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Manchester Poetry Library is due to open on Oxford Road later this year. It will be a public lending library open to all. We’ve been working with many partners across the North West to think about the library collection, and the different ways in which visitors might interact with poetry.

We were delighted to accept Steve Dearden’s invitation to lead a day of writing about Invisible/Visible Libraries. Steve’s ingenious writing workshop asked Writing Squad members to respond creatively to ideas about libraries of the mind.  We wrote about our first experiences of libraries, sharing our Desert Island Collections, and responding to themes – Libraries and Memory, Libraries and Desire, and Hidden Libraries.

As ever, ideas flowed. You will see from the pieces in this edition of PUSH that Writing Squad members have produced some ingenious writing full of insight and playfulness. There are libraries that don’t compromise, libraries that spread out through a hundred different places, appearing when they wants to.  We find a city of lost stories. Mr Bean holidays with Sam Beckett. Books are wrapped in velvet, and copies of books mysteriously appear on doorsteps across the land.

As the poetry library comes to life, we look forward to exploring our collaboration with The Writing Squad around real and imagined libraries.

Becky Swain

Director of Manchester Poetry Library – Opening in 2020.

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