All posts by Leslie Tate

GAELE SOBOTT – DISABILITY, FIRST NATIONS & CLIMATE (2)

Not Quite Right For Us

In part two of her interview author, disability activist and feminist Gaele Sobott talks about her campaigning and creative work. Gaele, who has a PhD in literature from Hull University, recently published short stories and poems in HecateVerity LaMeanjin, New Contrast, Prometheus DreamingDisability Arts OnlineCordite, the anthology Botswana Women Write (University of Kwazulu-Natal Press) and the Speaking Volumes UK anthology Not Quite Right for Us (flipped eye publishing).

In her answers, Gaele describes her organisational and personal experiences as a disabled person, her intersectional work with the local community and the importance of artistic control in realising the creative potential of marginalised groups. Continue reading GAELE SOBOTT – DISABILITY, FIRST NATIONS & CLIMATE (2)

GAELE SOBOTT – DISABILITY, FIRST NATIONS & CLIMATE (1)

Gaele Sobott

I interviewed Gaele Sobott, founder and creative director of Outlandish Arts, a disabled-led arts organisation, and author of Colour Me Blue, a collection of short stories set in Botswana, and My Longest Round, the life story  of Wiradjuri man and champion boxer Wally Carr.

In the first half of her interview Gaele introduces her upbringing and disability work, her creative methods as a cross-genre wordsmith and her reaction to the Australian bush fires and the current climate emergency. Continue reading GAELE SOBOTT – DISABILITY, FIRST NATIONS & CLIMATE (1)

TV SCRIPTWRITER TELLS ALL

Martin Day

I interviewed TV writer & author Martin Day who has scripted Doctors on BBC1, Family Affairs on Channel Five, Fair City (RTÉ), and was lead writer on CBBC’s Crisis Control. Martin is also the author (or co-author) of twelve novels and audiobooks, two audio plays and eight non-fiction books, mostly concerning television in general and Doctor Who in particular. Martin, who has taught creative writing at Bath Spa University, has also written comic strips, short stories and journalism. Continue reading TV SCRIPTWRITER TELLS ALL

GLAD TO BE GREEN, LGBTQ+ AND AN ILLNESS WARRIOR

I interviewed Hannah McNamara, LGBTQ+ campaigner and Green activist, about growing up as bisexual in Northern Ireland, coming out, winning a diversity award at work, and coping with major physical conditions during a pandemic. Continue reading GLAD TO BE GREEN, LGBTQ+ AND AN ILLNESS WARRIOR

DARK HORSE THEATRE ROCKS

I interviewed Amy Cunningham, artistic lead for Dark Horse Theatre, about how the company put on innovative and powerful shows by learning-disabled actors that reverse audience expectations. Amy also talked about her work as a trustee of  Theatre in Prisons and Probation (TIPP), making “People who are perceived to be less valuable become more valuable.” Continue reading DARK HORSE THEATRE ROCKS

MAGGIE BRALEY’S MUSIC – A LIFELONG SOUL JOURNEY

Maggie Braley on guitar and singing

I interviewed indie musician Maggie Braley who composes her own songs and leads community singing. Maggie, who is a rock climber from Belper, Derbyshire and a passionate environmentalist, says that learning to sing both folk and classical music, “has been a lifelong soul journey.”

Leslie: What were the early experiences that led you towards being a musician? Continue reading MAGGIE BRALEY’S MUSIC – A LIFELONG SOUL JOURNEY

MARGALIT FOX: FROM SHOVELING COMMAS TO CHANGING THE NEW YORK TIMES’ OBITS – FOREVER! (2)

Margalit Fox – The Riddle of the Labyrinth

In the second part of my interview with Margalit Fox, whose writing in The New York Times has helped develop a new literary approach to obituaries, I asked about her nonfiction books. They include Margalit‘s story of the race to decipher the mysterious Bronze Age script known as Linear B, The Riddle of the Labyrinth. That book was chosen as one of the hundred best books of the year by The New York Times and received the 2014 William Saroyan Prize for International Writing.

Originally trained as a cellist, Margalit holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in linguistics from Stony Brook University and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her work is prominently featured in The Sense of Style (2014), the popular guide to writing well by Steven Pinker, and Obit., the behind-the-scenes 2017 documentary by Vanessa Gould. Continue reading MARGALIT FOX: FROM SHOVELING COMMAS TO CHANGING THE NEW YORK TIMES’ OBITS – FOREVER! (2)

MARGALIT FOX: FROM SHOVELING COMMAS TO CHANGING THE NEW YORK TIMES’ OBITS – FOREVER! (1)

Margalit Fox

I interviewed  one of the leading literary stylists in American journalism, Margalit Fox, about her 24-year-career at The New York Times. As a member of the newspaper’s celebrated obituary news department, Margalit has written the Page One send-offs for Betty Friedan, Maya Angelou, Seamus Heaney, Adrienne Rich, Maurice Sendak, and many more. Margalit has also written the obituaries of many of the unsung heroes of history, including the inventors of the Frisbee, the crash-test dummy, the plastic lawn flamingo and the bar code. She is the author of four narrative nonfiction books, with the newest, The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History, published on June 1 by Random House. 

Leslie: Can you tell us, please, what led to you writing obituaries for the New York Times. What have you learned about the stylistic/emotional considerations and researching someone’s life? What’s been ground-breaking about your obituary writing? Continue reading MARGALIT FOX: FROM SHOVELING COMMAS TO CHANGING THE NEW YORK TIMES’ OBITS – FOREVER! (1)