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I don't often visit South Bank, not since the Hayward Gallery closed for refurbishment. But this weekend I decided to take a look around, and on the 5th floor of the Royal Festival Hall, away from the noise of bands rehearsing and children playing, I found that the National Poetry Library is hosting a small (tiny) exhibition called Larkinworld. In it, artist DJ Roberts explores the work of Phillip Larkin, using neon lights, drawings, and collections of pop-culture ephemera to find snippets of joy in typically melancholy poems.

I'm always intrigued by this kind of 'creative response' artwork, which transforms (and in some cases, translates) one art form into another. I like to think of it as a kind of collaboration, across time, place, and medium; artists and writers working together to build a network of creativity around a shared theme or idea. Isn't that better than each of us working in isolation? Exhibition details can be found here, and you might enjoy browsing DJ Roberts' work on his website.



Lately I haven't had time to write much - and even worse, I've started to forget that I actually want to. You see, this new life of mine (the 9 to 5 office humdrum) has been slowly, quietly, sneakily erasing my old habits. But yesterday morning an envelope tumbled through my letterbox containing the latest issue of Counterpoint Magazine; inside it was something I'd written before Christmas, plus a note from the editors giving me a little reminder as to why I love working with small publishers so much. My piece for the Space issue tells the story of a secret pocket in a vintage coat. It's a playful, slightly inquisitive story about the past lives of the objects we cherish. I hope you'll read it.

This issue of Counterpoint Magazine was published in January 2017. You can buy a copy of your own, and look out for their next issue on Survival. 



Life was easier when I didn't have the flu. When I could board a train to Devon and spend a weekend exploring antique shops and stumbling (quite literally) into greenhouses filled to bursting with vintage wedding dresses. When I could eat hot dogs loaded with mustard while meandering through flea markets. When I could catch up with old friends late into the night over bottles of wine and a feast of Indian food. But alas, I'm quarantined in a duvet burrito, trying to launch a new creative project so I don't feel entirely sabotaged by my own immune system.