The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, located on Cambridge Street, has rounded up a series of events to celebrate the 100th birthday of the foundation’s hero, Anthony Burgess.
Anthony Burgess — the novelist, poet, playwright and critic behind major works including A Clockwork Orange, Enderby and The Right to an Answer, was on of the best known English literary figures of the latter half of the twentieth century. Born in 1917 and raised in Manchester, he grew up in Harpurhey and Moss Side. After attending Xaverian College and Manchester University, he graduated with a degree in English Literature in 1940. After his international success, owed partly to the controversial Stanely Kubrick adaptation of A Clockwork Orange, his work inspired millions across the globe.
The International Anthony Burgess Foundation is an independent educational charity that seeks to encourage public and scholarly interest in all aspects of the life and work of Anthony Burgess. To celebrate Burgess’ centenary this year, the foundation are launching a number of activities and events to honour him. Alongside this, the foundation are celebrating with an international programme of publications, research projects as well as the £3000 Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism.
This season will see a lineup of events including the publication of The Irwell Edition of the Works of Anthony Burgess, the first collected edition of his novels and non-fiction. After proposing a collected edition of his works to his British publisher in 1980, he indicated in a letter that he wished for the edition to be entitled ‘The Irwell Edition’, after ‘the muddy and graveolent river that crosses Manchester’.
Despite his wish being unfulfilled in his lifetime, Manchester University Press will now publish a complete, uniform edition of Burgess’ novels, autobiographies and non-fiction writings. In addition to this, each volume of ‘The Irwell Edition’ will contain a brand new introduction, an annotated and restored text as well as unpublished material from the Burgess Archive.
Similarly, ‘A Song Smelling of Oysters and Port’ – an evening of food and performance celebrating the work of Burgess – will be held at The Whitworth Art Gallery on 14 September. From 7.30pm, you can join fellow Burgess enthusiasts for an aperitif and three course meal using recipes found within Burgess’ fiction. This series of playful interventions at the dinner table will mark the closing week of the exhibition No End to Enderby and the subsequent launch of the publication Hot Pots: a collection of artists’ writings in response to Burgess’ repeated use of a recipe for Lancashire Hot Pot which features in eight different pieces of work.
In yet another instalment of creativity and artistic flare, five weekly sessions of a poetry course, ‘From the Archive’ will begin on Tuesday 24 October at 7pm. In this five week course, The Poetry School will offer the opportunity to explore, through writing, some of the items held at the Burgess Foundation. Every week a different object will be the focus for the session, whether this be a musical matchbox or a hand-designed tarot card. The course is open to all.
For more information of events celebrating Burgess’ centenary visit https://www.anthonyburgess.org. Events specifically celebrating Burgess will be indicated with Burgess100.