University of Manchester celebrates upcoming launch of Manchester Literature Festival 2023

Manchester Literature Festival (MLF) 2023 will take place 7-22 October, featuring a programme of exciting events marking the city’s contribution to literature.

The University of Manchester is proud to be the Festival’s official Higher Education Partner, working closely with the MLF team and offering several events in partnership with the University’s Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester research platform.

This year’s Festival begins with a special sold-out preview event on 16 September , where lucky audience members will join award-winning poet, author and honorary Chair of Creative Writing at The University of Manchester Lemn Sissay as he launches his new collection of morning poems, ’Let the Light Pour In.’

Other partnership events showcase new publications by celebrated authors - including renowned contemporary novelist Deborah Levy (7 October) , bestselling American author Michael Lewis (10 October) , classicist and BBC Radio 4 broadcaster Natalie Haynes (11 October) and prize-winning Icelandic novelist, playwright and poet Aušur Ava Olafsdottir (15 October) .

On 7 October, cult author Max Porter will perform a dramatic abridged reading from his new novel with a live electronic score by musician Roly Porter, followed by a conversation about his work.

On 19 October, join us for the annual Rylands Poetry Reading and raise a toast to PN Review, celebrating 50 years of publishing some of the most vital, diverse and provocative poetry, essays, interviews and reviews from around the globe. Contributing editors Anthony Vahni Capildeo, Sasha Dugdale and Will Harris will be sharing their own poems alongside some of their favourite discoveries from PN Review.

Professor of New Writing and prolific author Jeanette Winterson returns to MLF on 22 October to launch her new book Night Side of the River: Ghost Stories. She will read from her new collection and share some of her real-life encounters with the occult.

Lecturers from the Centre for New Writing feature in two events: Poet Jason Allen-Paisant is at Manchester Art Gallery on 14 October to premiere a new co-commission inspired by work in the Gallery and author Beth Underdown hosts an event with Kate Mosse on 7 October at Central Library. The Book of Beijing , an author event with Wen Zhen and Gu Shi on 15 October is presented by the University’s Confucius Insitute alongside Comma Press.

For those looking for more literature events after the main Festival period, there will be two partnership Bookend events in November. Beloved actor, comedian and writer Doon Mackichan joins us to discuss her memoir My Lady Parts: A Life Fighting Stereotypes, on 20 November, and on 29 November winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017 Naomi Alderman joins us to discuss her superb new novel The Future.

Dr H. Gareth Gavin, Director of the Centre for New Writing said:

Here in the Centre for New Writing, we’re very proud to be continuing our partnership with Manchester Literature Festival this year. As ever, the Festival programme promises to deliver a really compelling series of events, and as readers, writers, students, and teachers, we look forward to the opportunity to listen to such a rich and exciting range of authors read and discuss their work.

Cathy Bolton and Sarah-Jane Roberts, Co-Directors of Manchester Literature Festival

We’re very honoured to have The University of Manchester on board as our Higher Education partner and grateful as ever to our colleagues at the Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester for helping us deliver a packed and rich programme of live literature this autumn. We can’t wait to welcome students and staff to events with some of the most inspirational and original writers and thinkers of our times, including Naomi Alderman, Natalie Haynes, Michael Lewis, Max Porter, Lemn Sissay and Jeanette Winterson.