Saturday, 18 March 2017

Super Quick Update: 5 things I've been getting up to

1) Selah

Final preparations are getting underway for Selah, a bunch of new poems - and some not so new - which will be out at the end of next month with Burning Eye. It's been a long time coming and I'm massively excited (and equally nervous). Stay tuned for more...

2) Other writing

I also have another project in the pipeline which involves writing (and undergoing several redrafts of) a monologue. Again, I'll say more about that in the next month or so, so please stay posted.

I've also resumed work on my novel, having completed most of my research at university. It's now a question of riding out the ridiculous waiting period, after submitting 100 pages worth of work, to find out whether it's deemed of high enough standard for me to continue as a PhD candidate (fingers crossed!)

3) Reading





I've just moved Omeros to the top of my read list, while skimming through a handful of Derek Walcott obituaries. It's a classic of his which has been sat unread on my bookshelf for too long. I admit it.  

Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago, I promised not to buy any more books in March, so I could catch up a little on what I've got! But that was just before I saw someone tweet about Danez Smith's new collection Black Movie, and I couldn't resist. I've been reading it over and over since yesterday.

Out of everything I've recently bought or borrowed - i.e. just before my NO MORE! vow - I've been trying to get a balanced diet of poetry, fiction and non-fiction/academic writing in there. I'm finding graphic non-fiction a particularly refreshing way to grasp information. In Portraits of Violence, for instance, key concepts of a few thinkers I've studied - Freire, Fanon, Foucault etc. - and some I haven't so much - Arendt, Sontag, Said etc. - are covered through well-sketched panels. It adds a lightness to the complexity and heavy-going nature of their writing (especially when framed against current political activity).

Emily Berry's new collection is unsurprisingly good (what else to say?) and Olio needs an essay... We'll come back to that!

5 portions of books for March

4) Upcoming gigs

I'm limiting poetry performances over the next month until Selah is out, but I'll make sure to give plenty of notice as and when I do have events coming!

That said, I've had two great trips recently (just to read poetry!) First, I was in St Andrews for the Stanza festival and then from there to Birmingham for an LGBT history event. Needless to say, I got loads of reading done on my way. And I also had a great time taking in the atmosphere and meeting some great people. Again, that could be another blog post in itself. But I hope to do some more travelling around the country later in the year.  


5) In other news...

I'm pleased to be listed in the Breaking Ground booklet celebrating 200 writers of colour among some great people!


More coming soon.

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