KINGA FABÓ – SHAPING THE FREE SPIRIT OF POETRY

Kinga Fabó

I interviewed international poet Kinga Fabó whose work has been translated into 17 different languages. Kinga has been published in journals such as Modern Poetry in Translation; Numéro Cinq, Ink Sweat & Tears, Deep Water Literary Journal and anthologies like The Significant Anthology, Women in War and World Poetry Yearbook 2015. Her latest book, a bilingual Indonesian-English poetry collection Racun/Poison was published in 2015. She lives in Budapest, Hungary.

I handle strong, unusual themes in a casual, matter-of-fact manner, in an everyday style, simply and detachedKinga Fabó. Continue reading KINGA FABÓ – SHAPING THE FREE SPIRIT OF POETRY

TOURING ‘HEAVEN’S RAGE’

A still from the film ‘Heaven’s Rage’. Details of EASTBOURNE & MANCHESTER showings at end of blog.

This blog tells the story of an award-winning film on tour and the LGBTQ book that inspired it. I originally wrote it for the expressive arts organisation, Lapidus InternationalLeslie Tate. Continue reading TOURING ‘HEAVEN’S RAGE’

ART & GENDER – Leslie Tate

I’m lying on my side in a darkened studio with lights and a camera pointed at my bare back. Christoffer is taking the pictures, directed by Andreas and Dagmara. The studio is in Aarhus, Denmark, I’m naked, and the film, called ‘Landscapes’, puts together close-up images of seven LGBTQI people over 60.

It’s a four-hour shoot, first across my back then tight on my chest, moving to my hand and finally to my upper body and face. While the camera pans through smoke effects and I’m in the picture, the film crew are exclaiming how beautiful it looks. Dagmara calls the session ‘funky’. It’s as if they’re sightseers in a gallery being constantly surprised and astonished by the artwork they see there. Continue reading ART & GENDER – Leslie Tate

CHARACTER-DRIVEN STORIES

When character drives story the narrative no longer depends on ‘hooks’ or plot twists and satisfaction comes from seeing more deeply into personality. This kind of writing goes beyond ‘entertainment’ or ‘reveals’. It’s often quite personal, taking the reader into psychological space, so when the ‘ah’ moment arrives it’s usually a discovery about innerness or hidden feelings. Character-led writing values depth over cleverness, subjectivity over analysis, and may depend more on tone of voice than content. And because it’s person-centred it may feel ‘exploratory’ with very little happening until suddenly the protagonist’s mind shifts and the authentic personality steps forward. Continue reading CHARACTER-DRIVEN STORIES

NADIA NADIF: ACTING TO LIVE

Nadia Nadif as Yasmina in NEW ANATOMIES Battersea Arts Centre

I interviewed Nadia Nadif, actor and theatre activist. Appearing with innovative theatre companies in a wide range of roles, Nadia has taken part in family shows (including learning how to stilt walk!), plays about domestic violence, and performed a Sudanese trance dance as part of a production at the Edinburgh Festival. She has also toured the Middle East with a comedy-farce show.

I began by asking Nadia about the pivotal role she played in creating The Scar Test, a challenging exposé of the UK’s inhumane treatment of refugees in detention.

Leslie: You acted in ‘The Scar Test’. Can you explain the title and the content of the play, please? Continue reading NADIA NADIF: ACTING TO LIVE

JANE DAVIS: WRITING NOVELS OUTSIDE THE BOX, Part Two

Jane Davis

Part two of my interview with Jane Davis, the winner of the Daily Mail First Novel Award, covers her relationship with the book industry, how and why she writes, and her more recent work.

Jane, who has been acclaimed by The Bookseller, is the author of eight novels. Her 2015 novel, An Unknown Woman, was Writing Magazine’s Self-published Book of the Year 2016 and has been shortlisted for two further awards.

Leslie: Why did you move back to self-publishing after being adopted by a significant publishing house and sought after by agents? What conclusions do you draw from your experiences? Continue reading JANE DAVIS: WRITING NOVELS OUTSIDE THE BOX, Part Two

STORIES WITHIN STORIES

The painting below, ‘Las Meninas’ by Velázquez, was used by André Gide to demonstrate the idea of mise en abyme – a technique in art where a copy of an image is placed within itself. So the effect can resemble parallel mirrors, suggesting an infinitely recurring sequence of images. It’s sometimes called the Droste effect, named after the 1904 Droste cocoa package, which shows a woman holding a tray bearing a Droste cocoa package, which bears a smaller version of her image.

Las Meninas (The Maids of Honour) by Velázquez

Continue reading STORIES WITHIN STORIES

JANE DAVIS: WRITING NOVELS OUTSIDE THE BOX, Part One

Jane Davis with her novels

I interviewed Jane Davis, winner of the Daily Mail First Novel Award 2008 and described by The Bookseller as ‘One to Watch’. Reviewing Jane’s earlier novels, Compulsion Reads wrote about her: ‘Davis is a phenomenal writer, whose ability to create well-rounded characters that are easy to relate to feels effortless’.

Jane says about herself: “I spent my twenties and the first part of my thirties chasing promotions at work, but when I achieved what I’d set out to do, I discovered that it wasn’t what I wanted after all. It was then that I turned to writing.”

Jane Davis lives in Carshalton, Surrey with her Formula 1 obsessed, star-gazing, beer-brewing partner, surrounded by growing piles of paperbacks, CDs and general chaos. When she isn’t writing, you may spot her disappearing up a mountain with a camera in hand. Continue reading JANE DAVIS: WRITING NOVELS OUTSIDE THE BOX, Part One

Author and Poet