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Literature Worker in the City of Portsmouth details

Portsmouth Literature Worker


New Writing South is looking for an enthusiastic and capable person to take on the part time (20 hours a month) role of Literature Worker in the City of Portsmouth.


The role will include managing the Portsmouth Writers’ Hub, a dedicated community of writers that will meet monthly providing opportunity for all kinds of creative

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Portsmouth Literary Worker

It’s a surprise and a delight to announce that Portsmouth City Council have teamed up with New Writing South to create a new post of

Portsmouth Literary Worker

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Dylanology and Plagiarism

The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob by David Kinney

This weaves a wonderful spell. I was taken disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Kinney. Phrase by phrase, character by character, he built up Bobdom around us. Until, in the final section, we didn’t know what to think. Which sends us

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The Darks @TateBritain

I loved Janet Cardiff’s walk from Whitechapel Library all those years ago (still available, I believe, from Whitechapel Gallery, and well worth it).

I couldn’t resist an audio guide around Tate Britain, with writer friends Sarah Salway and SJ Butler.

I knew this had been the site of a dark brooding prison, marked on my 1862 Stanford Map

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Invigorating Engravings

It’s astonishing how flicking through images will spark a new train of thought. If only we could go back and smell the place. A noisy racket there must have been, and a more feverish uncertain aspect to life.

Flowers of Sin: inspiring images gathered on Pinterest.

The Garden Party

Everybody was scandalising each other, flaunting their fascinators

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Slang a la Hotten

 Patron Books for #FlowersofSin

The third of my four Victorian inspirations is the Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant and Vulgar Words (1859) by arch-lexicographer (and pornographer) John Camden Hotten. You cannot imagine how excited I was to bat with his descendant, Jon Hotten, at last summer’s West Meon Literary Festival.

Historical origins


We often think slang is new, with its

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If he be Mr Hyde, I shall be Mr Seek


Patron Books for #FlowersofSin

Five Victorian books, ground-breaking and scurrilous, inspired my novel.

If Les Fleurs du Mal casts a gruesome erotic hue over the book, this second source accentuates the chiaroscuro. The shadowy brown umbrous hues of Lawless and the Flowers of Sin are cast by The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Just as Jekyll’s laboratory is a mash-up of

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Workshops to fire wordmongers

Two stimulating workshops in the last week, courtesy of poet Maggie Sawkins.

First, in the ongoing series of performance/live literature workshops with Mark C Hewitt, who directed Maggie’s wonderful hard-hitting award-winning show Zones of Avoidance. (The book featuring the full text of Zones of Avoidance is published next month by Cinnamon Press. There will be a book launch on

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It’s good to imagine your characters coming to life in far-away nooks and kindles.

I just saw the Public Lending Right Library loans for Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square last year: 1122 plus 94 for the earlier edition, The Worms of Euston Square. Lending numbers beyond the capabilities of my aunts, voracious readers though they are.

Who says people don’t

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Star and Crescent: think global, write local

Star and Crescent is an invigorating new website, sharing news, culture and commentary site with a Portsmouth focus. They aim to offer timely, daring, investigative writing: an antidote to the conformist and controlled angles dominating the mainstream media, online and off. I’m proud to have this piece included, explaining how I explore local inspiration through the medium of cake.

The Creme of

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