Thursday 30 July 2020

A Leap in the Dark 35

I'm publishing this blog about Friday's Leap in the Dark a day earlier than usual to make way for a special piece tomorrow. 

A Leap in the Dark 35   8pm  Friday 31st July 2020

   Auden’s ‘Runner’

We reach Canto XX of Spring Journal by Jonathan Gibbs, read by Michael Hughes. The cryptic mystic Yoga Dave is on furlough this week but will be back next Friday. Amy McCauley performs a second extract from 24/7 Brexitland, her epic diagnosis of contemporary Britain, and Aea Varfis-van Warmelo and William Watt will perform Aea's extraordinary 'Marginalia'. Then a rare chance to see Runner, Don Owen’s short film about the Canadian athlete Bruce Kidd, which boasts a commentary written by W. H. Auden. The Pale Usher will add some afterthoughts. And the novelist and Republic of Consciousness Prose founder Neil Griffiths will join us to mark the launch of Weatherglass Books, a welcome arrival on the indie publishing scene.

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 XX by Jonathan Gibbs, read by Michael Hughes

3 Amy McCauley performs a second extract from 24/7 Brexitland

4 'Marginalia' written and performed by Aea Varfis-van Warmelo, 
   with William Watt


Runner, a film by Don Owen

7 On W. H. Auden’s Runner commentary

8 Neil Griffiths introduces Weatherglass Books

8 The Pale Usher signs off

The Company

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.

Neil Griffiths is an author, publisher and founder of the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses.

Michael Hughes is the author of two 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.

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.

Aea Varfis-van Warmelo is a trilingual actor 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 in the Dark tomorrow (Saturday 1st August) is dedicated to the practice of close reading and features:

- Brian Dillon, author of Suppose a Sentence (Fitzcarraldo Editions) in 

- Wendy Erskine delivers a close reading of Linda Mannheim’s short story

- Linda Mannheim on Wendy Erskine’s close reading of her short story

- The Pale Usher on Ford Madox Ford on D H Lawrence

Stay well!

The Pale Usher

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