Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Very Young and Trying

Last night I went to the Deaf Institute for the launch of the new zine WE ARE YOUNG AND WE ARE TRYING. The name is, if anything, an understatement - they are very young (I was one of the few people there not being asked for ID at the bar) and they have tried very hard.

The launch was a bit of a let-down because it failed to really come together, but I'll let the kids off for that on account of the fact that their zine must have worn them right out. There are plenty of pictures on their blog of what it contains - art-work, stories and a CD. And contrary to what their blog claims, one of the Young and Trying tribe informed me that there may be a Volume Two if this one sells well.

If you want to purchase a copy there are details on the blog of how to go about that.

Saturday, 28 March 2009


I picked up a flyer for the re-scheduled launch of this yesterday and just remembered I had it. The 'this' in question is the amazingly exciting-looking zine launch/exhibition of the shiny and new WE ARE YOUNG AND WE ARE TRYING: VOLUME ONE. The caps are theirs and they seem justified so I've stuck with them - there will be music, readings, art exhibitioning, book-stalls....the list goes on. Be there to check it out because it looks like there's so much stuff going on that I'll never be able to fit it all into a post.

The launch is at the Deaf Institute on Monday 30th March (yes that's this Monday!) from 8pm onwards, best of all it is '100% free of charge.'

The Young and Trying folk seem genuinely sorry that they had to cancel their previously scheduled launch so don't hold it against them.


Just a quick extra post today to say that you can now follow this blog by adding yourself into the 'Followers' widget on the right hand side. This saves you the trouble of coming allll the way onto this page, updates will automatically be sent to you. Though it would also be nice if you'd come here too, that way you can see the details of upcoming readings as well.

Nasty Safari and Capture Manchester

I got an exciting e-mail in my inbox yesterday. It's been in the works for a while, but the amazing new writing e-zine, Nasty Safari, is here. It's got fiction, poetry, drama and a frankly hilarious blog...and in fact that's just for starters, there's so much stuff on there that you just have to check it out. The highlight for me is Claire Urwin as I'm unashamedly in love with her work, she's a poet and a playwright, and she does both so well that I'm very glad she rarely writes fiction or I'd have to quit.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This new Capture Manchester exhibition at the Cube gallery on Portland St is good for a bit of inspiration - gets you thinking about new ways to see the city you live in.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Subversive Spaces

Go to the Whitworth Art Gallery to visit their Subversive Spaces exhibition. Do it now.

This may not seem at first to be that related to writing, but there is a lot in there that's relevant to the subject. Within the exhibition there are some extracts of writing about Surrealist ideas, notably Brenton's. But more significantly, the whole exhibition is very inspiring to any sort of artist. The surrealists started out with very specific ideas, in this exhibition the concept of the home as a threatening space was a central theme and the artists represented it in a number of different ways within their work. The way the artists focused their ideas and considered what was core to them is very inspiring.

If you do go be sure to visit the instilation piece Kinderzimmer by Gregor Schneider. It has to be experienced one at a time, you need to collect a ticket for a ten minute time slot (apparently mornings are the easiest times to get tickets, if you go late in the afternoon you'll probably be out of luck). The piece has caused very mixed reactions, but even if you hate it, it will make you think. It's best to go in there knowing nothing about it, so I'll leave you to discover it for yourself.

While you're at the Whitworth you can pick up one of the cool badges that are floating around the city saying: If you read this, I'll give it to you (but then you must wear it). These are Katya Sander's newest project, which is part of the Whose Cosmopoliatanism? events. Pass the badge along to anyone who asks for it, thereby creating a social contract with them and setting off a chain around the city.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

No Point and Jenn Ashworth

I'm doing an MA in Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at Manchester University. Even though I've lived in Manchester virtually my whole life it wasn't until starting the course that I was able to really tap into all the reading events and the huge network of writers there is here. Me and two other people from the course set up a magazine called Bewilderbliss to collect together some of the best writing from the University of Manchester and MMU down the road. It's going really well - there are some great pieces in it and some of those were read aloud and filmed on the launch night. The Bewilderbliss website features one of those readings at a time and changes every week or two, you can see what's there now by clicking here.
In addition to the official launch night we also had a segment in the incedibly popular No Point in Not Being Friends last night thanks to Chris Killen , who is a writing fellow at the Centre for New Writing.

This month, in a very special episode of No Point in Not Being Friends, the very lovely Jenn Ashworth launched her novel A Kind of Intimacy, which I snapped up a copy of. The reading she did was very funny, and if it's anything to go by, the book (which comes in at a weighty 282 pages) will flick past in a flurry of pages that will have me wishing it was twice the length.