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School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Manchester Literature Festival announces The University of Manchester as its official Higher Education Partner.

31 May 2017

Manchester Literature Festival is delighted to announce that its already strong relationship with The University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing has been recognised by a new sponsorship partnership.

Anne Enright at Manchester Literature Festival 2016
Anne Enright at Manchester Literature Festival 2016

This association with one of the world's most prestigious and popular universities will raise the Festival’s profile on the international stage, helping to attract new investors. The Festival will also have access to iconic university owned buildings such as The Whitworth Art Gallery, The Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama and Manchester Museum, as well as being able to draw on the knowledge and expertise of talented staff and students across many disciplines. 

Now in its 12th year, Manchester Literature Festival has built on its growing success in expanding audiences and creating new partnerships across the national and international literary world. The 2016 Festival featured 85 events and attracted an audience of 14,000. 

2017 marks ten years of the Centre for New Writing, based within the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at The University of Manchester. Over the course of the last decade, Manchester Literature Festival has enjoyed a fruitful affiliation with the Centre for New Writing co-programming events that have featured some of the greatest literary stars. 

Over the past 12 years Manchester Literature Festival has featured many of the biggest names in literary fiction and spoken word from across the globe, including Martin Amis, Simon Armitage, Margaret Atwood, Kate Atkinson, Malorie Blackman, William Boyd, Roddy Doyle, Carol Ann Duffy, Anne Enright, Elaine Feinstein, Helen Fielding, Neil Gaiman, Jorie Graham, Sophie Hannah, Seamus Heaney, Alan Hollinghurst, Howard Jacobson, Marlon James, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Bill Manhire, David Mitchell, Walter Mosley, Paul Muldoon, Sharon Olds, Jo Nesbo, Patrick Ness, Audrey Niffenegger, Rebecca Perry, Michael Rosen, Jonathan Safran Foer, Zadie Smith, Kate Tempest, Colm Tóibín , Rose Tremain, Sarah Waters, Fay Weldon, Jeanette Winterson and Xinran. 

It now has a successful programme of events outside the annual October festival with writers attracted to the city by an enthusiastic and growing literary audience.  The next Manchester Literature Festival event is with award-winning Indian author Arundhati Roy on Friday 9June to launch her long-awaited second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Patrons of Manchester Literature Festival are Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, writer and Scottish Makar Jackie Kay, broadcaster and anchor of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Dame Jenni Murray, award-winning journalist and Observer critic Rachel Cooke, broadcaster and journalist Miranda Sawyer, highly-esteemed poet and publisher Michael Schmidt, novelist and new University of Manchester creative writing lecturer Kamila Shamsie, and author, editor and broadcaster Erica Wagner.

To mark this announcement, Manchester Literature Festival are pleased to reveal a number of high profile writer events for this year’s Festival that will go on sale for MLF Members on 31 May and for general sale on 7 June. 

Britain’s leading human rights campaigner, Shami Chakrabarti was the Director of Liberty from 2003 to 2016. Her forthcoming book, On Women, is a powerful examination of gender injustice and the way it impacts health, education, wealth, representation and opportunity everywhere.  She will be in conversation with Eleanor Marx biographer Rachel Holmes on22 October 2017. 

Professor of Creative Writing Jeanette Winterson will be in conversation with writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit on 31 October at the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama. Rebecca has published the acclaimed nonfiction books Wanderlust, A Field Guide to Getting Lost and Hope in the Dark.

An Evening with Armistead Maupin will take place on 25 October. Maupin is an American author of nine novels, including the six-volume Tales of the City. 

Professor Alessandro Scheisaro, Head of School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at The University of Manchester said:
"The University of Manchester is committed to the cultural life of a great city and we are delighted now to formalise our longstanding relationship with one of this city's major arts initiatives, the Manchester Literature Festival. The School of Arts, Languages and Cultures is an international leader in its field and looks forward to working with the Festival as it develops its international ambitions further and draws on our research strengths." 

Cathy Bolton and Sarah-Jane Roberts, Co-Directors of Manchester Literature Festival said: “We are delighted to welcome The University of Manchester as our official Higher Education Partner. Over the past decade we have formed a strong relationship with the University’s Centre for New Writing, and look forward to working closer with the Centre’s Co-directors John McAuliffe and Kaye Mitchell, Professor of Creative Writing Jeanette Winterson, and various lecturers and alumni. Their passion for imaginative writing and live literature is very much in alignment with our own at Manchester Literature Festival. Alongside bringing leading international authors to Manchester, we look forward to showcasing more emerging talent and developing a year round programme of activity that will provide opportunities for students and the people of Manchester to encounter and learn from the most inspirational writers and thinkers of the day.” 

Kaye Mitchell and John McAuliffe, Co-Directors of the Centre for New Writing at The University of Manchester said:
“We love working with Manchester Literature Festival and the authors they bring to our city.
In the ten years of the Centre for New Writing, our co-programmed events with Manchester Literature Festival give our students first-hand experience of publishing; the festival engages our staff, as well as our students, with new work and it offers us opportunities to explore new ideas and new practices.”

Further information:

Booking tickets

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