Independent publishing house Penned in the Margins is holding a series of literary salons in the capital this year, featuring Helen MacDonald, Iain Sinclair, Joe Dunthorne and Tim Clare.

Penned in the Margins

 

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I will be appearing at the third of these events alongside Forward Prize-winning Kei Miller, poet Luke Kennard and Antosh Wojcik. It will be held at The Forge at 7pm, 15th September 2015: more details available here.

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I’m pleased to be appearing on the roster of writers at this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival. The whole programme spans a long weekend in June and has Bidisha, Owen Jones, Will Self and Lucy Inglis as just some headliners.  Stoke Newington Festival

As part of the festival, Kit Catless and Gary Budden at Influx Press are hosting a whole day of readings and talks at the White Hart featuring Test Centre press, Unofficial Britain (‘a hub for unusual perspectives on the landscape of the British Isles, exploring the urban, the rural and those spaces in between’), the Media Diversified organisation and George F with his Total Shambles.INFLUXGalley Beggar Press

I’ll be reading in their final slot alongside writers from Influx’s stable and Galley Beggar Press, including Clare Fisher, Paul Ewen, Sam Berkson, Dan Duggan, Alex Pheby, Anthony Trevelyan and Eloise Millar reading Megan Dunn.

6th June at 9pm with music.

Election, Rosettes

11/05/2015

I watched coverage of the general election all night, from the 10pm exit poll to Thanet South’s 10am raspberry, so it was with an odd mix of adrenaline, queasiness and fizzfatigue that I answered 3:AM magazine’s commission to respond to the night’s events.

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‘Meditative Rose’, Dalí (1958)

Alongside wonderful prose and poetry written that day by Stuart Evers, Juliet Jacques, Jonathan Gibbs, Ben Myers, Rachel Genn, Lauren Elkin, Matt Sperling, SJ Fowler and Ian Patterson, I submitted my piece ‘Rosette Manufacture: A Catalogue and Spotters’ Guide’ which can be read here.
Thank you, editor Joanna Walsh, for the #GE2015fiction call-out:‘Whatever it is, we’re against it.’ And thank you to Naomi Frisby’s The Writes of Women for mentioning my entry on her ‘In the Media’ round-up, available here, and the Literary Hub for including it in their Daily for 12th May 2015, ‘The Best of the Literary Internet, Every Day’.

I’ll be joining Gary Budden and the editors of Ambit  for a reading at this year’s The London Short Story Festival. Ambit‘s editors will be hosting a Q&A concerning short fiction and publishing at the Writers’ Space in Waterstones Piccadilly, organised by London’s writer development organisation ‘Spread the Word’.

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I’ll be popping up on/burrowing down to the Lower Ground Floor at 11am on Saturday 20th. The whole festival’s busy 18-21st June programme – featuring Toby Litt!, Cynan Jones! and Diriye Osman! amongst others – looks fantastic.

Jungftak

14/04/2015

Following an overlong incubation period, this month I was pleased to finally launch a new online prose-poetry journal Jungftak.
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It features the work of writers Annabel Banks, Prue Chamberlain, Holly Corfield Carr, Sarah Day, Anna Kirk, Sophie Mayer, Elodie Olson-Coons, Nisha Ramayya, Declan Ryan, Robert Selby, alexander speaker, Preti Taneja and JR Thorp, as well as illustrator Catherine Williams. Thanks to all of their patience and hard work, and to Nick at Annexe Press for hosting a reading of some of the entries during Interrobang festival last year.

Submissions are now open, so please do get in contact and spread the work @jungftak

I’m very pleased to have been shortlisted for this year’s Short Story Prize, run annually by The White Review.

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‘Movement in Squares’, Bridget Riley (1961)

My story ‘Smote, or When I Find I Cannot Kiss You in Front of a Print by Bridget Riley’ is available to read online on the journal’s site alongside the other wonderful shortlisted entries by David Isaacs (also shortlisted in 2014!), Owen Booth, Paul McQuade, Luke Melia, Nick Mulgrew, Chris Newlove Horton and Joanna Quinn. I am thrilled to pop up among such great work.

The winner will be announced by the judges Lucy Luck, Hannah Westland and Ned Beauman at 7.30pm April 30th at the Phoenix Artists’ Club. Let’s have a drink.

 

Edit: Winner the wonderful Owen Booth! Read his story ‘I Told You I’d Buy You Anything You Wanted So You Asked For a Submarine Fleet’ here, or buy in the upcoming issue 13 of The White Review.

On 14th May I’ll be joining some readers of and contributors to Belleville Park Pages for the journal’s Spring live event. Set up in Paris  2013, the brilliant Pages have published 270 writers from 26 different countries and bring out a new edition every two weeks: lovely objects they are too.

BPPAges

Doors open at 7pm at the Hatch in Homerton, with drinks later in the evening at neighbouring The Gun.

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Freshly-minted and freshly-funded, Argument is a collaborative poetry anthology edited by undergraduate members of Royal Holloway’s English department, established with a view to publishing ‘a collection of works that represents the innovative and dynamic poetry that is being continually created by the staff, students and alumni’ of the university. Its full manifesto can be seen at its dedicated tumblr here.

 

Argument

poster by Anna Darnena

I’ll be attending the anthology’s launch night on campus’ Crosslands venue; copies of the book, pubished by Oxunibooks, will be on sale for a charitable donation with all proceeds going to REWRITE, an organisation set up to combat prejudice and injustice by bringing young people from different backgrounds together through the power of drama and creative writing. Do come along and support this new venture, and hear some new great voices working in poetry and prose.

Boring V

26/03/2015

Boring

Created in response to the Interesting Conference’s cancellation, on 9th May 2015 the Boring Conference will mark its fifth anniversary with organiser James Ward once again ‘[celebrating] the mundane, the ordinary, the obvious and the overlooked – subjects often considered trivial and pointless, but when examined more closely reveal themselves to be deeply fascinating’.

Boring Conference

Past audience members have been treated to tantalisingly damp-squibbish topics – yellow lines on the road, the Comic Sans font and Eric Clapton’s bookshelf just some examples – from a roster of speakers including Jon Ronson, Adam Curtis, Helen Zaltzman and John Grindrod.

I’ll be appearing briefly to speak about fictitious entries in dictionaries; playing to a sold-out audience of 400 seats, as reported in The Independent you may expect talks about the Casio watch favoured by Osama bin Laden, gasometers and a taxonomy of British earthquakes.

BORING V

Above images and photographs courtesy of James Ward and Körtesi Gáspár, and below by Isabelle Adam of Diamond Geyser whose images from the entire Conference can be found here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/diamondgeyser/17368287928/in/album-72157652266260639/

 

The Allusionist

26/03/2015

I popped up on the excellent fortnightly podcast The Allusionist this week to muckrake dictionaries and spread dissent. Many thanks to producer and presenter Helen Zaltzman for providing an opportunity to chat about my PhD research (and for her decision that Fleetwood Mac and poodles should feature in the segment). You can hear my quavering, surreptitious tones by clicking the image below:

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The Allusionist, available on iTunes and elsewhere as part of Radiotopia from PRX, is a great resource for all things language and etymology-related with previous episodes featuring the history of the bra, the Finnish radio station that broadcasts bulletins in Latin and the various hierarchies of swearing: recommended listening.