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The Manchester Review

Great Painters Are Rare: William Stott of Oldham,1857-1900, an exhibition at Oldham Art Gallery until May 11th, reviewed by Richard Clegg

Great Painters Are Rare: William Stott of Oldham,1857-1900, an exhibition at Oldham Art Gallery until May 11th Reviewed by Richard Clegg  William Stott led two lives, one rooted in Oldham and its environs, the other outside Paris in a centre for modern painters at Grez-sur-Loing where he made his home.  The son of a mill […]

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The Manchester Review

We Were Strangers: Stories Inspired by Unknown Pleasures edited by Richard Hirst. (Confingo, £12.99), reviewed by Richard Clegg

We Were Strangers: Stories Inspired by Unknown Pleasures edited by Richard Hirst. (Confingo, £12.99) The short time that falls between the end and start of the Northern bands, Joy Division and New Order, splits the new city region from the old. Joy Division, through Ian Curtis, are connected to the declining areas of de-industrialisation with […]

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The Manchester Review

Unthology 10, Edited by Ashley Stokes and Robin Jones. Reviewed by Usma Malik

Unthology 10, Edited by Ashley Stokes and Robin Jones. And the question is, always, what to do now? How to act now that the catastrophe  is here? Who do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered? A shadow of yourself or the self of your shadow? Fight or Flight? And so readers […]

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The Manchester Review

The Inheritance (Polygon), by Sheena Kalayil, reviewed by Usma Malik

London. A young student falls in love with her University tutor. Married Dr Ben Martin, advocator of women’s rights and author of titles such as ‘Daughters of Africa’ and ‘Gender and Law Reform in Africa’, is a respected member of the academic Faculty. Rita Kalungal, Nineteen, is a first year Anthropology student, and his tutee. […]

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Kei Miller

Letters to James Baldwin

Letters to James Baldwin Dear James, -I wish I could call you – Jimmy, the way that woman you described as handsome and so very clever, Toni Morrison – always called you Jimmy which meant that she loved you, and you her, and that in the never-ending Christmas of your meetings (this is how she […]

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Rommi Smith

Bodies of Colour: A Poetic Script

Bodies of Colour: A Poetic Script 1. DAVE IS ALREADY PLAYING AS THE AUDIENCE ARRIVE. TWO – THREE APPROPRIATE IMPROVISATIONS INSPIRED BY THE COLOURS AND THE STORIES OF THE WALLPAPER IN THE EXHIBITION SPACES. ROMMI IS WITH THE AUDIENCE DOWNSTAIRS, SHE MOVES UPSTAIRS AS THE BULK OF THE AUDIENCE MOVES UPSTAIRS. 2. ROMMI GOES TO […]

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The Manchester Review

Heroines from Abroad (Carcanet), by Christine Marendon, translated by Ken Cockburn, reviewed by Chloé S Vaughan

Heroines from Abroad (Carcanet), by Christine Marendon, translated by Ken Cockburn, reviewed by Chloé S Vaughan ___________________________ Christine Marendon’s Heroines from Abroad, translated by Ken Cockburn, is a revealing collection that reminds us that the power of poetry isn’t limited to the words. The feeling that overcomes you when reading the poems is numinous; they take […]

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Michael Morpurgo

The 2018 Castlefield Manchester Sermon – I wish for you

The 2018 Castlefield Manchester Sermon – I wish for you There is today, and there has been for some time, a pall of gloom and doom hanging over the environment. And with good reason, very good reason. But it is not the whole story. And being downhearted about it all does not help put it […]

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Beth Underdown

Love makes as many

Love makes as many For all the staff and volunteers at NT Quarry Bank, with my heartfelt thanks -Beth Underdown 1918 The looms are quiet, this week. Government orders. There’s not enough cotton, not enough boats getting through; so, for once, the looms are still.         ‘Some folk get on better,’ Martha says, ‘if they close […]

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Benjamin Myers

Salford, 1986

Salford, 1986 Introduction Martin Parr’s photographs capture the frozen moment. They offer fleeting glimpses into passing lives, framed and constrained by the parameters of the print. Who are these subjects? We rarely find out; they are dispossessed of literal voices, as all photographic subjects are. Instead it is left to our imaginations to fill in […]

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Adelle Stripe

Eight Days Left

Eight Days Left The black ambulance pulled up outside the flat at three minutes to eleven. The pavement was overgrown with dandelion stalks and their feathers caught on Sean’s trousers as he used a chipped brick to wedge open the gate. He pulled keys from his pocket and clicked the lock open revealing a cavernous […]

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Linda Grant

Posh

Posh ‘I think you’re going to like this place,’ he said ‘it’s posh.’        And I laughed, because actually it was a good, if obvious joke and I liked him for making it and no, I didn’t think he was making fun of me. It was sweet.        It was when we were walking through the lobby […]

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Helen Mort

there & back

there & back i. there Victoria At ten, my globe was this tiled atlas, crimson-black veins the neural pathways of Yorkshire, Lancashire. Here, it’s always evening and I’m holding my dad’s hand, asking what’s Huddersfield? but now we’re moving, travelling backwards till we’re out of sight, now I can’t see the curve of his face. […]

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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

Terrance Hayes | American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin | reviewed by Gurnaik Johal

Terrance Hayes | American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin | Penguin, £9.99 I’ve been trying to write a review of Terrance Hayes’ American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin all summer. I read the book cover to cover in one sitting when it came out in June. Since then, I’ve dipped in […]

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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

The HandleBards’ Twelfth Night | Ordsall Hall | reviewed by Laura Ryan

The HandleBards’ Twelfth Night Ordsall Hall, Salford | July 26th Two words in particular tend to strike fear into the heart of any introverted theatre-goer: audience participation. It was hinted before the commencement of the first act of this rather raucous rendition of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night that some of us would be called upon to […]

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The Manchester Review

Acid Mothers Temple | Bluedot Festival July 22nd | reviewed by Ronan Long

Acid Mothers Temple | Bluedot Festival | July 22nd 2018 One of the stranger acts in the shadow of the telescope this weekend was Acid Mothers Temple, a group that resolutely defies style, genre and most other standards of classification in popular music. Formed in 1995, Acid Mothers Temple are a group of experimental musicians mainly […]

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The Manchester Review

#Me Too Anthology, edited by Deborah Alma, reviewed by Ken Evans

#MeToo Anthology: A Women’s Poetry Anthology, editor Deborah Alma, (Fairacre Press). In Bernard MacLaverty’s novel, Midwinter Break, the author describes a tour bus ride to Buchenwald concentration camp. A wasp buzzes down the hot bus with shut windows. None of the tourists – pensive, afraid even – dare raise a hand to swat it, sensitised […]

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The Manchester Review

Darkest Hour, dir. Joe Wright, reviewed by David Hartley

Joe Wright’s biopic of Winston Churchill comes along at a sticky moment for this troubled isle as we slip slowly but assuredly towards the uncertain shadows of our post-Brexit landscape. Our national identity, such as it is, feels thrillingly buoyant for some, and never more soulless or hollow for many others. So, how might our […]

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