Manchester Literature Festival: Henry Normal, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Mark Pajak & Genevieve L Walsh


We’re back at the MANCHESTER LITERATURE FESTIVAL with an exciting evening of new poetry featuring poet, screenwriter and Manchester Poetry Festival founder HENRY NORMAL.

Henry returns to poetry after a glittering career in television comedy bringing us the likes of The Royle Family and The Mighty Boosh; his seventh collection, Staring Directly at the Eclipse, offers poems about death, human frailty and other classic conversation stoppers. The Scotsman called him ‘the Alan Bennett of poetry.’

He will be joined by three other poets: MELISSA LEE-HOUGHTON won a 2016 Northern Writers’ Award, was shortlisted for a 2016 Forward Prize and named a Next Generation Poet in 2014 by the Poetry Book Society; she has published two collections. MARK PAJAK’s poetry won a 2016 Northern Writers’ Award and was shortlisted for a Bridport Prize; his pamphlet Spitting Distance will be published in late 2016. GENEVIEVE WALSH is a fixture of the Yorkshire spoken word scene, and a member of the poetry performance group A Firm of Poets.

Saturday 8 October 2016 7.30pm at International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, Manchester. Details on the MLF site here. Direct ticket link here.

Edge Hill launch: Jon McGregor, Zoe Lambert and Rachel Trezise

Bad Language & EHUP Present: Jon McGregor, Zoe Lambert & Rachel Trezise

We celebrate ten years of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize at the Portico Library, as we team up with Edge Hill University Press to launch of the Head Land anthology.

Jump straight to the ticket link for this event.

Starring at this very special event on September 29 is:

> Jon McGregor, author of This Isn’t the Sort of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You and the IMPAC Dublin Literature Award-winning Even the Dogs, and editor of the literary journal The Letters Page. His new novel Reservoir 13 will be published by 4th Estate in Spring 2017.

> Zoe Lambert, author of The War Tour, founder of cult Manchester literature night Verberate, and member of the board of the Northwest Short Story Network. She is an active campaigner for the rights of asylum seekers and her her fiction has appeared in Lamport Court, Bracket and The Independent on Sunday.

Rachel Trezise, author of the International Dylan Thomas Prize-winning short story collection Fresh Apples, and In And Out Of The Goldfish Bowl. Her debut full length play Tonypandemonium was staged by National Theatre Wales in 2013 and published in Bloomsbury’s Contemporary Welsh Plays in 2015.

Head LandHead Land features writers nominated for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. The stories explore the domestic and the fantastic, the past and the present in writing that is sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, but always brilliant.

Pioneered by Edge Hill to spotlight excellence in the short story form, the Prize attracts established writers competing alongside relative newcomers, showcasing fresh, compelling work from the finest single-author collections published in the UK and Ireland.

We are proud to be bringing this launch the the unique and thrilling Portico Library. Tickets are on sale now. There will be a cash bar at the event.

Thursday 29 September 2016 7pm at The Portico Library, Mosley Street, Manchester. Join our Facebook event hereDirect ticket link here.

Bad Language in August: Anna Chilvers


We’re delighted to welcome Not The Booker longlistee ANNA CHILVERS to Bad Language this August.

Anna Chilvers is a writer, a runner, a long distance walker, a mother, a teacher and a reader. Her first novel, FALLING THROUGH CLOUDS, was published by Bluemoose in 2010. She has also published a collection of short stories, LEGGING IT (Pennine Prospects, 2012) and her play, THE ROOM was performed in the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival 2013. She has written another novel, TAINTED LOVE and is currently working on a collection of poetry as well as beginning novel number three. She teaches writing for the WEA and works with other groups of young writers and adults.

Anna was Writer in Residence for the Watershed Landscape project and worked on the Stanza Stones project with Simon Armitage, as well as with iMove on Wordstones and Words and Walking. She is particularly interested in the links between writing, walking and the landscape. She is a member of the Elmet Trust and organises the Ted Hughes Festival, The Elmet Poetry Prize and the Ted Hughes Young Poets Award. Anna has worked extensively with bookgroups and has run the 646 Book Club for ten years.

We have ten open mic spaces available – those requests are already fast coming in. Details here.

Wednesday 31 August 2016 7.30pm at The Castle pub, Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission. 

Bad Language in July: Wyl Menmuir


Open mic spots are now available for Bad Language in July.


This month’s Bad Language is on July 27 at The Castle in Manchester

Our headliner is Salt Publishing’s WYL MENMUIR. He’s a Stockport lad living in Cornwall and his debut novel is The Many. He’s a freelance editor and literacy consultant, and when he’s not writing, you’ll find him out on the water or up on the cliffs – anywhere there’s a view of the sea.

“Ominous, subtle and beautiful – an intensely resonant trawling of suffering’s deep currents.” — Michael Marshall Smith on The Many

We have ten 4-minute open mic places, the performers of which are David Scott, Kate Feld, Karl Lagen, Marli Roode, Jimbo Agogo, Lily Beck, Omar Malas, Phil Olsen, Alice Spencer & Lucie Apampa.

Wednesday 27 July 2016 7.30pm at The Castle pub, Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission. 

Join our Facebook event here

Bad Language in June: Richard Barrett

Our headliner for Bad Language on June 29th at The Castle is RICHARD BARRETT. 

Richard Barrett’s poetry collections include A Personal History of ApathyEndless / Nameless with Rachel Sills, and HUGZ. His new collection LOVE LIFE! is forthcoming on Stranger Press. He’s currently working on The Saragossa Manuscript, which takes in the 1990s West Yorkshire rave scene, and Super Normal, described as “a non-fiction prose account of Richard’s contribution to the history of the world during the years 2013 to 2015”.

Locals may know Richard best as a mainstay of Manchester poetry night The Other Room. And when he’s not being experimental with poetry, he spends time following celebrity Twitter feuds.
Our open mic line-up is:

Ava MacPherson, Cátia Soeiro, Christopher Nosnibor, Daniel Boylan, Daniel O’Sullivan, Fielding Ronshaugen, Leonie Ferrer, Maria Alejandra, Rob Miur, Stan Benes.

Wednesday 29 June 2016 7.30pm at The Castle pub, Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission. Click here for the Facebook event.

Bad Language in May: Iain Maloney

We’re delighted to welcome Iain Maloney back to the Bad Language stage for the first time on his own.
Iain Maloney is the author of three novels – The Waves Burn Bright, Silma Hill and First Time Solo – and editor of In The Empty Places, a collection of short stories and art. In 2013 he was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and in 2014 he was shortlisted for the Guardian Not The Booker prize.

He is also a freelance editor and journalist, sits on the editorial board of Eastlit Magazine and is Reviews Editor of Shoreline of Infinity.

He was born and raised in Aberdeen, Scotland and he currently lives in Japan. He studied English at the University of Aberdeen and graduated from the University of Glasgow’s Creative Writing Masters in 2004.

Our open mic for this month features:

Trevor Moss
Joe Clarke
Helen Clare
George Irwell
Luca Larpi
Jamie Ryder
Jahmel COleman
Tara Misu
Zoe Bangs
Clare Archibald

Bad Language in April: Lara Williams

Lara Williams

We are excited to welcome one of Manchester’s finest to our stage as her debut collection launches… alongside, of course, our open mic stars (scroll down for names).

Lara Williams’ ‘Treats’ is released on Freight Books and Lara will be reading from it at our April event.
Lara Williams is a writer based in Manchester. She has had short fiction published by McSweeney’s, Litro and various other publications and websites, and her journalism and non-fiction has appeared in the Guardian, NME and the Manchester Evening News.

Praise for Treats:
‘Lara Williams is one to watch. Five stars.’ The List
‘Something Katherine Mansfield might have written, if she lived in a world with iPhones and Topshop.’ Huffington Post
The Skinny’s literary discovery of 2016 so far, it may well remain so by year’s end.’

Open mic stars this month are: Alistair Norman, David Scott, Jamie Ryder, Jasmine Chatfield, Jim Coyle,Naomi Sumner, Sam Illingworth, Sarah-Clare Conlon, Sean Stapleton, Tarsa Misu.

This month, Bad Language will be a solo endeavour as Fat Roland guides the ship all night, alone, bobbing on choppy waters.