is a research project that was funded for three and a half years by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Moving Manchester spent four years (2006-2010) investigating the ways in which the experience of migration has impacted upon contemporary writing in the city and, by extension, the ways in which these multicultural publications and performances have impacted upon the urban population's view of itself as well as the wider perception of Manchester as a British city.
To this end, the project team has worked closely with several Manchester-based writers' organisations and publishers such as Commonword, Gatehouse, The Black Arts Alliance, Comma Press, Manchester Irish Writers' group and sought to actively promote the work of the writers and organisations concerned. These twin commitments, of academic research on the one hand and literature development on the other, are reflected in the project's outputs which combine scholarly articles and books/ book chapters with an open-access electronic catalogue, an anthology of new writing ('Migration Stories', 2009) and a web-based 'Writers Gallery' which features the work and profiles of some 30 Manchester-based writers.
In addition, the project has sought to disseminate the findings of its research, together with the work of Manchester-based authors and writers' organisations themselves, through a number of exhibitions and events that have been aimed at the general public: in particular, a 'Creative Arts Day' (including exhibition) at the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester (12 September 2009), the 'Writing Manchester' exhibition which was held at Manchester Central Library (7 September - 18 October 2009), the Glocal Imaginaries conference (9 - 12 September 2009). The MM team are presently busy finishing up the academic publications coming out the project: for full details please see our Publications page.
Amongst the project's publications is Graham Mort's poem, "Manchester". One of the leading team members on the Moving Manchester project, Graham recently published this personification of the city in his new collection, Cusp (Seren, 2011): the Telegraph, identifying Cusp as one of the best new poetry collections, selects “Manchester” as the highlight of this "far-ranging collection" that "specialises in revealing all that is 'underfoot and unsaid'”.
The above image, The Midland Hotel, was specially created for the project by the artist Michael Gutteridge. Michael's surreal images of Manchester can be found throughout the website.