Welcome to our Off The Shelf special. We’ve taken our content from their programme, so this is a taster of what’s going on in Sheffield throughout October. Check out the full programme online. There’s a really good mix of events and workshops for both young and old, something to suit everyone’s taste. Poetry lovers have […]

Welcome to our Off The Shelf special. We’ve taken our content from their programme, so this is a taster of what’s going on in Sheffield throughout October. Check out the full programme online. There’s a really good mix of events and workshops for both young and old, something to suit everyone’s taste. Poetry lovers have got big names like Daljit Nagra (interview overleaf), Carol Ann Duffy, Wendy Cope and Simon Armitage to choose from, alongside several open mics and slams. If you like novels, there’s young author Joe Dunthorne, whose first book Submarine was recently made into a feature film. There’s a lecture on David Hockney’s work and a talk by climber Joe Simpson. There’s Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall if you’re a foodie.

Literature festivals are not like Glastonbury. Forget the mud and the huge queues – think more scarfs and tea lights. There is something special about hearing a poet or author read their own work live, when you can see the whites of their eyes. From international poets taking you away to Iran, India and Hungary, to events reminiscing about Sheffield’s past and talks on economics and climate change, Off The Shelf provides food for thought. In current funding climates, it is increasingly hard for some councils to justify large spending on cultural activities, but a city without events like these would be much the poorer for it. Go out and support your local poet.

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home” ~ Twyla Tharp.

Joe Kriss.