Coming up this Saturday, Nov 23rd, myself and some uni pals are taking over the gorgeous Engine House at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation for the first ever (and possibly last ever, who knows) installment of The Manchester Forum.
Brainchild of musician Liam Grogan, this is a free event where arts meet politics which will see six creatives, including myself, take to the stage with new, specially-commissioned, partially-finished, scratchy works of political performance. We've got two chunks of music from Liam and electronica artist Joshua Ward, we've got some video art (with the delicious title; Edge Lords and Edginess) from Angel Rose, we've got a lecture by philosophical musician Dave Bainbridge, a one-act play called Failure Studies by Marco Biasioli, and then my own humble offering. I'll be reading my vegan short story 'Pigskin' which was first published back in issue 225 of Black Static magazine (I blogged about it at the time here), which, of course, will be accompanied by some creepy audio business by electronic brother-of-mine Rickerly.
We've also built time into the schedule for each act to be grilled with hardcore 15 mins of intensive Qs and evasive As, plus a chunk of time set aside at the end for the ominously titled 'General Discussion'. I'm getting myself psyched for all my favourite vegan questions like: "Do you miss bacon though?" (Nope), "Why do you eat meat substitutes? Isn't that hypocritical?" (never said meat wasn't delicious). "Plants feel pain, you know." (great). Anyways, if you've ever had a burning desire to ask me a profound and challenging question about my writing, now's your chance.
The event is totally free and it all kicks off at 12:45 on Saturday. Grab tickets from here and dribble on down to the Burgess for an unhinged, raw, fresh, itchy, scratchy, weirdo afternoon of politically-laced expression and blah.
I'm leaning hard on the PhD novel at the moment. Trying to untangle knots and coax out a third (and hopefully final) draft. At present, tentatively, I'm feeling 'OK-to-good' about it, having gone through a period of deep frustration with and at the thing. We're on the mend and our future together is somewhat rosier, I think.
As a result, I've been deep into ambient drone music of late, which I find helps with writing concentration. Here's a sample of such stuff from Stars of the Lid: