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Contains Strong Language Returns in 2019

CSL 2018Contains Strong Language, the UK’s biggest poetry and performance festival of new writing, will return to Hull in 2019.

The third festival of its kind to be held in Hull in three years follows a successful return in September this year, which saw more than 30 events taking place in the city over three days, with leading poets and world-class spoken word artists taking to the stage alongside new voices.

Contains Strong Language 2018 was a partnership between the BBC, Wrecking Ball Press, Arts Council England, Absolutely Cultured, 14-18 NOW and the British Council. 

18 of the most interesting and diverse poets formed the Contains Strong Language company of artists. The Hull 18 brought new and existing poetry to the festival. The Hull 18 were Amanda Dalton, Jackie Kay, Simon Armitage, Louise Wallwein, Jacob Polley, Isaiah Hull, Vicky Foster, Joe Hakim, Shirley May, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Jay Bernard, Malika Booker, Kat François, Ishion Hutchinson, Jay T John, Charnell Lucien, Vladimir Lucien and Tanya Shirley.

In 2017 the festival took place for the first time in Hull as part of Hull’s UK City of Culture celebrations.

Programme details for 2019 will be revealed in the coming months but Contains Strong Language 2019 looks set to be the biggest event of its kind to date.

Wrecking Ball In Store

Wrecking Ball Music and BooksWrecking Ball Music and Books opened its doors at the end of September in the East Arcade of Hull’s Princes’ Quay.

The new shop sells the entire Wrecking Ball Press catalogue, as well as a range of books from independent publishers, new and used vinyl, merchandise, gifts and gig tickets.

The independent retail outlet is a joint venture between Wrecking Ball editor Shane Rhodes and Gary Marks.

Three weeks in and the shop is proving to be a success and has quickly established itself as a relaxed place to browse, chat and buy music and books.

Seven times snooker World Champion and green baize legend Stephen Hendry will be dropping by the shop on Wednesday October 25 when he will be signing copies of his autobiography Me and the Table at 12.30-1.30pm.

Face-to-face With Norwegian Literature

Shakar ZeshanWrecking Ball Press visited Norway in September 2018 to explore the country’s literary scene, which, in 2017, saw 538 Norwegian books translated into 44 different languages around the globe.

The successful trip to the country steeped in literary history going back to the pagan Eddaic poems and skaldic verse of the ninth and tenth centuries has resulted in Wrecking Ball securing the UK rights to publish Zeshan Shakar’s Our Street (represented by the Gyldendal Agency) and ongoing negotiations, now at an advanced stage, to publish Lotta Elstad’s I Refuse To Think (published in Norway by Flamme Forlag).

Wrecking Ball editor Shane Rhodes said: “In the modern day when a lot of business is done via email or over the phone I felt that it was important to go and meet Norwegian publishers face-to-face, to have conversations in person and to really get a flavour of the nation, its writers and the exciting work that is being created there. It was a successful trip given that we ended up securing the rights to Our Street and also look set to publish I Refuse To Think.

Shakar’s book is the Winner of the Tarjei Vesaas’ Debutant Prize 2018 and is set in Norway in the 2000s. Two boys grow up on the street Tante Ulrikkes street in Stovner, the north-east part of Oslo. Their parents had hope. They themselves are in the middle of the transition between suburb and wider society, between car wash and student canteen, exam grades and keef.

Heralded as one of the best books to come out of Norway in 2017, “Our Street isn’t important because it represents something or someone, but because it’s a really great novel.” (Morgenbladet)

Shakar is a profoundly literary and authentic voice, describing second generation immigrants’ position as both insider and outsider in Norwegian society.

Elstad’s I Refuse to Think is a dark, feministic contemporary comedy about politics, love – and an abyss that is getting dangerously closer. The book was nominated for The Oslo Prize in 2017 for Best Novel.

I Refuse to Think has been called “A Feministic Bulls-eye” and “…one of this year’s most enjoyable reads” by critics. Elstad, who is garnering attention around the world and destined to become the next Norwegian literary star, writes with sharp and smart humour and original style.

Indonesian Rights Secured

Mikael JohaniA literature visit by Wrecking Ball Press to Indonesia has resulted in securing the rights to publish Mikael Johani’s We Are Nowhere And It’s Wow and Nirwan Dewanto’s Museum of Pure Desire.

The trip was part of the Literature Visit programme supported by the British Council that aimed to build networks in literature ahead of the Indonesian market focus at London Book Fair in 2019.

Editor Shane Rhodes headed out to the Jakarta and Makassar International Writers Festival in May in order to identify publishing opportunities, find out more about Indonesian culture and literature and meet with writers and Indonesian publishers.

Both books will be published in 2019 in readiness for London Book Fair at Earl Court in March next year.

We Are Nowhere And It’s Wow is Johani’s first poetry collection and is divided into three sections, home, home part deux, away, and we are nowhere and it’s wow. because he likes being coy. home is away, away is home, part deux is part un, nowhere is somewhere etc. includes such orientalist pesudo-political poems as away with wiji thukul I-VIII as well as apathetic occidentalist ones like esthétique du mall.

Museum of Pure Desire contains choice examples of contemporary Indonesian poetry whose richness derives from their destruction of the constraints that surround poetry. Dewanto’s poems challenge the reader to stop and reconsider what first comes to mind upon their reading and to consider an entirely different interpretation altogether; they pull the reader into a state of tension between extreme juxtaposition and hidden logic, between childlike playfulness and calculated detachment.

Other publishers in attendance at the Literature Visit were MacLehose Press, Portobello Books, Tilted Axis Press, Oneworld Publications and Harvill Secker.

30 Indonesian publishers and copyright agencies are expected to head to London Book Fair in 2019.

Book Launch!

Book Launch!

Mike Watts’  NEW poetry collection

Spit & Hiss

launched on 

FRIDAY 17th AUGUST
8pm

KARDOMAH94
94 Alfred Gelder St, Hull. HU1 2AN

with music, readings, and words from the author

FREE ENTRY

Spit & Hiss is available for pre-order from our shop, here.

NEW! Writing Workshops in Hull with PAD STUDIOS

Sign up here if you’re interested!

IF YOU DON’T WRITE THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE, WHO WILL?

Experienced novelist, biographer and non-fiction writer Nick Triplow provides all the structure you need in this 3 week life-writing programme. No writing experience required, just a desire to learn how to gather and record experiences in words and picture.
Workshops
The workshops will be set during the day 2.30 – 5.00pm – Weekly beginning soon. (Please ignore the start and deadline dates in this info. The workshop dates will be set when seats are full).
Location and Fee
The location is PAD STUDIOS, in Hull’s historic Old Town.  
Course fee: £90.
Event
The event will involve readings of any work in progress performed by the writer or our LIL Actors in a one-off evening performance to the LIL THEATRE CLUB audience..
Successful applicants will be notified as soon as the workshop seats are full.

HOW TO WRITE THAT PLAY, AND WHAT TO DO NEXT!   

Join leading Hull Playwright Dave Windass for a 6 week practical course on not only how to write that play, but also the nitty gritty of making it happen. Get your head where your art is and give birth to your play!
Workshops
The workshops will be set in the evenings 6.30 – 8.30pm beginnning soon. (Please ignore the start and deadline dates in this info. The workshop dates will be set when seats are full).
Location and Fee
The location is PAD STUDIOS, in Hull’s historic Old Town.  
Course fee: £195.
Event
The event will feature the best ideas from the workshop, with extracts performed by our LIL Actors in a one-off evening performance to the LIL THEATRE CLUB audience.
Successful applicants will be notified as soon as the workshop seats are full.

GRAB YOUR NEW POEMS BY THE THROAT IN POLITE COMPANY.

Reknowned local Poet Peter Knaggs will push creative and enthusiastic writers to the limit to build new mental muscles to tackle the blank page in just six sessions! 
Workshops
The workshops will be set during the day 2.30 – 5.00pm – starting soon. (Please ignore the start and deadline dates in this info. The workshop dates will be set when seats are full).
Location and Fee
The location is PAD STUDIOS, in Hull’s historic Old Town.  
Course fee: £120.
Event
The event will feature poems will be performed by the Poets in a one-off evening performance to the LIL THEATRE CLUB audience.
Successful applicants will be notified as soon as the workshop seats are full.

IF YOU LOVE WORDS YOU’LL FLIPPIN’ LOVE THE WORD CLUB!

Peter Knaggs leads a treasure hunt for gems and jewels of words to collect and share. Want your dialogue to be more vibrant? To write something fresh and different and meet people that love words just as much as you.. join us at the word club!
Workshop
The workshop will be set during the day 9.30 – 4.00pm – starting soon. (Please ignore the start and deadline dates in this info. The workshop dates will be set when seats are full).
Location and Fee
The location is PAD STUDIOS, in Hull’s historic Old Town.  
Course fee: £35.
Event
A selection of Poems from the Word Club members will be read in an evening performance to the LIL THEATRE CLUB audience.
Successful applicants will be notified as soon as the workshop seats are full.
 
 

From the Editor



Drue Heinz, March 8th 1915 – March 30th 2018.

It was with great sadness that I heard about the death of Drue Heinz. Drue was a great philanthropist and supporter of the creative arts – Literature in particular.

In the winter of 1999 I had the honour of spending a month at her writers’ retreat at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland. As I remember, I came out of the experience with only one finished poem and lots of notes for others; but the freedom and space it gave me to think was invaluable.

Drue understood that the greatest gift you could give a writer was the time to write.

Shane Rhodes.

Wrecking Ball Spring News

Toria Garbutt’s collection of poetry The Universe and Me is published by Wrecking Ball Press today. We are proud to be working with such a talented and innovative Northern voice. Available now through the website shop.

We are really excited that our next publication will be Drunken Baker by Viz’s own Barney Farmer. It will be available in hardback later in the Spring.

Good news ! The Arts Council have granted us a further year’s funding. Look out for these upcoming titles from Wrecking Ball Press in 2018…

Exire – short story collection by Helen Mort       
Spit and Hiss – poetry collection from Mike Watts
Doom 94 – Wrecking Ball’s first book in translation by Latvian author Yanis Jonevs                 

We have other publications planned from acclaimed novelist Martin Goodman, young poet Isaiah Hull, Dave McGowan, Fiona Curran, and subculture journalist Kirsty Allison.

Following on from Will Self’s appearance at the 2017 Humber Mouth Literature Festival, Wrecking Ball Press has published his pamphlet How Was Your Day? Available now through the website shop.

A Day in the Life of Ted Lewis

A Day in the Life of Ted Lewis

As part of the 2017 Humber Mouth commissions programmes, Hull City Arts commissioned Ted Lewis Group to present A Day in the Life of Ted Lewis’ to showcase his remarkable and far-reaching talents. 

Monty Martin put pen to paper to give us an insight into Ted’s life and loves, and how the commission came together. 

A Day in the Life of Ted Lewis

Ted Lewis, local novelist, artist and musician, died from lifestyle illnesses in 1982 aged 42. Despite significant achievements and influence, his name is sparely recognised, although a mere mention of the film and novel, Get Carter, evokes an immediate knowledgeable reaction. Hull City Arts decided to commission Ted Lewis Group to present ‘A Day in the Life of Ted Lewis’ which would showcase his remarkable talents at the Humber Mouth Literature Festival (2 – 8 October 2017).

Ted lived life to the full, unconsciously illustrating this by entitling his first novel, All the Day Long and All the Night Through (1965) but to do justice to his character, escapades, and talents required examination of more than event, appropriately in places early influences.

At Wilderspin National Heritage School in Lewis’ home town of Barton upon Humber, former friend, Nick Turner, (now nominated for North Lincs Council’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year) graphically illustrated their early life as neighbours and friends. Describing their youthful activities ranging over the South Humber Bank estuary with its deserted industrial landscape later described in Get Carter, he was supported by a comprehensive static exhibition and novel readings from Group members. These were followed a popular conducted Ted Lewis Trail with the alternative option to view The Beatles’ film, Yellow Submarine, for which Lewis was responsible as Animation Clean-up Supervisor.

The story moved on to The Minerva near Hull’s newly refurbished Fruit Market area. With a changed clientele, this popular respectable gastropub once boasted a colourful past in which Lewis revelled, a haunt of trawlerman, prostitutes and such Humber Ferry travellers as Ted who travelled across the Humber to study at Hull College of Art and Design, graduating in 1960. Visitors, including contemporaries, re-lived those heady days with Monty Martin (Chair of Ted Lewis Group) who presented heritage graphics, tales of the revolutionary freedom, jazz and Ted’s artistic and renowned prodigious romantic activities (“You only had to open a stationary cupboard door and out fell Ted with his latest girl”).

Hull School of Art and Design hosted a discrete and rare screening of Eric Barbier’s 2006 film interpretation of the Ted Lewis 1971 novel Plender, a dark tale of blackmail and corruption set in Hull and Barton. The story was explained by Nick Turner supported by novel readings from Group members and Hull University’s Matthew Crofts who later treated the select audience to a comprehensive explanation of noir writing and influences.

Finally, The Lairgate Hotel in Beverley hosted a packed audience, again including some of Lewis’s contemporaries (one of whom featured in his first book and was now visiting from Australia), who enjoyed excellent dining to traditional music from the resident New Orleans Climax Jazz Band. Ted Lewis had played piano in Hull’s’ renowned 1950s Unity Jazz Band and his friend and Unity trombonist, Ron Burnett, not only guested with Climax but reminded the audience of Lewis’s Unity’s life, entertaining throughout East Yorkshire. The icing on the cake was a donation by one visitor of an original signed Unity Jazz Band card, a remarkable artefact to end a success.

Ted Lewis Group can be reached at frankiesatthirtyfive@gmail.com and thanks Hull City Council for its sponsorship of a successful event. The Treasure House in Beverley will hold a Ted Lewis Exhibition from January 2018 in conjunction with the Group.