Freeing verse. And saxophones…

There was a fantastic mix of words and music at Verse Matters in October. Shelley Roche-Jacques kicked off the evening with a lovely reading which explored the historical role of women writers. This was an apt opener, given the continuing inequalities in publishing, particularly for women, and for Black and Asian writers. In 2005 the Free-Verse-Report asked why so few […]

Poetry Out Loud: Performance and Publication in the Digital Age

Last night I took part in a fantastic event with Helen Mort, Malika Booker and Rommi Smith at the Chemic Tavern in Leeds. The event was part of the Debating the Book series, which includes a wide range of readings and talks across Yorkshire. It is an exciting year for poetry at the University of Leeds. The Poetry Centre has […]

Arab authors & literary institutions: Interview with Fadia Faqir

This is the proof of an interview that was first published in the Journal of Postcolonial Writing (48.1) in March 2010. INTRODUCTION ‘If the discourse in the metropolis aims to de-humanise Arabs and make them disappear in order to justify ‘collateral damage,’ my fiction and writing aims to humanise not only the Arabs, but the English, […]

The politics of parenting

There is a prevailing assumption that children and politics do not mix. That parenting is apolitical, and that women who talk about children cannot, at the same time, be talking about resistance, justice, struggle or emancipation. This was brought home to me recently, when in a recent Facebook post I wrote the following: “I received […]

That’s not very long…

I received an email yesterday from Clare College, Cambridge about the high profile events being planned by the college to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the admission of women into the college. The email invited me, along with other members of the college, to come together and celebrate the college for taking ‘the momentous decision to end centuries […]