Manchester Literature Festival has revealed a thought-provoking programme of events that celebrate imagination, creativity and ideas; offering new perspectives from which to view our fast-paced and shifting world.
Taking place across the city in an array of venues – from Manchester Art Gallery and International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Central Library to Contact, HOME and The Lowry - the line-up this year includes Zadie Smith, Jeanette Winterson, Deborah Levy, Max Porter, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Elif Shafak, Kate Mosse, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Simon Armitage, Natalie Haynes, Annie Macmanus, Afua Hirsch, George Monbiot, Gaia Vince, Jeremy Deller, Lisa Nandy and Yanis Varoufakis.
Preview and Bookend events include Arlo Parks (9 September), Lemn Sissay (16 September), Yanis Varoufakis (26 September), Thurston Moore (17 November), Doon Mackichan (20 November) and Naomi Alderman (29 November).
The Festival welcomes back Lemn Sissay, one of its most loved performers for a special preview event to launch his latest poetry collection, Let the Light Pour In. Exuberant, funny and occasionally heart-wrenching, Lemn is always a pleasure to watch. A BAFTA-nominated, award-winning writer and broadcaster, he is the author of several collections of poetry including Gold from the Stone, as well numerous plays for stage and radio and the Sunday Times bestselling memoir My Name Is Why. In 2019 he was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize. Presented by Manchester Literature Festival in partnership with the Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester.
Best-selling author Zadie Smith also returns to the festival, this time turning her incredible talent to historical fiction for the first time with The Fraud, which tells the tale of the Tichborne Case, the trial that captivated and divided Victorian England in the 1860s and 70s. Zadie uses razor sharp wit to consider truth and lies, the position of women, class, the legacy of slavery and whose stories are heard. Her five published novels include her phenomenal debut White Teeth, which won several awards and was adapted for television; On Beauty, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction; and NW, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and adapted for the BBC. She is also the author of three essay collections, a short story collection and a play, The Wife of Willesden, adapted from Chaucer.
Pioneering Jamaican reggae poet, performer and activist Linton Kwesi Johnson will appear alongside poet and former Makar Jackie Kay. Linton will perform a short set from his collection Selected Poems before discussing his work, as well as his contribution to Black British culture and the artists and activists that have inspired and nurtured him. Widely regarded as the father of ‘dub poetry’, Linton is a Jamaican-born reggae poet and activist who came to Britain in 1963. In 2002, he became the second living poet and the only Black poet to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series. He has recorded several albums and toured the world. In 2020 he was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize. Presented by Manchester Literature Festival in partnership with Manchester Poetry Library.
Cult author Max Porter brings Shy, a teenage boy in trouble, to life in his new novel of the same name, allowing us to enter his head and see what lies beneath. In this very special event, Max will perform a dramatic abridged reading from Shy with a live electronic score by Roly Porter. Max is the author of four bestselling novels including Grief is the Thing with Feathers, which won several prizes and was adapted for the stage in a critically acclaimed solo performance by Cillian Murphy, and also Lanny, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Presented by Manchester Literature Festival in partnership with Contact, Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester.
Full programme: https://www.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk/events
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