Click on dates in the calendar to find out about events and activities at the Engine House; details of each event are listed underneath.
Manchester Science Festival: Stargazing with Mark ThompsonSaturday, November 1st, 2014, 6:30 pm | £6 + online booking fee
Television’s favourite astronomer, Mark Thompson, returns to the Manchester Science Festival to talk all things galactic: from satellites to supernovas, and from parsecs to planispheres. Whether you’re a stargazing novice or 'light years' ahead, this event is for anyone interested in the wonders of the night sky and the best observational techniques. Mark Thompson is perhaps best known for his work on Stargazing Live, but he has also appeared on The One Show, This Morning, The Alan Titchmarsh Show and even Celebrity Mastermind. This event celebrates the launch of two new books with Philip’s Astronomy. To purchase tickets click on the link below or call into the Burgess Foundation Mon to Fri, 10am to 2pm. (Tickets available from 8am on Wednesday 3rd September).
In conversation: Kathleen JamieThursday, November 6th, 2014, 7:00 pm | Free, advance booking required
The Manchester Writing School at MMU and the International Anthony Burgess Foundation are pleased to welcome multi-award-winning poet and essayist Kathleen Jamie to Manchester. As well as her acclaimed poetry collections, Kathleen is the author of Findings: Essays on the Natural and Unnatural World, described by the Daily Telegraph as “A book of unparalleled beauty, sharpness of observation, wit, delicacy, strength of vision and rare exactness of language", and Sightlines: A Conversation with the Natural World, 14 essays scrutinising the fringes of our landscape. Kathleen will be reading from her work on place writing in conversation with MMU's David Cooper, and answering questions from the audience. Dr David Cooper is Senior Lecturer in English Literature in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. Drinks will be available to purchase from the bar, and there’ll be a special Blackwell’s bookstall, with signing after the event. Presented in partnership with MacDonald Hotels and Resorts.
Poetry: Arc Publications presents Janne Nummela and Katariina VuorinenFriday, November 7th, 2014, 6:30 pm | Free
Following dates in London, Norwich, Liverpool and Leeds, the Arc Ventures Tour comes to Manchester to celebrate the recently published anthology Six Finnish Poets. Two of the poets featured in the anthology Janne Nummela and Katariina Vuorinen will be reading from their work, and copies of the book with be available for sale. Janne Nummela has published four books of poetry, Lyhyellä matkalla ohuesti jäätyneen meren yli (poEsia 2006),frigiditalvi (ntamo 2008), Medusareaktorit (ntamo 2009) and together with Tommi Nuopponen and Jukka Viikilä the poetic encyclopediaEnsyklopedia (Poesia 2011). Katariina Vuorinen published her first book, Edith suuteli minua unessa in 2001. With the next two books, Kylmä rintama (2006) and Rouvien ja lintujen talo (2010), she became one of the essential poets of the bohemiam publisher Savukeidas. Contact [email protected] to reserve your place.
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.
Celebrated Catskill Mountain songwriter Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers, The Duke & The King) returns for a special string of intimate, acoustic dates accompanied by the stellar Anna Mitchell on harmonium, piano and vocal harmony. Expect mesmerising renditions of songs from the recent highly acclaimed Strangers LP, plus a wealth of Simone’s beloved back catalogue. ‘With two critically acclaimed novellas to his name, Felice has an unabashedly literary sensibility, and a particular knack for taking intimate personal narratives and widening them so they hint at the musical equivalent of the great American novel’ – The Telegraph, 5*. ‘Felice gravitates between often fearless songwriting and meandering melodies that wouldn’t be out of place on Astral Weeks. Yep – that good’ – Irish Times, 4*. Buy tickets at https://billetto.co.uk/simone-
How does travel inspire new writing? We ask two internationally celebrated authors with whole suitcases full of experience - Kei Miller and Elif Shafak - at the next Writers Return event in Manchester, with the British Council. A Jamaican writer now living in London; Kei Miller was the recipient of this year's Forward Prize, and was also announced as a Next Generation Poet. He has travelled with the British Council from countries as diverse as Brazil and Iraq, and his work often explores the linguistic pleasures of his Jamaican heritage. Miller will be joined by the internationally celebrated Turkish writer, Elif Shafak. Translated into over forty languages, Shafak has received numerous awards for her writing and divides her time between Turkey and the UK. Shafak blends Western and Eastern traditions of storytelling, bringing out the voices of women, minorities, subcultures, immigrants and global souls. This internationally restless panel of writers will explore the particularities of their cultural homelands and tell stories about encountering the world with fresh eyes. The discussion will be chaired by Ted Hodgkinson.
Formed in Manchester in 2002, and with recently acclaimed performances at the 2014 BBC Proms (‘delivered with wonderful intensity’ -The Telegraph) and at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Heath Quartet have established themselves as one of the UK’s most accomplished and inventive young chamber ensembles. This exclusive programme demonstrates the quartet’s technical prowess and musical subtlety. Opening with the UK premiere of Burgess’s Shostakovich-influenced String Quartet (originally dedicated to the Primavera Quartet, winner of the 1977 Naumburg Award), the Heath Quartet will also perform Bartok’s wild String Quartet No. 6 (1939) and Beethoven’s monumental String Quartet No. 14 in C Sharp Minor. Tickets are limited, so book in advance here to avoid missing this one-off performance. To find out more about the ensemble, visit the quartet’s website.
We4Poets: An evening of music, poetry and comic talesSaturday, November 22nd, 2014, 6:30 pm | £3 adv/£4 door
We4Poets return to the International Anthony Burgess Foundation for what promises to be another wonderful evening of live music, poetry and comic tales. Authors Stanley Ayodeji and David Llewellyn will be joined on stage by some of the most talented performers, poets and musicians in Manchester. Singer-songwriter Tez Skachill heads up a musical cast featuring urban jazz legend Gail Meacham and the utterly extraordinary Laura Sinclair. Live poetry comes from published poets Kat Kehoe and Tricia Ashworth, the acclaimed Justine Chamberlain, with Michael Kyriacou making his overdue debut at the IABF. Serial bigamist, former Spice Girl and unrepentant fantasist Kate Woodward returns to the region alongside short story specialist Deanne Heron, and publisher and editor Sharon Richards. Visit We4Poets online for booking information.
Muriel Spark's shrewd, unsentimental and hilarious novels are some of the finest of the twentieth century. Perhaps best known for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Spark's distinctive mix of realism, satire and allegory was hugely influential for a generation of writers. Join Martin Stannard - author of the acclaimed biography Muriel Spark - and critic Ellie Byrne for a lively discussion of Muriel Spark's fascinating life and work. Chaired by Andrew Biswell. Advance booking is advised, so reserve you place via [email protected] or 0161 235 0776.