Monday, May 21, 2007

The Northern Launch of The Flash

On Friday was the northern launch of THE FLASH - 100 writers and 100 stories in 205 small pages - all proceeds to Amnesty International.

It was a good summery evening in Manchester. The second floor of the Cornerhouse packed with a lively and very appreciative crowd

who listened to the poet Robert Sheppard (on the right in this picture) reading THE NOVEL (a particularly fine surreal piece on that thing that is supposed to lurk inside each one of us); Nick Royle (left - who has written five novels and a collection of short stories) reading a clever story called MATHS TOWER about a famous landmark in Manchester which has recently been demolished and which I know struck a chord with at least two members of the audience who have spent some time studying in there (Hodmandod Major (middle) and his friends Angie and Danny);

Conrad Williams (who I didn't manage to photograph) who took us into a hot Spanish summer with his story The Hoopoe and then into the haunting world of Jeff VanderMeer's MAGICIAN

while the SF writer Richard Evans (pictured here with his wife Sarah) read HALF LIFE - a thought provoking and effective piece on the perils of aging (or not)

which resonated well with Nicola Mostyn's (on the left, above) SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE FEELING - an exploration of emotion, and well worth reading - and Pete Wild's (on the right) THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF POOT MAN - an entertaining story on the adventures of a superhero (which ends 'to be continued' and I hope it does.

Other pieces were read out too - Patricia Dunker's THE KISS, Stella Duffy's GARDENING, Rhonda Carrier's THIS IS HOW THE STORY ENDS, Michel Faber's £17.07, 8.30, Matt Haig's INSTRUCTIONS FOR MY FUNERAL - all excellent stories.

While I read out two of my favourites: Sara Gran's SOME LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT THE NEW YORK SUBWAY SYSTEM and Matthew Cheney's THE VOICE both of which I love more and more each time I read them.


Blogger Jeremy said...

Cornerhouse brings back a lot of memories. I remember seeing a lot of films and exhibitions there in the 80's (including one of the work of Tagore). Glad to see that their tradition of promoting a wide range of arts is still alive.
Is the 'maths tower' the old 'toast rack' building?

Tue May 22, 12:34:00 am  
Blogger Matthew Cheney said...

Thanks so much for reading "The Voice", Clare -- since you first told me, I've just kept thinking about it, because it sparks a childlike reaction in me of, "So cool! My story was read aloud on the other side of the ocean!" Really, you completely made my week joyful.

Tue May 22, 04:08:00 am  
Blogger Lee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tue May 22, 06:11:00 am  
Blogger Lee said...

Sorry for above delete - too many typos! I still haven't got used to my new ergonomic keyboard.

This looks an event that even an unrepentant crowd-shunner like myself would have enjoyed. And I imagine that flash stories are the perfect read-aloud-at-one-sitting material.

Tue May 22, 06:14:00 am  
Blogger Tania Hershman said...

They demolished the maths tower??!! I spent several happy years there, quite a while ago. Ah, well. Didn't learn that much. (No, it's not the Toast Rack building, wasn't that a Hall of Residence?)

The launch sounds fun, I was in the Cornerhouse last October, first time back in Manchester since 1992 - what a great city! I had a fabulous time.

Looking forward to reading the book.

Tue May 22, 08:09:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeremy: glad to bring back memories - and very pleased to hear from you again too.

Matthew - my pleasure - and what you've said makes it more so!

Lee: Thanks - yes, good for reading out.

Tatiana - well I was in Manchester then too. Maybe we passed each other without knowing it! And thanks for answering Jeremy's question.

Tue May 22, 11:43:00 pm  
Blogger Angie said...

It was a first time for me that I went to something like this, I really enjoyed it. Thank you, Clare, for inviting us to come.

Wed May 23, 01:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the toast rack building?

Hodmandod Major is looking cute & jolly...

Wed May 23, 05:11:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the cover, so funny! Now I need to buy the book...

Wed May 23, 09:10:00 pm  
Blogger Lee said...

I agree about HMaj. If Abby weren't already taken...

Fri May 25, 06:16:00 pm  

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