“Except, of course, this year we’ll be Not Quite Live… but I’ve still got 12 amazing poets lined up to perform their work for you (they just won’t all in the same room, and none of us will be within 2 metres of each other). Check out who’s going to be on the show…”
Ged Austin is a Mancunian poet, author, playwright, actor, local historian, art director and curator. He’s also a homelessness outreach worker and fundraiser, the co-director of the Manchester Indie Filmmakers Group, and a spiritual life coach.
Martin Grey is a Nottingham based performance poet. His debut collection, The Prettyboys of Gangster Town, was released in 2020 through Fly on the Wall Poetry. He is also a director of World Jam, a global poetry and music charity, and eats far too many custard creams.
Pete Slater is an art school dropout from the 60s, who sort of fell into poetry by accident some 40 years later. He discovered performance poetry at an open mic 6 years ago, and hasn’t stopped writing or performing since. And he’s still writing through the madness of this pandemic and managing to read through the wonder of modern technology.
Simon is a playwright, performer, photographer and poet. He grew up in rural Oxfordshire and Cheshire before training as an actor in Manchester, where he was based for many years before moving to the Peak District in 2007. His collection of poetry and photography, White Light White Peak, was published by Fly on the Wall Press in 2019, along with the launch of his live show, which mixes his performance of the spoken word with projected images and sound recordings from the Peak District.
Rachel Halsall is a 25-year-old writer based in Manchester, which has provided great inspiration for many of her works. She has had multiple publications in anthologies, featured on the radio, and now has a WordPress blog called The Lady Ruthless.
Bethany Rivers was shortlisted for the Overton Poetry Prize and the Snowdrop Poetry Competition in 2019. She has two poetry pamphlets: Off the Wall from Indigo Dreams (2016) and the sea refuses no river from Fly on the Wall Press (2019). She is the editor of As Above So Below online poetry magazine, and she has taught creative writing for 14 years.
Thomas McColl has had poems published in magazines such as Envoi, Iota, Prole, International Times and Ink, Sweat & Tears, and his latest collection, Grenade Genie, came out this year with Manchester-based publisher Fly on the Wall Press. Tom’s read his poetry and stories at many events in London and beyond – including Landing Place, Celine’s Salon, The Quiet Compere, Birkbeck Writer’s Room and Newham Word Festival – and has been featured on BBC Radio Kent, East London Radio and TV’s London Live.
Helen Darby is a queer poet from Manchester who has been appearing at spoken word nights around the North West since 2018. She writes about place, gender, class, recovery, philosophy, sex, isolation and friendship. She has performed invited guest slots at Lancaster Spotlight, That’s What She Said Manchester, Superbia for Manchester Pride, Manchester Museum, New Mills Festival, The Bronte Festival of Women’s Writing, Stirred and She Grrrowls in Edinburgh Free Fringe, amongst others.
Bridie Breen is an Irish-born, Manchester-matured poet. She loves the human condition, the good, the bad and the ugly. She writes it as it is, for the joy of getting it down.
Hallie Fletcher is a published poet who is currently studying an MA in Literature. She has self-published two books. After falling pregnant at fifteen and growing up in Harpurhey, she has always used writing as her therapy, and her two children inspire her every single day to succeed in life.
Amanda Steel is the author of several novels and poetry collections, including Ghost of Me and Always Darkest Before Dawn. She also works as a copywriter, and is the co-host of the book review podcast Reading in Bed, which now has a spinoff podcast called Reading in Bed Extracts.
Andy N is the author of four full-length poetry collections, the most recent being the streets were all we could see and the lockdown was all we could see, co-written with Amanda Steel. He is also the co-host of Stretford’s open mic literature night Speak Easy, does podcasts as varied as Spoken Label, Reading in Bed, Wrestle Talk and Comics Unity, and does ambient music as Ocean in a Bottle.
These wonderful writers and performers will all be appearing on this week’s Hannah’s Bookshelf on Saturday from 2pm. You can catch the show on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).