Saturday 18 July 2020

A Leap in the Dark 32

A Leap in the Dark 32   8pm  Saturday 18th July 2020

          Empathy, poetry, and pottery

Tonight’s Leap features (and surely this is a world first) live conceptual ceramics with the artist Laura Hopkins, followed by three occasional poems by The Pale Usher, and Roland Bates on the German novelist Uwe Johnsson’s links to a Kent seaside town. There follows a zoomversation about formative reading with contributions from the audience. We welcome back the Settee Salon with poet Amy McCauley and author Rónán Hession who will together be looking at empathy in literature. Then we’ll have a new and no doubt short-lived feature we call ”What’s That On Your Walls?”, which doesn’t need much by way of explanation.

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 Feat of Clay: live conceptual ceramics with the artist Laura Hopkins

3 Three occasional poems by The Pale Usher

4 Roland Bates on Uwe Johnsson

5 Formative books - a zoomversation in which members of the audience 
  nominate the fiction/non-fiction that had an impact on them as young 

Interval  The Potter’s Wheel:

7 The Settee Salon: On empathy in fiction, with Amy McCauley, Rónán 
  Hession and (perhaps) Susanna Crossman 

8 What’s That On Your Walls? Our new short-lived regular feature

9 Live conceptual ceramics - an update

9 The Pale Usher signs off

The Company

Roland Bates has been a bookseller in more or less salubrious locations since about 2000. He can be found in Kirkdale Books in South London:

Susanna Crossman is an award-winning Anglo-French fiction writer and essayist. She has recent/upcoming work in Trauma (Dodo Ink, 2020), Neue Rundschau, (S. Fischer, 2019), (translated into German), We’ll Never Have Paris, (Repeater Books, 2019), The Creative Review, 3:AM Journal, The Lonely Crowd, Berfrois and more. Co-author of the French book, L'Hôpital Le Dessous des Cartes (LEH, 2015), she regularly collaborates on international hybrid arts projects. Her debut novel Dark Island will be published in 2021. For more: @crossmansusanna 

Rónán Hession is a writer musician and civil servant from Dublin. His debut novel Leonard and Hungry Paul (published by Bluemoose Books) has been nominated for the Irish Book Awards, British Book Awards, the BAMB awards, and long listed for the Republic of Consciousness prize. His third album Dictionary Crimes was nominated for the Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year. He is currently completing work on his second novel Panenka, which will be published by Bluemoose in 2021.A third novel, Ghost Mountain, will appear in 2023.

Laura Hopkins is an award-winning stage designer and ceramicist-in-training. Her website:

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.

The next Leap in the Dark on Friday 24th July will feature:

- music by our composer-in-residence Helen Ottaway

- Spring Journal canto XVIII by Jonathan Gibbs, read by Michael Hughes

- The return of Guru Dave, the sultan of suntan, who will also deliver a
  Letter from Deià 

- The Fall (and Fall) of Mark E Smith

- Live Bingo with The Pale Usher 

Stay well!

The Pale Usher

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