Book Review: Folk Song in England by Steve Roud

Folk Song in England by Steve Roud Faber & Faber – 17 August 2017

Anyone who has an interest in Folk song or folklore and superstition in Britain will have more than likely stumbled upon the books of Steve Roud (if not his Roud Folk Song Index). In 2012, he, along with Julia Bishop, gave us The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, a long overdue update of the 1959 classic with the addition of lesser-known discoveries, complete with music and annotations on their original sources and meaning [ . . . ] More at: Book Review: Folk Song in England by Steve Roud | Folk Radio UK

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Irvine Welsh: ‘If I don’t have sex every day, I start to go a bit weird’

Born in Edinburgh, Irvine Welsh was working for the council and studying for an MBA at Heriot-Watt University when he wrote Trainspotting. Published in 1993, the novel was a hit, and in 1996 was made into a film by Danny Boyle. A sequel is released next month, and an immersive theatre adaptation of the original book runs at The Vaults, London SE1, until 15 January. Welsh’s latest novel, The Blade Artist, was published this year. He is married for the second time and lives in Chicago.

Source: Irvine Welsh: ‘If I don’t have sex every day, I start to go a bit weird’ | Life and style | The Guardian

Kate Tempest webchat – your questions answered on Jung, dog chat, and why poetry speaks to us all 


The poet and rapper talked about connecting with audiences, sexuality and the search for inspiration

Enjoyed your gig in Bristol. Listening to you I found myself thinking of William Blake and London mysticism and London radicalism. Does that chime with you?

Yes. William Blake is a huge part of my daily life. I find his work integral. And I go and visit his paintings in the room where they are exhibited in the Tate as often as I can. I read him all the time. There is something to be said for London mysticism, that definitely has its hands on me – I can feel it. It’s definitely a mystical environment for me – there’s a strong current coursing at all times [ . . . ]

Read from the Full Webchat at: Kate Tempest webchat – your questions answered on Jung, dog chat, and why poetry speaks to us all | Stage | The Guardian

Shirley Jackson centenary: a quiet, hidden rage


Born 100 years ago today, Shirley Jackson wrote stories filled with nameless dread that still speak to women’s anger

I first encountered Shirley Jackson through a single short story, “The Daemon Lover”, which I read when I was 12 without knowing any of her other work. Later, I rediscovered the story, along with the rest of Jackson’s writing, and became a fervent admirer of this brilliant and (at that time) much underrated American author.
In some ways, “The Daemon Lover”, from a 1949 collection is a typical Jackson story. An unnamed woman of 34 (though only 30 on her marriage certificate) wakes up on the day of her wedding to a man called James Harris. Impatiently the woman waits for her fiance to arrive, drinking cups of coffee and obsessing over trivia – her choice of dress, the flowers, the light meal she is planning after the ceremony. Hours pass, and at last it becomes clear that the fiance is a no-show. The woman, who does not know where he lives, leaves her flat in search of him, asking locals for a James Harris in hope of resolving the misunderstanding; after a Kafkaesque sequence of increasingly paranoid encounters, she ends up in front of an apartment door, behind which she can hear voices, but which, Continue reading

Emma Watson has been hiding feminist books on the tube

Were you paying attention on your commute this morning? Because while you were keeping your head down, avoiding all eye contact and generally wishing you were anywhere but on the Central line you might have missed something really special.

Harry Potter star Emma Watson has been sneaking around the tube network hiding copies of Maya Angelou’s novel ‘Mom & Me & Mom’.

Source: Emma Watson has been hiding feminist books on the tube