TOY FIGHTS – An Evening with Don Paterson

  • DATE

    25 January 2023

  • TIME

    6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome


    £5 (£3 members and concessions)


    Manchester Central Library
    St Peter's Square, Manchester, M2 5PD

Manchester Libraries, Faber Members and Blackwell’s Bookshop are proud to present An Evening with Don Paterson to celebrate the publication of TOY FIGHTS – an exquisitely sharp, deeply humane and brutally hilarious boyhood memoir from one of the greatest writers of his generation.

Don Paterson will be in conversation with Roam Havers from Manchester Poetry Library

About the book:

“This is a book about family, money and music but also about schizophrenia, hell, narcissists, debt and the working class, anger, swearing, drugs, books, football, love, origami, the peculiar insanity of Dundee, sugar, religious mania, the sexual excesses of the Scottish club band scene and, more generally, the lengths we go to not to be bored.”

Don Paterson spent his boyhood on a council housing estate. When he wasn’t busy dreading his birthdays, dodging kids who wanted to kill him in a game of Toy Fights, working with his country-and-western singer dad, screwing up in the Boys’ Brigade, obsessing over God, origami, The Osmonds, stamps, sex or Scottish football cards, he was developing a sugar addiction, failing his exams, playing guitar, falling in love, dodging employment and descending into madness. While he didn’t manage to figure out who he was meant to be, the first twenty years of his life – before he took a chance, packed his guitar and boarded a train to London – did, for better or worse, shape who he would become.

‘A tremendously engaging memoir, seasoned with Don Paterson’s customary wit, total recall and love of language. A classic of its kind.’ – William Boyd

‘Wonderful, aggressively wise and always – especially at its most serious – devastatingly funny.’ – Geoff Dyer

About the author:

Don Paterson was born in Dundee in 1963. His poetry has won many awards, including the Whitbread Poetry Prize, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Costa Poetry Award, all three Forward Prizes and, on two occasions, the T. S. Eliot Prize. He was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2009. He is Professor of Poetry at the University of St Andrews and, for over twenty-five years, was Poetry Editor at Picador Macmillan. He also works as a jazz musician.

Dr Martin Kratz is the Programme Manager for Manchester Poetry Library. Martin is passionate about our collection of poetry in Manchester’s community languages and poetry in recording. After completing his MA Creative Writing and PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University, Martin worked on Manchester’s successful bid to become a UNESCO City of Literature.

Doors: 5.30, starts: 6.00

Tickets are £5.00 (£3.00 for Faber Members / students / unwaged / 60+) or free when preordering a copy of the book. TOY FIGHTS will also be available to purchase on the night and Don will be signing copies after the talk. If you would like a signed copy but cannot make the event, please contact us on 0161 274 3331 or and we can arrange this for you.