These Our Monsters LIVE: Sarah Moss reads from ‘Breakynecky’

13Apr

On 11th March, Hatchards hosted a live event bringing together four of the authors who contributed stories to These Our Monsters : Sarah, Moss, Fiona Mozley, Edward Carey and Graeme Mcrae Burnet. I chaired the event, and recorded it for posterity.  Keep reading →

These Our Monsters Folklore Podcasts: Graeme Macrae Burnet reads from ‘The Dark Thread’

28Mar

Last year I was asked to write an introduction for a collection of modern folktales to be published by English Heritage.  Keep reading →

These Our Monsters Folklore Podcasts: Fiona Mozley reads from ‘The Loathly Lady’

18Mar

Last year I was asked to write an introduction for a collection of modern folktales to be published by English Heritage.  Keep reading →

These Our Monsters Folklore Podcasts: Edward Carey reads from ‘These Our Monsters’

12Mar

Last year I was asked to write an introduction for a collection of modern folktales, myths and legends to be published by English Heritage.  Keep reading →

Keats-Shelley Prize 2020 - Songbirds: A Conversation with Simon Barnes - Part 2

21Dec

Part two of our conversation with Simon Barnes, the award-winning sportswriter, revered birdlover and Chair of 2020's Keats-Shelley Prizes

Keep reading →

Keats-Shelley Prize 2020 - Simon Barnes Reading: on closely-observed gannets

21Dec

Reading from the blog on his own website, Simon Barnes describes the close attention required and inspired by bird-watching, and the almost poetic empathy that can result.  Keep reading →

Keats-Shelley Prize 2020 - Songbirds: A Conversation with Simon Barnes - Part 1

14Dec

In this first of two episodes, I talk to Simon Barnes, the award-winning sportswriter, revered birdlover and Chair of 2020's Keats-Shelley Prizes

Our annual theme is 'Songbirds', to mark the composition 200 years ago of PB Shelley’s To a Skylark and the publication in book form of John Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale, which made Simon the perfect choice as Chair. 

We talked, among other things, about his own changing relationship with nature, how he fell in love with birds and birding, what birding means in the 21st century and its relationship with writing in general, and Romantic poetry in particular. We even address the question of John Keats' wonky nightingale.  Keep reading →

Keats-Shelley Prize 2020 - Simon Barnes reads from The Meaning of Birds

14Dec

Simon Barnes is unique in the world of literature. How many revered sports writers are also revered nature writers too? Off the top of my head I can think of one: Simon Barnes himself.  Keep reading →

Episode 142 - Amanda Coe: Part 1

8Jun

Amanda Coe is an English novelist and screenwriter, whose credits include the BAFTA-winning adaptation of John Braine's Room at the Top, and her highly-praised thrillers What They Do in the Dark and Getting Colder. This Writing Life met her at Waterstones Piccadilly to talk about everything from her excellent new novel Everything You Do is Wrong to her childhood in Canada and Doncaster, her student days at Oxford, her formative love of George Eliot and PG Wodehouse and the challenge of being busy.

Part 2 to follow.

Episode 141 - Leila Slimani - Lullaby: Part 4

18Mar

The final part of This Writing Life podcast's chat with Leila Slimani begins with a question about racisial abuse of Muslims in France. From here we discuss her relationship with Morrocco, with sexual politics in that country, between her fiction and her activism, and finally about the future: movie adaptations of her global smash-hit Lullaby and that next novel.

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