Tag Archives: literature

Red Ken is among friends at Swindon Festival of Literature

10 May
DSC_2783  Ken Livinsgtone at Swindon festival of Literature

©Calyx Ken Livingstone at the Swindon Festival of Literature

“The reason I keep getting into trouble is that I’m always saying what I believe.”

At the height of KenGate (are we calling it KenGate?) I saw a funny tweet, retweeted by Swindon Festival of Literature author and comedian Dom Joly. It imagines Ken Livingstone on Mastermind:

“Your name?”
“Ken Livingstone.”
“Your specialist subject?”
“Not bringing up Hitler.”
“Your time starts n––“
“Hitler.”

There was a time (last week) when it seemed that Ken couldn’t stop talking about Hitler. So how long would it be before he brought up Adolf again? Within the first minute? Not at all? Read on to find out! Continue reading

Is there life in the old dog yet?

10 May
D J Taylor

D J Taylor (left) with Matt Holland ©Calyx Picture Agency

10th May 2016

DJ Taylor – on the life of Literature in Britain – The Prose Factory

 The purpose of this chronicle is not to offer up a review of D J Taylor’s latest tome The Prose Factory – a 200,000-word examination of the life of literature in England. Bigger and better folk than I have already opined on its success, or otherwise, of achieving its objectives. But, as Taylor’s entertaining and humour-injected talk today was centred around it, we should look at it.

Looking at The Guardian’s review from earlier this year, I was drawn to their comment that “Taylor is firmly on the side of ‘ordinary readers, always on the look out for ‘snootiness’.” I like that because I consider myself to be an ‘ordinary reader’. Continue reading

The hottest ticket in town – Family Day at the Literature Festival

8 May

On the hottest day of the year so far, we sent Chronicler Milo (9) to report from Swindon’s Festival of Literature’s Children & Families Day. Continue reading

Youth Slam!

7 May

Chronicler Milo (9) reports from Swindon’s teenage poetry competition, Youth Slam.

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‘I once saw one carrying a segment of Terry’s Chocolate Orange’

6 May

amy liptrot

Amy Liptrot has provided me with my favourite line from any book I have read this year as she recalled her wild life in London Fields and the wildlife of Orkney.

Using her return to the remote Scottish islands following a three-month spell in rehab as the segment of her life to tap and unwrap in a memoir, Liptrop was an engagingly awkward presence at the Arts Centre. Continue reading

Sitting in Kipling’s bath

6 May
©Calyx Picture Agency Swindon Festival of Literature

©Calyx Mary Hamer at Swindon festival of Literature

If you can keep a shocking story going
    when Kipling is as unfashionable as a punkhawalla in the drawing room,
If you can travel the world in pursuit of your story,
    But maintain a love for your subject;
If you can wait ten years for the novel to come to fruition,
    Or uncover inequality, parental abandonment,
Or light a feminist torch for Kipling’s forgotten sibling,
    And yet don’t moralise, nor impose twenty-first-century morals on the nineteenth:

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Meeting Isy’s mad mother and Dom’s one-eyed cat

6 May

Comedy night at Swindon Festival of Literature – the evening that gives your brain cells a chance to recover after events featuring deep thinkers and political heavyweights.

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