We’re asking writers we admire to write for us, and we’ll be releasing their posts monthly throughout 2021.

我们问 罗伊·麦克法兰, former Birmingham poet laureate, to write this month’s blog, as he balances writing and relaxation.



and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.

-Adam Zagajewski, “Try to Praise the Mutilated World”


“June the month of strawberries and creams and the longest day of the year, 6月21日, 夏至日. Boris Johnson tried to bring an end to the mutilated world we’re living in, having visions of Freedom Day as if we were part of the cast of Independence Day, but with a Delta variant fighting back, 庆祝活动不得不暂停.

“夏至日, solstice from the Latin word ‘sun standing still,’ the timing between planting and harvesting crops has been traditionally the time to relax. As writers we know of planting words, 一半写在笔记本上, or a body of work in files; over the last few months I’ve been planting seeds in competitions, 杂志, 选集和委托作品, 看哪一个会蓬勃发展, find their roots and blossom in the next collection. June will be the closest I’ll get to relaxing, 远离写作, 在线和社交媒体互动.

“During this month my walks along canals with herons, coots and a gang of seagulls chilling on telegraph wires, watching me walking through their neighbourhood has been exchanged for morning jogs along the sea front where the June sun gives iridescent blue seas and a convention of seagulls, bigger and bolder than the ones from Tipton who stride with swagger.

“But the writer in me can’t be quietened, I go into full rage in response to Priti Patel’s interview, encouraging football supporters to boo in response to England football players, 黑白两色, taking a knee in response to online racism, racism in the stands and the ongoing racism that le广告 to death. And yet Priti Patel’s response is no different to Donald Trump’s inciting aggressive response to Colin Kaepernick taking the knee. 也, it’s 5 years on from the Jo Cox tragedy, 受到争议的, dividing words which inspired such a backlash in the lead to Brexit.

“感谢上帝让我们迎来了刮风日, 6月22日, acknowledging the impact and importance of migration to the making of Britain. The emblematic Empire Windrush signalling the arrival of Caribbean post-war migrants to Britain in 1948; a date in the British identity as paramount as 1066, 亨利八世和他所有的妻子, 1966年,他们认为一切都结束了! 现在.’

“In Wolverhampton the unveiling of a blue plaque brought mixed emotions for many, as we acknowledged Paulette Wilson Windrush Campaigner ‘likkle but tallawah’ a reminder of how the government turned a Caribbean post-war migration dream of Windrush into an “illegal immigrants” of the state nightmare.

“I’m reading Claudia Rankine的《uedbet新版官网》, the title taken from the wonderful stand-up comedian Richard Pryor; ‘you go down there looking for justice, 这就是你发现的只有我们.“我想是跪下来吧, 在Windrush庆祝活动, we are simply looking for a sun that will rise on all of us with the same warmth, 同样的自由, a sun that shakes hand with the night and meets us back in the morning, 活得好好的.”



Claudia Rankine的《uedbet新版官网》


Portrait of Colossus by Samatar Elmi