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Sheffield Hallam University's connections to the worlds of business, health and politics will be further strengthened by its forthcoming series of events for the Off The Shelf Festival of Words 2014.

Former UK Minister of State for Trade & Investment, Lord Digby Jones, has an honorary doctorate from the University, and has previously given guest lectures to business students. Digby returns to Sheffield Hallam on Wednesday 8 October to talk about British manufacturing and industry.

On Saturday 11 October neurosurgeon Henry Marsh will take to the stage at the University's Pennine Lecture Theatre, and give an insight into the human dilemmas behind each operation and the mysteries of the brain.

Renowned author, poet and visiting fellow of the University Patrick McGuinness will talk about his new book, Other People's Countries, on Wednesday 22 Oct, at the Stoddart Building. Organised by the teaching team from Sheffield Hallam's MA Writing, the Booker Prize longlisted author's talk is free entry.

On 25 October, Alan Johnson MP brings the second part of his memoirs - called Please Mr Postman - to the Pennine Lecture Theatre.

Professor Matthew Pateman, head of humanities at Sheffield Hallam, said: "I'm very pleased to be so involved in Off The Shelf this year. We have a huge range of expertise at Sheffield Hallam, and a lot of connections in a variety of industries, and it's great that we can help make Off The Shelf such a fantastic literary festival."

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam's Reading Digital Fiction project have invited digital author Kate Pullinger to explore new, hybrid forms of literature in her guest talk, Beyond the Book. This event is free to attend.

Off The Shelf festival-goers can also treat themselves to a special whisky tasting, at leading whisky writer Ian Buxton's 101 Legendary Whiskies You're Dying to Try But (Probably) Never Will.

Journalism lecturer Dr David Clarke will talk about the Angels of Mons that were reportedly sighted on battlefields during the First World War. David's illustrated talk at the Upper Chapel on Monday 27 October launches his new book, Britain's X-traordinary Files.

Academics from Sheffield Hallam will run a special day of activities and events for Dylan Thomas Day on Saturday 1 November. The full day of celebration will include poetry readings, writing workshops, films, music and discussion groups.

For press information: contact Joe Field in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2074 or email