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Conquistadors   In this afterthought he’s just turned six, the astronaut in him   doing his damnedest to coincide the moon landing with his first kiss,   hoping to plant his lips on —– ——–’s distant face   as Simon Armstrong steps from the module onto Tranquillity Base.   But...

I’m midway through the second of two great new books about what might be called ‘under-finished’ forms of literature. When we call food ‘under-cooked’ it’s usually a disappointed description of something that isn’t as it should be, something that hasn’t reached its potential. But what establishes a literary work as...

I heard a Black female poet make the remark recently: “People read ‘trees’, ‘rocks’, ‘minerals’, and so on in poetry written by African diaspora writers, and yet there is some deep-seated disinclination to ever think of them outside the prism of identity politics, despite their clear ecological concerns”. As I...

“Good morning, neighbour!” An old-fashioned greeting, shouted by two repair workers over the dilapidated wall of a government-owned house in Trinidad as I unthinkably walked, rather than drove, down the road, brought my mind right back to Leeds, and to the North. Travelling for poetry, I had started to feel...

I was excited to hear that Dr Denis Flannery is running a course called Bowie, Reading, Writing at the University of Leeds.  As a student it would have been the kind of module I would have signed up for without hesitation, though the academic study of pop/rock music was generally frowned...

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been doing some work at the Hull History Centre, trying to track down a Nigerian poet, Minji Ateli (neé Karibo) who was at the University of Ibadan  in the 1960s. Karibo contributed several poems to The Horn, a Nigerian student poetry magazine edited...