19th May - Greengate Square, Salford
Guided Dawn Walk as part of the Not Quite Light weekender. Harness your insomnia in service of curious creativity: join photographer and NQL founder Simon Buckley, sketch artist Simone Ridyard, psychogeographer Jane Samuels and myself as we create a citizens' journal of the not quite light Salford streets. £10 per ticket, 4am start - more detail here.
Other than that...this is flare up season for me. Living, writing and working in this particular body, with this disability, means that periods of hibernation are a necessity not a luxury. There are walls that cannot be scaled. Not many events for a while, so in the meantime, part of a past essay for context as I grapple with disability aesthetics in fiction - on short stories and ME/CFS. Follow this link for the whole piece:
A short story can be held in one hand. It can be read in one sitting and it is whole in its own incompleteness – that is to say incomplete only when held against the long form. The ‘incompleteness’ is an illusion because the short story is moment to moment, it is present, and not one word can be extraneous.
There is no room for long, indulgent description, for diversion, no room for anything that is not absolutely necessary. Every word, every letter counts, as with my life with CFS; I have shed so many luxuries and digressions, have had to whittle my days down to the core of what is first necessary and second important.
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To coincide with the anniversary of The National Blind March and a centenary since rich women gained the right to vote, the Working Class Movement Library welcomed contributors from the acclaimed Comma Press anthology Protest: stories of resistance, twenty stories by twenty authors which reimagine key moments of British history from 1381 to the present day by teaming up authors with historians, eye witnesses and crowd scientists, to create historically accurate fiction.
Historian Frank Salt and I talk about women's suffrage, working class activist history, disability rights movement history and his work with the writer Sandra Alland.
I loved this event. Listen to it here, and if you've got the coin, buy the book here.
I'm a British-Canadian writer and artist. I've performed at many festivals and live events across the UK and beyond, solo and in collaboration with other writers, musicians and visual/digital artists. I have most recently written for the new Comma Press anthology Protest! Stories of Resistance, looking at working class suffragettes and forced feeding. My stories have featured on BBC Radio 4, in Short Fiction Journal, and on the literary mapping app LitNav, with poetry appearing in numerous anthologies, including the recent Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and disabled poets write back, the UK’s first anthology of poetry, essays, films and photography of its kind, from Nine Arches Press. My short story collection, Jebel Marra (Comma Press, 2015), was nominated for a number of national and international awards, and I am now working on my second collection, an audio and digital short story map of Hayling Island. See below for more on that.