Friday, October 04, 2019

Mechanics' Institute Review - The Climate Issue

Here's the magnificent new issue of The Mechanics' Institute Review, in which I'm delighted to have a story, 'Dreaming Possibility'. This issue is themed around the subject of climate. As a writer I'm not normally keen on themed anthologies - I'm always too busy doing my own thing to have space to respond to other people's thematic agendas (I don't know if that's arrogant!). But climate and the environment are subjects I'm fired up by anyway, and which constantly surface in my writing, so it was no hardship - indeed it was an exciting pleasure - to sit down and write a story to submit specifically to this anthology. It's a story about intuition and magical thinking, and features a Cassandra-like narrator who has intuited environmental disaster from an early age and has been treated as pathological as a consequence.

The Creative Writing department at Birkbeck University, who publish the Review, organised a lot of activities around the publication of this launch - for the authors there was an enjoyable workshop for brushing up skills in reading work to an audience, a party for all the contributors and editors, and finally the official launch in the amazing eighteenth-century Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury (which is unfortunately threatened, and there's a campaign to save it). There are also three Citizens' Assemblies during October, on the subject of climate change.*

Here I am at the party with fellow contributors David Wakely, Tarquin Landseer and Sarah Barr, all of us clutching our newly-minted copies.

*Due to unforseen circumstances these Assemblies have now been cancelled. It is hoped they can be reconvened in the spring as a one-day symposium/conference.

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