This is Structo 16. It features 94 pages of outstanding fiction and and poetry, alongside photography by Minoru Karamatsu and an interview with Minae Mizumura, novelist and author of The Fall of Language in the Age of English. It’s a corker, and it’s out now!
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Vaguely literary things we’ve been enjoying
A blog I’ve been reading for ten years – indeed, since it started! – is People Reading. In each post, Sonya Worthy snaps a photo of someone on the street reading a book. She then interviews them briefly and finds out what they’re reading and why. It’s one of my favourite sites on the internet. I’ve discovered gems I would never otherwise have found, such as God’s Bits of Wood by Ousmane Sembène. People are always presented as readers first and foremost; she rarely delves into their private lives, unlike more modern sites such as Humans of New York. It’s lovely to see so many people out and about reading.
FutureLearn works with unis and cultural institutions around the world to create courses on some pretty interesting topics – all for free – from the comfort of your laptop or smartphone. They’re super accessible and are a great way to intro yourself to or brush up on subjects when you’re short on time and juggling other projects. I’m currently enjoying their course on Hans Christian Andersen with the Uni of Southern Denmark. Next up on my list is their Shakespeare course run by my old uni lecturer Jonathan Bate.
Roald Dahl had one. Virginia Woolf had one. Thoreau went to one to live deliberately. Hemingway had one over his garage with a bridge to his bedroom. Now I’m building one too. Sandwiched between the chicken yard and the sheep pen on my friend’s farm, I’m wrapping up the exterior work on an 80 square foot writing cabin. It will have a bed, a desk, and a bookshelf — simple living for weekends. It’s no Walden, but I do hope that the peace and quiet (not counting the crowd and bleats of the barnyard) will help me finish my chapbook projects.
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