Monday, 25 April 2016

Update: April soon gone!

...and there it is, a 1/3 of the year done.

Uni shmooni

I'm close to undergoing my PhD upgrade presentation so I've been a little busy, rewriting some of my thesis introduction (although, you know what they say*) and messing about with Prezi. I'm also carefully devouring books about early Oneness Pentecostalism which has cast a new light on my topic. Essentially, the history of Pentecostalism, in general, is a story about race and transatlantic influence worldwide; however, it's also a lot more than that. I would say more now but, hey, I have a whole thesis in which to do so ;) **

I've been conducting interviews with a cross-section of Londoners who have something to say about Oneness or 'Apostolic' churches and it's been extremely interesting so far. The interviews, however, are the easy part. Transcribing them is a wearying but necessary task, and something I will be doing for the rest of today (along with my introduction).

*(although, that point is quite convincingly contradicted here)
** not quite true. I have roughly 30,000 words. The rest is Creative and critical writing.

Poetry McBoetry
after Boaty McBoatface

I've been smiling with pride every time I pass this advert for Kate Tempest's book. It's a massive billboard for a book!* It's pretty rare - outside of the usual suspects - for novelists to get this kind of coverage.

spot the Tempest... under the bridge

I got a similar feeling when I heard that Warsan Shire features on Beyoncé's new album, just released yesterday.

They both belong to 'us', the London spoken word generation who started turning up at slams a decade or so ago and then developed their craft into other avenues, breaking into the mainstream through music, dance, and theatre (and being quoted by Benedict Cumberbatch**). Most of all, they both write passionately about stuff they care about, and they do it with care.

*Ok, it may not look so massive in this photo, the way I took it, but bear in mind this is one of many billboards with her book on it.
**(who I, bizarrely, always imagine as being related to Engelbert Humperdinck. It's the syllabic structure of their names. Anyway, digression alert. Can you imagine what my introduction has been like so far?)

Writing

Whilst I'm happy for Kate Tempest and Warsan Shire, I'm also conscious of the need to up my own game. I've been submitting to competitions, in my (rare pieces of) spare time, and starting to edit a few poems with the help of trusted critics. I was meant to be compiling a collection of poetry for the end of this year but, if I don't make that target, watch out for 2017!    

My novel writing antics have slowed - I need to finish my research project before writing the novel - but I have now carefully crafted the plot outline.

Reading

Aside from such academic nuggets as In Jesus Name, Early Interracial Oneness Pentecostalism and Look What the Lord Has Done! I've also just managed to finish reading They Are Trying to Break Your Heart, which was, unsurprisingly, heartbreaking. For the next couple of weeks, I'm sticking to academic texts and blogs.

Breaking off from the EU debate and Obama's visit, I also found this interesting (a look at Boris Johnson's latest attack at the President and the taboo of questioning postcolonial hangovers). I personally find Boris Johnson's previous attitudes on issues pretty abhorrent; I'm surprised that more people don't. 

Next Up: Worst Date Ever, May 6th.



Long story, but I got roped into this. It'll be hilarious/embarrassing/fun. Come!



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