Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Festival #6: Adrian Slatcher

We've been inviting various Manchester-based writers to share with us the Manchester Literature Festival 2011 events they're most excited about.

Today, it's the turn of Adrian Slatcher, who blogs about literary matters on Art Of Fiction and writes poetry and prose. His poetry collection Extracts From Levona was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons press in 2010 and Playing Solitaire For Money is out on the Salt Modern Voices imprint from Salt Publishing. He has a story in the new flash fiction anthology Quickies: Short Stories For Adults, which is available to buy via the FlashTag website and on Kindle.

Here are my three "pick of the Festival" events: among a wide range of fascinating sessions, these are the three that I really will have to make sure I attend. Covering both poetry and fiction, and ranging across Britain, Europe and China, they highlight the Festival's diversity - and I'd recommend them to anyone who is looking for something a little different within this year's festival line-up.

First up: European Poetry Night. Ágnes Lehóczky's Egg Box collection Budapest To Babel is one of my favourite poetry collections of recent years. Writing in English, but with a distinctly European sensibility, this Hungarian poet's work is lyrical, but experimental. I'll be fascinated to hear her and the other European poets - Lithuanian Marcelijus Martinaitis and Dutch Toon Tellegen - on this well-curated evening.

BS Johnson is that anomaly: a British experimental writer who worked in the Midlands (where I'm orginally from), yet for Johnson, experiment was always about telling the truth. A larger than life character, he was also a sports reporter and TV producer. This evening looks like it will give a suitably slanted take on a fascinating, and often overlooked "giant" in every way.

I met the brilliant Chinese film-maker/writer Zhu Wen a couple of years ago in Norwich. A formidable and original talent, the stories I Love Dollars will appeal to anyone who loves contemporary noir. In conversation with his translator, Julia Lovell, this event is certain to be both entertaining and illuminating about film and literature, about translation, and about contemporary Chinese fiction.

Adrian's Festival favourites

European Poetry Night Friday 21st October, 6pm, International Anthony Burgess Foundation (£5/£3 concs)
'The Mind Has Fuses': A Celebration of BS Johnson Saturday 22nd October, 6pm, International Anthony Burgess Foundation (£5/£3 concs)
Zhu Wen Sunday 23rd October, 4pm, International Anthony Burgess Foundation (£5/£3 concs)

For full details of all events at MLF 2011 and how to book, visit the website at

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