Wrestliana – What is Cumberland and Westmoreland Wrestling?

This is my all-time favourite image of Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. It’s a great photograph, apart from anything else. And a great sports photograph. It was taken in 2015 by Jill Robson, who attends most of the summer agricultural fairs (Grasmere, Ambleside, Penrith) where this kind of wrestling traditionally takes place. Apart from the rain, […]

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 […]

Sport – or, What Can Writers Learn From Athletes and Coaches?

This talk was first delivered to students of the Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck on May 3rd 2016. Leicester City won the Premier League, and since then a great deal of the national conversation – online, in newspapers, in corridors – has been, ‘How did they do it?’ The next thing after that, of course, is, […]