Inspired by Libraries: Shirley May and Mike Garry

  • DATE

    11 June 2021

  • TIME

    6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome




    The Portico Library
    57 Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3HY

Join former librarians now spoken word artists Shirley May and Mike Garry as they share with us how libraries are a cornerstone for fostering creativity across a whole range of communities, in Manchester and beyond.

In this exclusive event held for a small socially distanced audience in The Portico Library we will have conversations, laughs and performances from two of Manchester’s most inspirational poets.

Please note that this is an in person event.


About Shirley May:

Shirley has recently received an honorary fellowship from the Royal Society ofLiterature for her support work for young writers in the communities she works in. She is already a visiting fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University and has now become an artist in residence at the centre, Ahmed Iqbal hola Race-Relations Centre ManchesterUniversity.Shirley is working on a new book and a music project with another local legend Johnny Jay, to be published in 2021.

Shirley is the director of Young Identity writing collective, which primarily works with 13-25-year-olds. Young Identity works in partnership with Contact Theatre, HOME and MIF and Trafford Housing Trust.Shirley believes her role is to make both performance and page poetry accessible to young people in Manchester. She has worked for 18 years to promote a culture around performance poetry to make it “cool” and happening by mentoring and supporting new writers in schools and community groups.

About Mike Garry:

Mike Garry was a librarian for 15 years before becoming a poet. He began by reading his own poems to the hundreds of young people who attended his Library Homework Centre. They loved what they heard and encouraged him to perform them at live poetry events and Slams, which he did, instantly winning fans and prizes throughout the UK. His gritty poetry has won the admiration far and wide and his collaboration with Joe Duddell and New Order in New Yorks Carnegie Hall in 2014 received five star reviews.

Mike has worked in thousands of schools and his three books, Men’s Morning, Mancunian Meander and God is a Manc have become schemes of work in schools throughout the UK and his poetry is regularly heard on BBC Radio and TV. He has read his poems in Prisons, Young Offenders units, Mental Health Hospitals, Children’s Homes, youth clubs and local pubs. He’s passionate about bringing live poetry to places it wouldn’t normally reach and to people who wouldn’t normally listen to it. Mike’s performances are passionate swirling rhythms of thoughts and emotions converted to monologues of quick fire words.