Emily Hall

I’ve done quite a bit of lyric writing for the composer Emily Hall. Click on her name for a previous blog about our collaborations. Emily has now issued the three main song cycles we’ve done as very beautifully designed and printed scores. A recording of Life Cycle, made by Mara Carlyle, Oliver Coates and John […]

Watching Chess

I watch a lot of chess. (I also watch skateboarding and, more recently, surfing.) I mean on YouTube mostly, though sometimes live. I’m not a good chess player, and although I’ve learned something about openings, tactics, strategy and endgames, I’m still a patzer. (Chess word for rubbish player.) I’m not sure exactly what it is […]

The Three Virtues of Martin Amis

I have been taking this blogging business too seriously; trying to come up with finished statements, rather than put something out. I doubt I’ll be able to change, but here goes. It’s usually easier for any generation to acknowledge the qualities of the generation above the one above them – not the mothers, the grandmothers. And […]

Lara Pawson in Conversation about This Is the Place to Be

As part of the Birkbeck Summer lecture series, the wonderful Lara Pawson came along to talk to Birkbeck’s Creative Writing MA students, and to me, about writing and other things. It was one of the best events we’ve ever hosted. Lara was extremely open and full of insights. You can listen to the podcast here: […]

Writing Well and Writing to Get Well 4 Podcast

What can writers and teachers of Creative Writing learn from psychiatry, neuroscience, and other medical disciplines about the links between creativity and mental illness? The podcast from the fourth Friday evening event, which took place on Friday 19th May 2017, can be listened to here: http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2017/05/writing-well-and-writing-to-get-well-nathan-filer-and-agata-vitale-in-conversation/ Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall, and Agata […]