Friday 29 May 2020

A Leap in the Dark Friday 29th May

A Leap in the Dark 17    8pm Friday 29th May 2020

After the latest canto of Spring Journal and Guru Dave’s weekly yoga class the novelist Paulette Jonguitud delivers her second Letter from Mexico City (and you can read the first here.). After the interval the Settee Salon returns with psychologist and author Hugh Fulham-McQuillan in conversation with the novelists Eley Williams and Kevin Davey, and they’ll be looking into the so-called Binding Problem, a fascinating aspect of neuro-psychology and the science of the mind that addresses a fundamental question: how do we make sense of the world? Poet Amy McCauley offers a commentary from her collection OEDIPA (Guillemot Press).

Eley and Kevin will read from their forthcoming novels The Liar’s Dictionary (William Heinemann) and Radio Joan (Aaargh! Press).

There's no charge for taking part in A Leap in the Dark, but please make a donation, no matter how large, to The Trussell Trust.

The Programme

1 The Pale usher welcomes you

2 Spring Journal canto XI by Jonathan Gibbs, read by Michael Hughes

3 Yoga with David Holzer

4 Paulette Jonguitud’s Letter from Mexico City


5 Settee Salon: the Binding Problem with Hugh Fulham-McQuillan, Kevin 
  Davey, Eley Williams and Amy McCauley

Kevin Davey reads from Radio Joan

7 Eley Williams reads from A Liar’s Dictionary

8 The Pale Usher signs off

The Company

Kevin Davey is the author of Playing Possum, shortlisted for Goldsmiths Prize 2017, and Radio Joan (forthcoming, June 2020). Both are published by Aaaargh! Press.

Hugh Fulham-McQuillan is an Irish writer from Dublin. His short story collection Notes on Jackson and His Dead is published with Dalkey Archive Press in the US. His writing has appeared in The Stinging Fly, Ambit, 3:AM, Dalkey Archive's Best European Fiction anthology, gorse, and Minor Literature[s] among other places. He is currently working on a novel. 

Jonathan Gibbs is a writer and critic. His first novel, Randall, was published in 2014 by Galley Beggar, and his second, The Large Door, by Boiler House Press last year. He has written on books for various places including the TLS, Brixton Review of Books and The Guardian. He curates the online short story project A Personal Anthology, in which writers, critics and others are invited to 'dream-edit' an anthology of their favourite short fiction. Spring Journal is a response to the current coronavirus pandemic taking its cue very directly from Louis MacNeice's Autumn Journal.

David Holzer is a dedicated yogi, author, blogger and journalist. He founded YogaWriters ( and has taught workshops in yoga for writers in Mallorca, where he lives. Hundreds of people have taken his Yoga for Writers course on the DailyOm platform. His writing appears regularly in Om yoga and lifestyle magazine.

Each Friday David will take us through a simple yoga sequence that can be done by anyone of any age in the comfort of a favourite chair.


Please take care when practicing yoga. Should a pose feel that it could be harmful to you, do not attempt it or come gently out of the pose.

Breathing is a key part of yoga. Please breathe comfortably and naturally through your nose at all times. If your breath becomes forced, slow down the speed of your practice.

If you feel any kind of sharp, sudden pain anywhere in your body stop practicing right away. Be especially aware of your joints, particularly your knees.

Michael Hughes is the author of two acclaimed novels: Countenance Divine (2016) and Country (2018) both published by John Murray, the latter winning the 2018 Hellenic Prize. Under his stage name Michael Colgan he recently appeared in the acclaimed HBO television drama Chernobyl.

Paulette Jonguitud lives in Mexico City. She is the author of Mildew (CB editions) and Algunas margaritas y sus fantasmas. 

Amy McCauley is a poet and freelance writer. She is the author of OEDIPA (Guillemot Press, 2018) and 24/7 Brexitland (No Matter Press, 2020). Amy’s first full-length collection of poetry will be published by Henningham Family Press in 2021.

Eley Williams is a poet and author of the prize-winning short story collection Attrib. (Influx Press). Her forthcoming novel A Liar’s Dictionary will be published by William Heinemann later this year. She lectures at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The Pale Usher is David Collard, who organises these gigs.

The pale Usher—threadbare in coat, heart, body, and brain; I see him now. He was ever dusting his old lexicons and grammars, with a queer handkerchief, mockingly embellished with all the gay flags of all the known nations of the world. He loved to dust his old grammars; it somehow mildly reminded him of his mortality.
  Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Our next Leap in the Dark tomorrow night features:

- author Claire Allen on her fine new novel The Blackbird

- two songs by David Henningham

- poetry by Philip Hancock

- a Letter from Huddersfield by Kevin Boniface

- the Settee Salon with author Heidi James and publisher Kevin Duffy of 
  Bluemoose Books

Please remember to make a donation to The Trussell Trust (or your local equivalent)

Stay well!

The Pale Usher 

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