I have a short piece of prose in The White Review No. 8 alongside poems by John Ashbery and Jack Underwood, new fiction by China Miéville and interviews with Deborah Levy and Sophie Calle as well as critical work by Orlando Reade and Guy Gormley‘s photographs. From flyleaf to footnote, I’ve long been smitten with this journal so I’m a whole brace of unabashed up-thumbs to be appearing on their contents page this quarter.

The White Review is available to buy via their website, or in bookshops listed here.

I had the opportunity to present a short paper about giant rats in literature as part of a three-day conference titled ‘Monsters and the Monstrous: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil’. All the panels were held at Harris Manchester College, Oxford University courtesy of the Interdisciplinary Network and saw examinations of perceived ‘monstrosity’ in film, art, sociology and ethnography, literature and folktale.

Papers covered everything from transmutant axolotls to cannibalism, necrophilia as an alternative Heimlich manoeuvre to the posited connection between Shakespeare’s Caliban and Nicki Minaj’s music videos. Many thanks to Simon Bacon, Rob Fisher and Kasia for convening the overall event, my fellow panel-members Marcia Heloisa Amarante Gonçalves (‘The Devil Whisperer: Animality as a Path to Taming the Monster in The Exorcist‘) and Almudena Nido (‘Monstrous Heads on the Hero’s Body: Animal Art and Hybridity’) and all the conference delegates for their insights, prompts and fascinating conversation.

LeeFest 2013



As part of Annexe Magazine’s spoken word line-up, the LeeFest Clocktower provided stage and space for Phil Mann, Charlie Dupre, Devawn Wilkinson, Amber Massie-Blomfield, Michael Schuller, Nick Murray, Gary from Leeds, Rosa Campbell, the Elephant Collective, Clare Fisher and me to shoot our various breezes. Thanks to the organisers for a music-filled day of rollicking in the countryside, and to whoever put that big steaming yellow fireball in the sky for a marqueecentric weekend.


On 10th July I will be attending Kingston University’s 1st International Conference hosted by their Writing School, Pedagogy and Practice: Writing and Higher Education. A morning of panels and workshops will also feature keynote speaker Philip Gross, and Prof. Vesna Goldsworthy interviewing Hanif Kureshi. I will be popping up as part of the post-conference readings alongside S J Fowler, Kimberley Campanello and Nisha Ramayya; do visit the conference’s dedicated site to see details and attend what will be an interesting day’s mulling.

GWC 2013



Imperial College played host to this year’s Great Writing International Creative Writing Conference, a two-day event held to hear members of the global writing network discuss their projects and research.

The UK’s Great Writing international Creative Writing conference is a place to share creative and critical work, to explore Creative Writing, and to discuss those explorations with Creative Writing colleagues from around the world. Launched almost 15 years ago, each year the conference welcomes creative writers from all over the world — many of whom work in universities and colleges, or are undertaking graduate degrees in Creative Writing.

I was able to listen to a variety of talks that ranged in subject from David Bishop holding forth on Challenging the Writing Sample: a new approach to recruitment and admissions processes to Dr. Marcelle Freiman on “The page of the mind”: a ‘cognitive turn’ in creative writing. I was presenting on the possible connections between the creative and the lexicographical, where talk of jungftak and mountweazels seemed to square neatly with my fellow panel-member Rob Magnuson Smith‘s paper on the Uncanny Character of Animals in Fiction.

Thanks to Prof. Graeme Harper and Dr. Simon Holloway for presiding over the day, and Annabel Banks for both chairing my session and sympathetically galvanising my creative-critical headcogs in the sunshine.