Thursday, 30 July 2009

Just a short post today to point you to something good I've spotted.

There's a great post on the Manchester Lit List blog. Since it's turning out to be a rainy summer, they've thoughtfully complied a list of great sites you can use to choose your next book to curl up with while hiding from the rain. Obviously, the other option is to go down to the library yourself and browse there, but why not choose one from the comfort of your own home.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Succour Salon

There is a rather wonderfully titled 'Succour salon' this Friday. I feel I ought to carry a fan and wear a bustle, and perhaps pre-prepare some witticisms for the event. The term salon makes me think of Mrs Dalloway or the opening of War and Peace. However, I'm fairly certain that the event will be something more down-to-earth - some lovely readings and copies of the new issue of the magazine on sale.

The salon is being held at the Briton's Protection pub on Great Bridewater Street from 8pm-11pm. It's free entry and there will be readings from Annie Clarkson, Melissa Lee-Houghton and Jonathan Hamnett.

I will definitely be there, possibly with a fan to flutter and cover up my lack of clever conversation.

Thursday, 23 July 2009


Geoff Ryman's reading at Central Library yesterday was wonderful. It's not even really fair to call it a reading, since Geoff added such an element of theatre to it that his work really came alive. He made an announcement about an exciting new collection that's coming out this Autumn (I think that's when he said). It's the product of a project that links writers to Manchester scientists, the collection of stories that comes from that will surely be very interesting. I know that Geoff has written one of the stories himself, and it should be really great, I don't think I've ever met someone who wasn't a scientist who could talk and write so well (by which I mean accurately) about science.

But now onto the more pressing news. There's yet another Unsung magazine out this week. Those pesky Unsung folk are so productive they make me feel awful that I've only got two issues of Bewilderbliss out in just about the same time they've done three Unsungs. I've still not managed to get along to one of the launches yet, but I'm finally free for this one. I was speaking with Max Dunbar of Succour yesterday and he assured me it was a really great event, so I'm keeping my calendar free for it.

The launch is this Sunday (26th July) at 8pm in the Thirsty Scholar on Oxford Rd. It is £2 to get in, but then the magazine is free, so it sounds like a bargain to me. There will be readings from the magazine and open-mic slots, as well as a raffle to lure you in if everything else on offer wasn't enough.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Geoff Ryman

The Manchester Book Market went really well at the weekend, apart from the weather obviously. There were readings throughout the weekend and I curated a set for the launch of the magazine I edit, Bewilderbliss. It went really well, and the magazine is now officially launched, it's available at the Cornerhouse and Blackwells.

Now that it's out and my to-do list has considerably shrunk, I will be able to get back to updating this blog regularly with news about readings and other literary events in and around Manchester.

The next one coming up is something that I'm really excited about - a reading by Geoff Ryman. He's a mainstream and sci-fi writer who is absolutely spectacular at live events. You may have caught him reading at the last No Point in Not Being Friends, and if you did you'll know how captivating he is. If you missed that, I can guarantee that you'll not want to miss this event.

Geoff Ryman is reading at Central Library tomorrow (22nd July) at 1pm, and there is a Q&A session following it.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Slight change of plans

I should have known that as soon as I put the plans for the Bewilderbliss launch on here they'd change.

It's mostly the same - still this Friday, still at the Manchester Book Market in St Ann's Sq (there will be a stage area at the church end).

The only change is the time. The Bewilderbliss issue #2 launch reading will now start at 4.15pm.


The next issue of Bewilderbliss will be out this Friday. It's on the theme of Doubles, which was set by Jackie Kay, who has also provided a poem for the magazine and done an interview that will appear on the website on Friday. I've been kept pretty busy getting it all together, and I've taken up some of my time with the lovely task of organising the launch.

As I've mentioned previously, this issue will be launched at the Manchester Book Market on Friday 17th (this Friday!) at 3.30pm in St Ann's Sq.

We've got pieces from 19 different writers in this issue, but I've had to narrow those down to just five for the launch. I've chosen a mixture of poets and prose-writers with quite different styles so there should be something to everyone's taste.

The list of readers is:

J.T. Welsch
Cora Greenhill
Eileen Pun
Danny Bird
Nick Murgatroyd

We hope you can join us to give this exciting new issue of Bewilderbliss a good launch off into the world.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Succour and apologies

Firstly, I have to apologise for the lack of posts last week. I was down in London for the launch of Elaine Feinstein's new book of Tsvetaeva poems. It was a lovely event and the book is fantastic, but going to London and back for it threw off my whole week and I didn't have time to keep up with any of my blogs.

But, I'm back with exciting news. Max Dunbar has just contacted me with details about the Manchester launch of Succour issue #9. He is a very succinct man, so this is what he had to say about the event:

The Manchester launch of Succour 9, 'Fantasies,' takes place at the Briton's Protection, Friday July 31 8pm.

Featuring words from Jonathan Hamnett, Laura Joyce, Annie Clarkson and Melissa Lee.

All welcome: spread the word.

He also added that submissions are welcome for the next issue of Succour, which has the theme of 'The Banal'. For details, see here.

The magazine is a beautiful presentation of some very good and interesting work, so do come along to the launch and submit to the magazine as well.