The Portico Library has announced the relaunch of Rewriting the North, a programme of events celebrating writers and writing connected with the North of England.

Rewriting the North is run in tandem with the Portico Prize. Between April and September 2022, this year’s season will explore themes in the Portico Prize 2022 winning novel, Toto Among the Murderers by Sally J Morgan, which captures life for young women on the edges of counterculture in 1970s Sheffield and Leeds. Themes explored in the novel will be discussed during the events. These include the impact of male violence, fiction about the recent past, memoir fused with fiction, writing about the North at a distance, and women’s art.

sensible-footwearWomen Among the Artists, a presentation by art historian and Northern Soul writer Sara Riccardi, will take place on May 5 and explore women artists in the British art scene in the 1970s and 1980s. The event will examine feminism, performance and the body, again taking inspiration from the Portico Prize 2022 Winner.

The first of five events will welcome graphic writers Kate Charlesworth and Una who will talk about their different visions and stories about the North of England visualised in their books Sensible Footwear and Eve.

In Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide, Charlesworth presents a glorious pageant of LGBT history as she takes the reader on a PRIDE march from the 1950s to the present day. Sensible Footwear is the first graphic history charting lesbian life from 1950 to today. Meanwhile, Eve, UnaUna’s Eve tells the story of a young woman born into dramatic social change in the near future, brought about by environmental disaster and deep-rooted prejudice, in her Yorkshire community. After a catastrophe that changes everything, Eve must set off on her own, over the wild Yorkshire moors, to try and find a new way to live and love. The event will take place on April 26, 2022.

Rewriting the North is funded by the Arts Council and is curated by the Portico Library in partnership with the Centre for Place Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. It was first hosted in 2019 in the lead-up to the 2020 Portico Prize.

Earlier this year, a Rewriting the North five-part podcast series was launched, commissioning Northern writers to write and present an episode on a place of personal significance. Writers included Jennifer Reid, Adam Farrer, Amina Atiq, Testament, and John Murray. The episodes are available to listen to here.

Main image by Marge Bradshaw Photography 

Event listing information:

Event: Rewriting the North: Graphic Writing

Date: April 26

Time: 18.00 – 19.00

Booking via Eventbrite here. This is an online event.

Price: £5

Event: Rewriting the North: Women Among the Artists

Date: May 5

Time: 18.30 – 20.00

Booking via Eventbrite here.

Price: £5 pre-book, £8 on the door 

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For more details on these events and more, visit the website.