Hannah Kate

poet, short story writer and editor based in Manchester

August 8, 2020

North Manchester FM: Hannah’s Bookshelf, Saturday 15 August, 2-4pm

Join me on Saturday at 2pm on North Manchester FM for more News, Reviews and Short Interviews on Hannah’s Bookshelf. Here’s what’s coming up on this week’s show…

Reviews of two radio plays from JustOut Theatre I’ve chosen two more plays from the JustOut Stays In radio play series to talk about on this week’s show: A is for… by Jilly Sumsion and Accident of Birth by Trevor Suthers.

A review of a swashbuckling collection of short stories… I’ll be reviewing The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper by A.J. Fitzwater, a collection of short stories about a fantastical pirate called Cinrak (who happens to be a capybara), published by Queen of Swords Press.

An interview with Amanda Steel I first interviewed Amanda way back in July 2016, but she’s been a regular performer on the Hannah’s Bookshelf Live Poetry Specials since then. Amanda is the author of several novels and poetry collections, including Ghost of Me and Always Darkest Before Dawn. She also works as a copywriter, and is the co-host of the book review podcast Reading in Bed, which now has a spinoff podcast called Reading in Bed Extracts. In case you’re curious, Amanda’s Apocalypse Books choices were Plague Town by Dana Fredsti, IT by Stephen King, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

And a review of a short film by Ugly Bucket I’ll also be reviewing ABC (Anything But Covid), a short film produced by the Liverpool-based physical comedy company as part of the Homemakers series from HOME, Manchester.

Plus… you can hear my weekly round-up of news from the World of Words. If you’ve got a news story you’d like to share, please use the News Form to submit it to the show. For review requests, please get in touch via the Contact Form.

Catch Hannah’s Bookshelf on Saturday at 2pm on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

August 5, 2020

North Manchester FM: Hannah’s Bookshelf, Saturday 8 August, 2-4pm

It gives me great pleasure to be able to once again say… Join me on Saturday at 2pm on North Manchester FM for Hannah’s Bookshelf! I’m returning to the airwaves with a slightly different format for the show, so tune in to hear News, Reviews and Short Interviews! Here’s what’s coming up on this week’s show…

An interview with Marc Nash Marc was a guest on Hannah’s Bookshelf back in September 2018, and we’re going to be catching up on this week’s show. Marc has published five flash fiction collections and five novels, with his sixth due to be published in April 2021 by Lendal Press. His fifth novel Three Dreams In The Key Of G was shortlisted for the Not The Booker Prize. Marc lives and works in London. And in case you’re curious, Marc’s Apocalypse Books choices were Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon, This is Not a Novel and Other Novels by David Markson, and Endgame by Samuel Beckett.

Reviews of two new radio plays from JustOut Theatre I’ve chosen two plays from the JustOut Stays In radio play series to talk about on this week’s show: ‘Hunting Swans’ by Ellen J. Baddeley and ‘Laugh Track’ by Liam Gillies.

A review of an academic book on werewolves… I’ll be reviewing The Nature of the Beast: Transformations of the Werewolf from the 1970s to the Twenty-First Century by Carys Crossen (University of Wales Press, 2019), a new study of werewolves in popular fiction.

And a review of a short film by Ad Infinitum I’ll also be reviewing A Small Gathering, a COVID-inspired short film (or rather a trio of short films) produced by the Bristol-based theatre company as part of the Homemakers series from HOME, Manchester.

Plus there’ll be the first of my weekly round-ups of literary news from Manchester… and beyond! (Don’t forget you can submit your stories at any time for inclusion in my weekly news segment via my News Form.)

Catch Hannah’s Bookshelf on Saturday at 2pm on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

July 29, 2020

Hannah’s Bookshelf is Back on the Air!

I’m very pleased to be able to announce that Hannah’s Bookshelf is returning to North Manchester FM from Saturday 8th August, 2-4pm. After a hiatus (which was a wee bit longer than expected), the show will once again be going out weekly on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) and online (if you’re further afield).

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, Hannah’s Bookshelf will have a slightly different format for a while. But there are lots of opportunities to get involved, and I’d love to hear from you. Over the next few months the show will focus on News, Reviews and Short Interviews. The (Not Quite) Live Poetry Special and 3 Minute Scares Competition will also be back in the autumn.

Got a story to share about a publication, competition, call for submissions, event or… well, anything else? You can submit it directly via the News Form for inclusion on the show.

Hannah’s Bookshelf is currently open for review requests for books and theatre, film and performance events (online only for now). Get in touch via the Contact Form if you would like me to review your work on the show.

Keep an eye on the website or follow me on Twitter or Facebook for info about upcoming episodes. I’m really looking forward to getting back on the airwaves in August!

July 12, 2020

I Think This Was Important (A Found Poem)

I Think This Was Important
One Hundred Days of Quarantine

by Hannah Kate

stay at home save lives      greggs   pe with joe
hantavirus      boycott wetherspoons       pe with joe
prince charles   nhs volunteers         thank you baked potato
dyson    coronavillains    clap for nhs
pray for boris    lisbon lions      chester zoo
clocks go forwards     richard branson       animal crossing new horizons
letter from boris       kate mccann    when coronavirus is over
stephen kinnock       backstreet boys        michael rosen
paul chuckle     llandudno goats    nightingale hospital

april fool’s day        wimbledon     daily briefing
ask rishi       eddie large     one man two guvnors
thank you jeremy      r.i.p. areema      fancy dress pe with joe
labour leadership election     keir starmer      virtual grand national
queen’s speech     shadow cabinet     lord bath
jacinda ardern  doncaster council     honor blackman
clap for boris   don’t buy the sun      sue murphy
passover      easter at home         lockdown extension
emily maitlis    boycott asos    red dwarf the promised land
good friday    boris the butcher       dogs during lockdown
ross kemp     downing street briefing        bigger on the inside
priti awful    stirling moss     tim brooke-taylor
labour leaks    quiz    best of british
nufc takeover    once things get back to normal        peter capaldi
you clap for me now    justice for the 96         great british menu
captain tom moore      two point six challenge        me at 20
westminster bridge     bat appreciation day     scarves out for norman
we stand with lyra    record store day         where is boris?
farewell sarah jane      edam    meteor shower
tony blair        virgin atlantic    yellow candle
happy birthday your majesty   nhs million    prince
earth day       raab     refund passengers
st george’s day        ramadan mubarak       the big night in
dettol     domestos       toilet duck
al pacino      world penguin day      kim jong un dead(?)
lesbian visibility day    london marathon        alien day
boris is back(!)          greggs   panorama
minute’s silence        ed balls day      our girl
boris baby       extend the lockdown    assassin’s creed
happy birthday captain tom    frankenstein    museums from home

may day        beltane  friday night dinner
world naked gardening day     world cup rewind        eurovision again
david icke      five tests        antiques roadshow
may the 4th be with you        midnight sun    pe with rosie
nhs app        neil ferguson     where is boris?
adele    my boy lollipop         supermoon
bank holiday weekend       keep the lockdown        clap for our keyworkers
david attenborough     ve day 75         we’ll meet again
i’m bored      covidiots         world cup rewind
stay alert        boris speech     prerecorded
staying alert       thanks boris   piers morgan
rory kinnear     furlough scheme        bryan adams
fred perry      taylor wimpey  watermelon sugar
clap for keyworkers     resign dorries   antiviral wipe
school uniform day     daily mail       so, the r…
bundesliga is back(!)    hyde park       halloween at home
donkeygate     neil gaiman      dirty dancing
mental health awareness week         international museum day      9 in a row
easyjet         anne boleyn     pick for britain
hottest day of the year   pmqs       thank a teacher day
tony slattery      jennifer arcuri   nhs surcharge
manchester remembers        bank holiday weekend       world goth day
durham     dominic goings        double standards
eid mubarak   barnard castle     truth twisters
boo for boris   towel day         brian may
happy birthday jeremy corbyn        springwatch      the ickabog
happy birthday gazza   liaison committee        justice for george floyd
track and trace         not moving on         geoff capes
national biscuit day     black lives matter       minneapolis
amish    antifa    rocket launch
pentecost      anonymous       epstein

ikea       ebola    bunkerboy
blackout tuesday        moggconga    sex ban
take the knee    k-pop stans     madeleine mccann
meghan markle       chlorinated chicken    face coverings
world environment day       babygate      13 reasons why
d-day 76        uk protests      virtual pub crawl
edward colston        lockdown failed      kettle crisps
carers week    world oceans day     broadchurch
teagate      miss hitler     little britain
boycott sainsbury’s    buy sainsbury’s          support bubble
baden powell   shamima begum        ps5 reveal
fawlty towers   twitter shagger         blue peter
trooping the colour     churchill statue         keith palmer
grenfell    rampgate     patrick hutchinson
loneliness awareness week    primark      marcus rashford
royal ascot    free school meals       dexamethasone
football’s back(!)      daniel rashford      tim tams
dame vera lynn        games of thrones       google-apple
happy birthday boris    ian holm        katie hopkins
forbury gardens          tulsa    summer solstice
stonehenge     father’s day    twexit
windrush day   comic sans      shielding
nigel havers    pubs reopening         boycott wetherspoons
heatwave       i should be at glasto     sewing bee
virgin media down     bournemouth beach    rebecca long bailey
trafford centre  durdle door      lfc champions
armed forces day          pride 2020          justice for shukri abdi
fa cup   bowie     the road to coronation street
michael rosen  wimbledon     reopening
new deal       build build build       leicester lockdown

#COVID-19 #100Days



This is a found poem that I created during the first 100 days of the UK coronavirus lockdown (beginning on 23rd March). I used Twitter trends for my local area (Manchester) for each, collecting and curating them to create a poem about how I saw people responding the lockdown. I used a little bit of poetic licence too. As well as capturing some of the serious issues that arose during those 100 days, I also wanted the poem to be a record of some of the ephemera and trivia that occupied our minds, and how quickly some of these things passed.

May 23, 2020

Clayton Hall: Writing Prompts (Week 3)

Over the last three weeks, I’ve been posting writing prompts inspired by some of the places associated with Clayton Hall. I stared with the hall itself, then went to Crumpsall Park. This week, I moved to Bailey’s Wood.

Bailey’s Wood (in North Manchester) is a remnant of the medieval Blackley Deer Park. In the late Middle Ages, the Byron family were the subinfeudatory lords of Manchester. Their house was at Clayton Hall, and the Blackley park was one of their hunting grounds, stretching from the edge of Harpurhey into Alkrington. When the Byrons lost the last of their money and power in the seventeenth century, Humphrey Chetham bought Clayton Hall, and Humphrey Booth bought a portion of the Blackley park, where he built Booth Hall. In 1894, part of the Booth Hall estate was sold to Manchester Corporation, who turned it into Boggart Hole Clough. The other part, with the hall and Bailey’s Wood, was sold to the Prestwich Guardians, who tore down the hall and built Booth Hall Hospital. The hospital is now gone – there’s a new housing development in its place – but Bailey’s Wood remains as an ancient woodland and former farmland, nestled between the Booth Hall and Crosslee estates.

Each day this week, my park-inspired writing prompts have been shared on the Friends of Bailey’s Wood social media, but here they all are in one place for you.

May 17, 2020

Clayton Hall: Writing Prompts (Week 2)

Last week, I posted a series of writing prompts inspired by Clayton Hall. For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be travelling around the story of the hall, and posting prompts inspired by some associated places. This week, I began with Crumpsall Park.

Crumpsall Park (in North Manchester) is a remnant of the Chetham estate. Humphrey Chetham (1580-1653) was born in Crumpsall Old Hall, which stood at the Cheetham Hill end of the estate, but the family’s lands stretched over what is now Crumpsall Park (opened as a municipal park by Manchester Corporation in 1899). As an adult, Humphrey Chetham moved to Clayton Hall, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Each day this week, my park-inspired writing prompts have been shared on the Friends of Crumpsall Park social media, but here they all are in one place for you.

May 9, 2020

Clayton Hall: Writing Prompts (Week 1)

Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and lockdown, Clayton Hall is currently closed to the public. The volunteers are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the museum as soon as they’re able to, but in the meantime, as the Hall’s writer-in-residence, I’ve put together some short writing exercises inspired by the Hall and the things you can find there. These were shared on the Hall’s social media each day this week, but here they all are in one place for you!

May 3, 2020

Clayton Hall: An Alliterative Poem

Last year, Clayton Hall held a ‘Book at Bedtime’ funday event for children and families. They had loads of different activities on, and kids were encouraged to come along dressed as their favourite characters. As the Hall’s writer-in-residence, I was there to do a poetry activity. Or rather, the Wicked Witch of the West was there…

The Wicked Witch of the West was writing a poem about Clayton Hall, but she needed the children to help! Because she’s the Wicked Witch of the West, she loves alliteration, and so she asked all the children to think of their very best ‘h’, ‘c’ and ‘ch’ words to add to the poem. And wow! the kids were really helpful!

By the end of the day, the Wicked Witch of the West had a huge list of excellent ‘h’, ‘c’ and ‘ch’ words. All she had to do was take those words and make them into a poem.

It was a bit of a challenge fitting all the words together (and some of them had to be saved for another time), but in the end the Wicked Witch of the West had a slightly silly alliterative poem inspired by the children’s imaginations and the hall. Hope you like it…

A Chair for Mr Chetham

An alliterative nonsense poem by Hannah Kate and the children who visited Clayton Hall

Near a hut that’s a home and a hot hot hot tub,
there’s a huge hungry hedgehog who’s out on a hunt,
and a hen hopping round in a horrible hood.
They’re helping at home-time and hurrying here,
to the house with a heart and a HUMPHREY.

A chatterbox chicken is eating some cheese,
and a cheeky cheetah cheats at a challenge,
like a chuckling charming champion.
There are chalks and charcoals inside the church,
and a chimney and a chair for Mr CHETHAM.

The colossal cow thinks he’s catching a cold,
the clumsy caterpillar climbs over the cloth,
and the cackling crocodile bakes cakes with the cat.
There are clicking clocks and Christmas Cups
in this colourful cabin in CLAYTON.

Hisses and hiccups and a horrendous howl!
A haunted hammer is hitting the hedge,
and the hyperactive hamster hides in his hole.
The hippy hippopotamus puts his hat on his head,
and goes home to a happy hello at the HALL.

April 19, 2020

An Update on Hannah’s Bookshelf & A Helping of History

This is a slightly belated update – sorry about that! But you may have noticed that there’s been no new episodes of Hannah’s Bookshelf since New Year, and I wanted to fill you in on where things are up to with North Manchester FM and my shows.

As you might remember, North Manchester FM was fundraising for a move to a new station. Thank you so much to everyone who supported our crowdfunding campaign (either by offering a donation or recording a message of support). I really appreciated that.

Sadly, the crowdfunding wasn’t successful. However, North Manchester FM was able to secure some last-minute contingency grant funding and a new premises. Yay!

The station’s move took a little longer than expected, and we weren’t been able to broadcast live shows during that time. So Hannah’s Bookshelf and A Helping of History went on hiatus until the new studio was ready, and we knew what the new schedule would be. As part of the changeover, a new transmitter was due to be installed, to restore a reliable FM signal for broadcasting.

And things were progressing nicely with the new studio, with plans for us all to be back on air… in mid-March. Ah.

The world, as you know, had other plans. The UK lockdown has meant that we can’t properly move into the new studio, and the new transmitter has not yet been installed. However, with some technical magic, North Manchester FM is now streaming via the website (with all content being produced and scheduled remotely) and we’re hoping to have the FM signal sorted soon.

Hannah’s Bookshelf and A Helping of History will continue to be on a bit of a break for now, as the pressures of my day jobs during the current crisis mean I don’t currently have time to produce full-length shows at home. The good news is that I have an archive of over 370 shows from the five years I’ve been on air – all available to you for free here. To get you started, there are round-ups of all the episodes of Hannah’s Bookshelf and A Helping of History on my blog.

I’ve also made all 10 of my Ten Tales: Ghost Stories for North Manchester available again, so if you missed them the first time round you can listen to them here.

I’m really hoping that Hannah’s Bookshelf will be back on air at some point soon. And I hope you’re all keeping safe and well.

Big thanks once again for your continued support for the show and for community radio. It really is appreciated.


Hannah x

December 27, 2019

A Helping of History: Round-Up of 2019

I’ve had another really enjoyable year of presenting A Helping of History, my local history show on North Manchester FM. I’ve told loads more stories of North Manchester’s past, welcomed some fantastic guests to the studio, and been out and about at various events and exhibitions. I’ve also done my weekly read of Yesterday’s Papers, looking at the local papers from 1941 through the year. Here’s a round-up of everything that happened this year on the show, but I’d like to say a big thanks to North Manchester FM for letting me haunt the airwaves and to Rob Shedwick (aka Digital Front) for being my unofficial producer on the show.

The 2019 Helping of History show schedule began in January with a show dedicated to Corporation Housing in Blackley, and this was followed by a programme about the proposed (but failed) incorporation of Failsworth with Manchester at the beginning of the twentieth century.

The next show in January was my first interview of the year, when I spoke to Owen Hammond about Broughton House (past, present and future). This show also featured a short interview with Sir Richard Leese about progress in the sad case of Crumpsall Library. The final show of the month featured Three Tales of Old Collyhurst.

I began February with a show about one of the North Manchester ‘power families’: Meet the Chethams. This was followed by an episode devoted to a particular strand of Prestwich history… the history of public punishment (think Star Chambers and stocks)! I also welcomed a couple of guests to the show this month, to talk about some really interesting projects that explore and celebrate our local history. I spoke to Katrina Navickas about her academic History of Public Space project, and to Julian Hill about the Our Life theatre project, which is looking to gather stories from local people about the communities of Moston and Harpurhey.

This month, I decided to start including theatre reviews on my other show, Hannah’s Bookshelf. However, I quickly found that I didn’t always have enough space on that show for this content, and so I sneaked a few of them in on A Helping of History as well. This month, I review 2084 and Tea and Two Sugars. Given the content of my shows this month, I think these theatre reviews fit quite well!

March began with an interview with the Theatres Trust about their Theatres at Risk register. In this interview, we talked about Broughton’s Victoria Theatre, and so the second half of the show was devoted to looking at the opening ceremony of that theatre (and the famous visit from Bram Stoker). The next show this month was a chance to go back to a selection of the iconic North Manchester buildings featured on last year’s Who Am I? quiz, and then the week after I had a little wander through a book about the local area: Crofton’s History of Newton.

The final Helping of History this month included two interviews. I spoke to author Denise Beddows about her book, The Cheetham Hill Murder: A Convenient Killing?, and to the People’s History Museum about their new exhibition, Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest.

Two episodes about particular area of North Manchester for the first half of April… the first was all about the incorporation of Crumpsall into Manchester, and the second was about the history of Langley. These were followed by a show explaining some of the curious place and street names in the area – Fourways, Vauxhall Court, Chain Bar and Middleton Old Road.

On St George’s Day, I presented a Special Edition of the show recorded the previous day (Easter Monday) at the Middleton Pace Egg play. And then the final show of the month was an interview with Alexandra Cropper at the Manchester Jewish Museum, in which we talked about the very exciting renovation plans for the museum in the coming few years.

In addition to all this, I also included a cheeky theatre review in April. This time, it was a review of Visitors.

I started this month by interviewing local historian Les Leggett about the former Crumpsall Wesleyan Methodist Cemetery, which was on the site of the current Cheetham Hill Tesco car park.

The next show in May was all about the history of Drinkwater Park and Irwell House. Then, there was another opportunity to revisit some more of the landmark North Manchester buildings that were included in last year’s Who Am I? quiz. And finally, I talked about the story of Young Langley (an heir of the Langley family in the fourteenth century) and the legend of his abduction by Robert de Holland.

This month started with a rare crossover interview with Hannah’s Bookshelf. I played an edited version of an interview from my literature show with Polyp and Eva Schlunke about their new graphic novel about the Peterloo Massacre. And then I had a show featuring Three Tales of Old Chadderton.

Two really excellent guests in the second half of the month… I spoke to Zara Hakobyan about the Aratta projects looking at Armenian heritage in Greater Manchester – and as a bit of bonus content in this show, I also included some miscellaneous stories of Moston’s past – and then I spoke to Jacqui Carroll of REELmcr about their new community film about Samuel Bamford, Our Sam – The Middleton Man.

In addition to all this, I also managed to fit a theatre review in as well – a review of Yvette.

This month, I presented episodes of the show on Hannah Mitchell, Barnes Green and the trial of Sidney Faithorn Green of Miles Platting (and this show also included a little additional story about the Miles Platting Mission). I also had a show featuring a Cheetham Hill Miscellany, with a number of curious little stories about the area, and an episode looking at the Queen’s Park Hippodrome and the Blackley Electric Theatre.

As it was festival season in July, I had a lot of theatre reviews on the show this month. I reviewed productions in the Incoming Festival: The Basement Tapes, Electrolyte and No One is Coming to Save You. And in the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival: Gobby, Wake Up Maggie!, People are Happy on Trains, Blue Lines, The Joy of Cam, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Rice, socially [un]acceptable, Drowning in Silence, Memoires d’un amnesique, Frozen Peas in an Old Tin Can and The Greek. Phew.

In August, I very much enjoyed co-presenting a show (on my birthday!) with fellow North Manchester FM presenter John Barker. We covered lots of birthday and anniversary events, including the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre and the 120th anniversary of the opening of Crumpsall Park.

Crumpsall Park also featured in the next show in August, in which I talked about the Crumpsall Observatory and also about William Crabtree observing the Transit of Venus in Broughton. The final show of the month was all about myth-busting – I asked listeners to text in with things they’ve ‘always believed’ about our local history, and we talked about whether or not they were actually true!

This month began with another visit to the People’s History Museum, to talk about their new exhibition, The Most Radical Street in Manchester?. The exhibition features some of Katrina Navickas’s research into the History of Public Space, which she talked about when I interviewed her back in February. In the second half of this week’s show, I followed up my interview about the PHM exhibition by talking about the Boggart Hole Clough Prosecutions, which were one of the consequences of the Independent Labour Party rallies that took place in the Clough.

The next show in September featured Three Tales of Old Alkrington. One of those tales intrigued me so much that I devoted all of the next show to exploring it further: The Singular Disappearance of the Old Man from Jumbo. (And you might have noticed that I really was taken by this story, as it inspired one of my Ten Tales: Ghost Stories for North Manchester as well!). And then the final show this month was all about Scuttling on the Rochdale-road.

I included a couple of theatre reviews on the show this month as well: No Man’s Land and Red Dust Road.

October on A Helping of History saw me talking about Heaton before Heaton Park, and then the history of Strangeways Hall. As this latter broadcast was interrupted before the end, I returned to the story of Mrs Margaret Taylor of Strangeways the following week as well. I also presented a show in October dedicated to the Listed Buildings of Heaton Park.

As this month also saw celebrations to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Citizens Advice Manchester, I invited Rosi Avis of CAM (who also presents the Here to Help show on North Manchester FM) onto A Helping of History, and we talked about the history and development of the organization.

One final bit of October content… another theatre review! This time it was of Thunder Girls.

This month, I looked at some collections of curious tales about specific areas of North Manchester. First, it was tales of sport in Cheetham Hill, then it was Miscellaneous Middleton, and finally a Prestwich Pot Pourri. The final show of November was all about Tripe Colony in Miles Platting.

December started off with rather a big question – and what that I should probably have addressed a long time ago on the show – what is North Manchester? To explore this, I looked at the Curious Case of Beswick. The next show this month was all about trains! I looked at the history of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, and its significance for the North Manchester area (and beyond).

And then things got a bit festive… I looked at what I called some ‘Christmas Crackers’ – little curiosities from the local papers about Christmases past. And then I shared some Christmas Memories on my Christmas Eve show – reminiscences from North Manchester residents about the festive season.

Just one show left this year in 2019!

On New Year’s Eve, I’ll be presenting a Yesterday’s Papers Special, reading the local papers from the week between Christmas and New Year, 1941. As always, you can catch the show on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).

Happy New Year!