Manchester Literature Festival

The Manchester Literature Festival host late night poetry session with international award-winning poets

  • Andrew Macmillan, Leo Boix and Kayo Chingonyi perform at International Anthony Burgess Foundation


Leo Boix, Kayo Chingonyi and Macmillan

Poets Andrew Macmillan, Leo Boix and Kayo Chingonyi performed at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation as part of the Manchester Literature Festival.

The poets showcased work from their new collections which explore themes of grief, lineage, and love.

Latinx poet Leo Boix’s Ballad of a Happy Immigrant travels from Buenos Aires to Merseyside to London, focusing on queer experience, family, displacement, and the sea, as well as experimenting with both the English language and Spanish.

Speaking about his work Boix said: “I write mostly in Spanish. I published two collections in the Argentina and one in England.

“This (Ballad of a Happy Immigrant) was very important because it was my story, the story of my ancestors so I incorporated some Spanish words.”.

He performed the poems The Fall, Cycles and Ballad of a Happy Immigrant.

Ivan Wadeson, executive director of Manchester City of Literature, speaking about the event said: “Grief, disease and departed brethren. It was exceptional and deeply moving reading at Anthony Burgess tonight.”

Kayo Chingonyi

Kayo Chingonyi, who read from his collection, Blood Condition, after Boix, whicjh according to the Manchester Literature Festival tracks an illness along its human trajectory, but also finds joy in music and dancing. 

The book is shortlisted for the TS Elliot prize alongside MMU lecturer professor Michael Symmons Roberts‘ Ransom.

Andrew Macmillan
Poet Andrew Macmillan

In his third collection, Pandemonium, Andrew McMillan, who is a MMU lecturer, considers the vulnerability and fierceness in caring for a loved one, death, bodies and how solace can be found in the garden. 

He reveals that the first movement of the collection is about “no peace living in houses” and the second, is all sonnets that explore the metaphor “knotweed”.

This event was hosted by Becky Swan the director of the Manchester Poetry Library.

The director introduced the evening by saying to the poets: “You deserve a wider audience not just for the books, but for your commitment to the artform of poetry”.

And so it goes, the book events keep coming. We’re delighted to welcome @McrLitFest tonight with @leoboix, Kayo Chingonyi and @AMcMillanPoet, with poetry collections spanning queer experience, music, gardens and death.