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Showing posts from October, 2013

Reading Event/New Fiction - 'Freeman Street'

“… like me dad used to say, when the absent friends outscore those who’ve turned up, it’s time to call it a day.”
Freeman Street is a new short story (at least I think it's a short story) commissioned for this year's Great Grimsby Literature Festival.
Although its foundation is partly in research carried out for the social history book The Women They Left Behind in 2008/9, Freeman Street tells the entirely fictional story of Julie, once the wife of a fisherman, who finds herself on a pilgrimage to Grimsby after thirty years away. As the trip unfolds and once familiar streets roll by, Julie is increasingly haunted by an episode from her past.
I’ll be reading Freeman Street for the first time at Grimsby Minster on Friday 25 October as part of Local Life, a lunchtime (12.00-1.00pm) reading session for adults, alongside other new pieces of work commissioned for the festival.

HUMBER MOUTH 2013 In Conversation with Mike Hodges/Get Carter Screening

In the Observer review of Get Carter, written on the film's release in March 1971, you get the feeling the reviewer is in something of a quandary. He dubs it his 'commercial film of the week', but seems to feel a little ... dirty about it. He writes of the film's dubious morality and, whilst finding it impossible not to identify with Michael Caine's anti-hero, Jack Carter, 'a very unpleasant thug who goes up to Newcastle to find out who murdered his straight brother...' he is less easy with the way he 'kills or screws anything that moves'. In a week where the other main commercial release was Love Story,  the reviewer finally admits his 'shameless enjoyment', concluding that Get Carter is like 'a bottle of neat gin swallowed before breakfast. It's intoxicating all right, but it'll do you no good'. All of which is a roundabout way of announcing I'll be in conversation with Get Carter director, Mike Hodges for this year'…

Great Grimsby Poetry Relay - Reader 51

There was something rewarding being Reader 51 for half an hour or so this morning for the Great Grimsby Literature Festival and National Poetry Day poetry relay. Leaving the laptop for the morning and taking a walk to the bridge, I found the east walkway closed, so schlepped under to the western path. The further onto the bridge, the more pronounced the thunders and rumbles of articulated lorries. They feel close, really close.

The noise, the movement, the vibration, the grey-brown river churning up sandbanks - it's a long way down. In place, just beyond the Barton side pier - some 500 metres from the shore - in time for the 11:44 reading. I said the words. A brief extract from Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sail'd softly too:
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze -
On me alone it blew.
O dream of joy! is this indeed
The lighthouse top I see?
Is this the hill? Is this the kirk?
Is this mine own countree?

It's not surprising that river…