Join Henry Normal as he chats and shares poems with award-winning wordsmiths from Flapjack Press. With audience Q&A.
A series of live stream events, 12 - 1pm each Wednesday from 14th July to 1st September. Brought to you by Flapjack Press, Manchester Libraries and New Poetry Society. What better way to spend your lunchtime?
Free but booking essential.
14 July: Gerry Potter
21 July: Geneviève L. Walsh
28 July: Thick Richard
4 August: Anna Percy
11 August: Tony Curry
18 August: Dominic Berry
25 August: Rose Condo
1 September: Paul Cookson
Henry Normal is a poet, writer, TV and film producer, founder of the Manchester Poetry Festival (now the Manchester Literature Festival) and co-founder of the Nottingham Poetry Festival. Henry co-wrote and script edited The Mrs Merton Show and the spin-off series Mrs Merton and Malcolm. He also co-created and co-wrote the first series of The Royle Family and has collaborated extensively with Steve Coogan. Setting up Baby Cow Productions Ltd in 1999, Henry Executive Produced all and script edited many of the shows during his tenure as MD. Highlights of the Baby Cow output during this time include Oscar-nominated Philomena, Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Red Dwarf, Nighty Night and Alan Partridge. In 2017 he was honoured with a special BAFTA for services to television. Since retiring, Henry has written and performed seven BBC Radio 4 shows in his ‘occasional series’ A Normal…, combining comedy, poetry and stories about his life and family.
“Shove up national treasures. We need to make room for Henry Normal.” Radio Times
Gerry Potter is a poet, playwright, actor, director, and both creator and destroyer of the infamous gingham diva Chloe Poems. A favourite son of Manchester and his hometown Liverpool, he trained at Everyman Youth Theatre and National Museums Liverpool lists him amongst the city’s leading LGBTQ+ icons. The portrait documentary My Name is Gerry Potter premiered at Homotopia in 2015 and his first volume of domestic/fantastic theatre-verse, 2009’s Planet Young, was championed on BBC2’s Between the Covers.
“Will amuse, move, inspire and provoke.” Polari Literary Salon
Geneviève L. Walsh founded Halifax’s spoken word night Spoken Weird in 2013, was a core member of the acclaimed troupe A Firm of Poets until their 2017 swansong, and has been a host/curator with Manchester’s Stirred Poetry collective since the same year. Walsh debuted and toured their one-person show, A Place in the Shade, in 2019. Their second poetry collection, Vitriol Works, was published in 2021.
“A unique and passionately inclusive voice.” Steve Nash, UK Performer of the Year
Thick Richard has presented BBC Radio 6 Music’s Beat of the Day, performed on BBC Radio 4, hosted NME parties, and gigged with Kae Tempest, John Hegley, Arthur Smith, The Fall, Jerry Sadowitz and (sort of) Dr John Cooper Clarke. He co-curated spoken word franchise Bang Said the Gun’s Manchester events during its run at The Dancehouse Theatre, and his one-man show, Swear School (a crash course in everything you wanted to know about bad language – with puppets), toured nationally. His flamboyant use of profanity once saw the official Edinburgh Fringe radio station temporarily closed down and he has been kidnapped on two separate and unconnected occasions. His latest collection of acerbic wit and wisdom, Read ‘em and Weep, was published in 2020.
“His words are rattling and brilliant and shoot life back at you in all its futility and chaos and wonder.” Kae Tempest, poet
Anna Percy co-founded Stirred, the influential pro-feminist collective which organises poetry performances and writing workshops throughout the north-west of England. Her award-winning poetry is written for both the page and the stage, is post-pastoral, occasionally surreal, and an exercise in hope for sexual equality and an advocacy of women’s rights. Her third collection with Flapjack Press, Jumping into a Waterfall, was published in 2020.
“A fabulous feminist fighter.” Shirley May, poet
Tony Curry is a performance poet, playwright, workshop facilitator, soundsmith and enabler. He runs literature-in-the-community projects with a specific leaning towards mental health and wellbeing across the north-west. His solo shows and plays have been performed at Manchester’s Royal Exchange and Contact theatres, and his work has been exhibited at the city’s art galleries and museum. Tony is also host of Word Central, the monthly spoken word event at Manchester Central Library coordinated by Flapjack Press and Manchester Libraries. His third poetry collection, We Kid Ourselves, was published in 2021.
“This is our poetry. These are our poems.” Tony Walsh, poet
Dominic Berry is a performance poet whose work for adults and children has taken him across five continents. He has been Glastonbury Festival’s Poet-in-Residence and his awards include winning Manchester Literature Festival’s Superheroes of Slam, New York’s Nuyorican Poets’ Café Slam, and he has twice been publicly voted Sabotage Review’s Best Spoken Word Performer. Dominic regularly performs at the Edinburgh Fringe and his TV appearances include BBC’s Greg & Celia’s Festivals Highlights, Rhyme Rocket and Channel 4’s My Daughter the Teenage Nudist. His third collection for adults, No Tigers, was revised and reissued in 2020, and his fifth poetry adventure for children, Best Adventure Ever!, was published in 2021.
“Emotive, intelligent and raw… quite delicious and totally engaging.” City Life
Rose Condo is a Canadian poet now based in Salford, England. With a background in theatre, she has been writing, performing and teaching for over twenty years and was longlisted for the inaugural Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. Rose has won numerous poetry slams and her poetry theatre show, The Empathy Experiment, received critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and went on to win the award for Best Spoken Word Show at the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival 2019. Her debut collection, After the Storm, was published in 2020, and contains the scripts of her three award-winning poetry theatre shows: The Geography of Me, How to Starve an Artist and The Empathy Experiment.
“A steadying reminder of compassion in a world tipped off its axis.” Rosie Garland, poet & author
Paul Cookson has worked as a poet for over three decades, performing in schools and libraries, and at literature festivals and events across the world. As well as being Poet-in-Residence for The National Football Museum and Everton in the Community, he is Writer-in-Residence for Sing Together, which involves 125 Lancastrian schools with over 5000 children and 400 teachers. In 2020 he was commissioned by the BBC to write and perform a poem for the Women’s FA Cup Final. Paul has more than sixty titles to his name and over a million book sales – and with a quarter of a million copies sold alone, the anthology The Works has become a teacher’s ‘poetry Bible’. The third volume of his poem-a-day lockdown diaries, Pig’s Ear, Dog’s Dinner, was published in July. A fourth and final collection, Nail on the Head, is due in November.
“Every day should have a Paul Cookson moment.” Simon Mayo, broadcaster & author