The Manchester Literature Festival

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In this mini-episode, Rob talks to Kate Feld about the Manchester Literature Festival. In addition to MLFing it out, they talk about Good Immigrants, they try to figure out what “working class” means and of course, chat about the end of the world. Rob has a bit of a sweary whinge (what else is new?) about the Olympics.

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Namechecks:

Ian McMillan, Andrew McMillan, Simon Savidge, Nikesh Shukla, Selena Godden, Hollie McNish, Dead Ink Books, Olivia Laing, Garth Greenwell, Yuval Noah Harari, Margaret Atwood, Richard Hines, Lionel Shriver, Dr Katy Shaw, Andrew Michael Hurley, Jenn Ashworth, Gillian Slovo, Lemn Sissay, Jenny Murray, Rose Tremain, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jeanette Winterson, Anne Enright, Vivienne Westwood, Susan Calman, Margaret Drabble, Jane Rogers, Johnny Marr, Kamila Shamsie, Deborah Levy, Jo Bell, Michael Symmons Roberts, David Gaffney, Eimer McBride

Episode 15 – Fell

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In this episode, Rob talks to Jenn Ashworth about her brand new novel, Fell. They talk about Jenn’s writing process (or lack thereof), the anxiety of releasing a new, creative work into the world, Mormonism, Stephen King, swearing and goddamned Ovid (again). Fell comes to a bookshop near you on the 14th of July. It’s awesome, BUY IT.

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Namechecks:

Savidge Reads, University of Lancaster, Kate Feld

Episode 14 – The page is a stage

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In this episode, Rob talks to poets Amy McCauley and Robert Harper about Lit mags, Oedipus, the origins of poetry and using a PhD to make fat stacks (not really). They also talk about (ahem) Europe and the fear of not being in it.

Warning: This one is properly sweary.

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Namechecks:

Society of Authors, Bloodaxe, Andrew McMillan, Dan O’Brien, Rebecca Goss, Bare Fiction, The New Welsh Review, Helen Mort, David Gaffney, Courttia Newland, Annette C Boehm, Zelda Chappel, Carcanet, PN Review, Peter Greenaway, Aki Shilz

Episode 13 – Working it out

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In this episode, Rob talks to the winner of the last ever Guardian First Book Award, Andrew McMillan, on “modern male anxieties” as the Guardian puts it, working out in gyms, writing poetry like Jon McGregor writes prose, Creative Writing MAs (again), Horror as a gateway drug (again), and what it’s like growing up Gay in Barnsley.

NOTE: This was recorded before the terrible homophobic nightclub shooting in Orlando, which is why we don’t talk about it in the interview and why I don’t mention it in the intro. But let me say something about it now: Fuck these terrorist shitbags.

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Namechecks:

Jon McGregor, Sara Howe, Rebecca Perry, The Guardian, Fenton Aldeburgh prize, Colin Barrett, Dylan Thomas Award, Max Porter, Jonathan Cape, New Writing North, Sharon Olds, Mark Doty, Geoff Hattersley, Chicago Rock Cafe and Robin Robertson

Episode 12 – Squaddies

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In this episode, you get two interviews for the price of one. In the first, Rob talks to Steve Dearden, writer, producer and director of The Writing Squad. We talk about Creative Writing MAs, Manchester United, the rise of genre and YA fiction and the best time ever to be a writer(hint:now). In the second, Rob talks to Writing Squad alum Lenni Sanders and Jasmine Chatfield about Manchester lit nights, Putting a show on in Edinburgh and (my favourite) Post-apocalysm.

At the end, Steve reads his short story, No Caller ID. She’s a long one, this, so get comfortable.

0:30 – Intro
13:05 – Interview with Steve Dearden
58:12 – Interview with Lenni Sanders and Jasmine Chatfield
1:26:40 – Outro
1:30:13 – Steve reads his short story No Caller ID

’tis sweary.

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Namechecks:

Steve interview: The Writing Squad, Jane Rogers, Jenn Ashworth, Stevie Ronnie, Mark Catley, John Griffin, Catherine Williams, Ronnie Smith, NAWE, Jamal Gerald, Harry Jelly, David Gaffney, Gemma Saltzer

Lenni and Jas interview: Flim Nite, Stirred poetry, Rebecca Audra, Anna Percy, iOrganic, Harry Jelly (again), Wonder Women, Claire Pollard, Manchester Art Gallery, Instigate Arts, Dead Lads, Harriet Williamson, PBH, The Laughing Horse, Edinburgh Free Fringe, Bad Language, First Draft, Cheethams Library

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Episode 11 – On Liverpool

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In this episode, Rob talks to Laura Robertson, editor and founder of The Double Negative magazine. They talk all things Liverpool, writing for magazines, High Art, Marshmallow Laser Feasts, Invisible wind and Futurama along with about 800 million other things. Rob reads his short story, Two Swans.

’tis sweary.

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Namechecks: Josh Weinstein, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Assemble, Mark Lecky, Corridor 8, Triple Canopy, After All Journal, Bob Dickenson, Susie Stubbs, Creative Tourist, Mike Stubbs, FACT, Liverpool Biennial, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Super Slow Way project, Exbury Egg, Invisible Wind Factory, Neil Atkinson, Nick Royle and The Royal Standard… phew.

Episode 10 – The North

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In this episode, Rob talks to writer and serial polymath, SJ Bradley about Leeds, her work, The Northern Short Story Festival, Remembering Oluwale, The NORTH, and randomly, the HS2.

’tis sweary.

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Namechecks: Dead Ink publishing, Leeds Big Bookend festival, Tania Hershman, Ben Judge, Evidently, Lochlan Bloom, Wes Brown, Avril Joy, Alison Taft, Anna Chilvers,

Episode 8 – The Unseen

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In this episode, Rob talks to Tania Hershman and Jo Bell about things that can’t be seen and things that erm.. perhaps shouldn’t (i.e. children). They also discuss their latest collections, the benefits of mentoring, how to make a buck in this racket, Anarchy, buttless chaps and everyone’s favourite: Ovid.

Music by Michael Brailey

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Namechecks: The Poetry School, The Soanes Museum, The Old Operating Theatre, Radio 4, David Morley, Kathryn Maris, Cork Poetry Festival, Luke Kennard, David Hartley, Ben Judge, Michael Brailey

Episode 7 – The perils of live performance

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In this episode, Rob talks to David Hartley and Ben Judge, two seasoned literature performers about the ups and downs of performing your work live. We talk about Dave’s new night Speak Easy, Ben’s stint as a Not the booker prize judge and evil evil coffee machines. Ben was (sadly) not available for the photo sesh so we did the best we could. Recorded live on Pomona island.

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Namechecks: Paul McVeigh, Tania Hershman, Jo Bell (again), Ambit magazine, Unsung, Not the booker, Sam Jordison, Adam Marek (again), Claire Dean, Nightjar (again), Socrates Adams, Trish Starbrook, Didsbury Arts Festival, Chorley Arts Festival, Joy France, Fat Roland, Lancaster Lit Fest, Bad Language (again), Verbose, First Draft, National Flash Fiction Day, Sarah-Clare Conlon (again) and Tom Mason… phew