What's On

Manchester’s Spoken Word in December 2016


Photo Credit: Charles Leek

Manchester’s offering a warm spread of spoken word events to keep your cockles toasty this festive season. Among these are the anticipated launch of Rosie Garland’s new collection, the Word War 3MT Final, as well as First Draft and The Real Story teaming up for a suitably seasonal evening of storytelling and song. Feast your eyes on the list below for more information and links to events.

1st December / Word Central / Manchester Central Library / 6pm-8pm / Free

December’s guest Gerry Potter is a poet, playwright, director, actor, and both creator and destroyer of the infamous gingham diva and queer icon, Chloe Poems. A favourite son of Manchester and his home town Liverpool, he has a reputation for putting his Scouse voice on the line and is strong on poetry and the causes of poetryism.

5th December / FLIM NITE presents ‘Die Hard’ / 3MT /  7:30pm-22:30pm / £2 Suggested Donation

What would Die Hard look like distorted by poets, comedians, and performers? FLIM NITE is a monthly performance event based at Three Minute Theatre in Manchester’s Northern Quarter (NB: At no point during the event will the film in question be shown!) Each performer has been given a chunk of Die Hard to turn into something new. Come and watch as the acts transform a shooty patriotic action film into something unrecognisable for your viewing pleasure. “We will not be showing a movie. We will be making a flim.” Line-up to be announced.

6th December / Word War 3MT Final / 3MT / 7:30pm-22:00 / £3

Let’s get ready to rumble! 10 poets will battle it out for the chance to £200 and the coveted Word War 3MT Trophy! With a very special guest performance from writer, filmmaker and performance maker Paula Varjack to mark the launch of her new collection Letters I Never Sent You. Her work explores identity, the unsaid, and making the invisible visible and often works across and combines disciplines such as performance, theatre, documentary and spoken word. She has performed at numerous arts festivals and cultural spaces including: Glastonbury Festival, Berlin International Literature Festival, and The Victoria & Albert Museum.


7th December / Rosie Garland: As in Judy Book Launch / Manchester Central Library / 6pm-8pm / Free

This event is an author reading and signing for writer, performance artist and March Violets singer Rosie Garland who will be presenting her highly anticipated new poetry collection As in Judy. Also featuring performances from special guests Lisa Matthews and Geneviève L. Walsh.

8th December / Pen:Chant #18 / Gullivers NQ / 7:30pm-11pm / Various

Toiling down the art mines Pen:Chant dig up amazing local, national and international artists from the seams of spoken word, live music, comedy, cabaret and performance. Featuring London Poet Laureate Laurie Bolger and 7-piece Mancunian groove folk band Bethlehem Casuals.

8th December / UnSlam: Taking the I out of UniSlam / Solomons Café  Bar / 7:30pm-10:30pm / £4

University of Manchester and University of Salford team up for this unique spoken word event leading to raise funds for their trips to UniSlam: The National University Poetry Slam.

9th December / Ira Lightman and Angela Topping Manchester Launch / Nexus Art Café / 7pm-8pm / £3

Poet Angela Topping presents her book The Five Petals of Elderflower alongside Ira Lightman performing as The Quiet Compere, with support from Sarah L Dixon and open floor. Tickets cost £3 and can be bought through We Got Tickets.

12th December / Evidently – Sara Hirsch and George Miaris / Eagle Inn / 7:30pm-10pm /£3

Featuring George Miaris and  former UK Slam Champion and ranked third in the World Slam Championship Sara Hirsch as part of the launch of her new collection Still Falling.


19th December / Kulning: Winter Songs / The Castle Hotel / 7:30pm-10:3pm / Free

This December, First Draft and The Real Story are joining forces once again to herd you all in from the cold, pairing up writers and musicians for a very special night of winter songs and storytelling. And who knows, maybe even a bit of carol singing…

21st December / Beatification Special / Fuel Café Bar / 8pm / Free

Featuring Jackie Hagan, Fiona Brehony, Johnny Powell & The Seasonal Beasts.