Writing

Mark Fisher

Not sure how I missed this in January, but genuinely saddened to hear that Mark Fisher has died. Very open about his struggles with mental health, he took his own life. There’s a fantastic summary of his huge influence on cultural theory here, and also here. On a more personal level, I was hugely impressed

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Theology and Fiction: Telling Stories of Order Amidst The Chaos

I just this week finished John Yorke’s book Into the Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them. It was recommended by a good friend who’s a director in theatre and is also now writing for television. She insisted that I read it before I began any more writing. I’m really glad I did, for

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The Dark Side of the Summer of Love

Researching for my talk at TEDx this year, I came across scanned pages of this superb article in Playboy magazine. Who knew what crazy stuff was out there on the Interwebs?! Seriously, it’s a very fine piece that gets under the skin of what was really going on at the time, through the story of a

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New Book

Delighted to announce that I’ve been awarded a grant from Arts Council England to work on my next book.  Following a 20 page application about artistic quality, and with supporting letters from some senior (and lovely) people in publishing, the award feels like a massive endorsement of the work I’ve done so far. The money

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Getting High…in 1753 | The Gin Craze

‘In all history there’s never been a culture in the world that didn’t have some drug of some kind to lift people out of themselves.’ Poverty, war, terrifying religion and women experiencing liberation… Could so equally have written Getting High about the Gin craze era of the mid 1700s 🙂 In Our Time, brilliant, as

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Avoiding Burnout

I wrote a piece for The Guardian a few weeks back, looking at the (major) issue of teacher burnout. Strikes me that it could resonate more widely into other professions too…especially ‘pastoral’ ones.  Panic attacks, tears, anxiety and breakdown are sadly too common across the nation’s staff rooms, and as governments demand more and more

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Getting High – A Reader’s Guide

For those of you who have already begun the book, or are awaiting delivery, I thought it might be helpful to post a kind of field-guide to the text. That’s not to say — I hope — that it doesn’t stand alone, but for those who are interested in delving into some of the background

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Don’t Tread Softly (Though You Tread on My Dreams)

It’s always a strange time in the run up to a book being published. Mostly, there’s a sense of excitement. But there’s also a degree of nervousness. Will people ‘get it’? Will people think it’s any good? I was thinking about this the other day, and was reminded of Yeats’ poem The Cloths of Heaven:

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