Michael Morpurgo, Jennifer Egan and Jeanette Winterson will appear at the Manchester Literature Festival in October to help explore “divas, dissidents, pioneers and radicals”.
This year’s event will consider themes such as “activism”, “protest” and “our place in the world”. Michael Rosen will discuss his childhood adventures with his communist parents, Howard Jacobson will explore the art of satire while some of the other 100-odd participants include Nigella Lawson, Ali Smith and Roddy Doyle. It will take place across the city between 6th and 22nd October.
The festival will unfold across a variety of venues including The Royal Northern College of Music, The Portico Library, Manchester Cathedral, the city’s Central Library and the streets and squares of Manchester.
Organisers have also announced the details of the five annual, specially commissioned events. Morpurgo will deliver the annual Castlefield Manchester Sermon while the Midland Hotel Writer in Residence will be Tessa Hadley who will read her newly-commissioned story over afternoon tea. The Royal Literary Fund Commission will be presented by writer and storyteller Malika Booker while The Whitworth project will be a collaboration between poet Zaffar Kunial and painter Raqib Shaw. Artist and filmmaker Imtiaz Dharker will write The New North and South, this year’s Manchester Art Gallery co-commission, responding to a range of solo exhibitions.
Earlier in this year, the festival partnered with the University of Manchester and has ongoing support from sponsors Castlefield, investment specialists with headquarters in Manchester, as well as law firms Squire Patton Boggs and Weightmans and The Midland Hotel as well as support from Arts Council England.
Cathy Bolton and Sarah-Jane Roberts, co-directors of the event, said the festival will help “re-imagine the world around us.” They said: “We look forward to welcoming over 100 of our most talented writers, thinkers and activists to Manchester this October to share their work and address burning issues of the day; questioning and re-imagining our relationships with each other and the world around us."
John McAuliffe, co-director of the Centre for New Writing, The University of Manchester said: “We are delighted to be working as partners with this year's festival which brings so many international stars and original new writers to the city, and we look forward to its provoking afternoons and long, engaging evenings.”
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, added: “At the forefront of this year’s festival are events which focus on the important issues of activism, protest, citizenship, race, class, feminism and identity, and their place in the world.”
For more information, visit manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk.