‘A lovely, standing forgery’: Representations of the house and domestic space in ‘A Gesture Life’ by Chang-Rae Lee

Chang-Rae Lee’s novel A Gesture Life uses representations of domestic space, juxtaposed with the political space of the nation and empire, to negotiate formulations of identity and raise questions about what ‘citizenship’ means in a globalized world. The traditional immigrant narrative is subverted through the unreliable narration of Franklin Hata, which builds a fragile, constructed… Continue reading ‘A lovely, standing forgery’: Representations of the house and domestic space in ‘A Gesture Life’ by Chang-Rae Lee

‘The possibilities of an elsewhere’: Re-imagining the color line in ‘The Darker Face of the Earth’ by Rita Dove

‘Our work begins with an engagement with the past, out of which we imagine, create and dare to secure a future.’ (Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts) ‘...what is the fate of great nations but a summation of the psychic changes in individuals?’ (Carl Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious) Rita Dove’s play The Darker Face… Continue reading ‘The possibilities of an elsewhere’: Re-imagining the color line in ‘The Darker Face of the Earth’ by Rita Dove

Puns intended: The covering and uncovering of meaning in the poetry of Geoffrey Hill and Paul Muldoon

‘For ‘ludic’ read ‘lucid’ (‘Errata’, Paul Muldoon) The position of the pun in everyday language and the range of reactions to it demonstrate how divisive a device it can be. Puns are delighted in as well sneered at, groaned at and often considered the lowest form of wit, as famously advocated by Samuel Johnson. Jonathan… Continue reading Puns intended: The covering and uncovering of meaning in the poetry of Geoffrey Hill and Paul Muldoon

‘Poetry is not a luxury’: Power and politics in the work of Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich and Allen Ginsberg

‘The personal is the political’. These words, that became the seminal message of the 1970s feminist movement, are at the heart of Audre Lorde’s assertion that ‘poetry is not a luxury’. The language, form and content of Lorde’s poems demonstrate that her poetry does not present an abstract, idealised view of the world but is… Continue reading ‘Poetry is not a luxury’: Power and politics in the work of Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich and Allen Ginsberg

Review: Ellard and Lech – Döden, Matthews Yard, Croydon

Doden - Mattias Lech and Lisen Ellard. Photo credit: Marcus Hagman As a stranger to immersive theatre, I was intrigued by Döden, from Swedish artists Mattias Lech and Lisen Ellard, as I genuinely had no idea what to expect. I was bit anxious about what it would involve, but taking myself out of my comfort… Continue reading Review: Ellard and Lech – Döden, Matthews Yard, Croydon

Review: Gill Manly and Joanna Scanlan – The Elephant in the Room, Matthews Yard, Croydon

Gill Manley and Joanna Scanlan performing Elephant in the Room. Photo credit: Croydonites Festival “One, two, three, four, there’s no pussy at the door. Check!” shout the sold-out crowd at Matthew’s Yard. And no, we are not chanting along to Croydon’s latest grime superstar, but immersing ourselves in the heartfelt and transformative ‘playsical’ The Elephant… Continue reading Review: Gill Manly and Joanna Scanlan – The Elephant in the Room, Matthews Yard, Croydon

Review: The Unthanks – Unaccompanied, As We Are, Union Chapel, London

Union Chapel, London It is a bustling Thursday evening in North London, with hordes of football fans making their way to see Arsenal play at home. But the roar of the city can't penetrate the peaceful majesty of the Union Chapel, with its huge stained glass windows lustrous in the setting sun. A perfect haven… Continue reading Review: The Unthanks – Unaccompanied, As We Are, Union Chapel, London