BOLTON’S first poetry festival will be launched next week.

There will be a variety of events including open-mic nights, workshops, talks and pop-up performances at venues including community centres and schools.

A Festival Anthology has been produced, featuring many local writers, which will be launched at the Octagon Theatre on Tuesday by the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Martin Donaghy, and Julie Spencer, Bolton’s head of library and museum services.

The Live From Worktown festival is named after the Mass Observation project undertaken in Bolton in the late 1930s. It is being organised by Dave Morgan, known for his work with performance poetry website Write Out Loud, and internationally published poet Scott Devon.

Mr Morgan, of Bromwich Street, The Haulgh, said: “Bolton has got quite a good history and heritage of writers and writing, but it does not have an arts festival.

“We decided we would put together a festival which tries to bring in people from outside, engage people in the community and try to make poetry something of a theme."

On Wednesday, Manchester-based Anjum Malik, a renowned performer and playwright who fuses Eastern and Western poetic forms, will be at the Galley at St George’s House, St George’s Road, at 7pm.

She will headline a performance by a collaboration of local writers, many whose first language is not English.

A Poetry In Translation workshop will be held at Bolton Central Library in the afternoon, led by James Hartnell, from Bank Street Writers.

New York poet George Wallace, formerly poet-in-residence at Brooklyn’s Walt Whitman Centre, will lead a writing workshop on the Thursday afternoon in Bolton Central Library, and, at 7pm, he will headline a performance by local writers at the galley.

Alabaster DePlume, a Manchester-based performance artist and musician, will bring a group of internationally respected musicians and performers — the Copernicus Ensemble, Irish folk artist Rioghnach Connolly and Paddy Steer — to the Dog and Partridge, Manor Street, on Friday.

Singer-songwriter Don McColl will open the evening at 8pm.

There will also be sessions at Costa Coffee in Waterstone’s, Deansgate.

If the festival is a success, the organisers hope to hold it again next year on a bigger scale.

For the full line-up and tickets, visit

What's on

  • Tuesday — The Worktown Festival Launch, 5.15pm Octagon Theatre Bar. Free, but admission by ticket only
  • Wednesday — Poetry In Translation day
  • Thursday — Creative Minds at 10am, New York Poet; George Wallace’s workshop at 2pm, and George headlines at an evening event 7pm.
  • Friday — The festival ends with a free celebratory event at the Dog and Partridge 8pm