Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Manchester Literature Festival

The Manchester Literature Festival, conceived by outgoing director Chris Gribble and built on the foundations of the Manchester Poetry Festival, kicks off on Thursday, and it looks pretty exciting. I'll be sorry to miss William Boyd that day, as I'm already committed to my reading group, but I'm looking forward to the Amnesty International event on Freedom of Expression in St Ann's Church on Saturday afternoon and to Sebastian Barry at the University of Manchester at six on Monday. Sometimes as a writer you JUST DON'T GET OUT, but I've got an embarrassment of choices later on Monday evening: free tickets to a rarely-performed Tennessee Williams play at the Library Theatre, cult artist and musician Ed Barton reading his poetry at Matt and Phred's, or the Manchester Blog Awards at Urbis. How on earth can I choose? Maybe I'll get a migraine trying...

I'm extremely sorry to be missing the launch of novelist Nick Royle's first short story collection at Matt and Phred's on Tuesday, not least because we published him in metropolitan, but that night I'll be doing the Sheffield Bitch-Lit event. Apparently, to our great delight, the Manchester Bitch-Lit event at Waterstone's on Thursday has long been booked out. Sharon Olds at Manchester Museum on Wednesday is a must-see, I'd say, as well as the 'Celebrating Burgess' event at the Whitworth Gallery on Friday, and the exciting festival-within-a-festival of Palestinian literature and the Decapolis European short story events.

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