WriteLion roundup

Summer is upon us so WriteLion will be off in search of some Yurt action. Our first stop will be the No Direction Home Festival (8-10 June) to see what Jon Ronson’s got to say for himsen (we’ll be interviewing him for the Oct issue of LeftLion). Lowdham Book Festival dominates the whole of June. Our pick of the bunch is the opportunity to heckle Jon McGregor for only being Britain’s second-best short story writer and to see if selebs like Ben Fogle can actually write. If you don’t know what Lowdham Book Festival is then we’re guessing you probably don’t even know that Southwell will be hosting its annual Library Poetry Festival (5-8 July) with the likes of Wendy Cope and that Jools Holland will be fingering the old Joanna at the Southwell Folk Festival (1-4 June) The 100 bus (pathfinder line) goes to Southwell and Lowdham.

We’re off on the tram to Hucknall Book Day on 2 June to see if John Baird, Gloria Morgan or Nick Thorn can convince us the place has more to offer than a wicked flea market. 9 June we’ll Shake the Dust at the Nottingham Playhouse for the East Midlands final then go climbing in Creswell Craggs (14 June) with hairy poet Mark Goodwin. If we’ve got £48 spare we’ll be enrolling on Victoria Oldham’s ‘Editing Your Prose’ course – just so we can spend six weeks in her lovely company. You can thank the Nottingham Writers’ Studio for that one. Pewter Press will be at Waterstones on 23 June celebrating Terri Armstrong’s debut Standing Water. They’re back again on 10 July with Frances Thimann and Heather Shaw. At this point, WriteLion would like to apologise to Frances if she took Ambridge at Katie Half-Price referring to her work as ‘biddy lit’. It was meant in the best possible taste. We think you’re a smashing writer. It’s just our Katie is a right handful.

The date for the next Poetry Café at the Flying Goose has moved from 5 June to the 14, just to keep the Beeston literati on their toes. For the Forest Fields massive it’s got to be Speech Therapy at Bar Deux. Mark Niel (28 June) is followed by Melinda Deathgoth (26 July). Both feature the delightful Raffle of Rammel as well as the opportunity to be snarled and spat at by the irrepressible John Marriott. We want his cubs.

But how can we enjoy these festivities in the knowledge that Éireann Lorsung is heading off to Belgium? In her five years she has transformed the local poetry scene. We’re not talking about the publishing house, journal, festivals and quality poetry nights. We mean those home-made cakes. Poetry readings changed forever. Now all together: ‘She’s made of sugar and spice and all things nice with a surname that sounds like a posh tea.’ Goodbye, duck. x

Taken from LeftLion Issue 47.