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Showing posts from November, 2012

Taking a Fresh Look at Oral History

Last week saw the first of three new Life-Writing workshops at Caistor's 28 Plough Hill Gallery. It's a course I enjoy putting together and teaching, especially as it encourages people to think about their own experiences. Earlier this year, those journo-types at the Hull Daily Mail asked me to write a piece about oral history, specificially why I think it's important to give prominence to those corners of our past that mainstream media and academic study tends to shy away from. In the end, it's all about telling stories. PROJECT TO SHED NEW LIGHT ON THE LIFESTYLE OF CITY'S WORKERS A shortcoming of traditional history is that it tends to focus attention on the recording of momentous historical events. As a writer and researcher, this means you risk overlooking the most important aspect of history: the everyday life experiences of ordinary people, those who rarely have the opportunity for their voices to be heard. With the new project Pattie Slappers – Stories from th…

THE SKINTS - Rise Up

This really is too good not to share. Anyone who has a fondness for the sound of Two-Tone, of old school ska, and who has ever thought, music ain't what it used to be. This is what it used to be and more. And it's new, released earlier this summer.

The Skints are from north east London, young and clued in. They look great and they sound great. Their album Part & Parcel was released in April. It's totally on the money, without doubt the best new music I heard in 2012. Produced by Mike 'Prince Fatty' Pelanconi, a veteran of sessions with, among others Gregory Isaacs, Dub Syndicate and Graham Coxon. See what you think.

EVENT: Hull Noir at the History Centre

Hull's History Centre has opened its doors to Caffeine Nights authors for an afternoon in December. Saturday 1st December to be precise. I'll be lining up with Nick Quantrill and Alfie Robins, reading, showing films and pictures and giving it some yuletide crime storytelling. With the Frank'sWild Years season approaching, here's an opportunity to take time out from shopping and spend a couple of hours experiencing what a friend recently described as 'Jackanory for grown-ups'. It's a new initiative for the History Centre, looking to support local writing and encourage people into an amazing architectural space. And if shopping is your thing, what better than a signed copy of one of 2012's top indie titles? For full info, contact Hull History Centre on 01482 317500.

The Humber Beat: Fiction and Films of the Festival Season

With the publication of Frank's Wild Years in March this year, I've had a dozen or so opportunities to take the book on the road, for readings, book groups, libraries and in the last couple of months literary festivals. Usually on the fringes, but pretty much without exception a welcoming and enthusiastic audience, eager to hear new writing and interested in the how? and why? of what it takes to make half a living from writing. Hull author, Nick Quantrill and myself have developed a series of self-contained presentations - of our own work, of short films by the brilliant Hull film maker, Dave Lee and of talks that, for example, make the links between the Dickens' social realist stories and modern crime writing. Look at the themes, the characters and the underlying story of Oliver Twist. Would it be marketed as a crime novel if it were published today? Recently, as part of North East Lincolnshire's Filter Festival we teamed up with another Hull author, Russ Litten for an …