THE Manchester Children’s Book Festival launched with a bang on Friday, with a reading by the Poet Laureate, a performance by local school children playing the steel drums and the opening of Malcolm Garrett’s The World of Tomorrow: History of the Future exhibition.
MMU Vice Chancellor John Brooks spoke passionately about the importance of supporting the humanities, engaging young people for the future and instilling in them a love of books and reading before Dean of Humanities, Sharon Handley, spoke about how the festival not only celebrated literature and critical thinking but also reached out to the wider community.
Festival director Kaye Tew emphasised that the festival was for the city as a whole and for Greater Manchester’s children specifically. She said: “It is the strong belief of everyone on the Festival team, and a key agenda for the university, that we provide access for those young people who would not normally have the opportunity to meet an author, see them read from their work, or take part in a creative workshop."
“In advance of the Festival we’ve been running ‘trailblazer events’, bringing school groups into MMU for reading events with authors, and also sending authors and practitioners into schools to run writing workshops," continued Kaye. "We want to encourage young people to engage with literature – to read and to write – to find their own voices and use their imaginations. They are, after all, the writers of the future.”
Co-director james Draper thanked the many people who helped make the event work, saying: "We have had a great deal of support from within the university – far too many people to thank individually."
Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate and the festival's creative director, officially launched the event with a reading of her poem, Invisible Ink, to a spellbound audience.
Events continue throughout the week. For more information, visit www.mcbf.org.uk.
Manchester Metropolitan University is a leading university for the professions and a powerful driver of the North West economy.
The University educates and trains large numbers of the region’s legal and business professionals, scientists, engineers, teachers, health workers and creative professionals. It enjoys an excellent reputation for teaching and applied research and is a recognised innovator in partnership working with its local communities. The University is currently investing almost £300 million in its estate and facilities.
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