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Curated by Mandla Rae.

Outspoken returns for a spellbinding evening of poetry and spoken word performance during LGBT History Month.

Mandla-Rae, Manchester poet and former Contact young programmer, hosts Ella Otomewo, Maz Hedgehog, Afshan Lodhi and Bryony Bates for a celebration of Manchester’s queer women and nonbinary artists.


Mandla-Rae is a poet and wordsmith from Zimbabwe, London raised and Manchester-based. They are queer and non-binary and her pronouns are they/her. They are fascinated with theatre in all aspects of life. Mandla is bonded with language and the act of communication through spectacle.

Maz Hedgehog

Maz Hedgehog is a black bisexual poet and spoken word performer who’s work is all about creating new mythologies, inspired by folklore and her mother’s storytelling. She’s performed at events all over the North West and is equally excited by interesting metaphors, outfit ideas and nice coffee.

Ella Eneme Otomewo

Ella has a first class degree in English and Drama, and has performed her work for Manchester International Festival, Contact, the Edinburgh Fringe, and BBC1Xtra to name but a few. Ella is currently a member of two collectives; M(.)IST, a group of queer female creatives from a variety of different art forms, and the poetry collective, Young Identity. Her work is feminist, personal, and tender.

Bryony Bates

Bryony’s first solo pamphlet, States, was published in 2017 by Enjoy Your Homes Press. In January 2019 her pamphlet Cash/Sex, co-authored by Joey Frances, was published in collaboration with Generic Greeting. Performance credits include There Is A Light: Brightlight, 15 Minutes, and She Bangs the Drums (Contact Young Co) and recent pieces for Mother’s Bloomers at the Royal Exchange, Homotopia and Creatures of Catharsis.

Afshan D’souza-Lodhi

Afshan is an award-winning writer and was recently commissioned to write and direct a short film for Channel 4. She has completed residencies at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester Literature Festival and has worked with Eclipse Theatre, Tamasha Theatre Company and Paul Burston’s Polari. Afshan has edited many anthologies and has an essay featured in Picador’s upcoming collection by Muslim women called ‘Its Not About The Burqa‘.

This event takes place at Number 70

Oxford Street, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5NH


Produced by Contact.
This event is supported by a grant from Superbia at Manchester Pride.
In partnership with RAH! at Manchester Met.
Part of Queer Contact Festival 2019, Contact’s annual festival celebrating LGBTQ+ arts & culture in Greater Manchester.

Image credit: Isle of Red

  • Price
    £10 / £8 concessions.
  • Venue

    Number 70 Oxford Street, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5NH

  • Ages
    Over 12s.
  • Booking info

    If you or anyone in your party have any specific access requirements please contact the box office directly on 0161 274 0600 or


  • Genre
Date Time & Place
  • Afshan Lodhi
  • Bryony Bates
  • Ella Otomewo
  • Maz Hedgehog
  • Mandla-Rae