January 17th, 2011


Nothing for a long time

Sorry about that. The second year of the MA seems to be much more intense than the first. This may be because we have an assignment to write a 60-90,000 word novel by the end of January, or this may be because the work itself is just geared up a little bit. I am auditing the first year classes with an eye to teaching my way through the PhD, and my perception is that the first year classes are definitely easier. I feel a little sorry for the folks who are doing the MA full time, as they're going from very simple classes on Mondays to much more demanding sessions on Tuesdays. Middlesex has changed the way terms are sorted, so we're still on the second of two 6-week modules and will start our new modules next week.

Anyway, I've decided to share some of the stuff I wrote over the first two short classes. Many of these are very short pieces as our class size has increased quite a bit. I'm hoping the 12-week classes will go back to feeling more intimate. We shall see.

Over the next few entries, I'll give you a taste of what I've been writing since October.


For our Character tutorial pieces last term, we were asked to write something in the vein of 253, an interactive hypertext novel. I was completely taken in by the story itself and very much enjoyed reading it. We were meant to write something around a tube strike that had taken place very recently in London.

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Singing for Peace

In the Voice class, which I'm auditing, we were meant to write something inspired by some song lyrics. A lot of the lyrics came out of the late 60s-early 70s folk revival, Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, you know the drill. I have a lot of love for stuff like this, but I also think most of the 70s singer-songwriters were more about being confessional and finding love on stage than they were about music. Not very many of them seemed to know a lot about traditional folk music, possible exception of Bob Dylan, who considered himself Woody Guthrie's heir.

Anyway. This is better if you read it out loud.

from far away this song sounds
real grown from passion
for change some desire for brotherhood
closer the edges fray
closer and singers say
look at me look at me look at me see
how I sing for peace see
how I test police see
how I look at me look at me see
me see me me me see
how I cry out in crowds how I shout
truth out loud how I shout
to remember and sing sing
again and again but remember
my voice is the voice you heard
first of the voices who sing
my song sing for peace come
sing together but this song is
mine say it’s mine know it’s
mine when you sing sing
of peace sing of me sing
of me sing of me