Sunday 21 August 2022

Newsletter 46

Hello once more.

Here's a thought to start the day from A. C. Grayling:

One of the worst of many ironies of Brexit is that it makes you

want to move to another country but stops you from doing it.

Perhaps like me you've been mesmerised by images of raw sewage being pumped into the English channel this week, closing practically the entire south coast to visitors. And perhaps like me you've been thinking about the privatised water companies, and their shareholders, and their CEOs, and about the Tory MPS who voted to make such anoption legal, and the fact that nobody will face prosecution for this disgusting episode. And perhaps like me you're exhausted because if it's not raw sewage pumped into the Channel it's something else. It's everything else.

The Glue Factory isn't much, but it's what I've got, and I hope it comes as a welcome distraction, if not consolation, so thank you for your continuing interest aqnd support, and for supporting The Trussell Trust.

Please let me know if you'd rather not receive this weekly link and I'll happily stop badgering you.

If, on the other hand, you like the badgering please join our live gathering at 7:30pm UK time, and consider making a donation to The Trussell Trust (link at the end of this newsletter).

Let's stick together!


Newsletter contents

1.   Aid for Ukraine

2.   This week’s online gathering 

3.   Indie press news

        Hoxton Mini Press

        Two plugs

4.   Situation vacant

5.   London Consequences 2

6.   C D Rose interviews Paul Stanbridge

7.   Ghost Signs launch

8.   There She Is at the Omnibus Theatre - exclusive discount!


9.   Next week's online gathering

10.  Nudge



1.  Aid for Ukraine

After more than 170 days this horrible war drags on and on. 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

Live online this Sunday (August 21st) we'll be celebrating the best in contemporary flash fiction with Michael Loveday and his guests Jude Higgins, Dave Swann, Karen Jones & Sudha Balagopal. Also featuring authors Susanna Crossman and Toby Litt! 


3. Indie press news

Hoxton Mini Press

They have a summer sale which ends at midnight tonight and features up to 50% discount on selected titles:

And that's pretty much it for indie news this week. Everyone is either away on holiday, or having fun at a festival, or prepping for the Frankfurt Book Fair. I suppose I could mention my recently-published Multiple Joyce Multiple Joyce: 100 short essays about James Joyce's cultural legacy (which was described as 'scintillating' by Stuart Kelly in The Scotsman this week, but that was merely a passing remark in his review of Kit de Waal's superb memoir Without Warning and Only Sometimes (published by Tinder Press). Warmly recommended.


4. Situation vacant

The best job in the world! 

Application deadline is 2nd September, so get cracking.


5. London Consequences 2

Next Sunday (28th August) sees the launch of this exciting four-month collaboration between 18 contemporary authors, each of them contributing, anonymously, a chapter to a novel that will be published in 2023 by Bluemoose Books. It will be co-edited by Jonathan Gibbs and myself

It's a circadian novel, covering around 24 hours. The first chapter (written by Jonathan and another writer) will be sent to the second writer on Monday 29th August, and they will then have just six days to complete and submit their chapter. And so on, until the end of the year.

Only the editors know which writers have been allocated each chapter. It's going to be a real challenge but we know that all these writers will all do something wonderful.

At next week's online gathering we'll announce the list of the collaborators and share more detail about the project's background. 


6. C D Rose interviews Paul Stanbridge

'Wanting to write books at all is stupid.’

Here's the link to a 3:AM Magazine interview with Paul Stanbridge, author of the forthcoming novel My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is published next month by Galley Beggar Press.

According to C D Rose it's 'a book about the North Sea, maps of the North Sea, maps in general, East Anglia, the topography of the ocean bed, a number of obscure poets, mathematicians and scientists, a horse called Clever Hans, chalk hill carvings, medieval graffiti, trees; an account of an attempt to write a book that is not this book; a homage to W.G. Sebald and David Jones; a book about the impossibility of knowing; a pitiless, unsparing gaze on the writer’s brother’s suicide.'

It's a profoundly moving and wholly original book about loss and grief and consolation, and warmly recommended. Paul says his influences are Sebald, David Jones, Olga Tokarczuk and Alice Oswald - that's a classy roster.


7. Ghost Signs London launch

Ghost Signs by Stu Hennigan is an eyewitness account of the author’s experiences delivering essential food and medicine to some of Leeds’ most vulnerable communities in the early stages of the pandemic during the first lockdown in 2020. It’s a timely reminder of how difficult life was for most of us during those unprecedented times, and paints a blistering portrait of the almost unimaginable poverty being endured by countless people nationwide, even before the current cost of living crisis hit. Listed as one of Blackwells Best Books of 2022, and serialised in Prospect Magazine, it’s a visceral, unflinching piece of reportage that has been widely compared to George Orwell’s classic The Road To Wigan Pier.

I reviewed Ghost Signs for the Times Lit. Supp. here.

There's a London launch featuring Stu in conversation with Heidi James at the Social (near Oxford Circus) on Friday 16th September from 6 to 8pm. Details and tickets here. 

Buy a copy from the publishers Bluemoose Books here.


8. There She Is at the Omnibus Theatre

                                                                 Gabriela Flarys in There She Is

There She Is opens on Tuesday 30th August and runs until Saturday 3rd September (7:30pm nightly).

The Brazilian performance artist Gabriela Flarys takes us on a surreal journey through the eyes of a recently arrived migrant to London. There She Is is a comical, poetical and political one-woman performance about language, displacement, and recreation of oneself. The show combines impressive physical theatre, contemporary dance, uncanny impressions and an original script based on interviews with people who live in London with English as a second language.

The venue is the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham:

1 Clapham Common North Side, 

*** Glue Factory subscribers can get a generous discount by entering the code: 

                        WHALE for £9 tickets or 

                        SHEIS for 5 tickets for £40.

There She Is had its critically acclaimed UK premier in 2019, and is now having its first London revival. 

Written and performed by Gabriela Flarys
Directed by Andrea Maciel & Gabriela Flarys
Produced in association with Animal Head


9. Next week's online gathering

We'll be joined on 28th August by the poet Jay Gao who will talk about and read from his impressive first collection Imperium.

Professional graphologist Emma Bache will be looking at MPs' handwriting and we welcome back our roving reporter Melissa McCarthy. The Canterbury-based indie publisher Aina Marti-Balcells will introduce 'What Concerns Us' with Swiss author Laura Vogt and translator Caroline Waight.


10. Nudge

On Wednesday 17th August UK inflation officially rose above 10% for the first time in 40 years. But there are other inflations.

Food inflation (which is not the same thing as inflation) is now at 12.7%; inflation for electricity at 53.5% and rising; inflation for gas at 95.5% and rising. 

Wages have been stagnant for 15 years. Not even 1% of this inflation is driven by wages.

We are all facing a national emergency, which is already hitting people who are struggling the hardest.

The Trussell Trust is one among many charitable organisations that aims to help those most savagely disadvantaged by the state of this economy and the result of 12 years Tory austerity.

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