A growing literary community and reputation have led to a year-round calendar of book-based activities in Manchester, as well as an acclaimed Literature Festival each October. All four local universities run creative writing courses, bringing a wealth of new and established authors to the city: from new professor Jeanette Winterson at The University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing to national Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Writing School.
Professor of Creative Writing Winterson hosts public literary conversations at the Centre throughout the year, punctuated by readings from respected peers and emerging talent in both fiction and poetry. Over at MMU, readings and ‘in conversation’ evenings are held at both the International Anthony Burgess Foundation (often free) and the Royal Exchange Theatre, and the bookshop serving both universities, Oxford Road’s Blackwell, also stages its own events. City centre rival Waterstone’s, on Deansgate, hosts yet another year-round programme, featuring prominent literary names.
If that isn’t enough, the International Anthony Burgess Foundation runs a series of debates, readings, exhibitions and workshops from its appealing converted mill on Cambridge Street, where papers and artefacts belonging to the venerated Manchester novelist can also be seen. Innovation is central to experimental poetry night The Other Room, while the Poetry School runs workshops for aspiring bards at venues including the Cathedral.
With further writer events at the historic City and John Rylands Libraries, both on Deansgate, there’s no shortage of literary pursuits available in Manchester. So put that book down and get yourself out there!
Literature hubs | Art & culture
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