We have news aplenty this month, with events afoot alongside our regular dives into Manchester’s cultural landscape.

Our Word Life section has grown down the page to the size of six pieces all under the ‘Gathering’ theme, which is great news in anticipation of the Word Life Anthology due out in September. It’s a five-city collection, featuring poetry and short stories by writers based in Lincoln, Wakefield, Sheffield, London and Manchester, and the Manchester launch will be at Gullivers on Thursday 15 September, with Thick Richard, Gevi Carver, Gav Roberts, Helen Mort, Elspeth Vischer lined up to perform, plus open mic slots available.

Our Localcheck section is bursting at the seams with city planning and social justice at its heart. Sam’s piece on the area’s housing situation and the intentions of Greater Manchester Housing Action is a must-read, while I posed questions to the Steady State about their post-growth sensibilities as well as writing about local transport infrastructure and public consultations.

Our featured artist across the edition is Coloquix, who is interviewed about his craft, as are acrobatic articulators Blackalicious.

Ella’s insight into Ramsbottom’s black pudding traditions joins reviews of Bluedot Festival, Paper Tiger’s album and Abstract Orchestra’s MJF show, plus loads more located to your right.

If you’re we’re an open bunch and always welcome new writers, so get in touch. We also arrange monthly socials for contributors to share ideas over a drink, the next being Wednesday 17 August, so feel free to join if you’re interested in getting involved.