Friday, October 15, 2010

#GMP24 twitter feed for crime writers

This is just a quick entry to point any crime writers who follow my blog in the direction of the Twitter feeds GMP24_1 GMP24_2 GMP24_3 and GMP24_4

GMP stands for Greater Manchester Police. The 24 is a reference to the fact that they were putting out a Tweet for every incident they dealt with over a 24 hour period. The 4 different feeds are due to the fact that the Tweeting had to be done in shifts, so thick and fast did the incidents happen.

The resultant feed is fabulous source material for crime writers. Or poets. Or any writer for that matter. Go see.

And here is a really interesting article from the BBC news website on the whole event. I've borrowed their graphic of a tag cloud of the stream because it is so good - and am putting this link in by way of thanks.

Thank you BBC and GMP.

MuBu: the Newark Houses Museum

Miles Travelled = 124.7
Museums Visited = 4
Mood = Slightly Embarrassed

The Newark Houses Museum is a last minute call. They’re having a MuBu project event. Something to do with videos. Would I be free to go along?

So, innocent of any knowledge about the project, or indeed the place, I hurry into Leicester, find the museum and present myself at reception.

It is at this point that I need to make another confession...

Read the complete article at the MuBu Writer in Residence website.

Newark Houses Museum, Leicester

Monday, October 11, 2010

EDL demonstration and One Leicester celebrations

Two days ago, a group called the EDL came to leicester and staged a violent demonstration regarded by most external observers as anti-Muslim. Yesterday the people of Leicester responded with a celebration of unity in diversity. It may not surprise you to learn that the two events were not reported in the same way.

The following is the text of a letter of complaint I am sending to the BBC:

A news organization has a responsibility to report political issues in an even-handed way. Thus a statement from a spokesperson of one party is typically followed by an answering statement from the others.

So where was the balance last weekend in the BBC’s reporting of events in Leicester? The EDL had arranged a demonstration for Saturday, viewed by many as anti-Muslim. The City Council urged those people in Leicester who wished to present an opposing view to avoid direct confrontation, but instead to come into the city on the following day and demonstrate the fact that we as a city embrace and celebrate our religious and ethnic diversity.

The BBC, along with other news organizations, turned up and covered the EDL demonstrations. But what national news coverage did the city’s response to the EDL receive? I searched in vain for any coverage of Sunday’s huge celebration – which frankly dwarfed the EDL’s event.

One Leicester following the EDL demonstration
How can the BBC justify such bias in its coverage of a political issue? The coverage is not just misrepresentative, it is also in itself damaging. At the very least, equal time should have been given to the city’s response.

If your answer is that the events on Sunday were not reported because there was no street violence, then you are telling the world that violence is an effective means of getting a message heard. Should that be the message of the BBC?

I'm adding this note following a call from someone who works for BBC Radio Leicester: The local radio did cover the One Leicester celebration. What is more, the local paper, the Mercury, has had excellent coverage. My point here is the stark imbalance in like-for-like coverage at the national level. I listened to equivalent news broadcasts on Saturday and Sunday evening and found the EDL demo had been covered but not One Leicester.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Poetry Exhibition

The word 'Exhibition' usually goes along with the word 'Art'. But next week it will be combined with the word 'Poetry'. Yes, Leicester is having what may be its first ever poetry exhibition.

Having been asked many months ago to contribute a piece, and with the deadline tomorrow, I have finally got my piece finished a few moments ago.

The road has been long and twisting. I set out with one idea - a poem in ceramics. But that somehow didn't get off the ground. Then came the idea of a different poem in metalwork. I researched this, had much helpful input from various people who have far more technical know-how than me, accumulated the required materials, then realised it was too difficult in the time I had remaining.

Then came the third idea - one of my short published poems written in letters variously rotated and flipped. And Now it is done. Though I still have to figure out how to attach the mirrors people may need to help them read the thing.

If you are in Leicester next week, head down to the Independent Arts Centre on Humberstone Gate. The exhibition will be upstairs.

As for the poem in metal - I still intend to create this. A project for the longer term perhaps.