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Chrissie Lewis

Humber Mouth Wide Open

The school holidays are nearly over, the weather’s turning and the stress levels are cranked up to critical – it can only mean thing… 

HUMBER MOUTH’S NEARLY HERE!

We’re looking forward to a different experience this year, part of a wider literature programme that’s taking over Hull and the East Riding. It kicks off with Contains Strong Language, our sister festival, moving on to Humber Mouth, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Out of this Word and closing with Hull Noir. 

The full Humber Mouth programme is now available for your delectation, with brochures winging their way across Hull as we speak, and you can also peruse events and book tickets online at humbermouth.com. This year brings Will Self, Sara Pascoe, Monica Ali, Melvyn Bragg, Neil Astley and Sally Gardner – to name but a few – to join us for our 25th anniversary celebrations. 

By October 8, you’ll have laughed, pondered, crumpled, argued, procrastinated and probably googled a lot of stuff – just your average Humber Mouth, then. 

Wrecking Ball Press is also proud to be partners with the BBC in delivery of flagship spoken work festival, Contains Strong Language. Featuring The Unthanks and the haunting music of Molly Drake (mother to Nick Drake), Kate Tempest, Kathryn Williams, Dr John Cooper Clark and many, many more, it’s going to be an fascinating, inspiring weekend of words, voices and passion. 

Book your tickets now – while you can!

Dean and The Hull ’17

If you haven’t heard, Contains Strong Language will be running from National Poetry Day (28 September) to 1 October, with a diverse programme to please purveyors of all forms of the humble spoken word. 

Celebrating both new and existing work, it’s packed with world premieres, concerts, outreach activity and television commissions, and is produced by BBC Radio in partnership with ourselves, Hull UK City of Culture, Hull City Council, Humber Mouth, British Council, BBC Learning and a number of poetry organisations.

At the very heart of the festival is The Hull 17 – an ensemble of the country’s most interesting and diverse artists commissioned to create new work in the city throughout the duration of the festival. We’re delighted that our very own Dean Wilson forms part of this collective, alongside Kate Tempest, Jacob Polley, Imtiaz Dharker, Helen Mort and 12 more incredible artists. 

Dean is currently poet in residence at BBC Radio Humberside until September 2017, and has joined forces with poet Vicky Foster to inspire the local community to send in poems about where they live. Called Landlines, the poems, written on postcards, will be hung from washing lines in Hull Central Library on Thursday 28 September to celebrate the start of the Festival. 

We published Dean’s first full-length collection, Sometimes I’m So Happy I’m Not Safe On The Streets, last year – buy your copy here.

 
 

Gordon Burn Prize Shortlist!

You must have been somewhere far away, warm and oblivious to not know that the wonderful Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile by Adelle Stripe has been announced as a shortlisted titled for the 2017 Gordon Burn Prize yesterday. 

Showcasing some of the most interesting contemporary writing in its wide-ranging selection of titles, The Gordon Burn Prize celebrates work that is far-reaching, eclectic and provocative. The other brilliant titles on the shortlist include: 

  • Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova (Granta Books)
  • First Love by Gwendoline Riley (Granta Books)
  • The Long Drop by Denise Mina (Harvill Secker)
  • This Is Memorial Device by David Keenan (Faber & Faber)
  • This Is the Place to Be by Lara Pawson (CB Editions)

If you’re not familiar with Adelle’s latest work, get up close and personal with it here. Telling Andrea Dunbar’s story in print for the very first time, it’s a tale of the North/South divide and of how a shy teenage girl defied the circumstances she was born into to become one of West Yorkshire’s greatest dramatists.

Dunbar, of course, wrote Rita, Sue and Bob Too!, scandalous at the time not just for its notorious tagline ‘Thatcher’s Britain with Her Knickers Down.’ It was a box-office smash, but fame brought anxiety and Dunbar found herself struggling with the media attention, pressures of family life and writer’s block. Succumbing to the pitfalls of drink, she spent her last days in her local pub The Beacon where she completed her final script based on a gang of unscrupulous debt collectors. In 1990, aged 29, she collapsed from a fatal brain haemorrhage.

A bittersweet literary depiction, Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile explores a world whose themes are more relevant today than ever. It also marks the arrival of one of the UK literary underground’s best kept secrets.

Adelle Stripe was born in 1976 and grew up in Tadcaster. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester University and is the recipient of the 2016 K Blundell Award for Fiction. She teaches at MMU.

Adelle is the author of three chapbook collections of poetry, the most recent, Dark Corners of the Land, was 3:AM Magazine’s Poetry Book of the Year. Her writing has appeared in publications in the US and UK including The Guardian, Stool Pigeon, Caught by the River, Penny Dreadful and Chiron Review.

The winner will be announced at Durham Book Festival on Thursday 12 October 2017, tickets available from the Durham Book Festival website now – wish us all luck!