Remembering Peterloo: reading by Manchester poets and Shelley recitals to mark 200th anniversary
Manchester poets will be reading poems on the theme of Peterloo at Manchester Central Library on Tuesday 6 August at 6-7.30pm – one of a number of poetry events to mark the historic moment’s 200th anniversary. The library is in St Peter’s Square; the area around the square was the site of the Peterloo Massacre in 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of up to 80,000 people who had gathered to call for parliamentary voting reform.
Tuesday’s Peterloo Poems by Manchester People reading is organised by Manchester Histories and Stockport-based Seven Arches Publishing, which is also running a Peterloo-related poetry competition. Its closing date is the 200th anniversary of Peterloo - 16 August 2019.
Other events taking place to mark Peterloo include a reading by actor and honorary professor of literature and performance Maxine Peake of Shelley’s poem ‘The Masque of Anarchy’. Written in the aftermath of Peterloo, it was repressed until after his death. The event at John Rylands Library in Manchester on Monday 12 August is sold out, but it will be livestreamed on the library’s Facebook page from 6pm.
Shelley’s poem will also be read at Keats House in London on the day of the anniversary, with Professor Ian Haywood of the University of Roehampton discusssing its historic context.