Venue: Walled Garden.

Adam O’Riordan was born in Manchester in 1982 and read English at Oxford University. In 2008 O’Riordan became the youngest Poet-in-Residence at The Wordsworth Trust, the Centre for British Romanticism. His first collection In the Flesh (Chatto and Windus) won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2011. He is Lecturer in Poetry Writing at the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

His first book of short stories is The Burning Ground, a masterful collection that has won plaudits from the likes of William Boyd. In the eight stories, an English writer focuses his gaze on America’s West Coast, moving from fractured lives in remote, sun-scorched towns to the charged hum of Venice Beach.

It’s cast of characters include; a man who visits his long-distance lover in Los Angeles and forges an unexpected bond with a fellow traveller on the way; the foreman of a desert building project who embarks on a journey down the Pacific Coast Highway and into California’s underworld when his employer’s daughter goes missing; a lonely widower confronting a disturbing and long suppressed memory; a divorced father trying to reconnect with his son on a hunting trip; and itinerant Brits discuss love and acting in downtown LA.

Written with an outsider’s keen eye, this collection of stories paints an intimate portrait of diverse lives, in a work of remarkable beauty and poignancy.

‘This is a wonderful, beguiling collection of short stories. Written with a cool, knowing lyricism, they haunt and enthral’ William Boyd