Monday, 28 September 2009

Freed Speech - Modern Poetry in Translation

The next issue of Modern Poetry in Translation, Freed Speech, is being launched at Amnesty International's headquarters in London, at an event to be co-hosted by Poet in the City on Wednesday 30th September. Doors open at 6.30 pm for a 7.00 pm start.

A friend, F. Mehrban, an Iranian writer who I have been mentoring through the Medical Foundation's Write to Life programme, has two poems published in this issue of MPT. Her poems will be read on Wednesday by Richard Trinder. Other poets, including Carole Satyamurti and Amit Chaudhuri, will be reading their work on the night.

Tickets are free but must be booked in advance by emailing There's a Facebook page with more details, if you like that sort of thing. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

My Jude Law Film

Last week I had a meeting with the director about the film script I'm supposed to be writing in response to a row on the pages of the Guardian theatre blog about perceived racism in British theatre and the lack of roles in film, TV and theatre for British actors of East Asian appearance. The idea was to create a project with plenty of interesting roles for those actors and we settled on a film with the working title, 'Does Benedict Cumberbatch Know Kung Fu?'

As the director pointed out last week, although Benedict Cumberbatch is a fine actor and by all accounts a lovely man (and his name brings a wonderful di diddly diddly dum dum dum rhythm to the title), he's not as internationally well-known as, say, Jude Law. So I think we'll probably have to change the title. For the credulous among you, I ought to point out that henceforth whenever I mention working on 'my Jude Law film', I'm only talking about this.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Beautiful Gargoyle

I spent the summer in Tunisia, London and the English countryside, variously writing a screenplay, looking after two dogs called Angel and Nellie, writing a poem about Nellie ('Beautiful Gargoyle'), knittting, swimming, smoking, sunbathing, gardening, going to parties in fancy dress, and considering whether to move to the countryside and get a dog like Nellie.

Looking at the chart, I think I probably spent too little time on the screenplay.

More Poetry & Knitting

I have been approached by the Poetry Society to knit a full stop in addition to the square I have already knitted for the knitted poem they are producing for their centenary celebrations. It's a great honour. Hooray for knitting. And poetry.

And Peter Hartey, the organiser of the MAG 2009 poetry competition, has been in touch with a link to the winning poem, Thirteenth Birthday by Francesca McMahon, which has a knitting connection.