Blog

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...