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Henry Normal – ‘This Phantom Breath’ Book Launch

‘The Alan Bennett of poetry’ – The Scotsman
‘Dovetails bittersweet poetry with a sublimely observant wit’ – The Guardian

Flapjack Press and Manchester Libraries are proud to host the launch of Henry Normal’s new collection of poetry, ‘This Phantom Breath’.

Written between August 2016 and August 2017, the poems in this collection are concerned with love, death, truth and other distractions.

Henry is co-writer and producer of some of the very biggest hits of British TV and cinema over the past decade and a half. He co-wrote Mrs Merton, The Royle Family and much of Steve Coogan’s early output. He’s produced everything from 24 Hour Party People, to Red Dwarf, Nighty Night and Philomena.

He may be less well-known as a poet, though he is no less esteemed. Influenced by the Liverpool poets; Adrian Mitchell, John Cooper Clarke and ‘ranting’ poets like Steven ‘Seething’ Wells, along with poets on the cabaret circuit like John Hegley, Henry was a stalwart of the performance poetry scene of the 1980s, before he was diverted into TV. He is the founder of the Manchester Poetry Festival (now the Literature festival) and co-founder of the Nottingham Poetry Festival.

Supporting Henry will be Pete Ramskill, Nottingham-based painter / sculptor / designer / poet, reading from his new Flapjack Press collection Selected Moments of Machine Life.

Pete has had two previous books of poems published; Strike and Personal Vendetta (the latter under his pseudonym, John Bitumen). His more recent poems explore love and family relationships whilst there’s still a deeply political edge to works about the world we choose to tolerate.

‘It’s no coincidence that Pete Ramskill is also a stone carver, he brings the same tools to his poetry – a hammer and chisel…’