Manchester Literature Festival

Friday 7 October 2022 - Sunday 23 October 2022

City Centre,

Cost: from £6 to £40

Every day

A celebration of the best culture, fiction and poetry from around the world.


Manchester Literature Festival (MLF) presents an exciting line-up of incredible writers, world class actors, broadcasters and comedians, dynamic poets, exclusive pairings and emerging talent, taking place at vibrant venues across the city.


Join leading voices in contemporary culture to hear insights into their work, lives and creativity. Edward Enninful, the first Black editor-in-chief at British Vogue is in town to talk about his new memoir A Visible Man and the transformative effect he has had on the fashion world with award-winning author and fellow game-changer Bernardine Evaristo. The much-loved British actor and writer Sheila Hancock discusses her extraordinary career, her new memoir Old Rage, and her commitment to championing working class creatives.  

Award-winning comedian, screenwriter and actor Rob Delaney (Catastrophe) discusses grief, loss, fatherhood, comedy and love. Actors Ardal O’Hanlon and Paterson Joseph share their experience of writing, creating and performing different characters. Novelist Kit de Waal documents what it was like for her and her siblings growing up in 1970s Birmingham. Award-winning BBC broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake reveals his secrets on how we can become better conversationalists, bridge divides, and become less lonely. Writer and historian David Olusoga expertly unpacks Black British history and sparks thoughts on Manchester’s radical past, present and future. 

See King of Scottish crime fiction Ian Rankin in conversation with Jackie Kay about A Heart Full of Headstones, his new meticulously crafted thriller starring Scottish DI John Rebus. Explore fiction that documents personal and political change and asks important questions about power, citizenship and society with Booker Prize winner Damon Galgut and Women’s Prize for Fiction winner Kamila Shamsie. Enjoy hearing more about the dynamics between the brilliant characters at the heart of Monica Ali and Ruth Jones wonderful and witty new novels exploring family, friendship, home and belonging. Travel to Renaissance Italy and ancient Greece with Maggie O’Farrell and Natalie Haynes or follow Jon McGregor to the beautiful but deadly landscape of Antarctica. 

Immerse yourself in Manchester’s flourishing Poetry and Spoken Word scene. See Young Identity perform alongside two of the Caribbean’s most celebrated writers, Anthony Joseph and Olive Senior, at Cabaret for Freedom. Celebrate the immense breadth and diversity of Black British poetry at our More Fiya showcase featuring Manchester’s Jackie Kay and Keisha Thompson amongst others. Catch Inua Ellams and Yomi Sode perform their powerful and electrifying poetry examining the legacies of the British Empire, and what it means to live as a young Black man in Britain today.   

Younger readers:

Entertain the children at one of our fun events for Young Readers. Join picture book author Sarah Roberts (Somebody Swallowed Stanley, Somebody Woke Wilson) and take part in a big recycle crafting session and Earth Activity Trail as part of this year’s environment-themed Little Reads Family Day. Beam aboard an alien spaceship, take a photo amongst the monster mayhem or be part of a zombie family on an Aliens, Zombies and Monsters hunt and join a workshop with popular children’s author and illustrator Aaron Blecha.  

Check out the full Festival Programme online.


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