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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Autumn in Sheffield is pretty much synonymous with literary delights, as Off the Shelf hosts three weeks packed with talks and readings from world renowned authors and poets, famous folk off the telly, and a few knowledgable locals.

Each year, the Festival of Words absorbs audiences in topics ranging from pop music to politics, fine art to feminism. This year's programme is centred largely around two themes: working class voices, and the environment. It'll also welcome to town the likes of David Baddiel, Jack Monroe and Geoge Alagiah, share accounts of Sheffield's Windrush pioneers, tell the story of punk icon Poly Styrene, and present spoken word performances from local young people alongside Vanessa Kisuule.

Read our Hannah's top 10 picks of this year's programme.

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Migration Matters

Mon. 15 June 2020 — Sat. 20 June 2020

An online festival marking Refugee Week. Celebrating culture, creativity and companionship in our city of sanctuary and around the world.

Detangling DNA

Fri. 29 May 2020 — Fri. 5 June 2020

Join materials scientist Dr Alice Pyne and learn about the fundamentals of DNA topology. Get your hands on DNA structures with DNA Origami and learn how scientists are using 3D scanning. Live from 10am on Friday 29 May. Recommended for ages 13+


Sheffield poet laureate and hip-hop hero Otis Mensah presents a new series of ten songs, accompanied by original animations by illustrator Jim Spendlove. First in the series is a collaboration with Hemlock Ernst of the US-based band Future Islands.


Literature champions, bringing events, publications and projects to Sheffield and across Yorkshire since 2006. Enjoy video highlights of past shows – including literary projections on a Sheffield landmark, poetry in a brewery, and more.