From Thomas de Quincey and Elizabeth Gaskell to Lemn Sissay and Carol Ann Duffy, Manchester has always been a city dripping in rich literary culture, with timeless home-grown verse carved into street corners and ancient facades at every turn. Here are four of Spring’s must-see events celebrating local fiction, non-fiction, poetry, publishing itself and, of course, the North.

Women Among the Artists | The Portico | Thu 5 May

Unpacking feminism, performance and physical form in the context of the British art scene throughout the 1970s and 1980s, art historian Sara Riccardi delivers an evening presentation inspired by Sally J. Morgan’s novel Toto Among The Murderers, which won the 2022 Portico Prize.

57 Mosley St, Manchester M2 3HY
Jenny Mitchell | Manchester Poetry Library | Thu 5 May

Now Birkbeck College’s Artist in Association, Jenny Mitchell performs at MMU’s Manchester Poetry Library having won the International Poetry Book Awards 2021 for her second collection, Map of a Plantation.

Mitchell will read extracts both from her debut book, A Lost Language—which picked up the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize—and Map of a Plantation at the free ticketed event, where she will also discuss her latest project: a series of poems which retell the story of Jane Eyre from the perspective of a free woman of colour in 19th century England.

Manchester Metropolitan University, Grosvenor Building, Manchester M15 6BG
Bringing Literature to Life: Frankenstein | The Portico | Fri 13 May

Hosted by The Creative Society Manchester, this interactive event offers visitors an evening spent rendering their own visions of Frankenstein’s monster in acrylic paint—although don’t worry about talent level, as the outlines will be pre-sketched. While a paid event, the session includes a staggering array of props, tools, artist-grade canvases and even a private tour of the 210-year-old library’s collections. The event is also disability-inclusive and completely free for carers. 

57 Mosley St, Manchester M2 3HY
Northern Publishers’ Fair 2022 | Manchester Central Library | Sat 14 May

An expansive Who’s Who of regional publishers ranging from Crocus Books to Manchester University Press, this year’s free Northern Publishers’ Fair takes place at Central Library and comprises over a dozen companies—all with hundreds of books on sale—and a full day of discussions and readings from their featured authors, including Fly On The Wall’s Gaynor Jones, Saraband’s Alison Armstrong and Blue Moose’s Stu Hennigan. 

Manchester Central Library, Saint Peter's Square, Manchester M2 5PD
Tue 26 Apr - Sat 14 May
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Tue 3 May 2022