All items: ageing

Whenever I need to be reminded of why I love poetry, I turn to Jack Gilbert. He holds me back from the brink of dullness, from the pool of polite convention.
As a writer of novels set in the past, Katharine McMahon has come to realise that the preoccupations she addresses in her fiction are also those of the present day, and that the distinction between ‘historical’ and ‘contemporary’ fiction may have outlived its usefulness.

Donny O’Rourke speaks with Geoff Hattersley about losing and rediscovering self-belief as an artist, the pleasures of improvisation, handling midlife melancholy and the joy of that moment 'between apprehension and comprehension'.

As a published author, Martyn Bedford has learned to cope with the demands of deadlines and the need to maintain standards in his writing. But, he wonders, does being a professional writer mean losing some of the free-wheeling freshness of one’s early work?

Charles Boyle speaks with Julia Copus about literary gender-swapping, the role that small presses have to play in today’s publishing world, and how serendipity has helped shape his life and career.

Diana Evans takes us to a writer’s retreat in upstate New York, where she considers how race is a theme that seems imposed on black writers, obligating them to rage against racial injustice. Her characters, she says, have the right to be human first, 'to be ordinary.'

Cynan Jones considers place and authenticity in the storytelling process. 'Risk being unique or aim for palatable? That’s the choice, in writing as in wine-making.'

Marina Benjamin examines the changing role of the personal voice in contemporary memoir, celebrates the sharing of ecstatic highs and vertiginous tumbles, and notes that it’s writerly craft that lifts a work beyond mere self-pimping.

Alyson Hallett takes us to Launceston in Cornwall, home of the writer Charles Causley, in the centenary year of his birth.

  • 1
  • 2