Saturday, 7 January 2012

From the sandpit - a world of possibility

It's week one of my play experiment and I'm finding my feet. It all feels rather frivolous, but that's sort of the point, as I find my way around what I want to devote more energy to. I've been posting random things to my tumblr. One of the things I'm really enjoying is having a camera for the first time in 30 years or so - at the moment I'm photographing food a lot (maybe I'll write the recipe book I've always wanted to), and I'm doing a series of my most prized literary possessions - here's #2, My ARC of Murakami's 1Q84 from the lovely people at Blackwell's.

What I'm really looking forward to is taking pictures of this year's literary exploits, reporting Oxford's literary scene as it were.

Writing-wise, I've written my first short story for ages, but I still haven't decided what to do as my next big project. I'm tempted even at the thought of a really dark thriller - maybe my crime-loving juices are bubbling again. I'm also working on a one-man show that might be ready for next year, and a one-man exhibition for the autumn. But most of all I'm really enjoying focusing on spoken word, and trying to improve my performances and material for poetry readings and am delighted to have been asked to do a couple of longer sets - at FULLFAT next Monday, the 9th, in Brick Lane, then for Ferment Magazine on the 28th.

In that vein, I'm working really hard on my performance so I can put together some fun videos on YouTube - just the one so far, and it's not fabulous, but it's a start - I hope another tomorrow.

Most of all at the moment I'm enjoying putting this year's shows together. I've made a definite choice to do fewer shows this year but put them together even better - last year was fabulous, and I also learned a huge amount. I want to stick to 5 or 6 really top class shows I can give everything to (organising-wise - I'll accept almost any invitations to read). First up is The New Libertines at Manchester's legendary Afflecks on January 23rd. There's been an amazing response to this and I'm so excited. Later in the year the highlights so far are Not the Oxford Literary Festival in March, a Flash Slam in May, and The New Libertines back at Stoke Newington Literary Festival in June.

Most of all I'm having an amazing time, and am looking forward to working with and discovering even more new fabulous writers than ever before as well as many many of my dearest friends and closest colleagues from the past 3 years.


  1. Dan I had to put PJ Harvey's "Dry" on pause to come check out your video. I'm sure Polly will understand, such is the artist to artist, poet to poet fraternity. Great stuff.

    marc nash

  2. Blimey, that's a compliment, thank you! I love Polly. Very much looking forward to gigging with you this year - will have fewer performers at gigs like Stokey - not necessarily more time but less rushed, more focus on the writers we have, honing rather than rushing, and developing the acts we have much more. Very much hope you'll be part of it.

  3. Still thinking about whether I have it in me to perform...
    I am glad it's going well, this play thing. It gives me hope.

  4. Good to see you are playing, Dan. I hope 2012 is very kind to you.

  5. Good for you, Dan. I hope this year lives up to your playful expectations. (I love PJ too :) )

  6. Viv, you should perform - we have a friendly show in London on May 17th :)

    Thanks, Jo, Anne - I hope you both have a fabulous 2012

  7. Most adults have forgotten how to play Dan - so glad you have not! It is really terribly important.

  8. :) It certainly is, and we forget far too often :)

  9. Good luck with the playing - I hope work doesn't intrude too much ;)

  10. :) it's because I work full time that's one of the main reasons I'm giving up all the commercial nonsense that goes with writing - there are very few hours left in the day and I have a day job already - I want what I do outside of work because I love it to be something I love again. It's also infinitely more exciing creatively