Joining the festival as part of the ‘Inspired By’ line-up will be Cheddar Gorgeous of Ru Paul’s Drag Race fame who says: “Our libraries are not only archives of our past, but spaces that encourage word- and world- making. Library doors are open to everyone and, when we enter, they ask us not only to consider our past but to imagine our future. Through sci-fi, classics, fantasy, poetry and theory libraries allow us to dream a little bigger."
Fun is a big factor for Festival of Libraries and the Look for a Book treasure hunt promises plenty of this. It’s set to mobilise children and families as they follow the clues and join the quest to find one of 500 books hidden in Greater Manchester’s libraries and with the chance for some participants to meet the author.
The festival will offer lots of thought-provoking events, such as an in conversation event with award-winning playwright and artist Linda Brogan. Linda will be discussing how her pursuit of memories led to the excavation of the Reno Club, renowned in the 1970s for being the best soul and funk club in Manchester and a space for young mixed-race Mancunians who often weren't welcome elsewhere; an exhibition at The Whitworth; and now a book, 12 Words. Authors Carmen, Tia and Catherine were part of the 2016 Reno excavation that took place 30 years after the club was demolished and have written 12 Words alongside Linda, in the process unlocking truths, secrets and confessions.
Luke Burton, Director for Libraries, Arts Council England, says: “Libraries are vital hubs of information and creativity in the heart of our communities and we want to encourage everyone across the region and beyond to explore Greater Manchester's network of Libraries and reap the benefits that they have to offer.”
With links to other Cities of Literature in Krakow and Reykjavik and with the Multilingual City Poets writing in Urdu, Arabic and Spanish, this year's third festival will be a truly international affair. The full events programme will be announced at the end of April, when bookings for ticketed events will also open.