Tag Archives: book

Heated debate at Swindon Poetry Sunday

13 May

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 There are many sides to that thing we call ‘poetry’.

There’s the performance poetry of the Slam!. The poetry of the nursery rhyme. The poetry of hip hop and the singer-songwriter, the folk singer, the hymn. The limerick, the nonsense poem, the psalm, the sonnet and the haiku. Poetry of strict form and poetry of tradition. The poetry of the streets and the poetry of abstract concepts.

Some people don’t call themselves poets. They label themselves spoken word performers, slammers, MCs and lyricists. Continue reading

FLIT – the results

13 May
FLIT 180

FLIT 180 – organisers Karen Griffiths, Hilary McGinty, Daniel Golton

Long books turned into short films? What would young filmmakers make of them?

This inaugural FLIT 180 film competition screened four films of three minutes each, with their starting point a piece of literature. The winning piece ‘The Man and the Serpent’ was a twist on Aesop’s Fables. In second place, was THAT teen fave, Twilight, followed by Michael Murpurgo’s Conker and The Open Window.

Competition organisers, Karen Griffths and students Hilary McGinty and Daniel Golton have been meeting together in a Highworth-based reading group. A keen filmmaker already, Daniel suggested they combine the two loves into a competition for young people.

I asked of Daniel and Hilary what were their favourite books, ‘anything by Tolkein’ said Daniel, and ‘Name of the Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss said Hilary. Ahh fantasy fans after my own heart! I’ve only just finished Name of the Wind myself, great book.

And, by the way, here’s the film that won Daniel the film of the month on Filmnation:


When did you stop dancing?

12 May

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Yesterday at Swindon Festival of Literature began with a sleep at the Mark Williams Mindfulness events.

Now before you start thinking badly of Mark Williams, I’ll quickly explain that he led the Swindon Arts Centre audience in a meditation or ‘body scan’. Continue reading

Are you there?

10 May

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Are you there? Good.

So I went to Alex Horne’s Word Watching at the Swindon Festival of Literature last night, a tad concerned it might be a bit Radio 4, you know, cosy in a Louis Theroux sort of way. And yes, I guess it was. No agit-comic Mark Thomas-style clashes with authority or Frankie Boyle controversy for Alex.

That’s not to say he didn’t get some sound tellings-off. During his quest to get an Alex-original (or rather: re-appropriated) word into the Oxford English dictionary he was nearly banned from Wikipedia for repeatedly changing Natasha Kaplinski’s entry to describe her height as 6’2” tall and removing all references to ‘hands’ and replacing them with new word ‘paddles’. And his knuckles were virtually rapped via email by Only Connect presenter Victoria Coren for being responsible for a deluge of emails to the BBC which insisted that ‘honk’ is a bona fide word for ‘cash’. Continue reading

From shattered lives to school wars

9 May

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“Jung and Freud would have rewritten their books if they’d been to Peckham,” said Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of Kids Company and author of Shattered Lives: Children Who Live with Courage and Dignity, speaking at the Swindon Festival of Literature this evening.

I sat within a near capacity crowd, and listened to this lady, dressed in what looked like a flower garden, in total awe. Not just because she’d worked with the most troubled children but because she was smiling; genuinely smiling. Continue reading

We are the Official Chronicle for the Swindon Festival of Literature, yay!

20 Apr
Swindon Festival of Literature launch. Photo by Festival Chronicler

Swindon Festival of Literature launch. Photo by Festival Chronicler

So I’ve just agreed to do this crazy thing.

Report on twenty-nine literature events in twelve days.

That’s twenty-nine sparklingly written accounts, plus any other back stage gossip and thoughts and feelings I can find, complete with illustrative photos, on this year’s Swindon Festival of Literature as the *trumpets herald* first ever Official Festival Chronicler. Continue reading