Lit News Round-up: 6 October 2012

Quirky food artists Bompas and Parr, who specialise in designing weird and wonderful culinary experiences on an architectural scale (notably with jelly), have created “The Waft that Woos“—a mirror maze navigable only by nose, as you follow the scent of what they call the “Shakespearean love oil”. Influenced by Shakespeare’s comedy, The Merry Wives of Windsor, you can catch it for free at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon from 6 October to 7 April 2013. The dynamic duo have also invented: a Willy Wonka-style flavour-changing gum that changes flavour as you chew; a chocolate waterfall; and “Alcoholic Architecture”, where gin infuses the air like mist. Like magic!


The 56th London Film Festival kicks off soon at the British Film Institute in Southbank, from 10 to 21 October. Some adaptations of great literature to look forward to: Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein twisted for an animation film: Young Victor’s dog is killed in a car accident, but the boy finds a way of bringing the canine back to life with a bizarre science experiment), Mohsin Ahmad’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations, and Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. Rushdie will be at the BFI on 15 October at 6:30pm to talk about the process of adapting his Booker Prize-winning novel.

The director of We Need To Talk About Kevin has secured financing for her sci-fi film Mobius, which retells the tale of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick in an unusual setting: outer space.

Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe will star in another film adapted from a novel, but this project is a million miles away from the Harry Potter franchise. Radcliffe takes up the lead role in an adaptation of Joe Hill‘s 2010 novel, Horns. His character wakes up one day and discovers a pair of horns protruding from his head, and it gets stranger still as these ghastly pointed features provides him with the power to discover other people’s darkest emotions and thoughts.

To mark National Poetry Day on 4 October, London’s Piccadilly Lights were emblazoned with words from the poem I Am The Song by the Cornish writer, Charles Causley. Faber also celebrates by giving away an audio download of sixty poems from Carol Ann Duffy’s anthology, Jubilee Lines.

Myrmidon and Canongate are to co-publish one of this year’s Man Booker prize shortlisted books, The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, to help it reach the widest possible audience. Deborah Levy‘s Swimming Home, another shortlisted book published by a small press, And Other Stories, has also been co-published with a mainstream publisher, Faber & Faber, to meet major demand for the book.

Happy National Poetry Day and Other Events

Have you heard, have you heard? Today, the 9th of October, is National Poetry Day! How, you might wonder, in the absence of specified cultural rituals does one celebrate National Poetry Day? The “Hug a Poet” campaign is one I myself have always advocated, but depending on the personal space preferences of your targeted poet, this move, however well intentioned, may not be so favourably received. Might I suggest instead that you put on your very best (Pru)frock and flounce along to any of the many lovely National Poetry Day events going on about town today?

If you make, or made, it out to Canary Wharf this morning for Poet in the City’s 8am Poetry Breakfast with Pascale Petit, well, my friend, you are a more committed poetry junkie than I. Generally, I stick to coffee before the eleventh hour, which is just the time to hear Litro’s fearless editor Tom Chivers chat with the folks at Radio 4 about his residency at Bishopsgate Institute. Tom will also be appearing at Whitechapel Gallery tonight at 7pm as part of its Plum live literature event. And if you want to make a full day of it, head to either the National Poetry Day or the Poetry Library websites for additional listings for today’s events.

I leave you, for now, with something silly. Because the fact is that I’ve trolled YouTube for the past hour looking for a clip that would best encapsulate the bits of verse I most want to celebrate today. But there’s too much good stuff to winnow the list down.

So onto those purveyors of silliness. Their tone is irreverent, but the sentiment is well meaning. Indeed, a poet is essential for complete home comfort.

P.S. Dear MPs, I believe this would be the perfect opportunity to institute another bank holiday.

By Julie Palmer-Hoffman