Jacob Polley at the Portico

You really have to start a report on an event at the Portico Library with a comment about being seated under its magnificent domed ceiling (which you can see on the picture). On this particular Thursday in November, it boasted the added bonus of sheltering an award-winning poet. Urmston Grammar English Literature A-Level students got…

Celebrating Literature

Surrounded on all four sides by shelves and shelves of Victorian books, students from Years 7 – 13, their supporters, and a handful of acclaimed writers gathered under the Portico Library’s magnificent ceiling dome for a celebration of reading, writing and all-things-literary. I was invited to attend after having been awarded a Special Commendation for…

And I’m Busting Up My Brains for the Words

Unfortunately, I don’t think that there’s room enough in a single blog post to do justice to the whole of David Bowie’s ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ album. This concept album follows a sexually-free, rock ‘n’ rolling alien messiah who comes to earth in the final five years…

The Answer, My Friend?

This December, at the Oslo City Hall, Norway, a representative of Bob Dylan will collect his Nobel Prize for Literature, around two months after he was announced as the winner of the prestigious award. The public surprise and controversy over the songwriter’s receipt of the accolade inevitably raises the question: what is literature? We use…

A Streetcar Named Desire

A review of the September 2016 production of Tennessee Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ at the Royal Exchange theatre.