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Chapter and Verse

Chapter and Verse

This week has been a busy week for me. I submitted my first two end-of-module assignments which consisted of 2000 words of poetry and 6000 of creative non-fiction. My final assignment, Art of the Short Story has a deadline of Wednesday the fifteenth and it too is a 6000-word undertaking. At this point in time I am 2800 words into one story and 1500 words into a second. I may push the second piece up to 3000 but it may be finished around the 2500 mark, in which case I'll add a piece of micro-fiction :)

Also, immediately after the short story deadline I have two nice events. On the 16th I'll be dressing up to go to the Dylan Thomas Prize announcement in the Great Hall on Swansea University’s Bay campus. I'll be wearing my suit, shirt and tie which I haven’t worn since ... April :) I know which book I want to win, Trinity by Louisa Hall.

Trinity: A Novel by Louisa Hall
From the acclaimed author of Speak comes a kaleidoscopic novel about Robert Oppenheimer—father of the atomic bomb—as told by seven fictional charactersJ. Robert Oppenheimer was a brilliant scientist, a champion of liberal causes, and a complex and often contradictory character. He loyally protected his Communist friends, only to later betray them under questioning. He repeatedly lied about love affairs. And he defended the use of the atomic bomb he helped create, before ultimately lobbying against nuclear proliferation.Through narratives that cross time and space, a set of characters bears witness to the life of Oppenheimer, from a secret service agent who tailed him in San Francisco, to the young lover of a colleague in Los Alamos, to a woman fleeing McCarthyism who knew him on St. John. As these men and women fall into the orbit of a brilliant but mercurial mind at work, all consider his complicated legacy while also uncovering deep and often unsettling truths about their own lives.In this stunning, elliptical novel, Louisa Hall has crafted a breathtaking and explosive story about the ability of the human mind to believe what it wants, about public and private tragedy, and about power and guilt. Blending science with literature and fiction with biography, Trinity asks searing questions about what it means to truly know someone, and about the secrets we keep from the world and from ourselves.

(Synopsis from Bookshare ... it’s a quote so I won’t correct its punctuation!)

And then on Friday 17th my creative writing MA classmates and I get to meet some agents. We should hear a lot of useful advice and, while poets don't tend to get agents, I’ll be able to pitch the novel I plan on writing either as part of a PhD or on my own ... I’ll be focussing on my elevator pitch on Thursday ... though I’ll try to remember not to ask, ‘Which floor are you going to?’ ;)

Poetry in the Dark

For anybody in the Cardiff area, I’ll be reading at a poetry event at Chapter arts on Tuesday 21st May. The theme is ‘From the darkness into the light!’ It has been organised by Voices on the Bridge, who are based in Pontypridd and where I’ve read a couple of times before. Inspired by my blindness the event is going to start in the dark and then the blinds will be opened to let in the light. The poems are to be projected onto a wall so the audience can read them before the poets read them aloud. Of course blindness cannot be turned on or off as the mood hits, but this event is about any kind of journey from darkness into light. It’d be lovely to see you there, so to speak, if you’re in Cardiff. Please note the earlier-than-normal start time of 6:30pm.

Chapter Readings is a series of events celebrating the beauty and significance of the written word, spoken aloud.
Each month, an artist or a group of artists designs a literature- inspired reading created from a single theme or idea.
Cyfres o ddigwyddiadau sy'n dathlu harddwch ac arwyddocad y gair ysgrifenedig, wedi'i adrodd ar lafar, yw Darlleniadau Chapter.
Bob mis, mae artist neu grwp o artistiaid yn dylunio darlleniad wedi'i ysbrydoli gan lenyddiaeth ac wedi'i greu o un thema neu syniad.

(text produced by optical character recognition of the event flyer, see below)

Admission is £5 and you’ll get to hear, in addition to me, Clare Potter, Nick McGaughey, Christina Thatcher, Amelia Unity, Mike McNamara and Rob Cullen :) xx

Flyer for From the darkness into the light event.

#Poetry #ChapterArts #Cardiff #SwanseaUniversity #DylanThomasPrize

Published inblindnessPoetry


  1. Frances Browner Frances Browner

    Gosh, this is all exciting Giles. I love the Darkness into Light project, both from your point of view (or not!). It’s also the name of a walk we do in Ireland every year for victims of suicide for Pieta House, which helps people who have been affected. The walk starts at 4.15 and ends after sunrise. I just did it yesterday and now, you’ve given me an idea, maybe I should write a poem. I’m wondering if Voices from a Bridge is the same idea, many suicides taking place off of bridges. Good luck with it all, especially your elevator pitch, hope, and the agent, you get off at the right floor!

  2. Giles Giles

    Thanks, Frances 🙂 No, voices on the bridge is not connected with suicides (though you are obviously correct that bridges are often a place for suicides). Voices on the Bridge takes place in the museum in Pontypridd (about half an hour’s train ride north of Cardiff) and it is by the bridge over the river Taff

    Your walk sounds a very worthwhile thing 🙂 xx

    • Frances Browner Frances Browner

      It’s interesting that they both have the same name, must look it up.

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