• All the unread words
    Attempting to bypass a creative block today, I started photographing objects around the house. I noticed the texts that cover most consumer goods, the sheer wealth of them, and how they are so often hidden, turned away. I started making them visible. I’d just been reading an extract from Felicity Lawrence’s Eat Your Heart Out in Saturday’s paper. She describes how breakfast cereals are one of the top advertising-led products, despite their almost total lack of goodness. “The risk is, if you take the salt out, you might be better off eating the cardboard carton for taste.”—Kellogg’s spokesman. These ...
  • Semina works
    Last night I attended the launch of Semina, a new series of experimental novels from Book Works, at Housmans. The novels are the result of an open call for submissions, and are being selected by series Commissioning Editor Stewart Home. The first two titles in the series, Bridget Penney’s Index, and Maki Kim’s One Break, A Thousand Blows!, are available now. Further titles in the series include Bubble Entendre (2009) by Mark Waugh and Blood Rites of the Bourgeoisie (2010) by Stewart himself, with another five titles still to be announced. Both the event ...
  • Creative Writing & Going Postal
    I have mixed feelings about creative writing courses, but Hanif Kureishi doesn’t: “One of the things you notice is that when you switch on the television and a student has gone mad with a machine gun on a campus in America, it’s always a writing student.” I recently gave a talk to some Creative Writing students. They seemed nice, if mad – but in roughly the same proportions as professional writers, so probably for the good. I may stand before them again. Kureishis’s hypothesis, therefore, struck me as worth testing. Wikipedia’s index of School Shootings lists a total of ...
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