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An Evening with Don Paterson

Manchester Libraries, Faber Books and Blackwells 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 Roma Havers, Learning Manager 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.

Roma Havers is the Learning Manager for Manchester Poetry Library. Roma is particularly excited by the collaborative and creative possibilities of the learning programmes at Manchester Poetry Library. She is an experienced facilitator and poetry mentor and a trained Anti-Racism training Facilitator. Editor for Young Identity’s poetry press No Disclaimers, writes and performs and sits on several youth forums and consultancy groups across Manchester. She has produced events and youth projects with Young Identity HOMEmcr, Manchester Histories, Amnesty International, MIF and many others.

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 [email protected] and we can arrange this for you.

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