We’ve just spent three days on a stall at the Manchester Book Market, two of which were battered by rain. But despite this, in fact maybe because of this, it was a most rewarding time. Firstly to meet and talk books with the genuinely amazing people who stopped by our stall, getting soaked to the bone. Never believe what you read about people and their love of books and willingness to experiment. (Out of interest, once again, in a market situation, Ideas Above Our Station was far and away our bestselling title.) And also, it’s a privilege to stand alongside a hardcore gang of talented and dedicated literature activists. Manchester is always a very comfortable city for us, come rain or shine.
Within the market there was a poetry tent, and considering the downpour, this must be the hardiest poetry audience in the west. We recorded some video on the fly. The one above is the brilliant Mike Garry performing his tribute to Tony Wilson, ‘Saint Anthony’. We were fortunate enough to camp alongside Mike and his family for the three days of the market, and his dulcet Mancunian tones and turns of phrase, meshed with the beat of the rain on the market stall roof, was our soundtrack for the weekend. More video of rain washed poets to come.