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Manchester writers give sneak preview of new work

26 Jun 2008

The author of a controversial new novel and an acclaimed poet will join forces for an early evening burst of their latest poetry and prose at The University of Manchester on 30 June.

Joe Stretch, who ends his period as fiction-writer in residence at the University's Centre for New Writing in July, will give a sneak preview of his unpublished new novel Numb Skull.

He'll join this year's poet in residence Neil Rollinson, whose most recent collection Demolition was published in September for a joint reading at the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama.

Both writers have been working with MA, PhD and undergraduate creative writing students at the Centre for New Writing, giving tutorials and creative feedback on their work.

Former Manchester student Stretch, heralded by the Independent newspaper as a "hot star of 2008" published his first novel Friction in March.

The launch followed musical success with his band (We are) Performance who signed a record deal with Polydor in 2006.

But this year, writing and teaching have been is his main preoccupation.

He said: "Manchester has played an important part in my professional life - after all, my first novel is based in the city and my student years were spent here too.

"And this year, the residency at Manchester has enabled me to devote time and space to writing my latest novel, which has been a great help.

"I've also been working with students on the mechanics of their novel writing, which is a good way to boost their confidence - an important element in novel writing."

Neil Rollinson spent two years as writer in residence at Wordworth's Dove Cottage in the Lake District, before becoming the Centre for New Writing's first writer in residence last October.

He said: "It was fantastic. After spending two years locked away in a cottage in the mountains, coming to Manchester and working with young writers was an inspiration - and something of a shot in the arm.

"Getting out and teaching was an invigorating and challenging exercise, especially as I'd just finished a new collection and helped to focus my own work and ideas in new ways which have been invaluable in working on my new book."

Notes for editors

Neil Rollinson and Joe Stretch are available for comment.

Images are available.

For tickets call the box office on 0161 275 8951, or book online by visiting

Venue: The Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, Bridgeford Street, Manchester.

Time: Monday 30th June 2008 at 5PM. Tickets cost £3 or £2 with concessions

For media enquiries contact:

Mike Addelman
Media Relations Officer
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
0161 275 0790
07717 881 567