Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Denman Island Readers & Writers Festival

Thank you to the very warm audiences at the Denman Island Readers & Writers Festival on Friday and Saturday. I am sorry for reversing into a tree and walking into one the following day. Fortunately I had sunglasses on, so still have my eyesight.

Thank you especially to Leslie Dunsmore who billeted us in her hand-built beauty of a rustic cabin. She was exceptionally kind to my teenage son. It was great to meet people who had moved to the Island 30 years ago. As I drove to the ferry yesterday I imagined them excavating these patches and carrying 2x4s up and around the hilly roads. A woman in the ferry line called them “shrubbies” I suppose because of them parting the shrubs and pitching their lives in amongst them.

At night from Leslie’s cabin outside on the deck we could hear the sea and see the stars. The sea is a very pleasant thing to listen to.

The panels at the festival were varied and curious. It struck me that we need to return to a time where poets and novelists were in (were able to be?) in conversation with each other. I also appreciated the opportunity to talk about reading with audiences.  I feel we need to be talking about literature through the reading of literature and creating platforms where we address different ways of reading rather than being reduced to say discussing or explaining poetry as “too difficult” or form challenging novels in the same way. (Questions perhaps instead might be: how can you read your way into this work? What might be read beside it? ) There’s an unnerving over abundance of discussion around the writing of literature and how to write.  More on that coming in a piece I have written for a major newspaper.

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I am reading the glorious Mary Robison.

The weather appears to be in some world-wide agreement around heat. Everybody is sweating. The international hose needs to come out. The global ice bath all round.

2 Responses to “Denman Island Readers & Writers Festival”

  • Bill says:

    “how can you read your way into this work?” dig,dig,dig. I learned a lot about reading from reading your book. Readers need real writers. Real writing is diluted in all the nonsense.

    The Guardian piece was good, probably just what The Guardian wanted. They got their money’s worth. Your book was worth a lot more to me than I paid for it, and Amazon probably got most of that. What’s a reader to do? Buy another copy? Give them out as Christmas presents? Wish you had a new book out now. April 2022 is circled on my calendar.


  • Anakana says:

    Ah good to hear this Bill and to have word from Ohio. I fervently promise there will be another work much sooner than 2022. It will likely be a footnote novel to Malarky about the character Beirut. Give my best to the good people and great readers of Ohio.


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