Before I get to
your recommendations this month, I wanted to share your excellent suggestions
for what ‘LGF’ could stand for in relation to 26.
strong literary and friendship themes coming through, with Lindsey Russell’s ‘Literary
GiftedFriends’, Rebecca Dowman’s ‘Letters with Good Friends’, and ‘Literary,
Galvanise and Fun’ from Elena
and Faye Sharpe are also feeling galvanised! With ‘Liberating, Galvanising, Facilitating’
and ‘Lively, Galvanising, Friendly’,
‘Largesse Gumption and Friendship’ spoke to Jill Hopper. And then there’s
my personal favourite from Sabine Harnau: ‘Language Geek
Fizzing with images that make you pause; Dara’s use of language,
aged 15, is astonishing, refreshing and compelling. His passion for wildlife,
and fury at its desecration, radiates from every page. Bullied for being
different, his courageous advocacy for daily doses of nature is an essential
message for today.
In these days of home-schooling there’s even a set of teaching
notes for the UK curriculum on the website. An abridged version of the book was
read by Dara on Radio 4’s Book of the Week and is still available on BBC Sounds.
– Sarah Hill
came across this article on the need to change how we write ‘Black’ in light of the
Black Lives Matter movement. I found it fascinating as I never thought about
the impact a simple capital letter can have on a community. I thought it would
be of interest to the 26 community too.
ZEITGUIDE Culture Class with Cindy Gallop discusses how to end racism in the
corporate sector. Cindy often uses quite drastic language, and she did not
disappoint! If you have a spare hour and want to educate yourself on how to be
a good ally, watch this hugely enlightening, unexpectedly entertaining video.
– Sabine Harnau
reading a lot of nature writing at the moment, unsurprisingly, and love both
Dara McNulty’s Diary of a Young Naturalist and Lucy Jones’s Losing Eden. It
hasn’t happened yet, but the National Theatre is streaming its production of Amadeus
on YouTube in July and I am so excited. I saw it live and it’s an exhilarating
piece of theatre. Highly recommend!
May I had the pleasure of interviewing fellow 26-er Therese Kieran as part of
the Chawton House Lockdown Literary Festival. The conversation is still on YouTube if anyone fancies finding out what happened to Therese’s
Armistice 100 Days work after the project officially finished…
Another member, Sinéad Keegan was involved too – inspiring all sorts of people to try their hand at ‘found’ poetry. Her introductory session is still available until the end of June and you can find it here.
– Lisa Andrews
just finished reading Hollow in the Land, the
new novel by James Clarke. It features a range of contemporary characters in
the marginal landscape of the Rossendale Valley, north of Manchester. I lived
there for three years and his writing conveys humour, sadness and a true sense
of place. Clarke won the Betty Trask prize for his first novel The Litten Path,
but I think Hollow in the Land shows him flexing his writing even further.
just watched Becoming
– the Netflix
documentary on Michelle Obama. Riveting to see the way she shares stories to
connect with people, especially young women of colour trying to find a ray of
hope for their futures. Also, I’m tuning in every week to Melissa Harrison’s
podcast The Stubborn Light of Things. She lives
in rural Suffolk and takes you on a walk every week, observing nature as she
goes (nightingales, streams, barn owls) and interspersing it all with snippets
and poetry from the likes of Kathleen Jamie and Liz Berry. Great for writers
taking part in 26 Wild and for anyone in need of escape.
read or re-read …
got into the habit of reading a new book followed by a re-read of an old favourite. I
keep saying that The Leopard (by Guiseppe Tomasi
di Lampedusa) is one of my desert island books. But when did I last read it? 20
years ago. Can I remember the sparkling detail of each scene, the closing down
of his world, the changing of the guard? No. I know there are so many stunning
new books bering written, and libraries of excellent novels I will never go
into, but in these times a little comfort reading feeds my soul. Of course, I
could go one stage further and take the Fahrenheit 451 option and memorise the whole book.
– Alastair Creamer
My main Covid discovery – Audible Books. I listen all the time – on dog walks, loading the dishwasher, folding laundry, ironing (ok, I don’t iron, but if I did). And on my list – The Warmth of Other Suns, Clothes and Other Things, Dark Vanessa, and Rodham.
– Elena Bowes
And John Simmons recommends the various talks, films and articles which The British Museum have shared, exploring the history of writing. With everything from a Cuneiform tablet telling an ancient legend, to everything you wanted to know about the Rosetta Stone.
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