Bad Language at After Hours

After Hours portrait

We will link up the city for this year’s After Hours festival (part of Museums At Night 2015).

Walk the city to hear six stories at three special locations (still to be announced). Choose one writer, or one venue – how you interweave these six standalone tales into the evening is up to you.

May 14th 2015, various venues, 6pm-8.30pm (timings TBC, drop in), free.

Watch this space for more.

April headliner and Forward Prize winner, Liz Berry

Bad Language in April: Liz Berry – Open Mic Slots Now Open

April headliner and Forward Prize winner, Liz Berry

April headliner and Forward Prize winner, Liz Berry

Our headliner for April is Black Country native and Forward Prize winner, Liz Berry.

Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in Birmingham. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway and received an Eric Gregory Award in 2009. Her poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies, been broadcast on BBC Radio and recorded for the Poetry Archive.  She was the winner of the 2012 Poetry London competition and a 2012 Arvon-Jerwood mentee. Her debut pamphlet The Patron Saint of School Girls was published by tall-lighthouse in 2010. Liz has written about dialect poetry for The Poetry School and The Young Poets Network. She is an assistant poetry editor at Ambit magazine. Her debut collection, Black Country, published by Chatto & Windus in August 2014, was a Poetry Book Society recommendation, an Observer Poetry Book of the Month and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

If you want to join the excellent Liz Berry on April 29th in gracing the stage at The Castle Hotel, you can request a 4 minute open mic slot by emailing As always, we hold half the slots for newcomers to the Bad Language stage so, if you’ve never performed before, get your name down!

Bad Language in March: Chris Killen

Chris Killen headlines Bad Language CHRIS KILLEN will be our March headliner. His much-awaited follow-up to The Bird Room is In Real Life, a tale of a love triangle, hopes of stardom and the ubiquity of social media. The Independent called In Real Life “funny and poignant”, while the Financial Times rather brilliantly called the book “a historical novel about the internet”. Oh and the Daily Mail told him to “cheer up”.

Here is Chris writing about lost friendships.  And here he is interviewing himself.

Open mic: Andy Hulme | Adam Farrer | Dominic Oliver | Jack Nicholls | Jamie Carragher | Jasmine Chatfield | Karl Largan | Pad Hughes | Rachel Kendall | Stephen Quinlan

Chris Killen & open mic, Wed 25 March 2015 7.30pm at The Castle (free)

Eddie Argos (Art Brut): The Spoken Word Tour

Eddie Argos

Eddie Argos is the world-renowned lead singer and songwriter with Art Brut, a London band that have spent the last decade redefining the meaning of stardom.

For the first time Eddie is stepping into the limelight to tell stories that happened along the way while Art Brut became the world beating pop behemoth they are today.Heartwarming story or cautionary tale? You be the judge.

Join the May 26th Facebook event. Buy your ticket by clicking here.

“A John Cooper Clarke for the Barfly generation.” NME

“One of his generations great poets of the mundane.” Spin Magazine

“Full of the bathetic genius that English pop used to excel in.” The Guardian

Eddie Argos, 26 May 2015 7.30pm, Gullivers, Manchester. Buy your tickets now.

Bad Language at the Royal Exchange

BL Special FX blue

Bad Language comes to Royal Exchange Special FX for the first time in 2015 for a free hour of live literature.

In the relaxed environs of the Great Hall, some of our favourite wordsmiths will entertain you almost as much as the happy hour discounts available in the café.

Our wordsmiths this time are:

Benjamin Judge, a hugely entertaining writer, editor and Bookmunch contributor;

– Michael Conley, an astonishingly talented support poet for Carol Ann Duffy and recent Bad Language headliner;

Rod Tame, a widely renowned performance poet with a penchant for sonic screwdrivers, gays and geeks.

Kate Feld, a brilliant creative non-fiction writer best known for The Manchizzle, the Real Story and the Blog North Awards.

JP Daly and Fat Roland will compere proceedings.

This event follows on from a packed Hallowe’en special (pictured below) featuring, among others, Booker shortlistee Alison Moore and the spellbinding Emma Jane Unsworth.

Will this one be as creepy? Will there be ghouls? Or will this be more of an Easter bunny kind of event? You’ll have to come along to find out.

Bad Language Special FX, Royal Exchange Manchester, 20 March 2015, 6pm-7pm. Free.


See more pictures in our photo gallery.

Bad Language at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House – postponed

Please note this event has been postponed. More information will be announced as it comes.

Some of the finest writers in the country will present a multi-room intimate performance at the incredible Elizabeth Gaskell’s House on March 17th as part of the 2015 Wonder Women festival.

Confirmed on the line-up is Booker-shortlistee and Orange-longlistee MJ Hyland, and Bristol Prize and Dylan Thomas Prize shortlistee Marli Roode. Two other readers to complete this dynamic line-up are still to be announced, so keep your ears peeled. Gaskell's House

The audience will be able to get a feel for this beautiful and historic house, and the night will be a celebration of writing and performing in an event of which, Bad Language believes, Elizabeth Gaskell would have been proud.

Bad Language in February: Michael Conley


Our February headliner is Manchester’s own MICHAEL CONLEY.

He won the 2010 Weasdale Poetry Prize and is one of the support poets for Carol Ann Duffy at the Royal Exchange. He won the 2013 Flashtag Writing Competition and has been featured in Rialto, Magma, Cadaverine and Sentinel.

We’re proper excited about this. He launched a poetry collection called Aquarium on Flarestack, but mostly we’re excited because he’s really flipping brilliant.

Bad Language, The Castle, Wed Feb 25th 7.30pm, free

Our open mic is as follows:
Joe Cooper
Lenni Sanders
Jenny Brown
Dan O’Sullivan
Steve Timms
Ros Ballinger
Victoria Tunnah
Salah Ali

Here’s the Bad Language February Facebook event.

The above pic of Mike is from a great video of him reading in front of some lovely marble at Poets & Players last year. Watch it here.