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Life Raft: Jay Whittaker talks to Peach of political poetry, feminism & more

Posted by Mairi Oliver on

Life Raft: Jay Whittaker talks to Peach of political poetry, feminism & more

Inspired by LGBT History month this wee Life Raft offering is a conversation between Peach and the Edinburgh-based poet & feminist Jay Whittaker. To set the tone, here is a wee recording of Jay, reading Radical, from her new collection Sweet Anaesthetist! Jay Whittaker · Radical   Peach: The poem ‘radical’ speaks of cracking open our identities, and this feels personal to us as a (radical) bookshop. Did these places of comfort and discovery inspire you to continue to discover yourself through poetry? Jay: Oh, radical bookshops! Mushroom in Nottingham was a lifeline for me as a nascent queer teen in the 1980s....

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Twelve Books I Plan to Read this Year

Posted by Mairi Oliver on

Twelve Books I Plan to Read this Year

by Eris YoungI had a couple opportunities to write ‘best books of 2020’ lists this year, so I wanted to do something a little different for this blog post (also it’s a bit late for a retrospective considering 2020 is over!) So here are twelve books that I’ve been meaning to read for way too long, or that I had planned or wanted to read in 2020 but couldn’t for whatever reason. One factor you might see reflected in the following list is that in 2020 I set myself a ban on reading books by straight white cis guys. As...

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Chequered pasts: on picking and choosing national character

Posted by Mairi Oliver on

Chequered pasts: on picking and choosing national character

By Jim Taylor After the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. was stormed by Trump supporters on 6th January, Neal Kirby - son of legendary comics creator Jack Kirby - said in a statement that his father would be “absolutely sickened” by the insurrectionists’ use of iconography associated with his most famous creation, Captain America. Many in the comics community vocally supported Kirby’s statement, echoing his assertion that, rather than the white supremacy and authoritarianism of the Trump movement, the values that Captain America actually stands for are the same as those which truly define the national character of the USA,...

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The Good Benefits Claimant and Why The Food Package Scandal Was Predictable

Posted by Mairi Oliver on

The Good Benefits Claimant and Why The Food Package Scandal Was Predictable

By Kit O'Sullivan I want to be clear when I write this, where I am. I’m sat at home. There are two overly indulged cats eager for attention lounging around me while I type. I have warm clothes, good central heating and I ate a filling home cooked meal this evening. It wasn’t always this way. In fact, I used to wonder what all of these things might feel like.  I used to wonder what it must feel like to feel secure about your present, and not fear the future.  For several years, I existed on benefits. I was  registered...

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Why is writing still a guilty pleasure?

Posted by Mairi Oliver on

Why is writing still a guilty pleasure?

  by Writer in Residence, Eris Young As I write this, I’m sat on the sofa in my new flat, with google docs open for the first time in maybe two weeks. All I did yesterday was Christmas: I wrote cards, put them together with presents, worked out when I had to post things for them to be approximately on time, and worked on a gift I’m crafting for a friend. I went out to buy some things for the flat in the evening, and somehow all of this took up the entire day. But I slept well last night,...

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