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Manchester Literature Festival kicks off in earnest this week with a string of events featuring high-profile authors.

The week begins with Michael Rosen, celebrated children’s author, performing some of his favourite poems at the Royal Exchange, and also includes afternoon tea with contemporary novelist Deborah Moggach at the Midland Hotel and an evening with Robert Harris, whose forthcoming novel Dictator is the long-awaited conclusion to his acclaimed Cicero trilogy of historical fiction.

Manchester Literature Festival runs until 25 October. Also underway over the Pennines is Ilkley Literature Festival, which runs until 18 October.

Among its many highlights this week are Professor Robert Winston, who will be talking about the ethical implications of genetic modification of humans, poet Ian McMillan on the meaning of Yorkshire, and explorer Ranulph Fiennes discussing his latest book.

Big Issue North is proud once again to be media partner to both prestigious festivals (www.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk, www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk).

Photo: poet Ian McMillan with Big Issue North vendor Gary last year, during the Big Sell

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