It’s April (how the heck did that happen?!) which means that it’s time for another annual attempt at National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). However, with recent local news from Spice in Manchester to recent reports on asylum seekers in Rochdale (please allow me a small, cynical moment: I guess that’s why subsequent governments partly make the capped … More Attempts at writing in difficult times
Reading Week is a semi-regular reflection on stuff I’ve read and how it feeds into the writing and research process. (Plus, there’s a bonus creative writing exercise to try out yourself!). This week, two fictional books with intriguing methods of storytelling. Caroline Preston (2011) The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt. HarperCollins. When I was in my early teens my Gran … More Reading week 1: Caroline Preston & Leanne Shapton
“Never again will a single story be told as though it’s the only one” John Berger I was saddened to hear the recent death of artist, art critic, and thinker John Berger (But what a life he led and what rich cultural contributions he made!) Once again I turn to this quote as I think it’s applicable to … More Many stories, messy (re)tellings, no endings.
I’ve started the final draft section of my PhD thesis on how Rochdale is read, mapped, and written. In this section I’m trying to pull together the literary survey and the maps sections in order to inform creative responses to the borough*. This has, in part, been inspired by other work in this area (for … More Mapping place, politics, literary locations: learning from Lancaster University
‘The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts.’ Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust (2001: 5-6). ‘There’s nothing wild in this country: every square inch of it is ‘owned’, much has seen centuries of bitter dispute; the whole landscape is … More Maps lie! Looking for the confluence of Roch and Irwell.
Fragments, Fault Lines: “Thought Shrapnel”* When you’re young you’re bombarded by: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Aged ten, I was torn between a vet (All Creatures Great and Small the TV show that had multiple demographic appeal in the 1980s being a major influence here) and a geologist. It was the … More Rock, dale.
I went to a brilliant conference at the beginning of September. (The write up of which is saved in Blog drafts.) It reinforced that what I’m doing complements other ways of considering the ecology of places, landscapes, water courses, conservation, humans and wild spaces. I was, and am, inspired. But then I got home to … More Week in, week out. Breathe in. Out.