Fringe Events

E:SF Fringe embodies our belief that ‘English’ is something that we all can and should have access to. At a time when participation in arts and culture is being challenged – whilst the benefits of that participation are simultaneously being championed – the E:SF conference and Fringe provide a mechanism whereby local and national figures can work together. ESF: Fringe will showcase Salford and Manchester’s strong history of cultural innovation, exploring and celebrating this creative edge.


Young Identity Performance and Book Launch

Thursday 7th July 7:30pm – 8:30pm | HOME Arts Centre, Manchester, M15 4FN

We are delighted that YI will be launching their new anthology of creative work by members of the group who will be performing their original spoken word work live with musical interventions. Not to be missed!

This event is free but places are limited. Please register using the below button.

Young Identity’s voice cuts through the noise. We believe in the transformative power of the arts. Our mission is to develop literacy, critical thinking, and active citizenship for young people through experimenting with the combined arts. A dynamic and innovative organisation that nurtures the talent of tomorrow. We empower young people who are at risk of being excellent to
fulfil their artistic potential.

Young Identity has worked with artists such as Saul Williams, dub poetry legend Linton Kwesi
Johnson, Ted Hughes Prize Winner Kae Tempest and the late Amiri Baraka. Providing poets for
and collaborations with Apples and Snakes, BBC, HOME, RFK Human Rights Foundation,
National Theatre, Royal Exchange, Manchester Histories and Manchester International Festival
with poetic production – ALPHABUS. Young Identity poets have performed all over the UK, from the South Bank Centre, Birmingham Hippodrome and Hay Festival as well as internationally; The Schaubühne in Berlin, Frankfurt ‘Youth Poetry Slam’ in Germany, and Nuyorican Poetry Café in America.


New Prose Writing from Dostoyevsky Wannabe and The Real Story

Friday 8th July 8:00pm – 10:45pm | THE SALUTATION 12 Higher Chatham Street Manchester, M15 6ED, United Kingdom

Join us for pub chips, pints & prose! One of Manchester’s most exciting small literary presses joins one of Salford’s best writer development projects and journal to showcase the work of their authors and organisers at one of Manchester’s most iconic pub venues! The Salutation is one of Manchester’s most historic pubs, one of only two in the city with original 1840s décor. This event will be introduced by Kate Feld, writer and lecturer at Salford University.

Dostoyevsky Wannabe
Dostoyevsky Wannabe (DW) is one of the most dynamic small presses in the UK and the heart of a design enterprise run by Victoria Brown and Richard Brammer.

James Davies’ is the author of two novels – The Wood Pigeons (Dostoevsky Wannabe), a slenderisation of a quiet night in, & the psychedelic adventure When Two Are in Love or As I Came To Behind Frank’s Transporter (written in collaboration with Philip Terry, from Crater Press). Recently, a short story, The Ten Superstrata of Stockport J. Middleton, a rewrite of the first page of Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, came out from Ma Bibliothèque. He is also the author of many collections of poetry including stack (Carcanet), which amongst other things explores alternative walking practice. Find out more at

Maria Sledmere is a poet and artist based in Glasgow, where she also teaches. She is editor-in-chief of SPAM Press and a member of the art and ecology collective, A+E. In 2021, The Palace of Humming Trees, an exhibition with Katie O’Grady and Jack O’Flynn, was shown at French Street Studios. With Rhian Williams, she co-edited an anthology, the weird folds: everyday poems from the anthropocene (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2020). Her debut collection, The Luna Erratum, is out now with Dostoyevsky Wannabe following several pamphlets including nature sounds without nature sounds (Sad Press, 2019), neutral milky halo (Guillemot Press, 2020), Chlorophyllia (OrangeApple Press 2020) and Sans Soleil,a collaboration with fred spoliar (Face Press/Mermaid Motel). Other writing can be found at

Emma Bolland is an artist and writer employing transdisciplinary approaches to writing, speaking, and reading. This includes an investigation of the problematics and ambiguities of translation—between languages and language codes, and between voice, ear, and page. Other mediums include drawing and other works on paper, moving-image, performance, collaborations, and events. They were the 2019 #interrupteur Knowledge Exchange artist-writer in residence for the University of Sheffield’s School of Arts and Humanities. Recent and forthcoming publications include: ‘Speaking Silence’, in Gestures: A Body of Work, ed. Alice Butler, Nell Osborne, and Hilary White, (Manchester University Press, forthcoming 2023), Instructions from Light (a hybrid image-text/long-poem/novella), (JOAN Publishing, forthcoming 2022), ‘Am / Thought / Always’, in Best British Short Stories 2021, ed. Nicholas Royle, (Salt Publishing, 2021), and Over, In, and Under, (Dostoevsky Wannabe, 2019).

The Real Story
The Real Story is a writer development project and journal devoted to promoting the form of nonfiction writing in the UK. It is funded by Arts Council England and administered by Openstories, a Manchester-based writing development organisation. Its founder-organisers are Kate Feld and Adam Farrer who are joined by Marie Crook.

Kate Feld is a writer who grew up in in the U.S. state of Vermont and now lives outside Manchester, UK. She writes poetry, short fiction, essays and prose that sits between forms. Her writing explores the natural world, mythology and the unconscious, often taking the form of lyric narratives that both interrogate and celebrate lived experience. Her work has been published widely in journals and anthologies including The Stinging FlyThe Letters Page and Hotel. She lectures in journalism at the University of Salford. Find her work at
Kate will be reading all new material from her work in progress; a book of short experimental prose that uses her experiences as a single working mother in lockdown to explore the conditioning of girls and women in patriarchy and life in resistance.
Her most recent piece was published in Hotel:

Marie Crook writes poetry and creative nonfiction and performs her work in and around Manchester. Her PhD The Writing Cure (York, 2003) investigated the therapeutic potential of writing, something she continues to explore in her work. She’s also written and adapted over 30 children’s books for the Penguin Young Readers series.

Adam Farrer is a writer, the Editor of the creative nonfiction journal The Real Story and the Writer in Residence for Peel Park, Salford. His manuscript, Cold Fish Soup, a memoir in essays, won the NorthBound Book Award at the 2021 Northern Writers’ Awards and will be published by Saraband books in August 2022. He was recently commissioned by Manchester’s Portico Library to produce an episode for their Rewriting the North podcast series, focussing on his hometown of Withernsea in East Yorkshire.

Dali Muru and the Polyphonic Swarm (formerly FITH) + Poetry Special Bill

Saturday 9th July 7:30pm – 10:30pm | The Grosvenor Auditorium (G.17), Manchester Metropolitan University

Poetry Special Bill: Three poets join forces on a special bill showcasing the best innovative and experimental poetry, curated and introduced by Nikolai Duffy, poet and lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Nikolai Duffy is a Senior Lecturer in American Literature, the Deputy Head of the Poetry Research Group and the Associate Head of the Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the author of Relative Strangeness: Reading Rosmarie Waldrop (Shearsman), and the editor of Waldrop’s Gap Gardening: Selected Poems (New Directions). He has published various articles on contemporary literature and poetics.His own poetry has been published and read internationally, including the books The Little Shed of Various Lamps and Up the Creek.

Robert Sheppard has published many volumes of poetry and creative prose, including the long work Twentieth Century Blues (Salt 2008) and his selected poems History or Sleep (Shearsman 2015). A project of inventing ‘fictional poets’ resulted in A Translated Man (Shearsman 2013) and the co-created ‘anthology’ Twitters for a Lark (2017). More recently, the work of transposing sonnets from the Petrarchan tradition into comedic takes on British political governance has been collected in the volumes The English Strain (Shearsman 2021) and Bad Idea (Knives Forks and Spoons 2021) and uncollected (so far) in the manuscript British Standards. A critic of linguistically innovative poetry, Sheppard authored The Meaning of Form (Palgrave 2016) as well of studies of Iain Sinclair and Lee Harwood. He lives in Liverpool, and he blogs at He is Emeritus Professor at Edge Hill University and is a Fellow of the English Association. 

Grace Atkinson is an award-winning poet from East London. She has had poems most recently published in Stand, Dazed, The North, Poetry Salzburg Review, amongst others. She was awarded a prize in the Streetcake Experimental Writing Prize 2021, and was commended in the Rosamond Prize 2019, where her work was set to a live orchestra at The Royal Northern College of Music. 

Instagram: @gracelilianatkinson website:

Sarah Cave is a writer, academic and editor at Guillemot Press and has published two full-length collections and several pamphlets, artists’ books and collaborations. Sarah is currently finishing a PhD at Royal Holloway on queering prayer – as well as working toward her third full-length collection – and teaches poetry and fiction at the University of Plymouth.

Dali Muru & the Polyphonic Swarm sit in the middle of a Venn diagram consisting of medieval inspired troubadour poetry, cinema soundtrack and primordial electronics. Initially known as FITH formed in Berlin by the duo writer/filmmaker/vocalist Dalia Neis, and the composer/producer Enir Da, their project expanded to become a revolving collective of musicians and poets spread out across a Paris/Manchester/Berlin axis. Gesturing toward ancient lineages of poetry and storytelling, Dali Muru is driven by the spell of the spoken word, minimal percussive refrains, oneiric textures & deep melodic synths, channelling cinematic imagery, enigmatic narratives & spiritual frenzy.

Their then self-titled debut self-titled LP FITH was released via their collectively run imprint Wanda Portal in November 2016. Their subsequent release Swamp was released on the London based imprint, Outer Reaches in 2018, and was a hallucinatory homage to the film of the same name by Argentine filmmaker, Lucrecia Martel.  

Available throughout the conference period | Grosvenor Social Space, Manchester Metropolitan University

30 min loop of film-poems responding to contemporary Romanian poetry, curated by Simona Nastac.
Art and poetry have long been considered fruitful allies. Both share a structure, harmony and rhythm; both emerge from a desire to make something new out of the familiar, to capture a thought or an experience in a compelling way.

Polyphonic is a vivid interplay between the written word and moving image that brings Romania’s best contemporary poetry to life with twenty animations by visual artist Raluca Popa. Weaving together the image-making power of poetry with diverse animation techniques, the artist created work in response to 20 poems by nine Romanian poets of various ethnic backgrounds, who use polyphony in their poetry by writing both in Romanian and their first language. The poets are Michael Astner, Andrei Dósa, Robert Gabriel Elekes, Matei Hutopila, Henriette Kemenes, Aleksandar Stoicovici, Livia Ștefan, Mihok Tamas, and Victor Țvetov.

Curated by London-based poet Simona Nastac and produced by the National Museum of Romanian Literature in Bucharest, Polyphonic has been presented at the London European Poetry Festival, Brussels International Poetry Fest, Haus für Poesie Berlin, Bucharest International Festival of Poetry, StAnza International Poetry Festival in St Andrews, and the Vilnius Book Weekend.

Manchester and Salford Small Press Book Fair
Available throughout the conference period | Grosvenor Foyer, Manchester Metropolitan University