Mcr Literature Festival

New commissions, international literature and original events for young people.

By Lee Isherwood | Last updated 6 September 2011

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Manchester Literature Festival 2011: new commissions, international literature and original events for young people
At venues across Manchester 10 – 23 October 2011

This October Manchester Literature Festival, the UK’s most imaginative literature festival, presents a packed programme including four new literary commissions, an exciting international strand, a host of events focusing on young people and children and an outstanding line-up of celebrated writers, with tickets on sale from Monday 8 August.

The event also announces its first ever Principal Sponsor – HSBC Premier, HSBC’s premium banking service – in a partnership that sees a continuation of the business’s support of literature. The sixth Festival opens with celebrated novelist and journalist Colm Tóibín, newly appointed as Professor of Creative Writing at The University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing, in conversation with Booker Prize winning author Alan Hollinghurst.

Other highlights include Andrew Motion’s Manchester Sermon, the unveiling of Anthony Horowitz’s Sherlock Holmes mystery, the ever-popular Afternoon Tea at Manchester’s iconic Midland Hotel with broadcaster Sue MacGregor, Antonia Fraser’s talk on Harold Pinter, Claire Tomalin on Charles Dickens in the Gothic Town Hall, and a passionate and ambitious performance of Sacred Hearts in Manchester Cathedral with Sarah Dunant.

A strand of events celebrating international literature is of particular interest to HSBC, with leading writers from emerging markets including India, China and the Middle East such as Kishwar Desai, winner of the 2010 Costa First Novel Award.

HSBC Premier’s sponsorship sees the Festival become part of the bank’s Cultural Exchange programme, which encourages the understanding of different cultures as an important part of doing cross-border business.

Cathy Bolton, Director of Manchester Literature Festival, said: “This year’s Festival has a truly international dimension to it, as we welcome authors from across Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to Manchester to share their inspirational works and discuss their creative journeys. We’re also delighted to be presenting four unique commissions by leading UK writers in the city’s iconic venues.”

Richard Knight, Head of HSBC Premier UK, said: “Manchester Literature Festival’s dynamic growth is testament to its engaging and inspirational programming. By bringing people together from around the world and providing a platform for discussion, the Festival reflects HSBC Premier’s belief in the value of using literature as a way of opening up opportunities, making connections and stimulating debate across borders.”

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council’s executive member for Culture and Leisure, said: “Manchester Literature Festival is one of the highlights of the city’s busy arts calendar and attracts visitors from all over the UK and beyond. The Festival has pulled out all the stops to bring us the very best of contemporary writing, featuring a line up of great writers and as always a wide range of unusual events, walks and talks taking full advantage of the array of venues and unusual spaces the city has to offer. The international strand ensures Manchester’s place as showcase for writers from all over the world, and once again families take centre stage with an exciting programme of tailor-made talks and workshops.”

The Literature Festival 2011 features works from: Michael Frayn, one of this country’s most gifted and celebrated writers, Claire Tomalin, one of our most distinguished and award-winning biographers, Jonathan Meades, influential author, broadcaster and commentator, Antonia Fraser will be in conversation with The Guardian’s Decca Aitkenhead, David Lodge famous for his witty campus novels and penetrating stories of contemporary life and many many more.


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