Slow Anarchy

It’s February. What happened to January?  Strange time of year, eh?  Everyone I know is either full of cold, broken-hearted or pissed off with the weather. It’s been years since I spent a whole winter in the UK; usually I fly home for  a month, which makes a big difference to the winter months.  Yes, I agree. Winter sucks.

Happily, though, I have been hired by English PEN to teach an eight week course. My students are refugees from Angola, Belarus, Pakistan and South Africa and Venezuela. Today we did a class on micro-fiction and we wrote tiny stories which came from tiny poems. Next week the poets Malika Booker and Choman Hardi come to do guest readings, both have written strong and very autobiographical collections I admire. We aim to produce a booklet of my students’ work, to be performed at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon; I hosted the readings at an event last week, and wow was the writing spectacular.

Tonight, on my way to a talk hosted by Spread the Word, I bumped into my friend David McCandless (of Information is Beautiful). He was bummed out, so I dragged him along. The talk was about writers-in-residence. Lemn Sissay was on the panel, fabulous Lemn and writer-in-residence at the Southbank. He mentioned the word ‘anarchy’ and I perked up considerably. The main thrust of what he was saying was that when an organisation works with a writer, they can’t expect a tame sort. They get a wild card, a pusher of boundaries, who may or may not produce what has been asked of them.

Right on, Lemn.

“I’m an anarchist, too,” I piped up. “A slow anarchist. What kind of an organisation would ever want to work with me?”

What, indeed. There was a nice woman there, from London Underground. I wonder if she would consider me as writer-in-residence on the Bakerloo Line?

After the talk, David and I headed for Drummond Street and a curry and a Cobra beer. We discussed life, death, sex and fame.

On the way back to Euston Station, I got out my fat black marker pen and drew sad and smiley faces in all the ‘O’s on some company’s renovation boards.

Dangerous I am.

Slow – and dangerous.


~ by moniqueroffey on February 2, 2010.

2 Responses to “Slow Anarchy”

  1. its great what you’re doing with the kids!

  2. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this web site. I am hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a good example of it.

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