Gothic Manchester Festival Conference: Gothic Spaces/Gothic Places
This day conference brings together some of the UK’s foremost gothic scholars to explore the spatial dimensions of the mode in an exciting and accessible way. There will be papers on the Lancaster witches, on dark green gothic and haunted forests, on gothic architecture, the psychology of place, gothic psychogeography and much more. You don’t have to be a gothicist or an academic. Just bring your interest in and knowledge of the dark. From 10am – 5pm. Visit the Gothic Manchester website for full details.
Gothic Manchester: Memento Moriatas
The Memento Moriatas are a group of London-based writers and musicians who tell tales of death and destiny in unique architectural venues, such as the Kensal Green Cemetery or the Coffin Works in Birmingham. For the Gothic Manchester Festival, Kate Mayfield, Kirsten Morrison and Lloyd Shepherd warmly invite the public to join them to hear deliciously dark tales of memoir, art and literature – with some stories and songs very much inspired by decidedly gothic works of art on show in the Manchester galleries. Lloyd Shepherd has written three novels, his most recent is very dark and includes magic, prostitution, madness and secret societies in Georgian London. He’ll work on including the Gothic landscape theme into his portion of the evening. http://www.lloydshepherd.com/
Gothic Manchester Talk & Film Screening: Gothic Romance and the Phantasmagorical
Dale Townsend (University of Stirling) talks about Gothic Architecture, Gothic History, Gothic Romance and Kenilworth Castle, 1800 – 1830, followed by a talk and film screening of Prepare to Enter the Phantasmagorical from David Annwn Jones, and finished with a Victorian lantern show. Visit the Gothic Manchester Festival website for full details and to book tickets.
Gothic Manchester: The Gothic Curiosity Shop
Following the phenomenal success of the Gothic Manchester Festival 2013, MMU’s Centre for Gothic Studies presents a programme of events designed to showcase Manchester’s rich vein of gothic talent. Visit the Gothic Curiosity Shop and take in an exhibition featuring work from artists Paul Koudounaris and Jonathan Hargreaves , along with curios and curiosities from bespoke jewellery artist Shabby Cheek. Open from 1pm – 5pm.
Tour: Unlocking the Anthony Burgess Archive
Take a look inside the unique and personal collection of books, original manuscripts, compositions, photographs, furniture, paintings, drawings and correspondence with contemporary writers and artists including Stanley Kubrick, Graham Greene and Angela Carter, all amassed by Burgess during his rich and varied lifetime. Join us as we take you on a journey which begins with stories of Burgess’s early life in Manchester, to Gibraltar during the Second World War and the final days of colonialism in Malaysia, onto an illustrious international career. We’ll show you some of the highlights of Burgess’s private collections and reveal little-known aspects of the writer’s life along the way. Tours are free and last for approx. 1 hour; only a small number of places are available. Contact [email protected] to reserve your place.
Booklaunch: Howard Jacobson, J
Born in Manchester, Howard Jacobson is one of Britain’s most acclaimed and prolific novelists. He won the 2010 Man Booker prize for his novel, The Finkler Question as well as the Everyman Wodehouse Award for comic writing for The Mighty Waltzer. A gifted satirist, he’s written about everything from family, friendships and relationships to the death of publishing. His latest novel J is a dystopian thriller in the tradition of Nineteen Eighty Four and Brave New World. Set in a future where the past is a dangerous country, J is a love story of incomparable strangeness, both tender and terrifying. Two people fall in love, not knowing where they have come from or where they are going. Are they acting of their own accord or have they been pushed into each other’s arms? And what is the momentous catastrophe – the event now referred to as What Happened, If It Happened – that dominates life in this world? Visit the 2014 Manchester Literature Festival website for booking details.
In conversation: Ben Watt with Rachel Cooke
A modern renaissance man, Ben Watt is a musician, songwriter, DJ, author and one half of bestselling pop duo Everything But The Girl. His first memoir, Patient: The True Story of a Rare Illness, was a New York Times Book of the Year and described by William Boyd as ‘a fine testimonial to his fortitude and his power as a writer.’ His second memoir, Romany and Tom, is a funny, engaging and bittersweet tale of love and loss, ambition and stardom, life in clubs and life in care homes. Beautifully written, it chronicles the colourful lives of his parents – jazz musician Tommy Watt and RADA-trained actress and showbiz writer Romany Bain – their love affair, marriage and decline into old age. We’re delighted that Ben will be joining us for a rare ‘in conversation’ with Observer writer and fellow author Rachel Cooke. Visit the 2014 Manchester Literature Festival website for booking details.
In conversation: Barry Miles on William S. Burroughs
It’s been 50 years since Norman Mailer described William S. Burroughs as ‘the only American novelist living who may conceivably be possessed by genius.’ Radical, relentlessly political and fiercely experimental, with the publication of The Naked Lunch in 1959 and its censorship for obscenity, Burroughs became one of the godfathers of 60s counterculture. And his wild life was every bit as shocking as his work. In the seminal Beat writer’s centenary year, Burroughs’ friend and collaborator Barry Miles has published an authoritative new biography that shows us the mercurial man behind the cult figure and reveals his struggles with relationships, addiction and the conventions of a society in which he was a natural outsider. The Times said of the book: ‘The life of this disturbing and disturbed man has never been so perfectly told.’ Miles will be in conversation with Doug Field.
Reading: Tom Pickard & Alan Gillis
Two writers come together for an evening of hard-hitting poetry imbued with the rhythms of everyday Britain. A poet whose work shares much with the American Beats, Tom Pickard was described by Allen Ginsberg as ‘one of the most live and true poetic voices in Great Britain.’ He founded the Morden Tower readings series in Newcastle in 1963 and his Ballad of Jamie Allan (2007) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Carcanet has just published his Collected Poems, hoyoot. Funny, irreverent and sometimes shocking, the poetry of Alan Gillis employs the speech of post-millennial age with great precision. A Belfast native whose work was shortlisted for the TS Eliot and the Irish Times/Poetry Now Prizes, his fourth book Scapegoat will be published by The Gallery Press in October. Visit the 2014 Manchester Literature Festival website for booking details.
2014 Burgess Lecture with Blake Morrison: Confessions of the Hack Trade
For the 2014 Burgess Lecture, we are delighted to welcome acclaimed writer Blake Morrison to Manchester to talk about Anthony Burgess’s journalism. Anthony Burgess wrote many hundreds of articles, reviews and opinion pieces for newspapers and magazines in a journalistic career spanning more than fifty years. His writing was characteristically provocative and informative, entertaining and extravagant, always readable, never dull, and extraordinary in its range, erudition and energy. Blake Morrison has written for many newspapers himself, and was literary editor of The Observer and the Independent on Sunday before becoming a full-time author in 1995. His many books include South Of The River, The Last Weekend and the memoirs And When Did You Last See Your Father? and Things My Mother Never Told Me. Join Blake Morrison for a discussion of Burgess’s work, and the ways in which newspaper culture has changed. Visit the 2014 Manchester Literature Festival website for booking details.