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Future Proof

My old desk of two of my three years at university (looking remarkably clear of clutter). I'm a sad bastard for taking and keeping this photo, but there's something strange about leaving behind a battered old piece of wood from a rented student house, no less one that served me well through writing all sorts of stuff, some of it good, some of it grossly bad.


Though the weather continues to catch me off guard without an umbrella, there’s plenty of interesting stuff coming up over the next few weeks to keep me occupied and suitably distracted. Firstly, I’m part of a reviews team for the Latitude Festival this coming week, held at Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk from 12th - 15th July, featuring a wide variety of artists including Arcade Fire, CSS, and Jarvis Cocker. Whilst I’m there I’ll be covering the Poetry and Literary stages, amongst a few other things, the former of which includes performances by writers including Simon Armitage, Clare Pollard, Roger McGough, Tim Wells, as well as Luke Wright and his hugely successful stand-up poetry collective, Aisle 16, among many others. More details on the festival are available here. Also, I received a package in the post from Faber today, which contained a proof copy of Nick Laird’s new collection, On Purpose, officially due out in August. I’ll be reading it over the next couple of weeks, then, and after Latitude’s over, writing a review for the winter issue of luminous Dublin-based magazine, The Stinging Fly. I’m really never happier than when I’m reading and/or writing, hence the inclusion of the picture above. And at the moment I have plenty to be mulling over and scribbling. Time to get back to researching, then, and most importantly and enjoyably, reading.

Comments

Ivy said…
The Stinging Fly's an awesome journal.
Cailleach said…
I can second that Ivy, Ben. Latest issue hit here a week ago and has been devoured already. Their short stories are always really good savouring. Nice work Ben.

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About the Author

Welcome to the website of the English poet and critic, Ben Wilkinson.
Ben was born in Staffordshire and now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He received his first degree from the University of Sheffield, and holds an MA and PhD from Sheffield Hallam University. He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Poetry Business Competition and a 2014 Northern Writers' Award
His debut full collection of poems, Way More Than Luck, appeared from Seren Books in February 2018.
He is a keen distance runner, lifelong Liverpool Football Club fan, and among other things he works as poetry critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. You can find many of his reviews on this site.
To contact Ben about readings, workshops, or for any other enquiries, you can drop him a line at benwilko(at sign)gmail.com. Unfortunately, I am not able to consider unsolicited requests from authors for book reviews.

You can follow Ben on Twitter - @BenWilko85 - and on Facebook.

You can find B…

Way More Than Luck (Seren Books, 2018)

From the thumping heartbeat of the distance runner to the roar of football terraces across the decades, Ben Wilkinson’s debut confronts the struggles and passions that come to shape a life. Beginning with an interrogation of experiences of clinical depression and the redemptive power of art and running, the collection centres on a series of vivid character portraits, giving life to some of football's legends. By turns frank, comic, sinister and meditative – ‘the trouble with you, son, is that all your brains are in your head’ – these poems uncover the beautiful game’s magic and absurdity, hopes and disappointments, as striking metaphors for our everyday dramas. Elsewhere there are tender love poems, political satire and strange dream worlds, in an urgently lyrical book of poems that take many forms and modes of address: pantoum, sonnet, sestina; epistle, confession, dramatic monologue. All are united by a desire to speak with searching clarity about matters of the heart. Way More …