All posts by Leslie Tate


Anna Orridge

Author Anna Orridge writes cli-fi as well as eco and nature-influenced stories, novels and poems. I asked Anna about the psychological impact of writing about these difficult but important subjects and her own personal creative methods.

Leslie: What are the various ways you write about climate change?

Anna: The short stories I write which have a climate focus are usually set in the near future. ‘Vane’, for example, which appeared in Mslexia, is set in an anonymous British coastal village about fifty years from now. The cli fi novel I’m currently writing takes place in York in 2054. Continue reading FLASH FICTION AND CLI-FI


Niamh Calderwood

Author Niamh Calderwood talks about acting, writing, transitioning in Sunderland and finding herself in a deep and loving relationship. As part of her journey, Niamh talks about joining Extinction Rebellion and living with an awareness of climate breakdown.

Leslie: You’re a multi-disciplinary creative person with an emphasis on crafting words. Can you describe your passions, your projects and what inspires your creative work, please.

Niamh: When I first began my creative journey it was all about escapism. I was a troubled kid, and having the opportunity to disappear into another person’s life through acting (mostly on stage, but a little bit on screen too) was a necessity in my formative years. I wouldn’t have survived high school (John Spence Community High in Tynemouth) or my first few years of college in Newcastle if I hadn’t been able to pretend to be someone else. Continue reading REBEL WITH A LOVING CAUSE


Tom Fox at Hackoustic August 2017

Tom Fox uses recycled and reclaimed materials to make musical instruments, sound machines and interactive installations. He has performed or talked at The Tate Modern, The Royal College of Music, The Royal College of Art, and many European music tech festivals. I interviewed Tom about what goes into his performances, his vulpestruments and his organisation Hackoustic – a London-based group that promotes original sound artists, music technologists and instrument builders.

Leslie: Can you tell us about the simplest instruments you build, please. Continue reading TOM FOX – BUILDING NEW MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS


Hilary Cox Condron

I interviewed Cambridge-based participatory artist Hilary Cox Condron who describes herself as, “Passionate about using creativity, culture, stories and collaboration to connect, strengthen and shape communities.” Hilary works with many groups across the city. In her own words she has, “A true commitment to equality, diversity, social inclusion, the environment and place-making through the arts.” The Chair of Cambridge United once introduced Hilary as, “Community glue.”

Leslie: You’re a community artist. Can you tell us about where that passion came from and the key milestones on the way to developing your current work? Continue reading ART, PASSION & ACTION


Maxine Lipner out west

Maxine Lipner interviewed about her professional writing life and how her beliefs were turned upside down by a friend’s uncanny pre-death predictions… For 30 years, Maxine has successfully written features, profiles, interviews and health and business pieces. Combining ghostwriting for doctors with commercial pieces, her fields have been largely scientific and rational. All this changed when Maxine set out to write a memoir entitled Mystic Days in the Ivy: What my Psychic Friend Shared About the Future Beyond Her Own Death. Continue reading SCIENCE, MAGIC & KNOWING THE UNKNOWABLE


Lisette sits on a stool on stage in front of a mic, spotlight on her, left arm reaching up. Photo by Ken Drew

I interviewed Lisette Auton, disabled writer, activist, spoken word artist, theatre maker & creative practitioner. Lisette has been chosen as a Penguin RHUK WriteNow Mentee, one of ten out of 1700 applicants. She often works with groups that are underrepresented in the mainstream – for instance with disabled people, and in her work with Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art celebrating older people. As guest editor for Disability Arts Online, Lisette used the platform to focus on Northern Emerging Disabled Artists. Lisette says about her spoken word performances: “I deliver passionate, high octane, physical pieces about disability, mental health, politics and quite often also my freckles.” Continue reading LISETTE AUTON DOES STUFF WITH WORDS


Bertin working in the fields

I interviewed Bertin Kalimbiro from Goma, in Congo, about Programme d’appui à la résilience et adaptation face au climat (PARAC), the environmental organisation he founded, and the ways his community are coping with climate change.

Leslie: How is the ecological and climate crisis affecting where you live?

Bertin: For more than two decades now we’ve experienced an unprecedented disturbance of the growing seasons. In the past we had the dry season from June to August and then January to February, while the rainy season took up the rest of the months. But now we can’t distinguish these seasons, because most of the year is in drought. Continue reading SAFE FOOD & WATER FOR ALL


Alice Body – Sustainable Fringe

I interviewed Alice Boyd who works on improving environmental sustainability in the theatre/entertainment industry though the arts organisation Staging Change. Besides founding and co-directing Staging Change, Alice is also a theatre maker and sound designer with Poltergeist Theatre. She believes in reducing the carbon footprint of performances and bringing people together in a positive, sometimes humorous way, to face the truth about climate breakdown and bio-diversity loss.

The arts is the difference between knowing knowledge and feeling knowledgeAlison Tickell. Continue reading STAGING CHANGE: ECO-THEATRE & FELT KNOWLEDGE