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The Complete Works: Year 1 – Hope & Resistance

HOME and The University of Manchester are delighted to announce the appointment of Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE to lead a new annual series of literature events The Complete Works.

Editor, critic & broadcaster Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE curates and presents this brand-new series of in-depth interviews at HOME, featuring acclaimed writers Jackie Kay, Gary Younge, Kamila Shamsie, Christina Lamb & Aminatta Forna

The Complete Works: Year 1 – Hope & Resistance launches in September 2019 and will delve deep into each author’s imagination, motivations and inspirations, with further themes & line-ups to be announced in 2020/2021 & 2021/2022

The Complete Works is the next phase of collaboration between HOME’s programming teams and University academics, which to date have spanned theatre, visual art and film and will now explore international, experimental and political themes in conversations with some of the most exciting contemporary writers working today.

Year 1 of the series launches in September 2019 with a line-up of journalists and authors whose work encapsulates and has strong resonance with the powerful theme of Hope & Resistance.

As part of this exciting new partnership, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE has been appointed as Senior Research Fellow to facilitate knowledge exchange between the University’s Centre for New Writing and HOME, and to curate a series of literature events over three years, starting in Autumn 2019. Ellah is Editor at large at Canongate Books and was the founding Publishing Director of The Indigo Press. She is chair of the Caine Prize for African writing and she served on the judging panel of the 2017 Dublin International Literary Award and the 2015 Man Booker Prize. In 2011 she was awarded an OBE for services to the publishing industry, and earlier this month, she was appointed as an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

The partnership has been further strengthened by Creative Manchester, a project which signals the University’s commitment to champion culture and creativity. A key element of the project involves building collaborations with business and cultural organisations.

Of her appointment Ellah Wakatama Allfrey said: “I envisage this series as a unique opportunity to invite audiences to ‘slow down’ in our current environment of fast news via social media and instant reactions. Focusing on leading international writers, each conversation will draw on their complete body of work – asking key questions about pervading themes and examining the impact their work has had on how we understand the events of our time, the world we live in and the human condition.”

We are pleased to reveal the full line-up for Year 1 of this exciting new series:

The Complete Works, Year One: Hope & Resistance

15 September 2019: Jackie Kay

1 October 2019: Gary Younge

28 November 2019: Kamila Shamsie

16 December 2019: Christina Lamb

20 January 2020: Aminatta Forna

19 February 2020: Guest to be announced

Dave Moutrey, Director and Chief Executive of HOME Manchester and Director of Culture for Manchester said: “Since HOME first opened its doors in 2015, we’ve seen some of the most seismic changes in our national landscape for a generation. Cracks are appearing in our social fabric, some of which threaten to cause deep divisions in our communities. We believe HOME should shine a questioning light on division and injustice and celebrate those things that as human beings we all share. The Complete Works is driven by this urge to question, share, challenge and discuss. We are delighted to work with The University of Manchester and Ellah Wakatama Allfrey to explore Hope & Resistance in this exciting series of events.”

Professor John McAuliffe, poet and co-director of the Centre for New Writing at The University of Manchester said: “The Centre for New Writing at The University of Manchester are delighted to be launching The Complete Works with Ellah Wakatama Allfrey at HOME Manchester: The University is home to world-leading writers whose work addresses contemporary issues about culture and language, and this series is driven by the same urgent interest in how these issues affect Manchester: Ellah has been a key figure in the changing landscape of UK literature and these in-depth interviews will bring some of the world’s leading writers, in all genres, to a great civic space in the city.”

More information on The Complete Works