Darkness is the time to think, to dream, to love …

October 31, 2016

It’s human to want light and warmth. Our pagan ancestors had a calendar of fire festivals, and God’s first recorded words, according to the Hebrew Bible, were: “Let there be light.” Night belongs to the dark side, literally and metaphorically: […]

On writing a cover version of Shakespeare

September 26, 2015

On the day of the first new moon of June 1599, at 3 o’clock, the new Globe theatre opened its doors with a new show – Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Everything was new – it was the spirit of […]

Why I fasted for eleven days

July 11, 2015

Everybody knows about fast food. Scoffing that factory blend of hormone-heavy protein, sluggish starch, industrial trans-fats and E-numbers, is the reason why most people have also heard of the Fast Diet: 5-2, where you restrict your calorie intake by three-quarters […]

The Whitworth Gallery reopens

February 14, 2015

The Whitworth Gallery in Manchester re-opens this weekend with the message “Fall In Love Again”. It’s the right message. Creativity in all its forms is a passionate engagement with making something happen. Like falling in love, art is a disturbance […]

On the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy – of course it’s political

January 17, 2015

Poetry is pleasure. Sometimes people say to me, ‘why should I read a poem?’ There are plenty of answers, from the profound – a poem is such an ancient means of communication that it feels like an evolutionary necessity – […]