It’s two hundred and eleven days since my installation in the ceremonial role of Chancellor of University of Manchester.
The last blog marked the first one hundred days since my installation. This blog represents the following one hundred and eleven days. It started with a photoshoot by Greg Williams which made me feel incredibly special. This is Loo How. Loo works with Greg. Greg works with Loo. She’s cool.
I presented Mid Week special on BBC Radio Four. Click Photo to hear the show.
I was in Manchester to Sell The Big Issue in support of Big Issue vendors.
I gave a masterclass at Chicken Shed Theatre. A joy it was.
I read to the incredible children of Ashfield School in Carlisle
I loved inspiring the staff of the special schools of Redbridge in London
I gave a TEdx talk in Manchester. Hmm. Must do better next time.
I absolutely loved this talk with the care professionals of Birmingham.
And then I flew to Ethiopia to Addis Ababa
to read poetry at The first Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa. This picture is taken at the Organisation of African Unity
On February 25th I was interviewed on Meet EBC with Tefera Gedhamu which broadcast to the nation. Click photo to watch.
Back in UK the great Baaba Maal includes two of my poems on his new album.
In London the first part of Lock and Quay (a landmark poem) is embedded into Surrey Quays new development.
I gave a MOTH talk at Union Chapel in Islington with some incredible speakers. I can’t find reference to it online. I am a fan The Moth so it was an honour to do this event. A brilliant brilliant time reading poems at Stanza festival in Scotland, More Music in Morecambe, Contact Theatre in Manchester,
Letters Live at Cadogan Hall in London and Ennis book festival with Kate Aidie in Northern Ireland.
On BBC World Service along with Luce Doucet, Nandita Das, Nunu Ntshingila I am one of the judges for Outlook inspirations this year. Click picture to hear the interview. A wonderful event at Huddersfield Literature Festiva Asfa-Wossen Asserate (below) about his book King of Kings The Triumph of Emperor Haile Selassie.
The Alumni at University of Manchester welcomed me at a special in The Foundling Museum
Then I visited one of my favorite places on earth: Northern Ireland and Belfast to work with inspiring care leavers.
I Spent a week in Carlisle to write and record a poem for them. Mansio. It was wonderful to learn about the castle. I don’t like castles. They’re places of ruthless oppression
And then I flew to America to New Hampshire College for a week. No pictures. Aggh. It’s the most liberal college in the states.
I flew back to England to give the closing address at The Future Everything Conference. An awesome venue at Manchester Town hall.
I was proud to speak The Global Health Society poetry competition at University of Manchester. The quality of work was outstanding.
Organised by this incredible author Mukesh Kapila CBE whom I first met in Dubai.
In Norwich I read poems and spoke my story at Your own Place supporting young people in transition
Wenlock Poetry Festival working lunch and a sold out performance in the evening. .
To Cape Town South Africa: I read poems at Going Global 2016 in front of Vice Chancellors and educationalists from around the world. The education minister for South Africa was there. I said to the assembled audience ” Manchester University is the greatest university on earth”.
Click this picture below for the Going Global Webpage Back in England I present Midweek Special on BBC Radio 4 Click picture to listen
I spent a weekend at the brilliant Wisewords Festival in Canterbury. This festival has matured into something special.
Poetry in a giant Yurt. A beautiful venue. It sold out like all the readings. I am always moved when an event for poetry sells out.
I was at a cinema arts complex called HOME in Manchester to show the incredible film Mercy Mercy with director Katrine. Thankyou Home.
I was at University of Manchester in Whitworth Hall for the truly inspiring Making A Difference Awards. It makes me proud to be Chancellor of the University of Manchester where Social Responsibility is priority .
And here are some of the incredible winners at the Making a Difference Awards
Finished filming The Road To Wembley broadcast this Wednesday at 11.45pm on BBC1 or 2 and on FA Cup day at 2.30pm.
I was proud and moved to tears at The jersey Foster Carer Awards. There is something magical about fostering.
I’ve written two commissions: One for The Battle of The Somme which will be read and performed at The commemoration of the 100th anniversary on July 1st and also a poem about Graphene which will be broadcast at the exhibition Adventures in Flatland. I’ve finished my New And selected poems with Canongate Books. Here’s the cover. It is available for pre-orders and will be launched later this year. Hardback too!