With World Book Night – World Book Day’s less-showy cousin – rearing its head on Thursday, it’s perhaps no surprise that this week’s free picks feature a distinctive literary bent. If you’re a book lover, this is definitely your week. If not, take solace in the knowledge that it’s really really sunny outside.

Oldham Bookmark Festival
This week-long festival does feature some paid events, but amongst them there’s plenty of free stuff to get stuck into, aimed at both families and adults. Highlights include a Teddy Bears’ Picnic and a talk from Jill Murphy, author of the Worst Witch books.
Sat 18 Apr – Sat 25 Apr, Various venues and times, www.oldham.gov.uk

Pavillion Poetry Book Launch at Anthony Burgess Foundation
More literature. Pavillion Poetry is a contemporary poetry imprint from Liverpool University Press. This launch event features three books from new poets Mona Arshi, Sarah Corbett, Eleanor Rees. All three will be reading on the night and books will be available for purchase. Drinks will also available on the night, but only for purchase. So no sense swinging by to try and cadge a free glass of something fizzy.
Mon 20 Apr, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 3 Cambridge Street, M1 5BY, 6.30pm, www.anthonyburgess.org

Stuart Maconie at Gullivers
The Real Story, Gullivers regular storytelling night, continues: This time featuring the tales of Stuart Maconie, the 6Music DJ and talking head extraordinaire. He’s also got a great line in non-fiction writing with a handful of books to his name. You can check out our full preview here.
Wed 22 Apr, Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, M4 1LW, 7.30pm, www.facebook.com 

Scary Tales at Central Library
A family-friendly storytelling event at the shiny new Central Library, young detectives are invited to come help solve a murder mystery in a fairytale world. Twisted, mirror-world versions of Disney favourites are brought to life by the After Dark Entertainment theatre company. This is a free event, but online booking is essential to ensuring a place.
Thu 23 April, St. Peters Square, M2 5PD, 6pm -8pm, www.librarylive.co.uk 

Casa Tomada at The Lowry (pictured)
This is your last chance to catch massive ants crawling all over the Lowry before they’re packed away at the weekend. The installation is the work of Colombian artist Rafael Gómezbarros, who handmade all 1000 ants, and is a visually-striking metaphor for the treatment of migrant workers: They’re industrious and organised, but also reviled and we pour boric acid down their nests. In a week when the biggest national newspaper can run a column suggesting migrant ships should be blown out of the water, art like this is more important than ever.
Sat 24 Jan – Sun 26 Apr, The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ, www.thelowry.co.uk 

Mon 20 Apr - Thu 23 Apr
Jon Whiteley
Published on:
Mon 20 Apr 2015