“We got us a Convoy” …

So, me hearties, last night we foregathered in the forecastle (possibly) of HQS Wellington to launch Caroline Davies excellent book of poetry entitled ‘Convoy’. It deals mainly with the siege of Malta by the Axis Powers during WWII* and also with the homefront in Wales, and has as its foundation Caroline’s grandfather’s war and herContinue reading ““We got us a Convoy” …”

@ The Albion Beatnik

Last Wednesday I had the good fortune to be the rump (no really it’s true) of a party heading from Milton Keynes to The Albion (via supper with Oxford-centred writing chums) for a poetry reading by Wendy Klein and Dorothy Yamamoto. And I’ve been meaning to jot down some thoughts about it for nearly aContinue reading “@ The Albion Beatnik”

Another indie book found! The Martian

REALLY good indie books do not come galumphing by in herds. This is only the second – apart from [coughs modestly] my own that I recommend without hesitation. So … ta da! I give you Andy Weir’s ‘The Martian’. Except that I can’t give him to you because his excellent book (which I’ve just reviewedContinue reading “Another indie book found! The Martian”

New tools

I thought this, in my April Literary Review, was interesting. John Sutherland was reviewing Dear Mark Twain: Letters from His Readers, edited by R Kent Rasmussen. Rasmussen, in a nutshell, has truffled through the archives now available to produce tiny paragraph-long biographies of some of the plain folk who wrote to Twain. Sutherland writes: “AmongContinue reading “New tools”

Mo’ better words

I saw this in Jolyon Connell’s editorial piece in The Week last week and it got my language weathervane spinning merrily: “In the FT Simon Kuper … argues that … prose is ‘becoming blessedly more like speech. Social media, blogs and emails have hugely improved the way we write.’” Fellow writers may be blenching slightly at thisContinue reading “Mo’ better words”

i cannot bring myself to look at walls in case you have graffitied them with love poetry (kindle edition)

Because Dan’s novel has created some interest here – and in the interests of bringing some more of his work to the attention of people who might enjoy it – I’m pasting in below the short review of his last poetry collection that I did for Amazon. You can get a Kindle version of theContinue reading “i cannot bring myself to look at walls in case you have graffitied them with love poetry (kindle edition)”

Dan Holloway writes a conundrum

Dan Holloway’s recently published novel Evie and Guy is a true oddity. The author wanted to write a novel without using those restrictive things: words. This has been done before, of course. Most recently (to my knowledge) by Sheridan Shed Simove whose What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex briefly became a bestseller in 2011.Continue reading “Dan Holloway writes a conundrum”

Roman rhythm in real time

Leighton Buzzard Music Club’s concert on Saturday 16th March struck a different chord from their usual, chamber music, offerings. A substantial audience welcomed two Neapolitan jazz musicians: Luca Luciano on clarinet and Bruno D’Ambra on piano. Both now live in London and collaborate regularly. Luca has made four solo albums of his own clarinet compositionsContinue reading “Roman rhythm in real time”

James Sherlock, delightful evening of piano music at Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre

James Sherlock blew onto the stage of Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre on Saturday 16th February like a breath of spring in his daffodil yellow socks (for which he apologised) and an amusing line in anecdotes (you couldn’t make up Dame Fanny Waterman’s masterclass, could you?) to underline his delightful skill and talent on the piano.Continue reading “James Sherlock, delightful evening of piano music at Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre”

The joys of the digital deluge

I read this interesting snippet in my April issue of Literary Review today, it’s extracted from John Sutherland’s review of Dear Mark Twain: Letters from His Readers, ed R Kent Rasmussen, University of California Press: “… the internet is revolutionising historical research methods, and this volume is a testament to the possibilities. Among the onlineContinue reading “The joys of the digital deluge”