Bad Language at Gullivers: January 2018


Bad Language is back with our first open mic of 2018.

What have we been up to? Joe has been hanging around in fancy hotels and making friends with cats in train stations. Fats has been rediscovering eggs and playing card games in a crown court waiting room.

We’re going to get up to loads in 2018 (including this event with Ralph Dartford) but let’s start with a good old-fashioned word-wrangling stage-storming open mic, shall we? Come and join in the fun on the last day of January at our brilliant home of Gullivers. Entry is totally free.

Oh and also, Fat Roland will be showing off bits of his latest work as he prepares for his new show at The Lowry, Seven Inch.

Open mic announced shortly.

Wednesday 31 January 2018, 7.30pm at Gullivers (opposite The Castle), Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission. Venue details here. Click here to join the Facebook event.

FRBL Jan 2018


Ralph Dartford: Recovery Songs

Ralph Dartford Recovery Songs poster

Bad Language presents Recovery Songs by Ralph Dartford, directed by Samuel James Humphrey.

Recovery Songs is a brand new spoken word story about addiction, the causes of addiction, and the recovery from its destructive forces.

It’s written and performed by A Firm of Poets founder – and previous Bad Language headliner – Ralph Dartford, from his own true experience of addiction, falling down and getting back up again. An unflinching, sometimes funny confessional that might change your mind about everything you thought you knew about addiction.

‘Recovery Songs is moving, compelling and brave. I was gripped by Ralph Dartford’s performance.’ IMove Arts

‘I remember awkwardly laughing at the beginning of Recovery Songs’, expecting Ralph to jump into comedy through his first piece. Immediately, I realised my mistake. An honest take on his experiences with addiction, it made me sit up and listen. Ralph was captivating and straightforward, stepping from darkness, to hope, to troubled relationships, to love effortlessly. I have no idea how long he performed for, but I couldn’t stop listening.’ Up Yours, Leeds

‘I loved it! Ralph is an excellent and honest storyteller. Go and see him yourself, and make your own judgement.’ Dominic Monaco – Audience member.

Ralph Dartford studied poetry at Birkbeck College, London under the tutelage of Michael Donaghy. His work has appeared in the Guardian, Pulp Faction, Stirring (US), WordLife and London Territories amongst many other publications. His first volume of poetry, ‘Cigarettes, Beer and Love’ received wide acclaim, and his second, ‘Dirty Needle Rain’ will hopefully see the light of day in 2019. Recovery Songs is funded by the Arts Council of England.

Tuesday 27 March 2018, 7.30pm at The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester. Admission: Pay What You Want. Venue details here. Facebook event here.

Get Lit! It’s Christmas!

Three of Manchester’s greatest live lit nights – Bad Language, First Draft and The Real Story – come together to bring you a night of live spoken word, music, comedy and festive vibes under the fairy lights at The Castle Hotel. Basically, a literary version of a turducken.

We’ll also be raising money for one of the city’s charities pay-what-you-wish style. Full lineup to be announced, in the meantime save the date!

Wednesday 20 December 2017, 7.30pm at The Castle, Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission. Venue details here. Join the Facebook event here.

Bad Language at Gullivers: November 2017

Update: Unfortunately, Helen Mort will no longer be appearing tonight due to illness. However, the show will go on – we’ll have more open mic stars AND more of Joe and Fats compering in their own, er, unique styles!

We are delighted to bring Helen Mort, one of our very favourite poets to Bad Language this month for our last open mic event of the year. Scroll down for this month’s open mic list.

Helen Mort is a lecturer in the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has published two poetry collections with Chatto & Windus, ‘Division Street’ (2013) and ‘No Map Could Show Them’ (2016). Her first novel and short story collection are forthcoming and she recently edited ‘One For The Road: An Anthology of Pubs and Poetry’ with Stuart Maconie. In 2017, she won the Mslexia prize with her poem ‘Vanishing Point’.

Our OPEN MIC STARS this month will be: Adam Evans, Amy Kinsman, Hilary Robinson, Karl Lagen, Lauren Garland, Roger Baker, Ros Ballinger, The Guerrilla Fablist, Tom Rowe, Will Baldwin-Pask – every one of you is ALREADY BRILLIANT.

Wednesday 29 November 2017, 7.30pm at Gullivers (opposite The Castle), Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission. Venue details here. Join the Facebook event here.

Bad Language at Gullivers: Stephen McGeagh

Bad Language in October promises to be a HORROR show as Stephen McGeagh joins us as headliner.

Stephen is a rare return headliner because his book Habit – featured at Bad Language nearly four years ago – is now a film currently touring UK film festivals. Come along, we’ll show you the trailer! He’s well established on the Manchester scene: he studied English at MMU before returning as a postgraduate to their Writing School and successfully completing his MA Creative Writing in 2011.

Habit (Salt, 2012) is his first novel. As well as working on the screenplay adaptation for Habit (Not A Number, 2017), Stephen is a musician and lyricist with the band Colibra.

If you haven’t seen us in our new home at Gullivers, do come and check out our open mic. It comprises ten readers of fiction or poetry – this month, most of our readers are brand new to the Bad Language stage.

Our open mic names this month are: Bryce Main, Caroline England, Cat Blindell, Cheryl Pearson, Jennifer Lee Tsai, Ian Peek, Karl Lagen, Nicky Grant, Rosie Cullen, Tom Rowe. 

Wednesday 25 October 2017, 7.30pm at Gullivers (opposite The Castle), Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission. Venue details here. Join the Facebook event here.

Bad Language at Gullivers: Kim Moore

Kim Moore

We’re starting to get comfy in our new home as we get ready for our third monthly event at Gullivers and we’re excited to welcome KIM MOORE as our headliner.

Kim Moore’s first full length collection The Art of Falling was published by Seren in 2015 and a poem from the collection was shortlisted for the Forward Prize. Her pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a winner in the 2011 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and went on to be shortlisted for a Michael Marks Award. She won a Northern Writers Award in 2014 and an Eric Gregory Award in 2010.

Joining Kim, our a collection of new and familiar faces to the Bad Language stage: Matthew Appleby, Lindy Newns, Addae G, Gemma Reed, Kofi Gyamfi, Michelle Green, Izzie Major, Cliff Chen, Charlotte Alice, Will Stevenson

Wednesday 27 September 2017, 7.30pm at Gullivers (opposite The Castle), Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission. Venue details here. Join the Facebook event here.

Bad Language at Gullivers: Ian Humphreys


Bad Language is back on August 30th at our new regular venue Gullivers with headliner Ian Humphreys and our heroic open mic stars.

Ian Humphreys has been shortlisted three times for the Bridport Prize and has won the Hamish Canham Prize and the PENfro Poetry Competition. Ian is making waves as a fellow of the third incarnation of The Complete Works, a national mentoring scheme supporting exceptional black and Asian poets. The fruits of this fellowship will be featured in Bloodaxe’s much-anticipated poetry anthology Ten: Poets of the New Generation. He’s is a graduate of Manchester Writing School and has been published in Ambit, The Rialto and Butcher’s Dog – look out for Ian in the forthcoming Magma 69: The Deaf Issue.

We enjoyed a packed-out debut monthly event at Gullivers in July following our move from our previous long-term home at The Castle. Don’t miss this month’s return to our brilliant new space.

Our open mic list this month is: Barbara Robinson, Ceridwen McCarthy, Dave Smith, Gemma Reed, Jeff Potts, Jo Howard, Kofi Gyamfi, Natalie Burdett, Nika Cobbett, Stef Lonsdale.

Wednesday 30 August 2017, 7.30pm at Gullivers (opposite The Castle), Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission. Join the Facebook event here. Venue details here.