A Leap in the Dark 29 8pm Friday 10th July 2020
Erskine, Sontag, Mistral etc.
Joining our Friday regulars Jonathan Gibbs and Michael Hughes are the authors Wendy Erskine and Marie-Elsa Bragg. Yoga Dave is on holiday so The Pale Usher and Stephanie Ellyne will attempt to stand in with some reflections on Susan Sontag's trail blazing 1964 essay 'Notes on Camp'. To wind up the evening The Perito Prize founder James Wheeler will introduce a prize-winning short story by Abby Crawford, read by Aea Varfis-van Warmelo.
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.
1 The Pale Usher welcomes you
2 Spring Journal canto XVII by Jonathan Gibbs, read by Michael Hughes
3 Wendy Erskine’s Sweet Home UK paperback launch
4 The Pale Usher On Susan Sontag's 'Notes on Camp' and Scopitone, with readings by
5 Marie-Elsa Bragg on the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral with readings in Spanish by
6 James Wheeler, founder of The Perito Prize, introduces ‘Leg User’ by Abby Crawford,
read by Aea Varfis-van Warmelo
read by Aea Varfis-van Warmelo
7 The Pale Usher signs off
Marie-Elsa Bragg is an author, priest, therapist and Duty Chaplain of Westminster Abbey. Her first novel, Towards Mellbreak, was about four generations of a quiet hill farming family on the North Western fells of Cumbria. Her second book, Sleeping Letters (2019) is the description of the the ritual of the Eucharist alongside a compilation of poetry, memoir and fragments of un-sent letters. Marie-Elsa has contributed articles and interviews for papers such as the Telegraph and the Church Times; Radio pieces for BBC Radio 4 and interviews for literary festivals and Story Vault Films.
Stephanie Ellyne is an American actress based in London. She recorded the audio book of Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport, released by Whole Story in 2020. Other voice work includes playing Amy Jennings in on-going British/American audio drama Dark Shadows with Big Finish, nominated for the BBC Audio Drama Awards; The Confessions of Dorian Gray (Big Finish; Open Book (BBC Radio 4; and The Man Behind The Prophet (BBC World Service). She has recorded stories for the annual Costa Short Story Award and is a frequent narrator for RNIB Talking Books. Her most recent audio book is Artifact by Arlene Heyman, released this month by Bloomsbury/ID Audio.
Wendy Erskine works full-time as a secondary school teacher in Belfast. Her debut short story collection, Sweet Home, was published in 2018 by Stinging Fly and in 2019 by Picador. Her work has been published in The Stinging Fly, Stinging Fly Stories and Female Lines: New Writing by Women from Northern Ireland. She also features in Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber and Faber), Winter Papers and on BBC Radio 4 Buy Sweet Home here: https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/wendy-erskine/sweet-home/9781529017069
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.
Paulette Jonguitud lives in Mexico City. She is the author of Mildew (CB editions) and Algunas margaritas y sus fantasmas. https://paulettejonguitud.com
Aea Varfis-van Warmelo is a trilingual actress and writer.
The Pale Usher is David Collard, who organises these gatherings.
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
The next Leap is tomorrow (11th July) and is an ‘Open Mic’ night featuring eight spectacular talents:
- Roland Bates in London
- Kevin Boniface in Huddersfield
- Paula Cunningham in Belfast
- Gerry Feehily in Paris
- Christodoulos Makris in Dublin
- Bridget Penney in Brighton
- Julian Stannard in Southhampton
- Rhys Trimble in Bethesda
The Pale Usher