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13th November 2017

What’s On for Literature Lovers: November

A few events around Manchester for literature lovers, this November

What: Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibition

Where: The Central Library

When: now — 31st January 2018/ Monday-Thursday 9am-8pm; Friday and Saturday 9am-5pm

Calling all Potter fans! Many of us have been lucky enough to have grown up with Harry and with the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, there is no better way to retrospectively revel in the magic of his world than to journey to where it all began.

Manchester Central Library is proud to host a display inspired by the British Library’s new exhibition, Harry Potter: A History of Magic. Displays were launched simultaneously across 20 public libraries in the UK, mirroring the initial exhibition at London’s British Library. In addition to the showcasing of images of rare books (including books from J.K. Rowling’s own collections), magical paraphernalia, and manuscripts from the original exhibition, there will also be a display of Manchester Central Library’s local connection to magic and folklore from their Special and Archive collections.

Additionally, you can channel your inner Hermione and attend The Hogwarts Curriculum Lectures: Defence Against The Dark Arts with Christopher Frayling (Monday 22nd Jan 2018, 19:00 – 20:15). Acclaimed cultural historian Christopher Frayling will discuss the origins of the myths that surround the evil and supernatural in the Harry Potter books. While history does not speak of death eaters as such, it does speak of vampires – Frayling will discuss how their portyals have changed and how they have been appropriated by the Gothic imagination.


What: The Reformation, Radical Print – Printing Press Demonstration,  Thursday Lates: Come Join the Protest!

Where: The John Rylands Library

When: now- 4th March 2018

Find out how books, so readily available to us today, came to be so widespread. The John Rylands Library is currently running various events related to their resident 19th century printing press. This winter the library has shown an interest in the power of the printed word. The Reformation, an exhibition, explores the domino effect of Martin Luther’s 95 theses in the 16th century and the rapid religious, political, social, and artistic change that occurred across Europe as a result of its introduction. There is also an opportunity to see a printing press in action during the ‘Radical Print – Printing Press Demonstration’ events that run every day on a drop-in basis. Also, the ‘Thursday Lates: Come Join the Protest!’ event series means you can visit the library to find out how the printed word accelerated the spread of ideas, protest, and debate.


What: Chorlton Book Festival

Where: Chorlton Library

When: 17th-25th November 2017

The Chorlton Book Festival returns for its 13th year with another lineup of brilliant writers and interactive events – of which most are free! Local poet Copland Smith will be in conversation with special guest Cath Nichols on the 17th to kickstart the festival and discuss her new collection ‘This is Not a Stunt’. A highlight of the collection is a piece called ‘Bo(d)y-in-waiting’ that carries the story of a boy growing up trans in the 1970s, perpetually frustrated at the ignorance of the adults around him. On Tuesday 21st November, join the Feminist Graphic Novel Book Club and discuss of Isabel Greenberg’s The One Hundred Nights of Hero. For a taste of spoken word, in association with Manchester Library and Information Service and Flapjack press, join Tony Curry and Genevieve L. Walsh for ‘Word Central Open Mic’ night. Walsh will be debuting her poetry collection ‘The Dance of a Thousand Losers’, which has been described Henry Normal as “keen and urgent with an untamed beauty – like a puma caught under a streetlight”. Another highlight of the festival, with a distinct Mancunian flavour, is ‘An Evening with Laura Wilkinson – Skin Deep’ where Wilkinson discusses her latest novel, primarily set against the backdrop of Hulme in the 1980’s.


What: Jennifer Egan @ Manchester Literature Festival

Where: Manchester Central Library

When: 15th November 19:00-21:00

Critically acclaimed author Jennifer Egan makes a rare visit to the UK to discuss her latest novel, Manhattan Beach. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Brooklyn-based novelist delves into the world of historical fiction with this novel. It is set during the Depression and follows the story of its strong female lead Anna Kerringer, a navy diver from an Irish family, aiming to survive through a turbulent and uncertain time for women in a city populated by sailors and gangsters, tragic starlets, and mysterious tycoons. Meghan O’Rourke from The Guardian calls it ‘a remarkable work of cinematic scope’ with parts of the novel having a ‘Joycean musical fragmentation’. Egan will be in conversation with creative consultant and arts producer Katie Popperwell. Tickets for the event are available at the Manchester Central Library and Manchester Literature Festival websites.


What: Bad Language

Where: The Castle Hotel, Northern Quarter

When: Wednesday 29th November 17

Bad Language is an award winning spoken word night that takes place on the last Wednesday of every month. For their last open mic event of 2017 they are inviting Helen Mort, poet and lecturer in the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, to share her work. She has published two poetry collections: Division Street (2013) and No Map Could Show Them (2016). Open mic slots are available if you would like to take part and more information can be found on: Manchester poet Tony Walsh, who wrote the famous ‘This is the place’, says of the night: “I’m always impressed when I come along to a Bad Language night. It’s great to see a packed but attentive room for a live literature night.”

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