Thursday, September 19, 2013

A reading and belated launch in Oxford

OPEN DAY for Oxford Continuing Education Dept, 26th September.

A week today I will be one of three reading from their new novels at an event in Oxford. It is in connection with the Creative Writing School at the University, which I attended some years ago, and on which I first began writing A Conscious Englishman.
The Continuing Education Dept holds an Open Day  and we are 'on' as part of that.

Rewley House, Continuing Education Centre, Oxford.

16.00-16.45 - Reading: three authors, new fiction
Creative Writing - Newly published work from our Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing

Newly published work from our Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing
Three authors will read from their newly published work at this book launch and wine reception.
Course alumni Elisabeth Gifford and Margaret Keeping will read from their novels Secrets of the Sea House and A Conscious Englishman, both published this year; and Diploma fiction tutor Jeremy Hughes will read from his upcoming second novel Wingspan, which will be released this November.
 Please join us to celebrate their achievements. (Please note: the readings will fit into a 45 minute time frame to allow those who have booked into a session at 5pm to leave; the overall reception will last 90 minutes to allow those who remain time to socialise with the authors and ask questions about their work.)                                                 *

I have rather put off thinking about it, but do need to turn my attention to it soon. My dilemma is - I would like to read something with a dialogue between Thomas and Frost perhaps - but there is no way I could attempt the accent. Maybe I could ask the Course Director, John Ballam, if he will be free that session. And my publisher, Frank, who will be there, has just the right gentlemanly tone - for he is indeed a gentleman - for Thomas.

But it will be a 15 minute slot only so maybe I'm getting over-ambitious.

I have made one decision. I want to read or distribute the poem 'Beauty'. It is the poem which set the tone for the novel, showing both Edward Thomas's negativity and irritability, his self-knowledge and his capacity to be healed by the natural world.

Liz Gifford and I were of the same year and have kept in touch, as have quite a few of  us, with at least an annual reunion and sometimes our own 'workshops'..

I'm looking forward to hearing her and James - much more than I am to my own slot! But  to keep my mind on the real focus and values of my novel here is:


WHAT does it mean? Tired, angry, and ill at ease,
No man, woman, or child alive could please
Me now. And yet I almost dare to laugh
Because I sit and frame an epitaph--
"Here lies all that no one loved of him
And that loved no one." Then in a trice that whim
Has wearied. But, though I am like a river
At fall of evening when it seems that never
Has the sun lighted it or warmed it, while
Cross breezes cut the surface to a file,
This heart, some fraction of me, hapily
Floats through a window even now to a tree
Down in the misting, dim-lit, quiet vale;
Not like a pewit that returns to wail
For something it has lost, but like a dove
That slants unanswering to its home and love.
There I find my rest, and through the dusk air
Flies what yet lives in me. Beauty is there

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