Jane Yeh, Hannah Lowe and Ian Humphreys with music from Gavin Barras, 25 February 2017

Our next event will feature poets Jane Yeh, Hannah Lowe and Ian Humphreys with music from Gavin Barras on double bass accompanied by Jeff Guntrun on sax, Jim Faulkner on guitar and Dave Walsh on drums. The venue is the Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER, time 2.30-4.00

This is a free event open to all and there’s no need to book.

Jane Yeh

Photo credit: StateShots London

Photo credit: StateShots London

 

Jane Yeh is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Open University. Her first collection of poems, Marabou, was shortlisted for the Whitbread, Forward, and Aldeburgh poetry prizes. She was named a Next Generation poet by the Poetry Book Society for her second collection, The Ninjas, which was published by Carcanet in 2012. She lives in London.

Hannah Lowe

 Hannah Lowe’s first poetry collection Chick won the Michael Murphy Memorial Award for Best First Collection and was short-listed for the Forward, Aldeburgh and Seamus Heaney Best First Collection Prizes. In September 2014, she was named as one of 20 Next Generation poets. She has also published three chapbooks, and a memoir Long Time No See. Her latest poetry collection is Chan.

Ian Humphreys

photo_15After moving to West Yorkshire from London, Ian Humphreys began writing poetry and prose in 2013. His work has featured in anthologies and magazines including Poetry News, Ambit and The Rialto. He won the 2016 Hamish Canham Prize and the PENfro Open Poetry Competition in 2013. His fiction has been shortlisted three times for the Bridport Prize. Ian holds an MA in Creative Writing from MMU and is a fellow of the Complete Works III, which promotes diversity and quality in British poetry. A portfolio of his poems will be published in a Bloodaxe anthology in late 2017.

Gavin Barras

Gavin is a professional double bass and electric bass player, performing regularly throughout the UK and abroad in a variety of performing and recording projects.

In March 2017 Gavin will release his solo album  The Family Tree on  ASC Records featuring Jeff Guntrun on tenor saxophone, Jim Faulkner on guitar and Dave Walsh on drums. This new album features the double bass Gavin’s father built for him over a 15 year period. It is a fantastic instrument which sounds even better than it looks! On two short interlude tracks Gavin plays a steel string acoustic guitar also built by his father back in 1967. Recorded at 80 Hertz Studios in Manchester, ‘The Family Tree’ contains ten original compositions by Gavin influenced by the themes of fatherhood, friendship and home.

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Andrew McMillan Workshop 25 February 2017

Our next workshop will be led by Andrew McMillan. It will take place on Saturday 25 February 2017 at 10.30-12.30 at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. The cost is £20. Please contact davidborrott@btinternet.com who will reserve a place for you and advise how to pay.

Andrew McMillan

Photo credit: Urszula Soltys

Photo credit: Urszula Soltys

Andrew McMillan was born in South Yorkshire in 1988; his debut collection physical was the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award. The collection also won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize,  a Somerset Maugham Award (2016), an Eric Gregory Award (2016) and a Northern Writers’ award (2014). It was shortlisted the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Costa Poetry Award,  The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2016, the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Roehampton Poetry Prize and the Polari First Book Prize. It was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Autumn 2015. He currently lectures in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University and lives in Manchester.

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Competition 2017

We are pleased to launch our fifth Poets and Players competition. The judge this year is Michael Symmons Roberts and the closing date is Monday 27 February 2017. Follow the link for full details: P&P Competition 2017

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Ian Duhig, Fiona Benson and Becky Cherriman with music from Chris Davies, Katy-Anne Bellis and Henry Botham, 21 January 2017

Our next event will feature poets Ian Duhig, Fiona Benson and Becky Cherriman with music from Chris Davies, Katy-Anne Bellis and Henry Botham. The venue is the Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER, time 2.30-4.00.

This is a free event open to all and there’s no need to book.

Ian Duhig

Photo credit Gerry Cambridge

Photo credit Gerry Cambridge

Former homelessness worker Ian Duhig’s seventh book ‘The Blind Roadmaker’ is a PBS Spring Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2016 Roehampton Prize, the Forward Best Collection Prize and the TS Eliot Prize.  A Cholmondelely Award recipient and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Duhig has been a joint winner of a Shirley Jackson Award, a winner of the Forward Best Poem Prize and twice winner of the National Poetry Competition.

Fiona Benson

gfr_0775-21Fiona Benson lives in rural Devon with her husband James Meredith and their daughters, Isla and Rose. She was educated at Trinity College, Oxford and then St Andrews University, where she completed the MLitt in Creative Writing and a PhD on Ophelia as a dramatic type in early modern drama.  She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2006, and was a participant in the Faber New Poets programme in 2009 with the pamphlet Faber New Poets 1. Her first full-length collection Bright Travellers (Jonathan Cape, 2014), won the Seamus Heaney Prize for first collection, was a co-winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize, amongst others.

Becky Cherriman

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Becky Cherriman is a writer, workshop leader and performer based in Leeds. Published by Mslexia, New Walk, Envoi, Mother’s Milk, Bloodaxe, Well Versed and in Poets For Corbyn, she was resident poet for Morley Literature Festival in 2013 and lead artist for Altofts Festival In A Day 2016. Becky is a co-writer and performer of Haunt, a site-specific theatre commission for Imove, a project about homelessness.  She is currently working on her one woman show, Corseted. Her first poetry pamphlet Echolocation and first collection Empires of Clay were published in 2016 by Mother’s Milk and Cinnamon Press respectively. http://www.beckycherriman.com

With music from Chris Davies, Katy-Anne Bellis and Henry Botham

Chris Davies

chris-davisChris is a Musician, Composer, Performer, Buddhist, Hairdresser and Oudist with over thirty years experience working in the Arts, mainly with visual theatre and dance. His current projects are preparing to tour performing live accompaniment for the first full length animated film ever made ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’, touring in 2017 with a play called ‘Spring Reign’ about the current situation in Aleppo, Syria, Saxophonist/raver with Mr Wilson’s Second Liners who play early 90’s dance classics in the style of a New Orleans Brass Band, a few haircuts, transforming the mind through Buddhist study and practice, and sound technician for Poets and Players. For more information please look here ~ http://www.musichris.co.uk

Katy-Anne Bellis

15192698_10154152724747362_1577276817899373247_nKaty-Anne Bellis is a performer, puppeteer, maker and producer. She is co-founder of Headstrung a company based in Liverpool dedicated to sillyness and puppet based mayhem.  They have created puppet cabaret and their latest show the Cryptid Petting zoo continues to tour to Venues and festivals across the country. Katy-Anne is the founding member of all female performance group Caustic Widows and was recently commissioned to develop a street theatre show inside a giant golden birdcage which toured to various festivals throughout the UK. She has been working as a puppeteer with the lantern company since 2007 and has worked nationally and internationally as a street theatre artist, performer and puppeteer. Credits include “Imaginary Friends” and “Pig” (Whalley Range All Stars), “Cosmic Trigger” (Daisy Campbell) and “Pinocchio” (Proper Job)

13934839_10154287389966605_4047372440408056270_nHenry Botham

Henry Botham is a professional pianist based in  Manchester, UK.  He specialises in Harlem Stride Piano, New Orleans music and playing vintage and  analogue keyboards, organs and electric pianos.

When he graduated from Salford University with a first class degree in music he had already been working for several years with his first band the HB3, a jazz trio that performed gigs around the Manchester jazz circuit. At around this time he also toured and recorded with RSL, where he developed his love of vintage and analogue instruments that led to the formation of No Good Beatniks, an originals project with a stellar line up of UK jazz talent.

In an unusual departure from the work he had been doing Henry then turned his focus on learning 1920’s Harlem Stride piano by studying the great pianists Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith, Luckey Roberts and Dick Wellstood. He found that there weren’t many gigs going around for stride pianists in modern day Manchester so he formed 52 Skidoo. They have since gone on to become one of the leading 1920/30’s bands in the UK and beyond.

Having developed a taste for vintage piano and ‘old time music’ he discovered New Orleans piano, which draws from a wide range of influences including Blues, Jazz, Funk, R&B, Rhumba, Ragtime and even Classical music and Rock, all epitomized by the recognised master of the genre, James Booker. Through studying his recordings, as well as those by Dr John, Professor Longhair and Jelly Roll Morton, plus visiting New Orleans to meet and study with Tom McDermott, Josh Paxton and Jon Cleary, Henry has emerged with an intricate knowledge of this little known approach to piano. He puts this to good use as pianist for New Orleans R&B band The Nightcreatures.

As well as regularly playing with all three projects he runs a New Orleans jam at Matt and Phred’s, Manchester (3rd Monday of the month), plays trombone in Mr Wilsons Second Liners and is a keen flautist.

Henry performs solo piano (a mix of everything described above) and enjoys accompanying singers and soloists whenever he can. He has done session work in a wide variety of situations and continues to do so. He also runs his own private teaching practice.

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Ian Duhig Poetry Workshop: 21 January 2017, 10.30-12.30 at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL

We are running a workshop on Saturday 21 January 2017 from 10.30-12.30 with Ian Duhig at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. The fee for the workshop is £20. The workshop will be followed by a free reading on the afternoon of the same day with Ian and Fiona Benson. If you would like to book a place on the workshop please email davidborrott@btinternet.com

Ian Duhig

Photo credit Gerry Cambridge

Photo credit Gerry Cambridge

Former homelessness worker Ian Duhig’s seventh book ‘The Blind Roadmaker’ is a PBS Spring Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2016 Roehampton Prize, the Forward Best Collection Prize and the TS Eliot Prize.  A Cholmondelely Award recipient and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Duhig has been a joint winner of a Shirley Jackson Award, a winner of the Forward Best Poem Prize and twice winner of the National Poetry Competition.

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Ian McMillan and Mona Arshi with music from Blind Monk Trio on Tuesday 18 October 2016, 7-00-8.30

This is our annual collaborative event with the Manchester Literature Festival. The event takes place Tuesday evening 7.00pm on 18 October 2016 at:

Ian McMillan

Ian McMillan is among the UK’s most popular living poets. His books of poems, stories, and non-fiction have drawn audiences for almost forty years. Born in Barnsley in 1956, Ian became a freelance writer, performer and broadcaster in 1981. He worked for years with The Circus of Poets performance poetry group and Versewagon, the world’s first mobile writing workshop, and then with Martyn Wiley as Yakety Yak. Since then he has worked in schools, theatres, arts centres, fields and front rooms. He is the presenter of BBC Radio 3’s weekly poetry programme The Verb and has written comedy for radio and plays for the stage, and has worked extensively for BBC radio and television. He writes weekly columns for The Yorkshire Post and The Barnsley Chronicle. He is an honorary doctor of Sheffield Hallam University, North Staffs Polytechnic, University Centre Barnsley & Huddersfield University and has been a Visiting Professor at Bolton University. Ian has been the poet-in-residence for English National Opera, The Academy of Urbanism, Humberside Police and Barnsley FC. His many books of verse include The Changing Problem (Carcanet, 1980), Dad, the Donkey’s On Fire (Carcanet, 1994), Perfect Catch (Carcanet, 2000), Talking Myself Home (John Murray, 2008), and Jazz Peas (smith|doorstop, 2014). He lives in Barnsley.

Mona Arshi

Mona Arshi was born in West London where she still lives.monaBloodaxephoto
She worked as a Human rights lawyer for a decade before she received a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and won the inaugural Magma Poetry competition in 2011.Mona was a prize winner in the 2013 Troubadour international competition and joint winner of the Manchester Creative writing poetry prize in 2014. Her debut collection  ‘Small Hands’ was published by Pavilion Poetry, Part of Liverpool University Press. ‘Small Hands’ won the  Forward Prize for best first collection in 2015.

 

Blind Monk Trio

Blind Monk Trio have caused quite a stir over the past couple of years in the Northern jazz scene, putting a fresh spin on the sax/bass/drums trio format.

With influences from the whole history of the genre (Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, FLY) blended with alternative rock beats and eastern folk, Blind Monk Trio present quirky, original compositions along with some surprising arrangements of classic standards.

Difficult to categorise, they are probably best summed up by Barney Stevenson (Director of Marsden Jazz Festival); “Energetic, original and quirky – think John Coltrane meets Led Zeppelin.” Blink Monk Trio are Bob Whittaker on tenor saxophone, Hugo Harrison on double bass and Johnny Hunter on drums.

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Pascale Petit and Daniel Sluman with music from Coco Inman 24 September 2016

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This event will begin earlier than usual at 1.30-3.00 and will be in the South Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery (due to building work being carried out in the Grand Hall). Apologies for any inconvenience.

Pascale Petit

Photo credit: Derek Adams

Photo credit: Derek Adams

Pascale Petit’s sixth collection Fauverie was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize and
won the Manchester Poetry Prize. Her fifth collection What the Water Gave Me:
Poems after Frida Kahlo was shortlisted for both the T S Eliot Prize and Wales Book
of the Year, and was a Book of the Year in the Observer. Four of her collections were
shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize and chosen as Books of the Year in the Times
Literary Supplement, Independent and Observer. She is the recipient of a
Cholmondeley Award. Bloodaxe will publish her seventh book Mama Amazonica in
2017.

Daniel Sluman

Author Photo 2014Daniel Sluman is a poet and disability rights activist. He co-edited the award-winning disability anthology FTW: Poets against Atos, and was named one of Huffington Post’s Top 5 British Poets to Watch in 2015. His second collection the terrible was published by Nine Arches Press last year.

Coco Inman

Coco Inman is a violinist in her final year at Chetham’s School of Music. She has often appeared as a soloist including with the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra in Shostokovich’s Violin Concerto. She is also a member of the Saul Quartet whose recent engagements include an appearance at King’s Place in London.

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