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Live from Worktown

Updated: Mon, 25 Jan 2016 08:48 pm

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Live from Worktown is a Bolton based organisation which promotes performing arts events throughout the borough and beyond. Partners include: the University of Bolton, the Octagon Theatre, Bolton Council, Bolton Libraries, Bolton College, Headspace and the Bolton International Writers Project. An annual festival is organised, in 2016 this will be around National Poetry week, when international, award winning writers and performers are brought together and showcase their amazing talents in local venues with the support of fantastic poets, musicians and writers not only from Bolton but also from the wider Northwest of England. Live From Worktown hosts two regular monthly events, a writers' workshop at 10am on the 2nd Saturday of the month, an an open mic poetry event with guests at 7.30pm on the third Wednesday of the month - both at Bolton Socialist Club, 16 Wood Street, Bolton. Also there are several one-off events held throughout the year, details of which can be found on the website:

What we do

The Live from Worktown Festival took place from 24th April to 30th of May 2015 and was headlined by internationally acclaimed founder member of the Mersey Poets, Brian Patten, Mandy Coe and the ever popular John Hegley. Brian Patten came to prominence, along with Roger McGough and Adrian Henri, in the 1967 best- selling Mersey Sound poetry anthology, which has been credited as the most significant anthology of the twentieth century, and is now a Penguin Modern Classic. Since then he has performed at the world’s leading literary festivals and has published several award winning collections. He also writes for children and is a 'highly engaging performer.' Prize-winning poet and author of six books, Mandy Coe has been featured on BBC radio and television (Woman'smandycoe Hour, Poetry Please and CBeebies) as well as the Radio Times and the Guardian. Based in the North West of England, Mandy writes poetry for adults and children and has been commissioned to write poems and educational material for various prestigious organisations. She reads at poetry and literature events throughout the UK and her work as an educationalist has been featured in the John Hegley is not only a poet but also a comedian, musician and whose first public performance monies came from busking his songs, initially outside a shoe shop in Hull. Now a favourite on the radio and music festival scene he first came to prominence on John Peel's radio show. Hegley's poem 'Malcolm' is one of the nation's most popular comic poems. An Edinburgh festival regular, mandolin-playing Hegley delights in audience participation. There was a Georges festival special which started with a fun play from the Octagon's Headspace thumb jackiehagangroup followed by a special guest appearance from Jackie Hagan. Jackie was then on tour with her celebrated one-woman play 'Some people have too many legs' but took a night off to share her wonderful poetry. Recently featured on Radio 4 and BBC One's the One show, Jackie's work is not to be missed. The Live from Worktown Festival 2015 also featured a commemorative production of Dave Morgan's play: 'Hovis in Wonderland', to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of the great Bolton wordsmith and humourist, Hovis Presley. The play was written in 2007 and following an extremely successful début at the Royal Exchange it toured extensively throughout the Northwest and at several festivals including Glastonbury. Hovis's collection of poetry 'Poetic off licence', has also been republished and is available from the website. Young wordsmiths were featured when Bolton’s Insyt Media went head to head with Manchester’s Young Identity for a night of rap, hip hop, dub and soul. InystMediaInsyt Media is a youth and community arts project, led by Robbie Stevenson, which teaches writing and performance and which trains young people in music production, DJ skills and fashion design.youngIdentity Manchester based 'Young Identity' is a twenty-six strong group of young writers led by Shirley May and Ali Gadema. Formed in Moss Side, Manchester, in 2006, the creative project includes poetry, script writing and performances. For more information about previous events and the next festival see

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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