by Carmina Masoliver
When I was asked by a friend to think about the difference between being a professional artist and a semi-professional artist with regards to my own practice as a writer and a poet, the distinction between the two seemed – to quote author Daniel Piper – arbitrary and unnecessary. The word semi-professional is not something that has been in my vocabulary, because my ideas of professionalism go beyond the dictionary definition of these two words.
by Zoe Harding
Article contains strong language.
I went to a counter-protest last week.
Chances are you did too, if you’re reading this. The protest, by a group called Unity UK, was opposite the Norwich town hall and was probably against immigrants, although most of the people there seemed to think it was in favour of Brexit and one chap wanted to Drain The Swamp (an odd choice of slogan in a county that would be little more than Thetford and a lot of dry mud if we drained it, but I digress.) The counter-protest, on the other hand, was a who’s who of Norwich’s local lefties, turning up with drums, flags, megaphones and a generally good-natured if slightly intense demeanor, to stand opposite them and drown them out.Continue Reading
by Sara Harrington
This series aims to vocalise and explore the realities of working as a creative freelancer in a world of ‘9-5ers’. By collating a diverse array of stories from a variety of creative professionals, I hope to contextualise the working art world and give space to discuss what it really means to become your own boss.
The crisp air shocks my puffy, tired face into some form of waking existence. The dog lead wrapped twice around my arm tugs and tugs – the tiny tyrant at the end insistent on getting personal with some arbitrary, malodorous gatepost. Ignoring the hunger gnawing in the pit of my stomach, I trudge on, disgruntled dog in tow. During this morning ritual my brain races as it thinks of self-made deadlines, promotional schemes to send to art directors, and commissions I want to apply for. Each thought tugs and tugs until no answer is arrived at. With no definite plan of how to approach my working day I walk on, still in my pyjamas. My partner left for work ten minutes ago, climbing into their calamitous car and cajoling themselves into the forty-five minute commute to their day job. I am already at work.
by Eli Lambe
There is a new independent publishing house in Norwich. Seam Editions has already published some amazing pieces (seriously I am ashamed of everything I’ve ever written in comparison). Focusing on the emerging field of creative-critical writing, they provide a platform for interactive, experimental and formally disruptive writing. I was lucky enough to be able to sit down with four of the team to talk about the incredible progress they have made since their launch late last year. I met Sara Helen Binney, Sarah A. Jones, Simon Pook and Rob Ward at the Playhouse.Continue Reading
by Eli Lambe
How can you have anxiety and whatever
and read aloud to rooms.
How do you flinch at loud noises and not stares?
Speaker, the mind is unintelligible
and this unwell mind doubly so.
I do not hyperventilate this performance,
is this performing the cause.Continue Reading
by Hannah Rose
This is a missive from the past (June 3rd) to the future (June 10th). Futures are shady places where the detail is rubbed out; they nearly always keep us in darkness, because we saturate them in too much hope. Perhaps that’s where it all went wrong: we should have shone a finer light between hope and cynicism. In Back To The Future, Marty McFly asks his girlfriend:“What happens to us in the future? Do we become assholes or something?”Continue Reading
by Hannah Rose
Vote only once by putting a cross (X) in the box next to your choice. My ballot paper reads like a lover’s ultimatum: Leave or Remain. There is no room on my ballot paper to explain, negotiate with, mediate between. All dialogue between us has ended. Now there is only silence lingering like the smell of damp coats.Continue Reading
by Alice Thomson
Igminae a wlrod wree the wetrtin wrod is as hrad to raed as tihs. Imagine that written word is in your first language, not a second or third. Imagine the difficulty it presents every day, how others perceive you, how exhausting it is to read, and understand. Some of you reading this won’t have to imagine. This is the world of a dyslexic.
Often people think of dyslexia as word blindness, or even attribute it to a low intelligence score. When I was a Primary School teacher I often heard people referring to dyslexia as a “nice way of calling middle-class children slow”. This attitude horrified me. Many attitudes in school staff-rooms towards learning horrified me. As a child, I remember my mother would explain out to my teachers my dyslexia at every parents evening. The same teachers, every year, and it was always a surprise to them. As an adult and an educator, I had hoped attitudes had changed, but in my experience this is not the case.Continue Reading
by Alex Valente
Original Italian by Ginevra Lilli (1972-), ‘Magari martedì’
They come, small line of dromedaries
in the desert. Thirsty words
lined up, also tied up
one to the other. One line
seemingly obedient. Consenting.Continue Reading
by Linda Russo
I wrote To Think of her Writing Awash in Light as a way to investigate aspects of literary women’s lives that tend to be overlooked. The questions that interested me – how do lived spaces (domestic, urban, or natural spaces or environments) effect women’s relationships to their materials and ideas and language? How do women navigate these spaces and their various prescriptions for what women should or can do? – suggested a geographic inquiry, one that required leaving my desk and books behind to wander about and write in various environments, literal and imaginary.Continue Reading
by Carmina Masoliver
The Last Word Festival is a annual festival of spoken word events at The Roundhouse. The organisation supports young artists with their work, giving them a platform to showcase their work, as well as featuring well-established names in poetry, such as East Anglia’s own Luke Wright. The programme was full of acts happening in every crevice of the building, spilling out into bar, where Talking Doorsteps videos were available to listen to on headphones in seating booths. Read on to find more about some of what this year had to offer.
by Jake Reynolds
I descend / Toward the brink… – Thomas Hardy
The robin pegs its washing on the line, following a feud
in which a red snuck its way into whites. Its dark eyes
probe the meadow, robed in dismembered scarecrows.
It seethes at a pinkish shirt, and curtly calls for the culprit
to come forward. I will find you, it chirps, I will take joy
in severing your spinal cord, in hanging you to dry.Continue Reading
by Carmina Masoliver
Hollie McNish: Versus tour — Open Banking Hall, Norwich. Hollie McNish has been on this particular tour for a long time now, having had it extended from the first set of dates. In the format that one would expect a music gig to be in, this proves — if nothing else — that poetry can work in this setting. As a poet, part of what I loved was McNish’s refusal to write something more theatrical with lots of movement, or to strive for a narrative arc. A poet who likes to keep things simple — this stripped down approach was refreshing and inspiring.
by Jess Howard
Last month an image appeared on my Facebook news feed of a heavily tattooed cat. Completely fake, of course, the image accompanied a blog post about the ethical and artistic implications of animal body art. It raised a significant issue. Is tattooing pets a sign of creativity, or cruelty, on the part of the owner?
Searching through Google, many news stories feature pet owners being vilified for inking their animals. An online petition to make the practice illegal has amassed over 180,000 signatures, and it has already been banned in the state of New York. However I was unable to find any direct statements regarding the legality of the process in the UK.
The featured blog post predominately focused on two artists — Ernesto Rodriguez, from North Carolina, and Mistah Metro, an artist from Brooklyn. Rodriguez inked his Pit bull in his basement studio, whilst Metro tattooed his pet whilst the animal was sedated having undergone surgery.Continue Reading
by Alex Valente
In February, the Image Comics/Milkfed Criminal Masterminds Inc. series Bitch Planet reaches its third issue in an ongoing series (tentatively, out of 30). Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel, Pretty Deadly), drawn by Valentine De Landro (X-Factor), coloured by Cris Peter and lettered by Clayton Cowles, the book features a wonderful design by Rian Hughes (covers and title) and Lauren McCubbin (backmatter) and is tightly edited by Lauren Sankovitch. There will be no invisible labour here.
After three issues under its belt (depending on when this piece is published), it feels a little strange to write a review — so this is not a review, not exactly; this is an appreciation.
DeConnick uses her writing to build a dystopian setting in which patriarchal structures have reached such an overt manifestation of power that the rulers — the New Protectorate — are a bunch of old men who call themselves The Fathers. A society whose constant, obsessive message is ‘You are broken, you are fat, you must obey, you must comply’, a society that has rejected the idea of Mother Earth (‘Earth is the Father’) and created the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost — affectionately referred to as Bitch Planet – as a space (‘the Mother’) penitentiary for non-compliant women.Continue Reading