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Literary Cleanse: days 23 to 30.

I’m so behind with posting about The Guardian’s Literary Diet that I’m reduced to just giving highlights. Day 23 was Roger Robinson (right) reading from his TS Eliot Prize winning collection, A Portable Paradise. Brilliant and moving.

Day 24: Brian Cox reading Tam o’Shanter. I didn’t have the right Adobe software to listen to this so, because I’d skipped over him on day 22, I watched Amitav Ghosh in 90 seconds (right) instead!

Day 25: Kae Tempest talks with theatre director Ian Rickson about three cultural artefacts they love: a song; a film; and a piece of writing. In his introduction Rickson says he’s interested in ‘how we reveal ourselves through the things we love.’ And what, to me, Tempest revealed is that they are curious, grounded, and preternaturally inclusive. Generous doesn’t cover it! They are also incredibly hard working and dedicated to their art. 

Day 26: Olga Tokarczuk: The Tender Narrator

Unfortunately for me, Tokarczuk delivered her speech in her native Polish, and as I don’t speak Polish there was no point in my watching. There is, however, a transcript in English. 

Day 27: Valerie Stivers: Cooking With DH Lawrence

Wonderful, she even tells you how to build a simple, but effective, outdoor oven in which to bake the bread!

Day 28: Kurt Vonnegut: Make Your Soul Grow

A warm, generous response to a letter from five high school kids, sent shortly before he died. citing old age he denies their request to visit their school, but he gives them a gift nonetheless. 

Bonus: a BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Slaughterhouse 5. Treat yourself!

Day 29: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on feminism (left).

Day 30: Christina Rossetti: Goblin Market

Not my favourite poem, or poet, but this interesting academic article managed to make me like it a little more. Nice pictures, too!

The header image is of a candelabrum one of my students gave me, on the last day of a course of writing workshops I taught a couple of years ago in a local café. It was made by her husband, and I do love it so! 

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