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Women of The Portico Library

Friday 8 June 2018, 2 - 5pm
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Take part in an event dedicated to Manchester’s great women, such as eminent novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell, campaigner and Labour MP, Ellen Wilkonson and early Suffragette, Mary Fildes, who spoke at the Peterloo Massacre.

Spend an afternoon being tutored in creating a portrait and writing a short imaginary piece about one of these women. The session is designed to enhance your creative skills while becoming more informed about some of Manchester's most outstanding historical figures. Throughout this creative exploration you will gain deeper understanding of your subject's background and what led them to become so influential. Several of these women were shortlisted for the new public statue in Manchester to be erected in 2019.

Artist, Greg Fenwick and Writer, Marie Basting will guide you using their amazing expertise with a fun and friendly approach.

All abilities welcome.

The Divine Comedy: Early Manuscripts

Wed 20 - Fri 22 June 2018
Free/Drop in

Over just three days during Festa Italia, organised by the Societa’ Dante Alighieri, facsimiles of six of Dante's early illuminated manuscripts will be shown at The Portico Library. You will be able to view these stunning reproductions of the “Divina Commedia” up-close and discover some of the history of these amazing books. Although not the original manuscripts, the facsimiles are very interesting objects in themselves; not simple copies, but specially produced and refined to replicate the unique qualities of the true manuscripts. These objects are very useful and valuable in teaching us about the construction, history and artistry of the book. To learn more about the technical details of the manuscripts, drop in to the library at 3pm on 21 June to talk to Elena Palladino, Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian, member of the Societa’ Dante Alighieri. This display of facsimiles will sit within the library's own exhibition, Beautiful Monsters, inspired by The Portico's oldest book, Historiae Animalium by Conrad Gessner.

Divine Monsters: From Past to Present

Wed 20 June 2018, 6:30pm
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As Dante journeyed through the Inferno he encountered beasts and monsters; these have inspired some amazing illuminations. In 1560 Conrad Gessner produced his Historiae Animalium, which showed actual and mythological animals side-by-side. A lecture given by Art Historian Sara Riccardi will consider these texts and explore the historical representation of 'bestiari', which belonged to the wider collective Medieval imagination, of which Dante and Gessner were part. Sara will also present and explore the beautiful facsimiles of some illuminated early manuscripts of the Divina Commedia, on display at the Library until Friday 22 June.

Barbara Bertoni of Imago, the Italian publishers of the facsimiles, will be on hand after the talk to discuss the manuscripts with you.

Artists' talks: Beautiful Monsters

Sat 30 June 2018, 1pm
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Sophie Willan: Tales of the Weird, the Wild and the Wonderful

Sat 7 July 2018, 12pm
Free Family Event
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Bolton born Comedian, Sophie Willan, will be reading extracts from her two short stories for children in Tales of The Weird, The Wild and The Wonderful, intermingled with friendly compering and interactive games. Come and enjoy and afternoon of fun and hilarity, perfect for kids and their adults! The book, aimed at 7 - 11 year olds, will be available to purchase, and Sophie will have a pen ready to sign your copy.

Being brought up in care and given the repeated words, ‘Rude, rebellious and defiant’ on social workers’ reports, Sophie has gone on to become one of the UK’s leading ambassadors for Homeless and Care Experienced Young People. In 2015, Sophie created the dynamic multi-platform project, Stories of Care which works with Care-Leavers across the Greater Manchester region. Tales of The Weird, The Wild and The Wonderful is one of the outcomes of this work and it includes stories by the young people involved. The book is entertaining, inspiring and comforting, with its positive, relatable role models and fictional characters. It is also jaw-achingly funny.

The Chanteuse Sings Modiano

Fri 13 July 2018, 6:30pm
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The Chanteuse aka Lucy Hope, has released an album of songs written by eminent French writer, Patrick Modiano (Nobel Prize for Literature in 2014). It is little known that Modiano penned exquisite lyrics for some of the famous yéyé recording artists in the late 60s/early 70s. The Chanteuse will be bringing these songs to a 'salon' at the Portico Library.

Dr Barbara Lebrun, Senior Lecturer in French Studies at The University of Manchester will introduce the evening with a short introductory lecture on the work and life of Modiano, followed by a live performance from The Chanteuse who will sing the songs Modiano wrote early in his career.

There will also be French snacks and wines available, courtesy of Reserve Wines. Join us for this fantastic and fun event on the eve of Bastille Day!

Reading Jane Austen

Thursday 26 July 2018, 6:30pm
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“They slowly paced the gradual ascent”: taking time with Jane Austen’s novels.’ This talk will propose that slow reading of key sentences and paragraphs – awarding them the close attention more often invited by poetry – can draw us into the heart of Jane Austen’s writing. Examples will be chosen from Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion. Bill Hutchings is an Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Manchester.

Poetry Event: Finding the Cotton Famine

Tuesday 31 July 2018, 6:30pm
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During the Cotton Famine, an outpouring of poetry told of the despair and suffering endured by the people of Lancashire. Academics at the University of Exeter have been working to build an accessible database of these poems and to launch this resource there will be a mixture of recitation and song set in the context of the project and this important history. As well as entertainment, there will also be information provided on how to use the database. Come along to celebration event to hear the poems and pay tribute to the past.

Drawing Classes at The Portico

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month
11:30am - 1:30pm
Please note these classes will not be running in September 2018

£10.00 Booking not required

Practice your drawing skills in one of Manchester's most inspirational environments. Advice and tuition available from the class leader, Greg Fenwick. Basic materials are provided and tea and coffee is included in the price. If you wish to bring your own materials please restrict these to pencils, chalks and charcoals.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations can be made by contacting us here. Please note that The Portico Library is happy to issue a refund up to 24 hours before the event takes place.

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