NYWF (Sat)

Another thing I love about NYWF, which I only hinted at in my last post, is bumping into friends.

at events / while walking down the street / at the Zine Fair / the Ocean Baths

A four day party spilling across Newcastle.

Saturday 1 October

Saturday is my 'day off'. I'm not scheduled for any events so I start the day with #LoveOzYA on YA writing, chaired by my friend Wendy Chen. Many readers, including adults, love YA but I skipped it as a teenjumping from Enid Blyton to Jane Austenand am unlikely to return.
If I'm going to be pigeon-holed, I want to use that to drive change... Writers just want to be superheroes. 
Wai Chim (#LoveOzYA) -
I can see why YA appeals but for me, it was the classics (Little WomenAnne of Green GablesPride and PrejudicePersuasion) that spoke to me and this continued into university.

I played by the rules. The heady 'mistakes' of adolescence did not come until my early twenties.


I scribbled furiously at Gendering Loneliness... transcribed below:

Why is loneliness in men seen as strong and 'untouchable'? Why is writing about feelings considered self-absorbed? How can we re-frame the narrative outside the terminology of self-indulgence or victimhood? What if the most feminist thing to say is: 'This happened to me'?

There is no reason why emotions and feelings aren't valid or provide data of their own.

We really like to categorise the 'right way' to talk about things. When we talk about things in academic terms, it's very easy to categorise. People without firsthand experience see things in black and white.

How do we address people who don't want to listen? We need to talk about shaming.
Shame creates silence. 
Jonno Revanche (Gendering Loneliness) -
There is more awareness of depression and anxiety but still little awareness of 'scarier' mental illnesses like personality disorder, psychosis and bipolar.

Where You From? Where You Goin'? is another highlight. I do not write poetry (nor do I 'understand' it) but gosh, spoken poetry can be hypnoticvoice. cadence. rhythm. musicality.

I have no words... if you ever have the chance to see Admas Tewodros, Eiman AlUbudy, Omar Musa, Omar Sakr or Magan Magan perform poetry, please, please grab it with both hands.

Khalid Warsame was an excellent host; his excitement infectious. A short discussion of each artist's poetic practice followed. Omar Musa spoke about the influence of orators and theatre on his work and how he used poetry as an access point in his novel Here Come The Dogs

One artist said, 'Any good poetry is music, it sings.' Another followed on, 'I look for an explosion and implosion ... grenades ... I'm waiting for the pin to drop.' (Sorry my notes are incomplete!)

Mangan and Khalid touched upon the everyday poetics of Somali speech; a casual pronunciation made by an uncle (I think Khalid's) can sound as though he is making a revelation. Wow.


Finally, I had a wonderful time dancing at the Ball and chatting with Jane Howard at the bar. I meant to shower and sleep but was dragged to the Ocean Baths, where I stayed until 3, I think.

It was worth it.

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