Launch of Beacons
There is a menace in Rodge Glass's story 'We're All Gonna Have the Blues,' it builds and builds like the rising tide against a dam and features a couple of tremendous characters (Jaro and his 'babysitter') who are both futuristic and believable. It was, he says, inspired by an interview with a politician who lived in his street. In order to convince it is necessary to sympathise with what people want, and 'We're all going to get the blues' is about how we might attempt to persuade people to change. It is a dramatic piece and I was gripped to the end.
Rodge Glass (left) was one of the readers in the launch of Beacons. The editor, Gregory Norminton (right), was the other. Gregory read from his story 'Almost Visible Cities'. It is a visionary piece featuring Marco Polo meeting the Great Khan in the future and explores variations on the theme of possible cities (some recognisable in analogy). It evoked the spirit of Calvino and includes some of Gregory's trademark poetic writing. 'The Great Khan let out a sigh such as a tomb might make when it is opened after countless years of silence...' Gorgeous stuff.
The launch took place in the Anthony Burgess Institute: an interesting venue in an old mill - now featuring furniture that used to belong to Anthony Burgess: dark, oaken and very old.
We were very ably introduced by Cathy Bolton (in the middle, above) from the Manchester Literature Festival who also helped chair the discussion, and supported by the writing school at MMU, the Manchester Literature Festival and Steady State Manchester...