Write What You Don’t Know

[published in Kamena Magazine, 16/04/19]

Writers are creatures of comfort, rituals and rhythms that we are loathe to break. There’s a fair logic behind many of these: getting stuck with writers’ block is a nightmarish hell, akin to having all your sinuses block up simultaneously while also being creatively constipated. These little tricks are our last defence against the dark. Continue reading

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The Glass Woman – Review

[originally published in Kamena Magazine]

With the polar vortex in full swing stateside and temperatures in the UK looking not dissimilar to my current bank balance, the release of Caroline Lea’s Icelandic ghost story/murder mystery, The Glass Woman, could not have come at a better time.

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You’re Not a Wizard, Harry: Demystifying Writing

[published by Kamena Magazine, 20/01/19]

The division between STEM and Art is often explained by something inherent, something natural, not nurtured. That some people have logical brains that can compute large amounts of data, and some people have artistic brains that output illogical, beautiful creations into the world. Some people are right-handed, some left; some people are scientists, some are artists. That it has nothing to do with want and everything to do with natural talent.

This idea is poisonous, not least in the fact that it grossly oversimplifies the human experience, but also in that it’s so wrong it stops us thriving in our chosen careers. Continue reading

Jonathan Edwards’ “Gen”: A Human Comedy

[originally published in Kamena Magazine]

It’s hard to find a funny poet – it seems that the vast majority of us are doomed to sit around bemoaning the sad state of the world as it is/was/always will be. It’s even harder to find someone who can be funny without being either superficial or depressing. But somehow, despite the many ways the world has changed for the worse in the four years since My Family and Other Superheroes, Jonathan Edwards has done it: he’s got me laughing again.

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Sports at University – Why joining a club is one of the best things you can do

[published in The Boar, 03/10/18]

The way I see it, there are three main ways you meet people in first year: your course, your accommodation, and the clubs that you join. My first year was pretty much decided from the offset.

Course: English is an absurdly large degree. There are hundreds of people, and everyone has to do the same modules for first year which means that you’re flooded with lectures of three hundred people. You’re lucky if you see the same person across two seminars

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Killing Eve: ‘insight into the mind of a killer’

[published in The Boar, 18/10/18]

When Killing Eve was first announced, I was cautiously optimistic. The premise was an enticing one: a crime-thriller show about a government worker chasing down a contract killer, with the two leads played by Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy) and Jodie Comer (Doctor Foster) respectively. The idea of a female led show of this type sounded fantastic, though as someone who’s been scorned by mediocre tokenistic attempts in the past (Ghostbusters is a sore point) I knew that much was down to the showrunner. Enter Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

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Bringing Poetry into the Public Sphere

[published in The Boar, 04/09/2018]

From the ancient Greek epics, to the eddas of the Norse skalds, to the confessional poetry of the second half of the 20th century, poetry has been a constant in the way we tell stories. But, to the vast majority of modern people, poetry is on its way out. Blame it on what you will: a boom in digital storytelling; syllabi that fixate on old poets whose subjects are irrelevant to a modern audience; or simply an art form that has failed to grow with humanity and reached its natural end. But one thing is for sure: poetry, as we know it, is on its way out.

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Poetry on the Canals – An Interview with Jessica Kashdan-Brown

[published in Kamena Magazine, 10/08/2018]

Jessica Kashdan-Brown is a current Warwick Writing Programme (WWP) student, poet, and writer, originally from Bath. Her current project, the Bath Canal Poetry Route, works with the help of the Canal & River Trust to place poetry in the locks of the Bath canals, such that the poem changes as the water in the lock rises and falls. Continue reading

The Literature of the Incel Movement

[published in The Boar, 20/06/2018]

The term ‘incel’ came into mainstream usage in late April of this year – coinciding with the Toronto van attack by a self-described incel that killed 10 people and injured 16. The term, a portmanteau of “involuntary celibate”, has evolved to refer to a specific group of men who believe that women are to blame for their personal lack of sexual intimacy, and often believe women should be verbally shamed for this, or in more extreme cases physically assaulted, raped, or disfigured. They believe women are inferior to men physically, mentally, and emotionally, often citing evolution as the cause.

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