Spanning from the Wednesday 9 until Saturday 13 of June, Manchester’s Festival of Libraries 2021 is proud to host 80 free online and in-person events taking place across every Greater Manchester borough. With impressive venues including the busiest public library in the world, Central Library, alongside the more local, smaller libraries – this festival’s vibrant diversity is not to be missed this summer. With a brilliant programme hosting incredible artists, poets and activists, alongside a rich range of topics spanning culture, creativity, wellbeing, history and many more – these free events are perfect for easing you back into post-lockdown life.

Black Lives Matter: Readings and Conversation | Online | Thu 10 Jun | 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm | Free

Community Arts North West, CivicLeicester and The Manchester Poetry Library are proud to present the launch of Black Lives Matter: Poems for a New World Anthology. This collection of work is an evocative reflection of the state of our society. Through their work, artists such as Yusra Warsama, Gabriel, Jade Williams, Jova, and Medulla use the medium of poetry to speak out against injustice, transforming verses into powerful calls to action. With an impressive panel of speakers – including Shirley May, Director of the Young Identity writing collective, and Cheryl Martin, Co-Artistic Director of Commonword, Manchester‘s Black-led literature organisation – this event is sure to offer a dynamic, high-powered and incredibly relevant dialogue. Where marginalised voices are not often heard or given space, this project works to provide communities across Manchester the ability to perform in the mainstream within a creative and innovative space.

Inspired by Libraries: Shirley May and Mike Garry | The Portico Library | Fri 11 Jun | 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm | Free

Former librarians-turned spoken word artists, Shirley May and Mike Garry, are not to be missed on this incredible line-up. An intimate event held in the famous Portico Library – described as “the most refined little building in Manchester” – these two librarian veterans can’t wait to share their views on the cultural significance of libraries. As a means of fostering, nurturing, and supporting burgeoning creativity – May and Garry strive to make poetry accessible and inclusive to all young people in Manchester. Not only does Garry’s gritty verse and May’s promotion of a “cool” and rehabilitative poetry culture transcend your typical spoken word – but their achievements speak for themselves. May’s constant support and mentorship within schools and community groups as director of the Young Identity writing collective alongside Garry’s work – which is regularly played on BBC Radio and his five-star reviews following a collaboration project in New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2014 – you’re going to want to snap up these tickets quick.

57 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HY
Chair Yoga | Online | Fri 11 June | 11:00 am to 12:00 pm | Free

Enjoy the breathing, stretching, and meditation brought to you by Trafford Libraries and take a nice break from the chaos and craziness of everyday life. From the comfort of your chair or sofa at home and with no previous experience needed – why not begin your weekend with a nice slow and meditative start to the day?

Stephen Holland | Altrincham Library | Fri 11 June | 11:00 am to 12:00 pm | Free

Taking place in the intimate venue of Altrincham Library, Comic Laureate, Stephen Holland, is ready to share with you the history of comedy in an interactive and in-person event. Abolishing misconceptions surrounding the art, Holland will leave you with some new knowledge on the age-old medium of comic books. With an attention to the inclusivity of the genre, namely the attraction it holds towards reluctant readers and those with dyslexia – Holland will show you comic books and graphic novels in a whole new light.

Inspired by Libraries: Guy Garvey | Online | Sat 12 June | 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm | Free

Guy Garvey, the lead singer and lyricist for over 25 years of the British rock band Elbow, is excited to share why he thinks Manchester hosts the best libraries in the world. Alongside his many accomplishments: the co-recipient of a BRIT Award, the Mercury Music Prize and three Ivor Novello Awards to name a few – it’s of no surprise that he has been awarded an honorary degree from Manchester Metropolitan University for his multiple contributions to the arts. Here, he speaks about the importance of this sector and why he thinks Manchester is a cultural leader when it comes to libraries, access to regional reading and creativity.

Wed 9 Jun - Tue 15 Jun
Rhiannon Ingle
Published on:
Tue 8 Jun 2021