Wednesday, 21 March 2018

World Poetry Day and Granada

Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature has sent representatives to fellow creative city Granada for World Poetry Day. Nottingham poets Georgina Wilding and Leanne Moden are joining sixty other poets at an event which also features poetry from other UNESCO cities of literature.


Also in Granada is Sandeep Mahal, Director Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, who has said, "By celebrating poetry today, we celebrate our ability to join together, in a spirit of solidarity and passion to ignite creativity and bring more poetry into the world.”

Sixty years ago - in March 1958 - Alan Sillitoe was in Granada, as you can see from this notebook inscription.


As it is World Poetry Day here’s a little treat from the same notebook of Alan’s, written in 1958. It’s the first draft of one of his poems. The revised edition is typed below for comparison. Enjoy.

Picture of Loot

Certain dark underground eyes
Have been set upon
The vast emporiums of London.
Lids blink red
At glittering shops
Houses and museums
Shining at night,
Chandeliers of historic establishments
Showing interiors to Tartan eyes,
Certain dark underground eyes
Bearing bloodred sack
The wineskins of centuries
Look hungrily at London:
How many women in London?
A thousand thousand houses
Filled with the world’s high living
And fabulous knick-knacks;
Each small glossy machine
By beside or on table or in bathroom
Is the electrical soul of its owner
The finished heart responding
To needle of gentle current;
And still more houses, endlessly stacked
Asleep with people waiting
To be exploded
The world’s maidenhead supine for breaking
By corpuscle Tartars
To whom a toothbrush
Is a miracle;
What vast looting
What jewels of fires
What great cries
And long convoys
Of robbed and robbers leaving
The sack of rich great London.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

29 Seconds by T M Logan

NottsLit review of 29 Seconds by T M Logan

Nottingham resident T M Logan is at Waterstone’s tonight - 8th March, 7pm - speaking about his second thriller, 29 Seconds. Details of this FREE event HERE
I’ve read and, to a degree, enjoyed both of Logan’s bestselling thrillers. He undoubtedly writes to keep the reader reading, and he is rather good at it. His short chapters, most of which end with a tempting hook, make you want to know ‘what happens next’, whilst his characters are of the identifiable everyman/woman type. If the male hero of his first book, LIES, was a little too weak and easily baffled, the leading lady in 29 Seconds is a stronger, more believable character.

After Sarah - who works in a London university specialising in the poet/playwright Christopher Marlowe - saves a child in peril, she receives a Hitchcockesque opportunity from a dangerous Russian. It’s a timely offer as her boss is sexual harassing her. This Weinstein-like monster, Professor Lovelock, is using his power and position to make Sarah’s life hell, and she’s not the first woman he’s abused. When the Russian crime boss says he wants to repay his debt to her, it’s not hard to see where this is going, though it takes a little too long to get there.

Sarah is pushed to extremes by the bad professor and it’s easy to see why she’s tempted to accept the offer to remove him, but what if it all goes wrong? One thing is for sure, it’s not going to be that simple to make all her problems disappear.

The book adopts the idea that ‘everyone has a name to give’ if presented with such an opportunity. I’m not sure that’s true but Lovelock is suitably horrible. The opening section of 29 Seconds is superb, you’ll be well into the story before taking a breath. The middle explores the ‘what if?’ and ‘what would you do?’ angles well, if a little too indulgently. The final act is a nicely-crafted set piece but the surprise ending left me cold.

LIES and 29 Seconds are stand alone novels of the fast paced, page-turning type, set mainly in the south. Logan’s next thriller, SEVEN DAYS, is set in France. I’ll look out for it.
LIES ****
29 Seconds ****