Monday, 22 February 2010

New Fairy Tales

I am delighted to announce that I am now the Associate Poetry Editor for New Fairy Tales magazine - and excited to be working with Editor Claire Massey and fellow Associate Editor Andy Hedgecock, who also currently works on seminal British Sci-Fi mag Interzone. Check out Claire's blog The Fairy Tale Cupboard which is chock full of brilliant links, articles and thoughts on all things fairytaley.

I also attended Prof Ronald Hutton's talk on the history of the fairy tale in Britain last week at the Barbican which was a useful reminder of the social functions of fairy tales (to stop people from doing dangerous things or meeting dangerous people; to provide a framework that describes psychological and cultural events such as postnatal depression, or as a structure to frame the treatment of disablement, for instance) as well as the more supernatural explanations. The tone of his talk was very open and he at no point rubbished the idea of the faery as mere fantasy, acceding that there is too large a bank of strange experiences on the part of to many people for it to be dismissed out of hand. He made the interesting observation that we are the first culture not to have an explanation of fairy sightings / disturbances, regardless of what that theory might be: our common cultural approach seems to be dismissal. Like Dana Scully, I take the view that phenomenon exist, so dismissal is not an option. Most of the time there is probably an explanation - we just don't have the right frame of reference to address it properly. What we think of as science will doubtless catch up one day.

New Fairy Tales is now also accepting submissions of fiction, artwork and poetry, so if you would like your work to be considered for the May 2010 issue please visit the Submissions page of the New Fairy Tales site for more details.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Studio of Paula Rego

A found/cutup poem "The Studio of Paula Rego" from my now-finished second book is now online at the excellent online magazine The Literateur.

Literateur = "One who is almost obnoxiously well acquainted with literature and takes care to frequently remind you of this fact".

(Cough) I'd never be so bold.

Seeing "arch-historian" Ronald Hutton at the Barbican on Thursday. Can't wait!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Taking a bite out of books

I've been working on a writing project called Bookbite recently, and am pleased to say that it has just launched its website, with a lovely printed book to accompany it soon. All glossy.

Bookbite is a project encouraging reading and writing in the over 60s, and I've produced some writing tips sections for it - getting started writing, writing a short story, writing your autobiography and setting up a writer's club. I'm really pleased to help such an impressive and wide reaching project. Encouraging anyone to write is very close to my heart, so it means a lot to me to be involved.

I'm also now talking to the Women in Publishing group on the 14th April - for more information about them, check out their website.