News of the Pleased and Proud But Perhaps a Little Embarrassed and Bewildered Variety
As those of you who have perused my bio will know, Rosa does not only read. Sometimes, Rosa writes.
I submitted some of my poetry to a competition looking for “a new generation of Leeds writers,” and was somehow selected to be one of “twenty under forty” to be published in an anthology.
It’s called LS13: A New Generation of Leeds Writers, and looks…well, like this:
It’s (I can’t believe I’m typing this) available on Amazon for Kindle here. Don’t ask me where you’d get a print copy from, because I haven’t the foggiest.
I also came third overall, with poet CJ Allen saying some nice things about my poetry that I’ve been told but can’t remember.
Sidenote: I was in Paris at the time all this was happening, so my mother went to the launch event to get my complimentary copy of the anthology. I hadn’t told her about the three overall prizes, as it had genuinely never crossed my mind that I might win one of them. Hilariously, when my name was announced she had to go up and shake hands and have photographs taken in my place. This is mortifying for both her (she detests that kind of thing) and for me (my MOTHER was there instead of me - my MUMMY). As my friend said to me later: “published poet, yes, real adult, no.”
So anyway, my name’s in print. Quite literally:
I promise I’ll stop talking about my own books now and go back to talking about other people’s.#LS13 #Leeds #poetry #Valley Press #Wes Brown #Rosa Campbell #Dead Ink #Yorkshire #CJ Allen #books #reading #lit #writing #Big Bookend
It is mid-June
and as promised I am back in the blogosphere.
I had two incredible weeks away - two weeks about as different from each other as you can possibly imagine, but equally enjoyable.
The first was in Faro, the southernmost town in Portugal. This was a non-literary holiday (although I did read my Adichie short stories and most of White Teeth), so I’ll limit myself to this photograph of the lovely young women I had the pleasure of spending it with:
I am the ginger hair-monster and I was exactly as happy as I look, although much more sunburnt.
After a week of sun and sea and that kind of thing, I took myself off to Paris to meet up with some other friends. Paris was a much more literary holiday (our entire reason for being there was literary!), so I’ll save most of that for another post. But suffice to say I had a wonderful - and appropriately Parisian - time.
So now I’m back, and as well as my Paris post I can promise you guys another post which contains News of the Important Variety. It’s something I’m proud and very excited to share with y’all, so stay tuned.
(Oh also, I passed my exams and therefore Junior Honours, and things are looking on-track for my degree. Carry on.)#books #reading #lit #Faro #Paris #holiday #Portugal #summer
Rosa Reads is temporarily quiet while Rosa reads…elsewhere.
If you’re reading this message then I am currently sunning myself on a beach somewhere with a beer and a book and laughing away at how y’all are stuck behind your computer screens.
In other words, I’m going on holiday! My semester is over (goodbye Jane Austen, goodbye Modernism), my exams are finished, I have moved out of my little third-year St Andrean flat, and, as Anaïs Nin said, “I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.”
And apparently the stars are pulling me to Faro (Portugal), where I’ll be from the 29th of May to the 4th of June, doing the sunburn-and-sea bit with a group of friends. And then from the 4th to the 10th of June I’ll be in Paris, supporting my incredible pal Carly as she represents this bonny land as Scottish National Champion in the Slam Poetry World Championships! (No, really.)
Here’s what I’m bringing to read:
I hope you all have a pleasant couple of weeks, and manage to curb both your jealousy and your grief at my departure. To tide you over until I return, have some recommended reading:
And that’s it! I’ll be back in the blogosphere by mid-June. Hold your (collective) breath.#books #reading #lit
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
- E.B. White (via thelifeguardlibrarian)
End of exams, end of semester, end of living in this flat. Which means it’s time to pack up my books (as well as, I suppose, other things).
Prizes* for identifying your favourite/least favourite/the most obscure/the best cover.
It’s possible I have a problem.
I know I’ve made a similar post before, but when my favourite bloggers post about literary culture, something inside me bursts into a thousand tiny little happy glitter-pieces.
Follow Christine for some of the most insightful, poignant - and bloody funny - Tumblr posts that exist.#drinkyourjuice #Christine Friar #Pride and Prejudice #Jane Austen #books #reading #lit
If you guys are anything like me, you’ll get unnecessarily excited about an article entitled The Great Gatsby: Are There Any Feminists in the Disillusioned Jazz Age?
Which is why I have a provided a link to said article. It’s really everything I care about rolled into one on-topic-and-not-super-gimicky piece.
It’s perhaps rather simplistically written, but at least Feminspire seems to actually understand contemporary feminism as it really stands, acknowledging intersectionality in hints of class and race issues as well as those of gender.
Plus it’s succeeded in getting me in the mood (as if I wasn’t already) for the much-anticipated/partly-dreaded/hopefully-wonderful (oh Baz Luhrmann I do hope it’s wonderful) film.
And it’ll take you like five goddamn minutes to read is all I’m saying, okay?
This was really wonderful and I highly recommend taking twenty minutes to watch it (if, like me, you’re currently in the midst of exam season I can only assume that, like me, you need no inducement to procrastination).
I found Adichie such a compelling speaker that I’ve just ordered her collection of short stories, The Thing Around Your Neck, to add to my embarrassingly large to-read list/pile/utterly disorganised loose grouping. Oops.
“It is likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read.”
- Lemony Snicket (via honeycaughtalite)
A Portrait of the Artist as Pajama-Clad Undergraduate About to Take an Exam on A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Once She’s Got Dressed, Hopefully)*
*As well as Conrad’s The Secret Agent, Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Rhys’ After Leaving Mr Mackenzie, and Golding’s Darkness Visible.
Sorry for subjecting you guys to awful pictures of me, but even two hours before an exam I’m trying to find new ways to procrastinate. Wish me luck!
I get asked this question a lot. The short answer is nope.
The longer answer is I had one for all of about three hours, during which time I tried to input every single book I had ever read, because I’m incurably anal and can’t stand when things aren’t organised properly. Unfortunately I am also incurably lazy, so after an incredibly stressful few hours of feeling like Sisyphus and his damn stone, I gave up and deleted the whole thing. I don’t really know who I was kidding, how was I ever going to be able to remember every book I’ve ever read? Awful idea.
PS; You should definitely read 1Q84. Mo’ Murakami, mo’…good literature in your life?
“In university courses we do exercises. Term papers, quizzes, final examinations are not meant for publication. We move through a course on Dostoevsky or Poe as we move through a mildly good cocktail party, picking up the good bits of food or conversation, bearing with the rest, going home when it comes to seem the reasonable thing to do. Art, at those moments when it feels most like art — when we feel most alive, most alert, most triumphant — is less like a cocktail party than a tank full of sharks.”
- John Gardner, The Art of Fiction (via larmoyante)
Review: 1Q84, Books I and II
The first two books in Haruki Murakami’s trilogy, 1Q84 I and II tell the story of Aomame, a skilled assassin who finds herself in a parallel universe.
Yep. And it gets weirder; add to this an extremist cult, a long-lost childhood friend/lover, a high-school girl who appears to be some kind of writing prodigy, mysterious “little people” and multiple deaths. Not to mention a continuation of Murakami’s seeming obsession with giving pieces of music a stranglehold on his books. Norwegian Wood opens with The Beatles’ song of the same name, 1Q84 with Leoš Janáček’s ‘Sinfonietta’.
Despite all this (or perhaps because of it?) I thought these books were a pretty good read. 1Q84 is surreal and strange, but has a clean, clipped quality that makes it seem realistic, if not exactly believable. It feels…grown up - in a way that other novels of its type don’t (Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go springs to mind, as does David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, although I do have a real soft spot for the latter), to the point where I would hesitate to class it as a sci-fi or fantasy work. Instead, I would place it alongside Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, or even Brave New World.
The point is that I enjoyed it quite a lot, although nowhere near as much as Norwegian Wood. I wasn’t wholly convinced by some of the more sci-fi elements of 1Q84, and much as I love Murakami’s writing style, I prefer to have it applied to more mundane plots.
This was read, as with most of last summer’s books, whilst roadtripping in Scandinavia. Unfortunately I can’t read in moving vehicles without vomiting copiously, so I was limited in my roadside reading to the times we slept in the car in lay-bys. Here, have a (less than attractive) picture:
By the way, please note that although it looks way too light to be bedding down for the night, bear in mind that this is Norway in July; it was about midnight when this was taken.
Final Word: Sharp, sparse sci-fi for adults and/or literary snobs. I should probably read the final instalment at some point.#Haruki Murakami #1Q84 #review #books #reading #lit #Norwegian Wood #book review #Norway