It seemed like a good idea. I mean, I had some free time on my hands after all. Not for right now you understand, but for some point in the future – just in case ‘posterity’ might ever need it… Over the years I have written (thus far) a number of volumes of poetry, and… Read More The downside of looking back too far…
Whatever you do, don’t start reading Olga Tokarczuk’s “Flights” expecting to encounter a conventional novel – because you won’t. It is a fragmented, meandering creation with dozens of vignette’s nestling against each other, sometimes in a logical progression – but mostly not. Some of these are as long as twelve or more pages, the majority… Read More “Flights”
My sixth collection of poetry – “The Homelessness of a Child” – is published today, 1st April. Perhaps long overdue, a fair proportion is an exploration of the hardships and repercussions of my difficult childhood. As the intro says: “By the time Ian Gouge went to university he had already lived in seventeen different places… Read More Published today! “The Homelessness of a Child”
Over twenty years ago, a self-publishing company – BookSurge – was born in the US. Five years later the company was acquired by Amazon and came to trade as Create Space (now superseded by Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)). According to Wikipedia, by the end of 2018 over 1.4 million titles from tens of thousands of… Read More Self-Publishing: a Double-edged Sword?
Imagine the scene. The knock at the door. The delivery man. In his hands, an A4-sized box, the kind that contains those four-pack reams of paper you get for your inkjet printer. He smiles and hands you the box. “I’ll go and get the other eight”… Once you have closed the front door, you turn… Read More Not The National Poetry Competition
Part-travelogue, part-art history, part-personal reflection, Hisham Matar’s “A Month in Siena” could easily be seen as something of an antidote if you have been reading too much fiction and are seeking something different just to break things up. Indeed, in a way that is how Matar sees his trip to Italy; an opportunity to fill-in… Read More “A Month in Siena”
There is something about Bellow’s first person narrator / observer which draws you into “Ravelstein”; it seems to me that you are both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ simultaneously. This elongated pen-picture of Ravelstein, laid out by his close friend Chick, is undoubtedly all sorts of things: colourful, expansive, amusing, ironic, submissive… Indeed, the list of adjectives… Read More “Ravelstein”
The third book in my free three-book promotion is now available on Amazon: “Secrets & Wisdom” – 11th to 15th March A collection of short stories.
My sixth collection of poetry – “The Homelessness of a Child” – will be published on 10th April. Perhaps long overdue, a fair proportion is an exploration of the hardships and repercussions of my difficult childhood. As the intro says: “By the time Ian Gouge went to university he had already lived in seventeen different… Read More Forthcoming book – April publication
The second book in my free three-book promotion is now available on Amazon: “Degrees of Separation” – 6th to 10th March This will be followed by “Secrets & Wisdom” – 11th to 15th March Both of these are collections of short stories.
You could be forgiven for wanting to stop reading Marlon James’ “John Crow’s Devil” fairly early on into the book. If so, it will be the Jamaican patois that will most likely get you. But my advice is to persevere. Try and get a ‘voice’ in your head against which you can process the language… Read More “John Crow’s Devil”
I’m thinking of taking a sabbatical from poetry. Giving it up for a while. A bit of ‘detox’. Why? Multiple reasons really. The easy one is to say that “I want to focus on my prose”. Very little collateral damage in that one I suspect. And it also has the benefit of being true! I… Read More Time for a Poetry ‘sabbatical’?
In one of Lawrence Durrell’s poems there is a wonderful line: Give us the language of diamonds The Death of General Uncebunke, Fourteen Carols (V) That simple phrase – “the language of diamonds” – has always seemed to me complex, profound, powerful, beautiful. The subtlety of it comes in the unpacking of it of course,… Read More ‘The Language of Diamonds’
I have a free Kindle book promotion running over the next two weeks on Amazon: “At Maunston Quay” – 1st to 5th March “Degrees of Separation” – 6th to 10th March “Secrets & Wisdom” – 11th to 15th March
Olga Tokarczuk’s “Primeval and Other Times” is simply stunning; a plethora of literary squares woven together to make a quilt that lays bare what it means to be human. Unvarnished, all of life is here: the tragic, the mystical, the sad, the violent, the superstitious, the unavoidable. And – ultimately – the powerlessness. It seems… Read More “Primeval and Other Times”
I have to say that I’m not really sure how Sophie Ward’s “Love and Other Thought Experiments” made it to the 2020 Booker Prize longlist. Perhaps they were seduced by the surreal nature of the narrative, both its timeline and how it shifts through different versions of reality. Perhaps they were recognising the quality of… Read More “Love and Other Thought Experiments”
It seems frankly bizarre that we sacrifice around a quarter of our lives to an unseen agent over which we have no control whatsoever. We succumb to an invisible force which has dominion over us, both physically and mentally. Decisions as whether to sleep on our left or right, front or back, are abdicated to… Read More The Hybrid Us
Working through some old notebooks (see My Writing Diary) and I came across this: “He stared at the photograph. It was not how he remembered it. It had been less sunny, surely; and there appeared no trace of wind. He thought he had been wearing his green jacket – the old one with the torn… Read More Buried treasure…
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But how many of us like to think of ourselves as ‘Writers’ (note the capital ‘w’!) when – to be frank – we don’t really put the hours in. Think about it. How could you be a surgeon without learning your craft and then operating on people day-in day-out, or a… Read More You can’t be a Writer without writing…
To call Ernest Heminway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” a collection of short stories is a mis-labelling. Indeed, it could be argued that very few of the eighteen tales within the book qualify as a ‘short story’. Many are very short – almost vignettes – and a number, which all centre around the same character –… Read More “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”