Sunday, 7 August 2022

Newsletter 44

7th August 2022



Hello again, again.



I hope this finds you all very well indeed. 


Please let me know if you'd rather not receive a link to this weekly newsletter every Sunday and I'll be happy to stop badgering you. The link currently goes out to around 1,000 subscribers, although the live gathering attracts a very modest attendance WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY FINE BY ME although I hope our very special Larkin event this week will attract a larger crowd of sensation seekers than usual. As you'll see below we have a remarkable cohort of contributors.


Later in August we'll have a programme curated by Amy McCauley with her special guests, a feature on British Values as promoted to the Empire in the 1930s, an expert graphologist looking at MPs' handwriting, a flash fiction showcase curated by Michael Loveday, the poet Jay Gao and authors Toby Litt and Susanna Crossman plus no end of other diversions. I hope you'll join us for some or all of these.


Let's stick together!



David



_____________________



Newsletter contents




1.   Aid for Ukraine


2.   This week’s online gathering (and a note about last week)


3.   Indie press news


        Lunate


        Peirene Press

    

        Rack Press



4.   RSL funding


5.   Paul Stanbridge London gig


6.   Foyles: OK TRANSLATOR


7.   Frankenstein's monster in Clapham


8.   Lynn Buckle klaxon!


9.   Toby Litt klaxon!


10.  FILET


11.  Next week's online gathering


12.  Nudge




      


_____________________




1.  Aid for Ukraine


It drags on, and on, and the dire need of those caught up in this ghastly war demands a response. We all have many calls on our generosity and disposable income (if any), but few are as pressing as this.


Please give what you can, when you can: the most far-reaching programme is the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. You can donate quickly and easily here.


_____________________



2.  This week's online gathering


To mark the centenary of Philip Larkin's birth (on 9th August 1922) we will be celebrating the work of one of the twentieth century's most popular and durable poets.

We'll be joined by the writer Roy Watkins who knew Larkin well when he was an undergraduate in Hull, but who has never shared these fascinating memories in public before. Dr Penny McCarthy will talk about an intriguing connection between Larkin's poem 'High Windows' and a celebrated 19th century novel. Here, in case you don't know it, is the poem:


    High Windows


    When I see a couple of kids

    And guess he’s fucking her and she’s   

    Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,   

    I know this is paradise


    Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives—   

    Bonds and gestures pushed to one side

    Like an outdated combine harvester,

    And everyone young going down the long slide


    To happiness, endlessly. I wonder if   

    Anyone looked at me, forty years back,   

    And thought, That’ll be the life;

    No God any more, or sweating in the dark


    About hell and that, or having to hide   

    What you think of the priest. He

    And his lot will all go down the long slide   

    Like free bloody birds. And immediately


    Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:   

    The sun-comprehending glass,

    And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows

    Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.


    Philip Larkin, "High Windows" from Collected Poems

    Copyright © Estate of Philip Larkin.  Reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber, Ltd. 


We'll have readings by Michael Hughes, Abigail Parry, Lara Pawson, Jake Goldsmith and others, as well as wonderful archive footage and some hot jazz. Plus Larkin himself, of course. You'll get a Zoom link at 6:30pm UK time - please don't be late as it really throws me when folk turn up in the waiting room asa I'm doing my level best to masquerade as a competent host.

A friend once observed to me, rather waspishly, that the less one knows about Larkin the more one like and admires him. I can see the point of such an observation and realise that Larkin, more than most 20th century poets, is subject to the massive condescension of posterity (to borrow a useful phrase from E. P. Thompson).. My own life wouldn't bear close scrutiny, so I'm not lining up to cast stones. What survives of him, and what matters to us, his grateful beneficiaries, is the poetry. And anyone immune to the poetry of Larkin, or who condemns the man without recognising the ineffable beauty and humanity and permanent value of his work, is somehow failing to be fully human. So ner.

PS at the end of last week's live gathering I shared (or thought I shared) a six-minute film about the trolley pushers of Manilla, railway workers of a unique kind. I now know that for the audience the sound was audible but no image appeared on the screen. I have no idea at all why this happened. Apologies to all who sat patiently through it and stayed to the end of the programme. Here's a link to the BBC News report and I urge you all to watch and listen.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xiBu9AkmcA&ab_channel=BBCNews

_____________________



3. Indie press news



Lunate


Volume 1 of this literary journal is available to pre-order and expected to ship on 12th August. A spectacular line-up of talents, including some Glue Factory alumni! 


Order here



    ReWild by Claire Carroll

        

    What becomes of the night when there is nothing left to see? by Rosie Garland


    The Prepared Piano by Jonathan Gibbs


    Hidden Knowledge by Linda Mannheim


    bella ciao by Daniel Payne


    Exit Interview for a Valued Colleague by Ben Pester


    The Clearance by John Saul


    Ceramics for Beginners by Claire Thomson


    Daisies by Dave Wakely



Peirene Press


It’s August and that means it's Women in Translation Month, a time to acknowledge and honour all the women writers and translators who have shaped the international exchange of literature. To celebrate, this enterptising Bath-based indie has picked out some of their books written and translated by brilliant women, all of which are available half-price in the Peirene summer sale



Rack Press


Announced this week: four forthcoming poetry titles from the excellent Welsh indie Rack Press, published in September a snip at five quid each. 






    Exposed Staircase by Will Eaves


    Grief Dialogue by Eve Grubin


    Shreds and Patches by David Ricks


    A Conversation with George Seferis by Michael Vince



Pre-order here.

_____________________


4. RSL Literature Matters Awards

Are you a UK-based literary creator/writer in need of funding for a new piece of work?

Applications are open for the Royal Society of Literature Literature Matters Awards - a total of £20,000 available to support innovative projects, engaging a wide audience. Closing date for applications is 24th August: bit.ly/RSLLMAwards

And yes, they really are called the Royal Society of Literature Literature Matters Awards. 😐 

_____________________


5. Paul Stanbridge London gig

On Thursday 8th September 2022 from 7pm - 8:30pm at Foyle's, 107 Charing Cross Road, London.
 

An evening of conversation, reflection and music to mark Paul’s latest work, My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is, published by Galley Beggar Press this month.


My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is – part memoir, part novel, part history – responds to the death of Paul’s brother, who took his own life in 2015. This sad and renewing book follows a trail of thoughts as Paul searches for and retreats from the questions that surround his brother’s death.


Taking as its starting point the imagery and symbolism of the North Sea, travelling to the submerged plains of Doggerland by way of the art of cartography and the history of mathematics, My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is is a wandering, moving book. A feat of emotional strength and possessing the intellectual brilliance and lyrical beauty that earned Paul’s first book great praise, My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is is a singular achievement.


Paul’s debut novel, Forbidden Line, a modern-day retelling of Cervantes’ Don Quixote, won the first novel category of the Republic of Consciousness Prize in 2017 and was longlisted for the Demond Elliott First Novel Prize. Paul has written a doctoral thesis examining creative method in literary modernism and, as well as a writer, he is a musician.


A chairperson for this conversation with Paul will be announced shortly. The discussion will be followed by audience Q&A and a book signing. Doors will open from 6:30pm.


Tickets: £13 Book & Ticket, inc. a copy of My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is (RRP £9.99) / £8 General Admission

Venue: The Auditorium (Level 6) at Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Road

Further details and tickets here.

I blogged about Paul's first novel Forbidden Line here.

_____________________


6. Foyles presents OK TRANSLATOR


Still at Foyles (the bookstore in London's Charing Cross Road) is launching a short series of events called OK TRANSLATOR, a series of discussions with writers and translators on the craft and politics of translation, coming on the first Monday of each month starting in September. Here's the programme:


5 September

Violent Phenomena Panel: Kavita Bhanot, Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi and Nariman Youssef

Catherine leads a panel of three contributors to Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays on Translation, published by Tilted Axis this summer, setting the tone for the series with a diversity of language backgrounds, translation experience, and literary interests.

Kavita directed an international literature festival in India and helped set up the country’s first literary agency; Ayesha is a writer and editor based in London, with essays and reviews published in the IndependentWasafiri, the Express Tribune and elsewhere; Nariman, is a Cairo-born, London-based literary translator whose translations include Inaam Kachachi’s The American Granddaughter, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Arabic Booker Prize.

 

3 October

Translating Clarice Lispector: Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson

The co-translators of Clarice Lispector’s Chronicles, Too Much of Life, published by Penguin this August, talk to Catherine about their translation and the wider significance of Lispector’s work. Margaret Jull Costa is a renowned translator of Spanish and Portuguese literature, including the work of José Saramago and Javier Marias. Robin Patterson was mentored by Margaret and they have worked together on a number of Portuguese to English translation projects since then.

 

7 November

Is Mother Dead Er mor død: Charlotte Barslund and Vigdis Hjorth

A conversation between writer and translator: Charlotte Barslund has translated four of Vigdis Hjorth’s works into English, most recently Is Mother Dead (Er mor død), which is published by Verso in October. Hjorth’s latest novel continues to explore the themes of motherhood and acrimony that earned her previous works international acclaim.

 

Tickets: £20 Season Ticket / £8 Single Event

Venue: The Auditorium (Level 6) at Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Road*


  

https://www.foyles.co.uk/Public/Events/Detail.aspx?eventId=4223


_____________________


7. Frankenstein's monster in Clapham 

Some of you will remember the author Owen Booth appearing at one of our gatherings to read reading his superb prize-winning short story 'Frankenstein's monster is drunk and his sheep have all jumped the fences'.

News just in that a theatrical adaptation of the story will be staged at the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham between 25th and 29th October this year.

From the press release:

'The story begins in 1946, when they dig Frankenstein’s monster out of the glacier he’d crawled into after his Hollywood career had given up the ghost. Fully defrosted, he meets his match, a spark which ignites a love story of monstrous proportions, a duet of undateables who stand out, fit in and forge their own brutiful brand of domestic bliss in a small holding with their 67 (Italian) blue sheep.'

I'm in!

Book here.


______________________

8. Lynn Buckle klaxon! 

Do spend a few minutes reading this excellent piece by Glue Factory regular Lynn Buckle, in which she suggests ways to improve access in publishing and literary events

Read Lynn's piece here.


And there's more. Lynn has a gig with the Irish Research Council (IRC) and the English Department at Maynooth University on Monday 5th September 2022 at 7 p.m. via Zoom 

It's part of the lecture series, Texts and Trees, Literature and Ireland’s Trees, an IRC New Foundations funded research network led by Stephen O’Neill. Lynn will be talking about her second novel and also reading from it. 

This event is online and free and open to the public. Book here!

_____________________


9. Toby Litt klaxon!



You should of course be following Toby's daily updates in A Writer's Diary, his ambitious year-long project to keep a public account of his life as a writer.

He teaches the MS in Creative Writing at Birkbeck College London, and is very good at it.

This week he announced the trial of a new departure, a a series of YouTube videos about writing.  The first is 'Making Decisions About Form in Creative Writing' and it's available to watch, free, here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znA9bK_hJX4&ab_channel=TobyLitt


_____________________


10. FILET SPACE

Based at 103 Murray Grove, London, N1 7QP [near Old Street], FILET is a space for experimental cultural production, a physical research organ that provides a space for the production, dissemination and discourse of contemporary culture, directed by Rut Blees Luxemburg and Uta Kögelsberger.

The latest show opens today and is the first in a series of events during August 

Details here. 

 

_____________________


11. Next week's online gathering

Curated by Amy McCauley,'Field Days' will feature contributions from Amy herself and her four guests Nuzhat Bukhari, Sarah Crewe, Emma Devlin, Jemima Yong and others. Get involved!

_____________________


12. Nudge


Rishi Sunak (who wants to be leader of the Tory party, has an estimated fortune £730m and is married to a billionaire's daughter who is herself richer than the Queen) was caught on camera earlier this week speaking to Tory party members in Tunbridge Wells:

'We inherited a bunch of formulas from Labour that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas and that needed to be undone. I started the work of undoing that.'

He later backtracked, claiming to news media that

'I was making the point that deprivation exists right across our country and it needs to be addressed.'

So his actual words, the words that he said, the words that he said that were caught on camera, had been misrepresented and that he was actually making an antirely different point to highlight the need ... ah forget it. This isn't politics. This is moral and ethical debauchery.

UK inflation is officially set to hit 13% , although for many people it's already running at over 20%. This year in Britain the price of bread is up 13%; pasta is up 16%; baked beans are up 21%; butter is up 21.5%; milk is up 26.3%; fuel costs are up 42% in the year; and energy costs are up 54%, and rising.

Rising energy prices, food bills, fuel costs and more. We’re all experiencing them. But for people on the lowest incomes, the cost of surviving this crisis is already too high.

Many people can’t afford to buy food due to huge price rises and inflation. Some food banks are having to provide cold food because people can no longer afford to heat meals.

School summer holidays mean no free school meals for many children.

The Glue Factory newsletter and weekly live gatherings are free to all. So please consider making a donation to The Trussell Trust, the UK's leading food bank charity: https://www.trusselltrust.org/ (or, if you're outside the UK, your local equivalent).

Thank you. And let's stick together


David


_____________________


PS




Sunday, 31 July 2022

Newsletter 43



Hello again.


Perhaps (and in a departure from the usual newsletter preamble) one of you clued-up newsletter readers can help me?

This week I've been trying to find out the precise date on which Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus first appeared in English. I know it was published in November 1922 - but when, exactly?

We all know the publication dates of the other two modernist masterpieces of the 20th century. Ulysses was officially published as a single volume by Shakespeare and Company on Joyce's 40th birthday, 2nd February 2022, or numero-palindromically 2.2.22.

The Waste Land has a more complex publication history. 

According to Donald Gallup's Eliot bibliography the poem was originally published in the UK in the first issue  of The Criterion, the literary magazine founded and edited by Eliot, appearing 'almost simultaneously (i.e., ca. 15 October)' in the United States in the November 1922 issue of The Dial magazine. The poem was published in the US in book form on 15th December by Boni & Liveright, and this was the first version to include the author's notes, added at the publisher's request to bulk up what would have otherwise been a very slim volume indeed. (We'll have a gathering to mark The Waste Land centenary, probably on Sunday October 16th as the date nearest to the original appearance in print. 

Back to Wittgenstein. The English language translation of the Tractatus (originally published in German as Logisch-philosophische Abhandlungburst  in 1921) appeared  at some point between the publication of Ulysses and The Waste Land (and I expect like me you can't help thinking of the Lady Chatterley ban and the Beatles' first LP). But as far as the precise date is concerned I have so far drawn a blank.

Wittgenstein received the proofs of this edition from the commissioning editor Charles Ogden in July 1922, and returned them with his corrections on August 4. The translation was the work of the prodigiously gifted Frank Ramsey, who worked through the original line by line with the author.  

This bilingual edition  was published, we can assume, in early November 1922. Wittgenstein wrote to Ogden on November 15th: 'Thanks so much for your letter & the books which arrived yesterday. They really look very nice. I wished their contents were half as good as their external appearance.'  (Source: http://www.wittgensteinsource.com/static_by_id/en/20)

I've contacted University College London, which owns the publisher Kegan Paul's archive and hope to hear from them, or dig around in this large collection myself, when I can find the time.

Until I hear from UCL - can any newsletter readers help me?

Thank you.

Now - to business!

_____________



Newsletter contents



1.   Aid for Ukraine


2.   This week’s online gathering


3.   Indie press news


        Galley Beggar Press

        Influx Press

        Saraband Books

        Cōnfingō Publishing


4.  Assiette ludique


5.  Flaubert on spinach


6.  Women and the making of Ulysses


7.  Funferall in Berlin


8.  Women's Poetry Prize 2022


9.  Next week's online gathering


10. Nudge


11. PS


      


_____________________




1.  Aid for Ukraine


It drags on, and on, and the dire need of those caught up in this ghastly war demands a response. We all have many calls on our generosity and disposable income (if any), but few are as pressing as this.


Please give what you can, when you can: the most far-reaching programme is the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. You can donate quickly and easily here.


_____________________



2.  This week's online gathering


This week's gathering has a railway theme. I'll be exploring the life work and legacy of the remarkable writer and activist L.T.C. Rolt; the poets Sasha Dugdale and Simon Barraclough will read from their work. Author, historian and broadcaster Tim Dunn (Secrets of the London Underground) will join us to talk about the heritage railway scene and we'll have film clips and music and many other beneficial delights.




_____________________



3.  Indie press news



Booker indies!


Three indie presses are included in this year's Booker Prize long list. 

Congratulations to London's Influx Press for The Trees by Percival Everitt, Norwich indie Galley Beggar Press for After Sappho by Selby wynn Schwartz and Saraband, based in Glasgow and Manchester, for Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet.

Being selected for the Booker can involve onerous financial commitment on the part of a small publisher (unless the Booker people have improved the policies that discriminate against small presses). The big houses have the resources to participate in all the brouhaha...)




I was also delighted to see Alan Garner included (at 88 he's the oldest ever Booker nominee) His short novel Treacle Walker is a career highlight. I read it in bed early on Christmas Day morning last year and have since read it twice more with increasing wonder. Garner is the living author I've read all my life since first encountering Elidor as a child. Then The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath The Owl Service (see below) and Red Shift and everything else since. I've been reading Garner's books for half a century and Treacle Walker strikes me as his very best novel.



                                        Recognise this?


Cōnfingō Publishing


Published this week (and featured earlier this year in a Glue Factory gathering dedicated to all things Bowie) Waiting For the Gift is an anthology of new short stories inspired by David Bowie’s 1977 album Low, which, stands as both his creative apex and an album which pushed popular music to its outer limits.
The eleven short stories in Waiting for the Gift, each of which takes a song on the album as its title and inspiration, provide a collective response from some of the best contemporary writers of fiction. Featuring original work from Dima Alzayat, Anne Billson, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Jen Calleja, Ruby Cowling, Wendy Erskine, Keeley Forsyth, David Hayden, Zoë McLean, Adam Marek, Preti Taneja, Melissa Wan and Hugo Wilcken.


_____________________



4. Assiette ludique


Here's another plate. It's French, 19th century 19th century and features a rebus (or rébus). 




The distinguished translator (and friend of the Glue Factory) Frank Wynne instantly figured out the first few lines but then declared himself stumped. 

His version goes thus:


En vain jeune fille vous voulez fuir

l’amour, en vain pourtant et vous prenez

un détour pour courir après vous ce Dieu porte

des ailes . . .

       

Can any readers of this newsletter tackle the remaining porcine lines? 

The best effort will be included in next week's newsletter (and a decent translation into English would also be welcome).

 

_____________________


5. 
Flaubert on spinach




Ne jamais rater la phrase célèbre de Prudhomme: « Je ne les aime pas, j’en suis bien aise, car si je les aimais, j’en mangerais, et je ne puis pas les souffrir. » 

[Never forget the famous phrase of Prudhomme's: "I don't like it, and I'm glad I don't like it, because if I liked it I'd eat it, and I can't stand it"]

This observation is a kind of a template that can, with minimal alteration, apply to almost anything else - football, texting, cultural studies and the Daily Mail. Or anybody, come to that: I don't like the Culture Secretary and I'm glad I don't like her because if I did I'd have to respect her and I can't stand the shameless mediocrity.

Flaubert's Dictionnaire des idées reçues (Dictionary of Received Ideas, from which the spinach quotation above is taken) is among the funniest books ever written, and can still make us laugh today - and indeed 'laugh out loud' - because the kind of complacent stupidity he gleefully records hasn't changed at all since the book first appeared in (I dunno - look it up. 1880s maybe?).

Flaubert brilliantly, hilariously, cold-bloodeldly lampoons the pompous and unreflecting assumptions and prejudices of the bourgeoisie (and there are none more lampoonable) in order to illuminate the thinking (or lack of it) that underlies the complacent, the witless and the gullible - all of us, that is.

Here are some other entries, sourced on Wikipedia:

ABSINTHE. Extra-violent poison: one glass and you're dead. Newspapermen drink it as they write their copy. Has killed more soldiers than the Bedouin.

ARCHIMEDES. On hearing his name, shout "Eureka!" Or else: "Give me a fulcrum and I will move the world." There is also Archimedes' screw, but you are not expected to know what it is.

FEUDALISM. No need to have one single precise notion about it: thunder against.

OMEGA. Second letter of the Greek alphabet.

THIRTEEN. Avoid being thirteen at table; it brings bad luck. The sceptics should not fail to crack jokes: "What is the difference? I'll eat enough for two!" Or again, if there are ladies, ask if any is pregnant.

WALTZ. Wax indignant about. A lascivious, impure dance that should only be danced by old ladies.


The complete Dictionary is available to read online in full in French or English. An hour well spent.

_____________________


6. Women and the Making of Ulysses

Dr Clare Hutton (distinguished Joycean and Glue Factory contributor) curated this fascinating exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center in Texas to mark the centenary of the publication of Ulysses. You can now see many of the objects that featured in the exhibition online, with a commentary. Scroll down for a wonderful double portrait of Sylvia beach and Harriet Shaw Weaver in 1960:

https://sites.utexas.edu/ransomcentermagazine/2022/07/28/women-and-the-making-of-ulysses-a-history-in-ten-objects/


_______________________


7.  Funferall in Berlin 


The publisher Katy Deryshire this week tweeted details of the 2022 Reader in Berlin competition

The theme this year is 'Escape' and entry is open to published and unpublished writers resident anywhere in the world.

The Winner will receive a three-week residency at Berlin’s The Circus Hotel  

The dates of residency are January 2nd to January 22, 2023. The competition winner will receive their very own apartment, plus a month’s breakfast vouchers for the Circus Hotel, and up to 100 euros in travel costs toward their travel to Berlin. The winning writer and the two runners up will be featured on the SAND Journal website. This feature will include publication of their winning entry, an interview, or both, depending on the author’s preference.

Two runners up will receive two nights in a double room of their own at The Circus Hotel over January’s competition prize-giving event, and a travel budget to a maximum of 100 euros each to cover their journey to Berlin. Their winning entries will be published in SAND Journal online.

A further seven shortlisted writers will win goodie bags, plus invitations to the prize-giving event on January 2023. 


____________________


8. The Women Poets’ Prize


The Women Poets’ Prize runs every two years, is free to enter and is open to any woman poet living in the UK. All entries are read and judged by women poets. 

Three winners are selected. They receive an 18-month package of practical and pastoral support for their creative and professional development through opportunities donated by The Rebecca Swift Foundation.

The winners receive:

  • £1000 cash prize each
  • One-to-one and group resilience coaching with Shamshad Khan
  • One-to-one mentoring via The Literary Consultancy’s 'Chapter and Verse' scheme
  • Introduction to film-poetry and digital practices with Bath Spa University
  • Performance coaching with national spoken word charity Apples & Snakes
  • Introduction to poetry festivals and presses with Verve Press
  • Craft workshops with the Poetry School
  • History of UK Poetry workshop in-house with Faber & Faber
  • Bookbinding workshop with CityLit

In addition to these opportunities, winners and alumnae receive the continued support of the WPP staff team, who support and amplify their achievements via their social media channels, and membership of the Women Poets’ Network, which seeks to foster lasting connections between women poets across the UK.

All long listed poets also receive one year’s free access to the Being A Writer platform which focuses on cultivating creativity and building resilience.


_______________________

9. About next week


Next week's live online gathering (on Sunday 7th August) marks the centenary of the birth of the poet Philip Larkin, who was born in Coventry on 9th August, 1922.



We'll be joined by the writer Roy Watkins who knew Larkin well when he was an undergraduate in Hull, but who has never shared these fascinating memories in public before. Dr Penny McCarthy will talk about an intriguing connection between Larkin's poem 'High Windows' and a celebrated 19th century novel, and we'll have readings by Michael Hughes, Abigail Parry, Lara Pawson, Jake Goldsmith and others, as well as wonderful archive footage and some hot jazz. Plus Larkin himself, of course.

A friend once observed to me, rather waspishly, that the less one knows about Larkin the more one loves him. I can see the point of such an observation and realise that Larkin, more than most 20th century poets, is subject to the massive condescension of posterity. My own life wouldn't bear close scrutiny, so I'm not lining up to cast stones. What survives of him, what matters, is the poetry. And anyone immune to the poetry of Larkin, or who condemns the man without recognising the ineffable beauty and humanity and permanent value of his work, is somehow failing to be fully human. 

So ner.




_____________________


10. Nudge


Big breath, Rant coming.

Government data shows that net government debt when the Tories came into office in 2010 was £995 billion. At the end of March 2022 is was £2,342 billion. That is an increase of £1,347 billion, representing 57.5% of all government borrowing. They are the biggest borrowers, ever.

British Gas owner Centrica has seen operating profits increase five-fold to £1.34 billion. Meanwhile British households face annual energy bills of £3,850, three times what they were paying at the start of 2022. This would put more than half of British households in fuel poverty.

In the UK inflation this month has hit a 40-year high of 9.4% as the cost of living crisis mounts - and it’s set to hit 11% by end of the year. That's the official figure.

In the UK this year the price of bread is up 13%; pasta is up 16%; baked beans are up 21%; butter is up 21.5%; milk is up 26.3%; fuel costs are up 42% in the year; and energy costs are up 54%, and rising.

For ordinary people this means real inflation is over 20% and climbing.

Rising energy prices, food bills, fuel costs and more. We’re all experiencing them. But for people on the lowest incomes, the cost of surviving this crisis is already too high.

Last winter saw people having to make impossible decisions between heating and eating. And, as it stands, this summer will be unbearable for thousands of families.

Many people can’t afford to buy food due to huge price rises and inflation. Some food banks are having to provide cold food because people can no longer afford to heat meals.

School summer holidays mean no free school meals for many children.

The Glue Factory newsletter and weekly live gatherings are free to all. So please consider making a donation to The Trussell Trust, the UK's leading food bank charity: https://www.trusselltrust.org/ (or, if you're outside the UK, your local equivalent).

Thank you.


_____________________


PS

Last year, British Telecom made £1.3 billion profit, paid out £700m to shareholders, gave its CEO Philip Jansen a 32% pay rise and, at the same time, set up food banks for its own underpaid workers.

This Friday saw the first telecoms strike since 1987 and the first national call centre strike in British history. Tens of thousands of BT workers joined the picket line, most of them for the first time in their lives. 

Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss says she'll do 'everything in her power' to make such strikes illegal. This government has already changed the law so that private companies can bring in temporary staff to work when their employees are on strike. What was until earlier this month illegal is now within the law. Hard-won democratic rights are being wiped out as each week passes and we're likely to have two more years of this, the systematic destruction of the Social Contract. Plus the Queen will die and there will be twelve (12) days of national mourning during which no end of wicked things will be perpetrated while our attention is directed elsewhere.


      She is small, she contains platitudes (with acknowledgements to Walt Whitman)

_____________________