Bad Language in August: open mic slots now available

Open mic spots are now available for Bad Language in August. All you have to do is email us ( That’s it. The event is at The Castle on Wednesday August 26th. Here’s how it works in more detail, all of which is on our open mic page:

– We are a literature night: poetry or prose.

– You don’t need to send us your work. Just email for a slot (

– If you email *before* the 10th, you’re too early.

– Come along. Delight us. Be the best you can be.

– There are ten open mic spaces available.

Five of those spaces are reserved for people who have never performed with us before.

– Open mic spots are four minutes long. The time limit is self-policing. Don’t abuse it.

– No-one can perform for more than two events in a row.

– We have a reserve list, and often reserve listees do end up getting a spot.

– If you blow our socks off, we might book you for other, larger events elsewhere.

We’re posting this a day late because Fats is typing this from the Edinburgh Fringe. He’ll all be lah-de-dah annoying when he gets back home to Bad Language-land. Feel free to heckle him.

Matt Abbott is Skint & Demoralised preview show

Matt Abbott

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Matt Abbott is Skint & Demoralised comes to Manchester via Bad Language this weekend.

Matt Abbott provides a razor-sharp insight into 21st century Britain; a contemporary take on kitchen sink realism, fused with witty anecdotes, sordid confessions and a sharp political edge.

Matt will be supported by John Darwin, a fellow member of the collective A Firm Of Poets and host of a monthly poetry night at the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale.

The Facebook event is here.

“Full of great descriptive lyricism and astute storytelling” – Steve Lamacq

“Wakefield’s most articulate (and dare we say handsome?) street poet finds the romance beneath the realism. He’ll have you feeling better in no time” – NME Magazine

Matt Abbott’s fringe preview
The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester
Sunday 9 August 2015
7.30pm: free (donations on the night)

Bad Language July: Kirstin Innes


Kirstin Innes

Our headliner on 29 July at The Castle is KIRSTIN INNES, winner of the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writer’s Award and founder of Glasgow’s Words Per Minute.

Her sex industry novel Fishnet (Freight Books) was described by the Huffington Post as “extraordinarily refreshing…a very erotic read” and by Emma Jane Unsworth as “bold, sensual and unflinching”.

She’s had work commissioned by Radio 4 and is currently competing for the Edinburgh International Book Festival first book award. It’s a delight to welcome her to the Bad Language stage.

Our open mic list this month is: Abi Hynes; Anthony McIntyre; Benjamin Judge; Big Charlie Poet; Jim Coyle; Joseph Clarke; Matt Jacques; Rachel Kendall; Sam Rossi-Harries; Simon Sylvester.

Bad Language in July: Kirstin Innes & open mic
The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester
Wednesday 29 July 2015
7.30pm: free

A Firm Of Poets: Latitude preview

A Firm of Poets

Bad Language brings the nation’s hottest spoken word collective A Firm of Poets to Manchester this Sunday in the Northern Quarter.

A Firm of Poets host an exclusive preview of their Latitude show. The Firm is a cross between a poetic super-group and Whose Line Is It Anyway – expect the show to be fast paced and fun.

Representing the Firm with Bad Language are: feature Ralph Dartford, Genevieve L Walsh, John Darwin, Matt Abbott and Toria Garbutt.


A Firm Of Poets: Latitude Preview
Kosmonaut (basement), Tariff Street, Manchester
Sunday 12 July 2015
7.30pm doors
Show starts 8pm sharp

Facebook event here

Kraftwerk Badger Spaceship: Manchester preview

Kraftwerk Badger Spaceship 26th July 2015

Bad Language host Fat Roland will hold a preview of his Edinburgh show Kraftwerk Badger Spaceship on Sunday July 26 at Gullivers.

Kraftwerk Badger Spaceship is a spoken-word comedy about one idiot’s battle with electronic music. Is it poetry or prop comedy or just a fat man with too many marker pens? Judge for yourself in this Edinburgh Fringe debut from the bloke wot co-hosts our open mic every month.

Dominic Berry calls Fat Roland ‘bizarre, astounding, hilarious and truly unlike anyone else’. Fats has co-hosted Bad Language with Joe Daly since March last year. This is his first solo-hosted night since 2013’s packed-out Fat Roland’s Electric Shorts.

(Click here if you want to see Fat Roland in Edinburgh instead.)

Kraftwerk Badger Spaceship: Manchester preview
Gullivers, Oldham Street, Manchester
Sunday 26 July 2015
8pm doors
8.30pm the actual show
9.30pm questions, apologies & dancing
Admission free, donations welcome

#BadLanguage50: Jo Bell

Jo Bell

This is gonna be a special one. It’s our 50th regular Bad Language event, and we’re delighted to welcome back to our stage JO BELL.

Jo is an outspoken, well-spoken poetry pundit. She is the UK Canal Laureate for the Poetry Society and the Canals & Rivers Trust. Her 52 Project won Best One-Off Event at the 2015 Saboteur Awards.  Her new collection Kith is out now.

“Witty, sexy and deft, Jo Bell’s verse has an easy charm that hides a sometimes painful honesty… Kith is a wonderful collection.” Stuart Maconie

“Jo Bell is one of the most exciting poets now writing and no time is wasted in the company of her work.” Carol Ann Duffy

Open Mic:

Charlotte Maxwell
Adam Farrer
Kate Feld
Maggie Mackay
Amy Whitell
Yvonne Battle-Felton
Sarah Jasmon
Naomi Kruger
Annette Skade
Robert Harper

Wed 24 June 2015 7.30pm
The Castle, Manchester
Free entry

Best Regular Spoken Word Night: Saboteur Awards 2015

Winner: Bad LanguageBad Language won the gong for best regular spoken word night at a grand Saboteur Awards ceremony in London.

Co-founders Joe Daly and Dan Carpenter collected the award and a bottle of bubbly. Winners also included Bad Language performers Jo Bell (Best One-Off Event) and Jackie Hagan (Best Spoken Word Show).

Joe Daly said: “I’m proud of Daniel Carpenter, Fat Roland and Nici West but also all our headliners and the whole community in Manchester and further afield that have supported us, and the incredibly strong live literature scene in the city.”

Bad Language’s next outing at The Castle is our 50th regular event, so expect a big #BadLanguage50 celebration co-hosted by a jubilant and therefore slightly annoying Joe and Fats. Our headliner will be fellow award-winner and poet extraordinaire Jo Bell.