From Palestine to eco-literature – my autumn events are rippling out into planetary concerns. Many thanks to the Havant Literary Festival (Oct 3-12) for inviting me to read from Astra at the eco-literature event on their programme this year. I was leaf-tickled to hear that my friend the wonderful eco-poet Helen Moore has been added to the bill! A half-day conference on ecologically inspired literature Sun Oct 12 2pm – 5.45pm Bosmere School, South Street, Havant £10, £8 concs. We start the afternoon with Dr Rebecca Welshman of the University of Liverpool, who is the leading authority on the life and work of West Country naturalist and writer Richard Jefferies. A long-time TB sufferer, Jefferies died at 38 in 1887. Environmental catastrophe and the human place are themes of his adventure novel After London (1885). Those who admired and were influenced by him include Edward Thomas, John Fowles and Raymond…

Read more

Getting excited! Sept 19-20 I’ll be taking part in the second Tottenham Palestine Literature Festival, organised by Haringey Justice for Palestine. The festival is a free weekend of literature, politics, music and Palestinian food, held at the West Green Learning Centre and featuring an international cast including Ghada Karmi, Selma Dabbagh, Baroness Jenny Tonge, Brian Whitaker and Sarah Schulman. Guests will be exploring topics including Biography, Fiction, Poetry, Travel, SF, LGBT in the Occupied Territories, and – you can’t discuss Palestine in the UK without it – the Balfour Declaration. The full programme is available as a flyer here or a funky slidehow here. On Friday night I’m chairing the travel panel, with the intrepid Sarah Irving and the legendary Dervla Murphy. On Saturday I’m reading from Astra on the Middle Eastern SF panel, and discussing science, religion and Islamic SF with archivist and scholar Ruqayyah Kareem and Chair Yasmin…

Read more

2/2