Saturday, 9 November 2013

Back again/ November/ Reading List

Once again, I've had an unplanned break from posting on here that started with the flu and a dodgy internet connection at home - both have been fixed - and continued with a tricky few weeks that went by quickly... or went quickly by (apparently, some people still 'object strongly' to split infinitives... really?) In any case, I'm still here, as ever, and back online.

Good Reading 

I've been consuming books at a speedy rate, lately. 

Poetry-wise, I've been particularly enjoying Emily Berry's Dear Boy and John Agard's new collection Travel Light, Travel Dark. They could hardly be more different from each other. The former is extremely playful and irreverent in places; the latter cross-references and adds layers over layers, the poems hanging together in a dialogue with history. I saw both poets perform at the Poetry Library's 60th Anniversary party last week, where I was also blown away by Warsan Shire and Kei Miller. I'm falling in love with poetry again and seeing different possibilities in the way language and meaning can be manipulated. This is all good. Despite constant self-doubt, I think I'm in the right job :)

I've been devouring this book too:

I wrote a poem, 'Asylum Cocktails', for the above anthology of human rights poems, put together by the Human Rights Consortium, the Institute of English Studies and Keats House Poets. It's filled with work from poets from around the world, both renowned and previously unpublished, some imprisoned, or refugees, or translated from other languages, either responding to specific events around the world or their own experience.

And, a few weeks ago, I was given this:

   (The words "Isn't it Byronic, don't you think...?" keep repeating in my head, but there are some real gems here.)

Fiction-wise, I've been reading a lot of Young Adult books, from Patrick Ness's A Monster Calls, which had me staring at the wall for a long time afterwards, to Nick Laird's In Darkness, which brings together post-earthquake Haiti with its heroic past, and Sally Gardner's Maggot Moon, a couple of weeks ago, which surprised me. Been a little slower with the adult fiction, but was tickled to read Bernadine Evaristo's Mr Loverman - mostly on the bus route to work which goes past the main character's street - and I'm still leafing through The Book of Disquiet and The Great Gatsby, although, in the case of the latter, it's difficult for me to invest in a book where I don't particularly care for any of the characters.

I feel I'm missing some out... But it's good to write down where I'm at with my reading... more than I thought! I'll probably do this again in a couple of weeks.

NTS Radio

I was on RE:Versed show again on Monday, live from Dalston, Hackney. Apologies for sound levels (we had some technical mishaps going on). It starts off bitter, but gets better. Can also follow on Twitter etc.

Met a very interesting, cool-sounding Bunty and shared some banter with her and Sam Berkson. Also my new (rough) poem on freedom of information and a plug for the Spoken Word Educator programme.

Click the link to listen to the show again:

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