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kath

Meet at the Gate

Books By January 21, 2010 2 Comments

Through the power of social networking, I was recently asked to write a review for Canongate’s wonderful Meet at the Gate website. They are currently running a feature they’ve dubbed their Literature World Tour and when they posted on Facebook that their next stop would be New Zealand,

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Snow day

Writing By January 13, 2010 No Comments

I have discovered a downside to working from home. When it snows, you can’t really justify not working because – well, you’re already at the office. It’s not as if you can’t make it down the hall or stairs to wherever your office happens to be. (I’m assuming that roof leakage is not an issue here and you don’t have…

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Poetry and Mince Pies

Events, Poetry By December 16, 2009 No Comments

I am buzzing from having been among such talented and varied voices for the evening and don’t think that I’ll be able to sleep for quite some time to come. Maybe I should seize the moment, pour myself a glass of amaretto and put pen to paper? To launch the Women’s edition of Roundyhouse poetry magazine, there was an evening…

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A Novel in a Month?

Writing By December 1, 2009 1 Comment

I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m sorry, NaNoWhat? Oh, that. Curses, you remember. Yes,okay, confession time. I did mention that I was considering signing up for NaNoWriMo – that stands for saying goodbye to your life for a month in order to write a novel, or, at least, 50,000 words of one. When I said that I was…

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The Dust Diaries by Owen Sheers

Book reviews, Books, Prose By November 14, 2009 No Comments

This is a beautifully written book that vividly imagines the extraordinary life of a remarkable man.

Owen Sheers finds a book in his father’s study which puts him on the trail of one of his distant relations, Arthur Shearly Cripps, also a poet. The journey takes him from the Rhodes Library in Oxford to modern-day Zimbabwe to London as he traces the life of his missionary ancestor, who left England at the turn of the twentieth century for what was then Southern Rhodesia.

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Armistice Day

Poetry By November 11, 2009 No Comments

In July 2008, on the way back from Italy, I visited the Becourt Military Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, near Albert in northern France. Years earlier, my mother had made a promise to her own mother that she would make the trip and find the grave of one of my cousins, Private W S MacKay of the Seaforth Highlanders, who died there on 14th September 1915 aged 19.

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Der Vater eines Mörders (The Father of a Murderer) by Alfred Andersch

Book reviews, Books, Prose By November 9, 2009 No Comments

At first sight this looks like a lightweight school story about a single 45-minute Greek class at a German Gymnasium in 1928.

The school director comes into the classroom and takes over from the usual teacher, Kandelbinder. He proceeds to test, torment and humiliate not only the students but also Kandelbinder.

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Poetry on the Border

Events, Poetry By November 7, 2009 No Comments

One of the reasons I like listening to writers read their work is so that afterwards, when I’m reading it myself, I can hear their voice in my head. (It keeps the others company. – just kidding!) What it does is help give me a feel for the rhythm of their writing, which, in turn, enhances my own reading of…

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Creative Writing Workshop with Patrick Jones

Poetry, Writing By November 7, 2009 No Comments

I went to a Creative Writing Workshop at Garth Olwg Lifelong Learning Centre in Church Village today and, shortly after sitting down in the classroom, I almost bolted out of there and ran home. What was it that caused me to do this? Those fateful words of the tutor’s: “Today, we’re going to be working on some poetry.” Poetry. The one word guaranteed to strike fear into my heart and make me break out into a cold sweat.

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National Novel Writing Month

Writing By November 4, 2009 1 Comment

Apparently, November is National Novel Writing Month, which doesn’t just mean that we should be celebrating that fact that novels get written.  No, it means that some crazy brave souls out there attempt to write an entire novel in one month flat. Initially, this proposition filled me with wonder and awe, especially when I look back on how long it’s…

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