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 3 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 third Friday evening event, which took place on Friday 12th May 2017, can be listened to here: https://birkbeck.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=c5377e27-5648-4bae-afe6-0b3e2d5b2072 Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan and Professor Rodrigo A. Bressan discuss Creative Writing and Mental […]

High-Rise, Ballard and the 1970s – An Exchange with Adam Roberts

I wrote an article titled ‘Sourcedness’ on Amy Jump and Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of High-Rise for Critical Quarterly. It’s here. (It’s also here, until Critical Quarterly say no.) A Facebook post by Adam Roberts on 20th April 2017 seemed to be thinking along the same lines: The Alec Guinness/BBC “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”, set in the 1970s, […]

Success!!!

EUSTON STATION A year or so ago, inside Euston Station, I bumped into a former student from the Birkbeck Creative Writing MA – Nicole Burstein. Since I first met Nicole she had gone, I hope she won’t mind me saying, from submitting some very angsty, introspective, scrappy prose for her first Writing and Reading workshop to […]