London Archive

Round-Up: London’s Young People Laureate, The National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35, and the Identity of Elena Ferrante

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From London’s first Young People’s Laureate to the author Elena Ferrante’s alleged true identity, here are last week’s biggest literary headlines: London’s first “Young People’s Laureate” is Caleb Femi, who is a 26-year-old teacher and poet. He will work with Spread the Word to engage young people with poetry and the

“Digging out weapons in the arsenal of language” : An Interview with Meena Kandasamy

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Meena Kandasamy is a writer based in India and London. She writes poetry and fiction, translates, and often uses social media to discuss issues of social justice. She describes her own work as maintaining “a focus on caste annihilation, linguistic identity and feminism.” She has published two collections of

“We licked the dictionary off each other’s faces” : Bhanu Kapil’s Humanimal: A Project for Future Children

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What’s wrong with being raised by wolves? In Humanimal: A Project for Future Childen, Bhanu Kapil investigates “the true story of Kamala and Amala, two girls found living with wolves in Bengal, India, in 1920” (ix). But unlike a crowd drawn to witness a re-enactment, Kapil’s book instead involves

Writers: Go and Sin Some More.

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By the time you read this, I’ll be in London, having just given a paper on my (very erotic) manipulations of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry. (More on that in a minute.) Meanwhile, in my songwriter life, I’m preparing to record some songs that leap beyond the safe bounds of

Compassing the Truth: Language in the Historical Novel

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  Writing a novel set in 17th Century London, I wrestle regularly with understanding my characters’ world. Have I done a good enough job comprehending their relationship to time? To daylight and darkness, to religion and mortality? I worry about getting the physical details of daily life right in