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Saturday, 11 October 2014
Year 13 student Lydia Hounat was recently invited to perform at the Manchester Literature Festival as part of an evening billed as ‘Bad Language with Matt Haig and The Writing Squad’. This was a really exciting opportunity for her to showcase her writing talent in front of a live audience and alongside other amazing creative talents.
The evening was headlined by novelist Matt Haig, who read from his new book The Humans, in which a Cambridge University professor solves the world’s greatest mathematical riddle and then disappears, only to return in unusual circumstances filled with loathing for the human race. Bad Language – a collective of writers described in the festival programme as “Manchester’s hottest live lit night” – offered up the best of their roster of talent.
Lydia was one of the four Writing Squad performers on the programme. The Writing Squad offers support through workshops, mentoring and performance across the north for young writers who wish to develop. The voices of these emerging talents were given space alongside Bad Language and Matt Haig to make for an incredibly diverse and exciting evening of performance.
Talking about the evening, Lydia said, “The Manchester Literature Festival gig was probably one of the best experiences I'll have as a performance poet, and it's opened up more avenues for hundreds of opportunities to take on within a poet's world. Performing with Matt Haig, my Writing Squad and the Bad Language crew gave me massive insight into the different kinds of writing out there, for different voices. The night was packed with people from all different walks of life, hilarity and artistic flair, and soft-spoken literature that melted every heart within the room. I was honoured and privileged to perform my work at the Anthony Burgess Centre that night, it has given me masses of confidence, full faith in my own poetry, and I met some wonderful people.”
Lydia performed two poems: ‘Der Untergang’ and ‘They Thought We Were From Al-Quaeda’.
Last year, Lydia won the School’s Open Mic Night competition, judged by slam poet Mike Garry, with her poem about Manchester ‘North West Jewel’.
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