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What’s On: Literary events calendar June 2021

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With summer fast approaching, there is a wide range of festivals and literary events to look forward to. Many of the events featured on our list this month are hosted by the Centre for Place Writing at Manchester Met, but there are plenty more highlights to choose from too.

Individual Events

Placing the Irreplaceable: Writing as Activism
Wednesday, 2 June, 7:30pm | Free Online Entry

Hosted by the Centre for Place Writing at Manchester Met, Award winning nature writer Julian Hoffman will speak from his home in northern Greece with the Centre for Place Writing’s own nature writer, Paul Evans. Evans is also the Guardian’s Country Diarist, a poet and a broadcaster.

Together they discuss recent projects as well as the role of writers, bearing witness, advocating for the voiceless, writing as resistance and the most urgent topic of our time – the climate emergency.

The Sound of Place: Jean Sprackland in conversation with Halla Steinunn
Wednesday, 9 June, 6:30 – 7:30pm | Free Online Entry

Hosted by the Centre for Place Writing at Manchester Met, this online talk will focus on Hall Steinunn Stefánsdóttir’s current project ‘Spherical White With Diamond’, a site specific outdoor sound installation at Formby Point. The installation incorporates part of the text of Jean Spackland’s book Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach.

Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir has made site-specific sound work in many locations, from a remote valley trail to cement works in Reykjavík. Join the talk to learn more about her current and upcoming work.

An Evening with Writers Lara Williams, Keith Hutson and Oliver Harris
Wednesday, 19 May, 6:30pm | Free Online Entry

Celebrating three new voices in the writing community in Manchesters, this event is part of the Manchester Festival of Libraries, hosted by Manchester Libraries, Read Regional and Manchester City of Literature. Writers’ work ranges from secret societies for women who throw wild Bacchanalian-inspired feasts, to a contemporary spy novel set in Kazakhstan and a collection of poems that explore the lives of variety performers including Hylda Baker, Frankie Howerd, Willy Netta’s Singing Jockeys and The Bryn Pugh Sponge Dancers.

Beyond Exact Measurements: live event with artist Annalee Davis
Wednesday, 16 June, 6:30 – 7:30pm | Free Online Entry

Hosted by the Centre for Place Writing at Manchester Met, in this online conversation streamed directly from her studio, Annalee will discuss some of the many collaborative and multidisciplinary projects, which have been informed by the place where she lives and works. This includes her long-term collaboration with American archaeologist Dr. Matthew Reilly (Brown University), ‘Unearthing Voices,’ which links archaeology, heritage studies, and contemporary art to explore the material heritage of Barbados. She will also discuss her own art practice, which includes performance-based works such as Sweeping the Fields, an act of ‘remembering and of cleansing.’

‘What is Place Writing Now?’ a panel discussion
Wednesday, 23 June, 6:30- 8:00pm | Free Online Entry

Three of the most exciting writers of place today: Natasha Carthew from Cornwall, Sukhdev Sandhu who is based in New York, and Anita Sethi from Manchester, will come together an in conversation event, forming the final public event of the series, the Centre for Place Writing. Each author will read from their work before opening discussion on the genre of place writing, issues of race and racism, working-class voices, gender and nature writing.

Thinking with Trees by Jason Allen-Paisant: Launch Registration
Wednesday, 30 June, 7:00 pm | Free Online Entry

Carcanet Press offers this launch of Thinking with Trees, the debut collection by Jason Allen-Paisant. Hosting the reading will be poet Malika Booker, joining Jason to discuss the new book. Allen-Paisant will read from his collection, and, along with Booker, will discuss his debut novel and answer audience questions.

Ongoing Festivals

Manchester City of Literature: Festival of Libraries
9 June – 13 June, 8:00am – 10:00pm | Free Online Entry

Supported by Arts Council England, this programme of events will take place in internationally renowned institutions from Manchester’s heritage libraries. Programme topics range from conversations on well-being, culture, creativity, digital and information services and workshops, and of course, author and reading events.

Spoken Word in the Secret Garden
From 17 June, 6:00pm | £10

Offered by The Reader, this ongoing, outdoor event will be hosted by Sophie Clarke, and will take place at the Secret Garden at the Mansion House. It will encompass a large variety of writing and performance styles. Join the event to hear poets and prose authors read and perform their work outloud.

About the author / 

Ryann Overbay

Ryann has recently moved to Manchester from Japan, where she lived for five years teaching English literature and working as a travel writer for Voyapon Magazine. She is currently studying her MA in creative writing and is excited to work with aAh! Magazine as a creative editor.

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