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A Magazine for Sheffield

Off The Shelf 2012: A celebration of words

Off The Shelf is Sheffield's annual festival of reading and writing. This month's edition of Now Then is an Off The Shelf special, featuring poems, interviews and listings all taken from their programme. It's a nigh impossible task to give you a summary of the range of events that are happening as part of the festival, but it's important to note there's something for everyone. The programme always includes a mixture of poetry, prose, comedy, interviews, collaborations between different art forms, exhibitions and a range of workshops for both young and old alike. Benjamin Zephaniah is guest curating a few events this year on the theme of 'giving young people a voice'. You can read more about those in our interview with him (page 20). Hopefully the events will create a great legacy for young people in Sheffield. There are events exploring Sheffield's Victorian workhouses and the city's past through ghost stories at the Lantern Theatre. There's political satire from Steve Bell and a rare chance to see Sharon Olds ('America's greatest living poet', The Guardian) performing at Sheffield University. Musicians Peter Hook from Joy Division and Tom Hingley from Inspiral Carpets are also launching their respective books. There's the writers group fair on 13th October, where you can find a group to suit your tastes and you can air those poems and prose you've been working on. There's also the Sheffield Book Fair on 28th October, where there will be a whole range of new and second-hand books available. It's another great line up despite increased funding pressure in our unfortunate economic climate. Even for people who wouldn't normally attend literature events, there's lots to see, including Mark Grist of Don't Flop rap battle fame performing at The Riverside on 23rd October. For the full programme head over to and book your tickets before they sell out. )

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