• Manchester City of Lit

Commonword Archive Launch

From the ashes of a rent strike in the late 1970s came Commonword —a community and meeting place for Manchester writers, a home for literature marginalised by the mainstream British arts and cultural landscape, particularly those who are working class, women, lesbian and gay, disabled or black and Asian.

On Tuesday 14th July at 6.30pm Commonword Cultureword will be celebrating this unique and hidden aspect of Manchester literature with the online launch of the Commonword Archive website and a literature map of Manchester.

Join Heena Patel in conversation with Mahboobeh Rajabi as they talk about the stories and writers they have discovered in the archive. Over the past two years they have sifted through books, first

drafts, letters, photographs, negatives, recordings and press clippings in their quest to tell a story of Manchester literature from the past forty years. Local writers Kevin Otoo, Mickela Sonola, Mandla Rae, Dominic Berry, Mimi Webster and Farid Norat will be sharing pieces from the archive to help bring the archive and the map to life.

Heena Patel, co-ordinator of the Commonword Archive project says,

“The archive shows the importance of Commonword in chronicling what mattered to Manchester writers over the past four decades. You can learn so much about the cultural and political history of city through their work.”

Mahboobeh Rajabi, Digital Literature Co-ordinator for Commonword Cultureword adds,

“I am honoured to have created this piece of work and I’m excited to finally be able to launch it. I excited
because this is the first time these poems and short stories by Manchester writers have been presented in this way.”

You can find information about how to access the livestream here: Write Time Write Place.

A City Connects by Manchester City of Literature


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