Blow your trumpets!

Poetry is the new boxing

Publishers have started collapsing all around me, owing me money – if I were not made of stronger stuff, I’d begin to take the whole financial meltdown thing personally. All is not lost, however. I have just been contracted to write A Short History of China to follow my other brief histories, A Short History of Europe (2010) and A Short History of Africa (2012) – available at good bookshops and online. For obvious reasons, A Short History of Brazil is slated to be written next year and published in plenty of time for the World Cup in 2014 – an absolute must for the discerning English football hooligan. Gordon Kerr




The Lewisham Lip

Billed as ‘The Lewisham Lip’ I’m going to verse to verse with Joe Cullen – aka ‘The Bard of Dalston’ – in a Poetry Punch-Up at Torriano Meeting House, Kentish Town on Sunday 29th April (gloves on at 7.30pm) – all welcome and as they say ‘There will be blood!’ Fraser Southey





One of my favourite things

I’ve been doing some of my favourite writing recently – helping a senior marketer think through her five-year strategy to capture her exec team’s hearts and minds. She’s perfectly articulate in speech, but slips into industry jargon when she writes. So a couple of days with her in Chicago nailed it. Very satisfying. Ben Aifa



The Zombie workout

David Varela was story consultant on a new iPhone application called Zombies, Run! – a fitness app that encourages runners to get moving by putting them at the heart of the zombie apocalypse. The audio drama plays out over your headphones as you jog. The game was recently the subject of a feature on Channel 4 News: David Varela


Cluck cluck cluck

A week ago I didn’t even know them and now I am besotted by them. Enter Martha, Rose, Bertha and Cecilia. They’re noisier than I thought, they’re faster than I thought and they poo more than I thought but they’re great listeners, tell no tales and their eggs are delicious. Rosamond Bennett


I double dare you
My deliciously dark short story about the current financial crisis was published in The Scotsman on Wednesday after coming first in ‘Inspired? Get Writing!’ competition organised by the National Galleries in partnership with the English-Speaking Union and the Scottish Poetry Library.Those of a nervous disposition, don’t click here! Cat Dean

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