Friday, July 16, 2010

This Week in Manchester

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks since coming back from Norwich, so it was nice to attend a couple of more casual literary events this week. Yesterday I was at Oxfam’s Oldham Street emporium to hear short readings from Adele Geras and Nicholas Royle, two of the judges in their Oxfam Short Story Contest. It was a nicely civilised affair for what was a nice civilised competition. The winner and two runner ups were all asked to read a few lines at the end, which, given that they didn’t know they’d won until a few minutes before, indicates what a nicely informal event it was. For the rest of us, there was wine and truffles, and even a little literary quiz, which, to make up for not being a literary winner, I’m pleased to say I won. A lifetime of imbibing literary trivia has not been in waste! The night before, the event was even more informal – a gathering of contributors and others in Common bar, to launch the first issue of “3030 Magazine”, a slim, but pleasing-to-the-eye cultural magazine, that was given away free on the night. Though the first issue appears to be put together by a group of likeminded friends, they are open to submissions. I liked the feature on “where did you get your name?” answered for bands, club nights, record labels etc. and any magazine which has something nice and smelly inside (because smell evokes memory) has to be applauded.

It must be the start of the summer holidays as this weekend there's ample things to kids of all ages to do in Manchester. I'm looking forward to the Zombie invasion of Eccles shopping centre, and Hannah Nicklin's "The Smell of Rain Reminds Me of You", part of the impossible to describe Hazard MMX festival - venues around town. All of this might mean I don't have time for the new exhibition at the Cornerhouse, the Future Artists picnic at Zion, and even A Certain Ratio tomorrow night at Fac251. I think I might treat tomorrow as an urban festival, and see where I end up!


Jim Murdoch said...

This is actually a response to your post ‘Disappointment Prizes’ which it looks like you’ve pulled. I had a copy safe in Feedreader which is how I got to read it. I don’t have anything really profound to say other that I know where you’re coming from. Weller’s done some stuff I like – I have Wildwood and Stanley Road but I haven’t listened to them in years which probably says it all. And nothing I’ve heard since has tempted me to buy anything else. Heaney I’ve never been that excited about. I own nothing by him at all and have read little. I feel I ought to like him and kinda want to keep it to myself that I don’t. I wonder whether names like these get added to shortlists because the work is good or because of who they are. I’m sure Heaney is incapable of writing a bad poem and Weller is incapable of writing a bad song but that doesn’t mean they’re great and deserving of awards. Maybe there should be an award for the freshest book of poems and music album.

Adrian Slatcher said...

Eek - found out - I wrote it late last night and wanted to read it again before I put it back on there!