Wrestliana – Things to do with wrestling with things to do with things to do with wrestling

[This is a different version of the first chapter of the book – currently up on the Galley Beggar website.] The story of my great-great-great grandfather’s life is the best true story I know. It has everything – a strong, handsome, charismatic, tragic lead man (William Litt). It involves crime, disloyalty, poetry, love. It’s a […]

Wrestliana

  When I was looking for a publisher for my non-fiction book, Wrestliana, I put together this poster. It’s based on the posters that Cumberland & Westmoreland wrestling matches used to be advertised with in the early 1800s. That’s when my great-great-grandfather William Litt was doing his best wrestling. More about him next time. I did […]

John Donne is Alive

Earlier this year I wrote a short article for the British Library website about John Donne.   It’s intended for ‘A’ Level students, but I said some things I wanted to say about the moment by moment nature of Donne’s poetry. It’s amazing but weirder and weirder the closer you look at it. https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/a-close-reading-of-donnes-song-go-and-catch-a-falling-star

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 […]

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 […]