Why I write…

Although my love for writing came late, I think I’d always had a special regard for the power of the written word: the way life – with all its colours and vicissitudes – can be funnelled into the cool, clinical science of grammar and syntax, sentences and spellings; a domain of rules and laws. I… Continue reading Why I write…

The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy

So the plan today was to fly out to Dublin, around about 3.15 this afternoon for Worldcon - a plan that has been scuppered by illness, rendering me duvet-bound within the cosy confines of my home, gazing at the grey drizzly skies outside. On the one hand, I'm gutted to be missing out on what… Continue reading The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy

On the Beauty of the Tree

Every so often you come across words – a passage of literature, a quote, a pithy aphorism – that perfectly capture some truth inside of you; a long-held belief, an inward conviction, a sentiment so true it resonates, it seems, in every cell of your being like a well struck chord. For me, I’ve perhaps… Continue reading On the Beauty of the Tree

A Brief History of Africa

Below is an excerpt from Chinua Achebe's 1998 essay, Africa is People. The full article is well worth the read for anyone interested in availing themselves of a fuller understanding of how the continent's many plights came to be. And I'll say the same for Achebe's The Education of a British-Protected Child, an eloquent and… Continue reading A Brief History of Africa

Why Comic Books Are the Future

So... comic books. An oft maligned artform. Juvenile to some. Geekish to others. Often regarded as the crass and tacky little brother to more 'serious' formats for storytelling - films, novels, theatre etc. And so how happy was I to stumble upon the quirky, fun and yet (impressively) illuminating YouTube channel, Comic Book Girl 19,… Continue reading Why Comic Books Are the Future

No School Like the Old School?

"What we’re entering is a world in which we can’t even tell our students what they should know 5 years from now. Because in fact we’re entering a world where the average half-life of a skill is moving from about 30 years to 5 years." This is a quote from a commencement speech delivered at… Continue reading No School Like the Old School?

Why Black Panther is the Movie of the Future

It’s true – You don’t exactly expect to find your thoughts being drawn to the writings of a dead academic (even a great one) whilst watching a Marvel movie, but if there’s one thing that becomes clear whilst watching Ryan Coogler’s quite frankly epic rendering of the Black Panther mythos, it’s that this is a… Continue reading Why Black Panther is the Movie of the Future

The Habit of Art

There's this strange nebulous space you tend to occupy as a writer, or even, perhaps, a creator or storyteller of any kind; a sort of hovering furtive interstice between here and elsewhere, wakefulness and daydream, vivid yet vague; like a mental version of twilight. Which is why I loved stumbling across this excerpt from Jane Vandenburgh's Architecture… Continue reading The Habit of Art

3 Surprisingly Simple Things I’ve Learned About Public Speaking (For Those Who Don’t Like Public Speaking)

I'll be honest, I've never really thought of myself as a teacher. In fact, I barely think of myself as a speaker, despite having delivered talks at events, in workshop settings, community settings and in other venues on a number of occasions now. It's just always been, to me, more of an acquired skill than… Continue reading 3 Surprisingly Simple Things I’ve Learned About Public Speaking (For Those Who Don’t Like Public Speaking)

Dancing in the Moonlight

The thing about films, especially the great ones, is that they're revelatory; they unveil the human experience, annotate humanity. Something I was reminded of when attending the previews for Barry Jenkins' mercurial debut feature, Moonlight, in Manchester these past few weeks. I was there to film vox pops for the distribution company, capturing audience responses… Continue reading Dancing in the Moonlight