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.

Bad Language at Gullivers: Jackie Hagan

JACKIE HAGAN is a working class, cosmic scally with a queer heart and a jumble soul. Her spoken word show Some People Have Too Many Legs won a Saboteur Award – they also gave a nod to her well-being poetry project Seymour Poets. She’s got a new show Jumble Soul at the Contact in the autumn and expect a new play too called Cosmic Scallies.

Jackie is everything that poetry should be,” says Clare Shaw, poet. “Uncompromisingly perceptive, and at the same, deeply compassionate.”

We are proud to welcome Jackie as our first headliner at our new home of Gullivers.

Open mic: Ciaran O’Brien, Conor Aylward, David Smith, Essjay, John G Hall, Kate Morrison, Kofi Gyamfi, Lindy Newns, Louisa Riches, Mor Cohen.

Wednesday 26 July 2017, 7.30pm at Gullivers (opposite The Castle), Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission. Join the Facebook event here. Venue details here.

every thing every time: Data Poetry Workshop


We are teaming up with the artist Naho Matsuda for a workshop offering an insight into the unusual methods Naho undertook to create live poetry for the art project every thing every time.

The poetry for every thing every time is created by a computer programme that interacts in real-time with information created and collected by CityVerve from the city of Manchester. The artist Naho Matsuda created this programme, giving it a set of rules for shaping and presenting each line of the never ending and ever changing poem. Participants of the workshop will produce poetry utilising similar techniques to Naho, whilst creating unique pieces of literature.

Click here for full workshop details, including what you need to bring – and to book your free place.

Saturday 8 July 2017, 2pm – 5pm at Hulme Community Garden Centre, Old Birley St, Manchester. Free – booking required.

Bad Language Says Goodbye To The Castle


On Wednesday 28 June, we hold our last regular event at The Castle. Come and celebrate literature, laughter and lashings of booze with a special Bad Language featuring guest readers that have helped make The Castle our home over the past six and a half years.

Bad Language began in November 2010 with a couple of tentative discussion events followed by an anthology launch and a literary pub quiz. The first monthly Bad Language event at The Castle was on 26 January 2011.

Headliners have been numerous, from Anneliese Mackintosh to Wyl Menmuir, and we have branched out to events at the Royal Exchange, Manchester Literature Festival, Kendal Calling and, coming soon, Manchester International Festival. At the heart of Bad Language has been our open mic, and that won’t change when we move from The Castle.

This month, we put our open mic on hold as we invite some of our favourite readers to see off The Castle in style. Bring balloons, bring cake, bring a little pedalo for Joe. Then on 26 July 2017, we relaunch Bad Language at Gullivers, with the next open mic spots available from 10 July.

Come and say goodbye to an amazing venue space – and thanks to The Castle staff for oiling the wheels of live literature for so many years.

Wednesday 28 June 2017, 7.30pm at The Castle pub, Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission.

MIF: We Need to Talk About Power

Bad Language and FutureEverything, the award-winning lab for digital culture, join forces to ask ‘What Can We Demand of the Digital Age?’

We Need To Talk About Power is a special literature event for Manchester International Festival will explore the relationship between power and digital culture at a time when we need to reinvent the role of narrative to suit our rapidly evolving, technologically mediated society. With contributions from Andrew O’Hagan, the acclaimed author and journalist, and Deanna Rodger, a leading spoken-word artist and the curator of Come Rhyme With Me.

The event is part of We Need To Talk About Power, which also features double-Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy talking about HOME1947 and the partition of British India, and Turner Prize nominee Lubaina Himid, who will give an illustrated talk on art, power and black history.

To see the other Interdependence sessions of provocative MIF conversation, click here.

Saturday 1st July 2017, 10.30am at Halle St Peter’s Blossom Street, Manchester. Tickets £5 – buy now.

An Evening with MMU Writers – June 13th


We are excited to be teaming up with new research collective Feminsims in Public for a special event showcasing past and present MMU Writers – full details are below.

Researcher collective Feminisms in Public has teamed up with multi award-winning literature organisation Bad Language to present An Evening with MMU Writers, an event that takes an alternative look at writing talent from Manchester Metropolitan University.

The writers on the evening’s line-up include winners of the Bridport Prize, Not the Booker Prize and a British Fantasy Award, all of whom will read pieces that creatively respond to the theme of gender and sexuality. A unique insight into the creative work taking place as part of and alongside world-leading research, An Evening with MMU Writers will take place at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on 13 June. Tickets are free, and can be booked via Eventbrite.

Continue reading

Bad Language with Gregory Norminton

Our headliner on 31 May 2017 is author Gregory Norminton. Gregory has had several novels out on Sceptre, the imprint which is also home to Melvyn Bragg and David Mitchell, and has a fifth novel, The Devil’s Highway, coming out next year. His stories have appeared on BBC Radio 4 and he is no stranger to BBC Radio 3’s The Verb. When he’s not being broadcast to the world, he lectures in creative writing at MMU. Tonight, we celebrate the follow-up to his 2013 short-story collection Thumbnails: The Ghost Who Bled (Comma Press) contains short fiction that spans centuries and continents, from deeply insecure time travellers to medieval mystics and futuristic body modification cults,

As ever, there are ten open mic spots on offer. Read the detail here, then email us on

“[The Ghost Who Bled] is a sublime collection of short stories by a writer whose breath-taking flexibility of style gives life to an array of different voices… Unfailingly beautiful, deceptively simple and lyrically powerful.” The Irish Times

“There is a yesteryear quality to much of Gregory Norminton’s writing, at least in these stories, several of which look backward in style to classics of the genre.” Asian Review Of Books

Wednesday 31 May 2017, 7.30pm at The Castle pub, Oldham Street, Manchester. Free admission. Join the Facebook event here.

Bad Language at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Manchester After Hours - Bad Language at Elizabeth Gaskell's House

Multi award-winning literature organisers Bad Language present an immersive evening of storytelling in the beautifully-restored surrounds of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House.

The city’s finest writers and live performers will read specially-commissioned pieces responding to the living history of the house of Elizabeth Gaskell, author of Mary Barton and North And South, in a promenade style performance.

This is part of the 2017 Manchester After Hours festival. Performances from 6.30pm. No booking necessary.

Thursday 18 May 2017, 6.30pm at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, Plymouth Grove, Manchester. Free admission. Join the Facebook event here.