachel Long […]

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The Manchester Review

Filigree and Terrance Hayes, MLF at the Central Library, Oct 20th, reviewed by Thomas Lee

Dorothea Smartt steps onstage in the stark white Corinthian hatbox of the Manchester Central Library. The music of Johnny Nash and the O’Jays dies away, leaving only the faint strains of a violinist busking outside in St. Peter’s Square. Nobody has told him that we’re here to listen to poetry. Smartt is a poet in […]

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The Manchester Review

Beth Underdown at IABF, Oct 16th, – reviewed by Adam Wolstenholme

There were stories to chill the spine and warm the heart at an event to launch the new collection by local novelist Beth Underdown this week. Beth read from Love makes as many at the Anthony Burgess Foundation on Tuesday. Her collection dramatises the women featured in the exhibition Lost Voices which ran at National […]

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The Manchester Review

Carys Davies and Sarah Moss, hosted by Katy Shaw at the International Burgess Foundation, Manchester Literature Festival, October 14th, reviewed by Matthew McGrogan

The sun emerged from behind the clouds as Katy Shaw welcomed Carys Davies and Sarah Moss to the International Burgess Foundation. Both novelists have recently celebrated the release of a new book — Carys Davies with her debut novel West and Sarah Moss with her novel Ghost Wall. Katy began by mentioning the form of […]

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The Manchester Review

Take 2: 24 Stories with Kathy Burke, MLF at the Dancehouse, reviewed by Pippin Major

24 Stories, MLF at the Dancehouse There’s a hum of lively chatter in Manchester’s Dancehouse theatre as the crowd awaits the arrival of the four stars of tonight’s event. No doubt it is the star-power of Kathy Burke that has filled most of the seats, and indeed this is a topic visited again and again […]

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The Manchester Review

Take 2: Xi Chuan and Jennifer Lee Tsai at the Manchester Literature Festival, reviewed by Weng U Pun

Xi Chuan and Jennifer Lee Tsai at the Manchester Literature Festival This Saturday at the Anthony Burgess Foundation I had the opportunity to hear the poems of Xi Chuan, who is currently a professor at Beijing Normal University and Jennifer Lee Tsai, a fellow of the national poetry mentoring scheme, The Complete Works III. The event […]

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The Manchester Review

Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene, with Gemma Cairney, Manchester Literature Festival at the Central Library, Oct 12th 2018, reviewed by Christine Walker

Review: Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, at the Central Library The Central Library, on St Peter’s Square, Manchester was set to host, as part of the Manchester Literature Festival, a night with the young and well-received authors of Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene. The […]

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The Manchester Review

Zaffar Kunial, Richard Scott & Hannah Sullivan at the IABF, Manchester Literature Festival, Oct 13th, reviewed by Suzi Clark

Faber New Poets: Zaffar Kunial, Richard Scott & Hannah Sullivan The International Anthony Burgess foundation saw a great turn out for the Faber New Poets event: a stunning book launch for the work of new voices in poetry, celebrated as part of the Manchester Literature Festival. Unfortunately, only three of the poets were able to […]

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The Manchester Review

Chinese Voices: Xi Chuan and Jennifer Lee Tsai, IABF, Manchester Literature Festival, Oct 13th 2018, reviewed by Katherine Bosworth

The International Anthony Burgess Foundation on Cambridge Street is small, yet has an undeniable element of grandeur. The walls showcase exposed brickwork, and there is a large metal pipe above, giving the space an industrial feel. The event taking place here is Chinese Voices, my first poetry event of the Manchester Literature Festival. As I […]

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The Manchester Review

24 Stories with Kathy Burke and others, MLF at the Dancehouse, reviewed by David Adamson, The Dancehouse Theatre, 10th October 2018

Review: 24 Stories with Kathy Burke and others, Manchester Literary Festival     When catastrophes such as the Grenfell Tower fire happen, in the aftermath news reports tend to describe them as ‘an unspeakable tragedy’. While that adjective is fitting in regards to the trauma of the affected and the difficulty in describing such horror, there […]

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The Manchester Review

A Celebration of Muriel Spark, with Jackie Kay and Alan Taylor, Manchester Literature Festival at Cosmo Rodewald Theatre, Centre for New Writing

The Scottish writer Jackie Kay is third modern Makar, the Scottish poet laureate, whose work is known for its humour and exuberance. Who better to celebrate that other grand dame of Scottish letters, Muriel Spark? Kay was joined on stage at the Cosmo Rodewald campus venue on Tuesday by literary journalist and Spark biographer Alan […]

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The Manchester Review

Nicolai Houm and Arno Camenisch, Manchester Literature Festival at IABF

In the redbrick engine house at the Anthony Burgess Foundation we find Norway’s ‘Most American Author’ and one of Switzerland’s most widely translated novelists. They are both mountain men: they ski, they snowboard, they go to the mountains for isolation and tranquillity, but also to procrastinate. For Nicolai Houm and Arno Camenisch, skiing is ‘the […]

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The Manchester Review

Jennifer Egan at the Manchester Central Library, reviewed by Henry Cockburn

Jennifer Egan, hosted by Katie Popperwell at the Manchester Central Library. It starts out like any other highbrow reading. Lights down low, jazz, a room full of chattering literati (some of them refusing to take off their fedoras). Then Egan and Popperwell walk out and…silence. We’re meant to be clapping right? The audience are looking […]

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The Manchester Review

Manchester Literature Festival: Howard Jacobson at Central Library, reviewed by Henry Cockburn

Howard Jacobson at Central Library, hosted by Rachel Cooke; 7 October 2017. “Let’s take it as read—we all love Howard.” When you’re three audience ‘questions’ down and the host has to step in to stem the lovefest, it probably means a couple of things. The thinkers in the room have been given a few things […]

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The Manchester Review

Manchester Literature Festival: Kamila Shamsie with Jeanette Winterson, reviewed by Namra Amir

Kamila Shamsie with Jeanette Winterson; Martin Harris Centre, 17 October 2017. People tell you never meet your idols, for fear they don’t live up to your expectations. In my case, watching Kamila Shamsie in conversation with Jeannette Winterson lived up to the admiration I hold for the author. The evening began with John McAuliffe, Co-Director […]

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The Manchester Review

Manchester Literature Festival: Zaffar Kunial, The Whitworth, reviewed by Chad Campbell

Zaffar Kunial, introduced by Andrew McMillan, The Whitworth, 19 October 2017. Poet Zaffar Kunial and painter Raqib Shaw share some common ground. Both have roots in Kashmir (Kunial through his father; Shaw by birth) and England (Kunial by birth; Shaw by virtue of having lived and worked here for over 20 years). But that is […]

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The Manchester Review

Manchester Literature Festival: Imtiaz Dharker, Manchester Art Gallery, reviewed by Namra Amir

Imtiaz Dharker, Manchester Art Gallery, 20 October 2017. As the Manchester Literature Festival nears the end, I thought I couldn’t be further impressed or surprised by the events. Little did I know that Imtiaz Dharker’s collaboration with Manchester Art Gallery would stun me and revolutionise the way we read and discuss poetry. On my journey […]

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The Manchester Review

Manchester Literature Festival: Elif Shafak and Nadeem Aslam, reviewed by Usma Malik

Elif Shafak & Nadeem Aslam, Central Library, 15 October 2017. It’s just gone 1.30 pm and already there’s a sizeable crowd gathered outside Manchester’s Central Library. The talk doesn’t begin till 2pm, but the audience are keen to get inside and secure front row streets. When Elif Shafak, Nadeem Aslam, and Erica Wagner, our chair […]

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The Manchester Review

Manchester Literature Festival: John Banville and Mike McCormack, reviewed by Tessa Harris

John Banville and Mike McCormack, hosted by Ian McGuire, Martin Harris Centre, 10 October 2017. John Banville and Mike McCormack, hosted by Ian McGuire, was a gentle classic of a literature festival event. Technology, language and loneliness were perhaps the major themes of a discussion that ranged from influences and nationhood to Banville’s creation of […]

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