Click on dates in the calendar to find out about events and activities at the Engine House; details of each event are listed underneath.
Exhibition: Burgess on ScreenThursday, October 1st, 2015, 10:00 am | Free, open from 10am - 3pm and during events until end of November 2015
Open from August - November 2015 in the Burgess Foundation exhibition space. Anthony Burgess was one of the first novelists to enthusiastically embrace television. This exhibition presents a number of rare and popular short clips of Burgess's many TV appearances, taken from the wealth of footage available in the Burgess Foundation archive. The exhibition will be accompanied by screenings of the Anthony Burgess documentaries on James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and D.H. Lawrence. Full details to be announced. Check our What's On pages for more details.
Local theatre company Crystallize present their debut production, a modern reworking of the classic Oscar Wilde novella. Directed by Emily FitzGibbon. Tickets and more information available here.
Local theatre company Crystallize present their debut production, a modern reworking of the classic Oscar Wilde novella. Directed by Emily FitzGibbon. Tickets and more information available here.
~exchange is a new bi-monthly forum curated by composer-flautist Gavin Osborn, in collaboration with some of Manchester's most exciting composers, performers & ensembles. ~exchange brings together composers & performers to exchange ideas, collaborate, workshop & perform. With 5 themed editions through the year, ~exchange explores every facet of making new music through discussion, collaboration, calls for work, workshops, performances & more. Edition 1 focuses on open-form: graphics, text & open notation all feature, including works by Pauline Oliveros, Larry Goves, Nina Whiteman, Rachel Graff, Cornelius Cardew, Matthew Shlomowitz and Betteridge/Thompson-Bell. Workshops run from 3pm, performances from 6.45pm. attendance is free & open to the public. Details of the call for works for Edition 2 (extended techniques) will be posted in early September. For more information about how to take part, and to book, visit the ~exchange website.
Pond, the first collection of short stories from Galway-based writer Claire-Louise Bennett, is an absorbing chronicle of the pitfalls and pleasures of a solitary life told by an unnamed narrator living on the edge of a coastal town. Bennett pushes the boundaries of the short story into new territory. Part prose fiction, part stream of consciousness, Pond has been compared to Jenny Offill’s acclaimed Dept of Speculation. Hosted in partnership with Fitzcarraldo Editions, an independent publisher specialising in contemporary fiction and long-form essays, this event offers the opportunity to hear from a writer experimenting with narrative and form. Claire-Louise will be interviewed by writer and critic Brian Dillon. Brian Dillon is reader in critical writing at the Royal College of Art, and UK editor of Cabinet magazine. His books include Objects in This Mirror: Essays (Sternberg Press, 2014), Sanctuary (Sternberg Press, 2011), Ruins (MIT Press/Whitechapel Gallery, 2011), Tormented Hope: Nine Hypochondriac Lives(Penguin, 2009) and In the Dark Room (Penguin 2005). His writing appears regularly in the Guardian, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, Artforum and Frieze. Copies of Pond will be available to buy in advance of the release date. Contact [email protected] to book.
Film screening: Grace Under Pressure - Anthony Burgess on Ernest HemingwayWednesday, October 7th, 2015, 6:30 pm | Free
In Grace Under Pressure, Burgess tackles the subjects of Ernest Hemingway’s life, work and death, visiting Hemingway’s house in Key West and the scene of the writer’s suicide in Ketchum, Idaho (where Mary Hemingway had refused entry to Burgess and the film crew). Timed to coincide with the release of Burgess’s biography about Hemingway, the film assesses Hemingway’s achievements and offers an explanation of the reasons behind the author’s death. Written and presented by Anthony Burgess for the South Bank Show, the film was broadcast in 1978 and directed by Tony Cash. Part of the Burgess on Screen exhibition season. Running time: 60 minutes. Email [email protected] to book.
Launch: Dead Ink - Publishing the UndergroundFriday, October 9th, 2015, 7:30 pm | Free, advance booking required
Publishing the Underground is an ambitious new experiment in participatory publishing, bringing readers closer to authors. Supported by Arts Council England, Dead Ink aims to combine crowdfunding, subscription and membership to redefine the way others think of publishing, ensuring the future of challenging new literary fiction. Continuing their showcase New Voices series, Publishing the Underground will bring three more daring emerging British authors to publication. The 2015 list will feature Harry Gallon, Lochlan Bloom, and Wes Brown to continue the success that began with SJ Bradley, Sally Ashton and Richard Smyth in 2014. Dead Ink invites you to join one of their free launch events in Manchester and London to meet the new authors and enjoy a few complimentary drinks. Tickets are free, reserve your place here.
Take a tour of the Burgess Foundation and discover more about Burgess's life and work. Learn about Burgess's beginnings in Manchester and his international career as a novelist, and get up-close to our fascinating collection of Burgess's books, manuscripts, personal items and correspondence with writers and artists including Stanley Kubrick, Graham Greene and Olivia Manning. Places are very limited, so email [email protected] to reserve your place. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
A rare opportunity to see one of America’s greatest novelists in Manchester. Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels including the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres, the Orange-shortlisted Horse Heaven, and Private Life, which was named a best book of 2010 by the New Yorker, The Atlantic and The Washington Post. She will be in conversation with Mariana Casale O’Ryan discussing Golden Age, the long-anticipated final instalment in her epic Last Hundred Years trilogy, which USA Today called “staggering… a masterpiece in the making.” A sweeping, masterfully written tale of one American family, Golden Age assembles the Langdons together on their Iowa farm, amid unexpected visitors and possible reconciliations, and follows their individual journeys up to the year 2020. Book via 0843 208 0500 or visit the Manchester Literature Festival website.
Manchester Literature Festival: Jami Attenberg & Liza Klaussmann Monday, October 12th, 2015, 8:00 pm | £6/£4
Experience two talented American authors whose work conjures fascinating figures from the past. Jami Attenberg is the author of The New York Times bestseller The Middlesteins. Her new book Saint Mazie brings to life the big-hearted Queen of The Bowery who held court from the ticket booth of The Venice movie theatre. Weaving together fictionalised diaries, writings and interviews, Attenberg has constructed a portrait of a remarkable woman and a moving vision of old New York. The flamboyant expat lives of Gerald and Sara Murphy inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, and Liza Klaussmann returns us to their house on the French Riviera in her fantastic second novel Villa America. Described as ‘a delicious pleasure’ by The Sunday Telegraph, it’s a beautifully written tale of their enthralling marriage, their coastal oasis and the true cost of living lives that burn bright. Hosted by MLF’s Kate Feld. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
Manchester Literature Festival: Mai Al-Nakib & May-Lan TanTuesday, October 13th, 2015, 6:00 pm | £6/£4
Two extraordinary new practitioners of the short story form come together in Manchester for an evening of great fiction. Kuwait writer Mai Al-Nakib’s first collection The Hidden Light of Objects won the Edinburgh First Fiction Award, and The National introduced her as ‘an exciting new literary voice’. Set amid Middle Eastern unrest, these luminous and beautifully written stories capture overlooked moments in the lives of ordinary people, and the power of objects to hold extraordinary memories. Born in Hong Kong, May-Lan Tan lives in London and her debut collection Things to Make and Break was shortlisted for the 2014 Guardian First Book Award. In her sharp and arrestingly intimate stories, a pole dancer named Proust agrees to become a ghost, a star falls for her stunt double and a woman finds nude photos of her husband's exes and tracks them down. The authors will be in conversation with MLF’s Kate Feld. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
Film screening: The Rage of D.H. Lawrence with Anthony BurgessWednesday, October 14th, 2015, 6:30 pm | Free
In this 1985 documentary, Burgess considers D.H. Lawrence’s status as literary outsider. Broadcast during Lawrence’s centenary year for The South Bank Show, the release of the film coincided with the publication of Flame into Being, Burgess’s biography of D.H. Lawrence. The film includes readings from Ian McKellen and features Burgess visiting locations in Lawrence’s home town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, revealing how provincialism and isolation inspired the author’s work and attempting to establish why the much misunderstood writer was widely disliked by the local community during his lifetime and following his death. Written and presented by Anthony Burgess. Directed by Jill Freeman. Part of the Burgess on Screen exhibition season. Running time: 60 minutes. Email [email protected] to book.
Manchester Literature Festival: Paula Hawkins, Renée Knight & Kate Hamer on Women in CrimeThursday, October 15th, 2015, 7:00 pm | £6/£4
Join us for an evening with three rising stars of crime whose books feature strong female protagonists. Paula Hawkins’ debut, The Girl on the Train, was the blockbuster publishing success of 2015, topping bestseller lists worldwide. It follows Rachel, who sees something unsettling from the window of a commuter train that will change her life forever. In Renée Knight’s debut, Disclaimer, Catherine reads one of her darkest secrets in a book, and must track down the author before the story ends – in her death. Kate Hamer’s moving first novel, The Girl in the Red Coat, is a split-perspective story of child abduction. Eight-year-old Carmel has always been a strange, uncanny child. When she disappears at a festival, mother Beth must race to find her. Chaired by Cath Staincliffe. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
Manchester Literature Festival: Diao Dou & Adam Marek - The Modern SurrealSaturday, October 17th, 2015, 4:00 pm | £6/£4
Two modern masters of the surreal discuss the power of literary absurdism in this one-off event. Diao Dou is arguably China’s most daring contemporary satirist, writing poetry, short stories and novels. His first collection in English, Point of Origin, is a stunning display of high wire literary acrobatics. Adam Marek is the winner of an Arts Foundation Fellowship for short fiction and the author of two collections, Instruction Manual for Swallowing and The Stone Thrower. Alison MacLeod described him as 'one of the best things to have happened to the short story this century.’ Join us for a conversation with two writers shining a light into the darkest recesses of our imagination. Presented in partnership with the Confucius Institute and Comma Press. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
Manchester Literature Festival: Jesse Armstrong & Tim KeySaturday, October 17th, 2015, 7:30 pm | £8/£6
Two funny men bring their comedic talents together for a lively evening spanning scriptwriting, fiction and verse. Jesse Armstrong is the BAFTA-winning television writer whose back catalogue includes Peep Show, Fresh Meat, The Thick of It, and Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror. His debut novel Love, Sex and Other Foreign Policy Goals concerns Andrew, a young man in Manchester who attempts to win a woman’s heart by writing a play that will stop the Balkan conflict. A regular fixture on BBC radio, Tim Key is a writer, actor and comedian whose accolades include the Edinburgh Comedy Award and Time Out Comedy Performer of the Year. The Evening Standard said ‘his deadpan minimalist poems straddle the line between genius and mockery.’ He will be reading from his new book, The Incomplete Tim Key, a wildly original collection filled with his characteristic wit. Hosted by MLF’s Kate Feld. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
Manchester Literature Festival: Zachary Leader - The Life of Saul BellowSunday, October 18th, 2015, 1:00 pm | £6/£4
In the centenary year of his birth, a substantial new biography of Saul Bellow is the first to consider his life and work in its entirety. Created with unprecedented access to the seminal American author’s papers, family and close friends, the first volume, To Fame and Fortune 1915-1964, takes us from the author’s childhood to the point when the publication of Herzog made his name and his fortune. Zachary Leader is Professor of English Literature at the University of Roehampton. He is the author of Reading Blake’s Songs, Writer’s Block, Revision and Romantic Authorship and The Life of Kingsley Amis. Ian McEwan said of the book ‘a great writer has found a great biographer.’ He will be introduced by Matthew Frost. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
Manchester Literature Festival: The Book of Tokyo With Nao-Cola Yamazaki, Morgan Giles & Asa YonedaSunday, October 18th, 2015, 8:00 pm | £6/£4
What happens when you try to write a city? What is lost and gained when you transpose a place from pavement to page? Comma Press’ latest instalment in the City in Short Fiction series brings together some of Japan’s best writers in an anthology about Tokyo. Japanese author Nao-Cola Yamazaki’s debut novella Don't Laugh at People's Sex Lives won the 2004 Bungei Prize. She has subsequently written over 10 novels and several essay collections. Nao-Cola will read her contribution to the anthology and discuss the state of contemporary literature in Japan with translators and contributors Morgan Giles and Asa Yoneda. An unmissable event for those interested in Japanese fiction, culture and literature in translation, hosted by Comma’s Sarah Hunt. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
Manchester Literature Festival: Virginia Woolf - Reader, Writer, Pioneer with Alexandra HarrisTuesday, October 20th, 2015, 6:30 pm | £6/£4
Virginia Woolf did things differently. She could describe a love affair by watching its effect on plates and forks in a restaurant. She could evoke the balminess of a summer evening simply through the rhythm of a conversation. She could range through life's possibilities while peering at a mark on the wall. Alexandra Harris will explore some of the small changes of perspective that make Woolf’s fiction continually surprising, and celebrate some of the literary essays in which we discover Woolf as a pioneering reader as well as a great modern writer. Alexandra is the author of Romantic Moderns (which won both the Somerset Maugham and Guardian First Book Awards), Virginia Woolf and Modernism on Sea. This event will provide a rare chance to lift the veil of history and peer into one of the most exquisitely furnished minds in British writing. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
Manchester Literature Festival: Iain Pears - Arcadia and Interactive StoriesWednesday, October 21st, 2015, 6:00 pm | £6/£4
Henry Lytten, spy turned academic and writer, sits at his desk in Oxford in 1962, dreaming of other worlds. But as his invented narratives unfurl and overlap, our hero becomes unsure of how he wants his stories to end – or even who is imaginary. In an innovative new publishing venture from Faber, Arcadia will be simultaneously published in book form and as an interactive app that promises to stretch the form of storytelling as we know it. Iain Pears is the author of bestselling historical novels An Instance of the Fingerpost, The Dream of Scipio and Stone’s Fall. He has also written several detective novels, a book of art history and an extensive body of journalism. He will discuss digital storytelling with writer David Gaffney, the author of Sawn-Off Tales. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
The Manchester Writing School at MMU and the International Anthony Burgess Foundation are delighted to present special guest Magnus Mills. Magnus is the author of seven novels, including The Restraint of Beasts, which won the McKitterick Prize and was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Whitbread (now the Costa) First Novel Award in 1999. His most recent novel, A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked In, was published to great critical acclaim. His books have been translated into 20 languages. He lives in London. Manchester Writing is a new series designed to explore the techniques authors use and choices they make when writing, and debate issues arising from their work. Magnus will be reading from and talking about his work and in conversation answering questions from the audience. The evening will open with a short reading from original fiction by students of the Manchester Writing School. Drinks will be available to purchase from the bar, and there’ll be a special Blackwell’s bookstall, with signing after the event. Supported by MMU Humanities and Social Science Research. Tickets available via Eventbrite.
An evening of conversation and illustration with one of the most inventive graphic novelists working today. Dave McKean has illustrated more than 50 books, collaborating with authors including Neil Gaiman, Richard Dawkins, Heston Blumenthal and John Cale. His titles include the cult graphic novels Arkham Asylum, Mr. Punch and Signal to Noise, as well as books for children including Coraline, The Graveyard Book and The Savage. He wrote the multi-award winning Cages and Pictures That Tick collections, and has directed several short films and three features: MirrorMask, Luna and The Gospel of Us with Michael Sheen. Ideal for enthusiasts and newcomers alike, this talk will give an overview of McKean’s work, and will include discussion of his multi-arts collaboration An Ape’s Progress, jointly commissioned by Manchester Jazz Festival and MLF. The event will be hosted by author David Gaffney. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
Manchester Literature Festival: Louise Stern & Benjamin Wood Saturday, October 24th, 2015, 12:00 pm | £4/£3
A pair of gifted young writers discuss their ambitious novels exploring the nature of community and creativity. Benjamin Wood’s new novel, The Ecliptic, is a literary mystery following a celebrated painter who arrives at an artists’ colony off Istanbul and finds herself drawn into the orbit of a young man walking the border between creative genius and madness. His first novel, The Bellwether Revivals, won the Commonwealth Book Prize and the Prix du Roman Fnac. Louise Stern grew up in Fremont, California, the fourth generation born deaf in her family. She has written for radio and theatre and Tracy Chevalier described her short story collection Chattering as ‘Exactly what I want of fiction’. Set in an insular Mayan community in rural Mexico, her debut novel Ismael and His Sisters is a wondrous tale of love, family, identity, language and what happens when daily rhythms are disrupted. Beautifully paced, it’s brimming with rich language and vivid imagery. The event will be hosted by MLF’s Kate Feld. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500. This event will be BSL interpreted by Oliver Pouliot.
Manchester Literature Festival: Mary Costello & Stuart EversSaturday, October 24th, 2015, 2:00 pm | £4/£3
Two compelling and critically acclaimed authors come together to read and discuss fiction that explores how we make – and lose – personal connections and develop character amid the tumult of everyday life. Mary Costello’s first short story collection, The China Factory, was nominated for the 2012 Guardian First Book Award and her debut novel, Academy Street, won Irish Book of the Year. Anne Enright said ‘Costello’s writing has the kind of urgency that the great problems demand’. Stuart Evers’ new book, Your Father Sends His Love, is a collection of 11 unforgettable stories of parental love and parental mistakes that Jenny Offill called ‘thrillingly inventive.’ He is the author of the London Award-winning story collection Ten Stories About Smoking and a novel, If This is Home. They will be in conversation with MLF’s Kate Feld. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
Manchester Literature Festival: Stephen Kelman & Sunjeev SahotaSaturday, October 24th, 2015, 4:00 pm | £4/£3
Be transported to India and back with two of our hottest young writers. Stephen Kelman’s debut novel, Pigeon English, was shortlisted for the Man Booker, Desmond Elliot and Guardian First Book prizes, and is now a set text on the GCSE syllabus. His new novel, Man on Fire, introduces us to Bibhuti Nayak, Mumbai journalist and fitness freak. When he enlists Englishman John Lock in a World Record attempt, the two embark on a surprising friendship with enormous consequences. Sunjeev Sahota’s widely acclaimed first novel Ours are the Streets led him to be named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2013. In his luminous and arresting new novel The Year of the Runaways, three young men share a house in Sheffield, having arrived from India in search of a new life. Salman Rushdie said ‘all you can do is surrender, happily, to its power.’ The event will be hosted by MLF’s Kate Feld. Tickets available from the Manchester Literature Festival website or 0843 208 0500.
In conversation: Julian Baggini - Freedom RegainedMonday, October 26th, 2015, 6:30 pm | £3 + booking fee
Do we have free will? In recent years, advances in neuroscience and genetics have introduced new complexities to this question. Respected British philosopher Julian Baggini presents his latest book Freedom Regained, which features fascinating stories of artists, addicts and political dissidents, bringing the issue of free will vividly to life. Tickets available here. Presented in partnership with Blackwell's Bookshop for Manchester Science Festival.
Join writer, historian and literary critic Ruth Scurr as she talks about her genre-defying account of a literary pioneer. John Aubrey’s Brief Lives redefined the art of biography, yet Aubrey’s own life was a personal and financial struggle to record the doings of great historical figures and the relics of antiquity before they vanished forever: the habits of Christopher Wren and Isaac Newton, the stones of Stonehenge and the stained glass of forgotten churches. Described by Hilary Mantel as ‘light, ingenious, inspiring, a book to reread and cherish,’ Ruth Scurr’s imaginative biography of Aubrey takes the form of a diary drawn from the man’s own words and is steeped in the atmospheres of the London taverns and English landscapes Aubrey helped to preserve. Free, email [email protected] to book
In conversation: Marty Jopson - The Science of Everyday LifeThursday, October 29th, 2015, 6:30 pm | £4 + booking fee
To celebrate the launch of his book, The Science of Everyday Life, Marty Jopson of the BBC's The One Show shares scientific facts about the world around us. Why do fingers wrinkle in the bath? Why does thunder rumble? After this talk you'll never keep bread in the fridge again. Tickets available here. Presented in partnership with Blackwell's Bookshop for Manchester Science Festival.
In conversation: Matthew Cobb - Life's Greatest SecretSaturday, October 31st, 2015, 2:00 pm | £4 + booking fee
Join Matthew Cobb to explore the fascinating story behind the discovery of the genetic code. Matthew's book blends science, biography and anecdotes to produce a startlingly vivid account of the international race to discover the very nature of our being. Life's Greatest Secret was shortlisted for the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. Tickets available here. Presented in partnership with Blackwell's Bookshop for Manchester Science Festival.