Writing Durham 1 – Pat Barker And Benjamin Myers
For the first episode of Writing Durham, Laura McKenzie is joined by two of Co. Durham’s leading literary figures, Pat Barker and Benjamin Myers. Booker Prize winner Pat Barker has lived in Durham for the past forty years, while Myers – who won the 2018 Walter Scott Prize – grew up in Belmont, a suburb of Durham City. Listen in as they discuss place, memory, and what calling Durham home means to them as writers.
Writing Durham 2 – Anne Stevenson
In episode two Laura McKenzie talks to Anne Stevenson, a major voice in British and American poetry. Born in Cambridge, UK, and brought up in New England, Stevenson lived a variously transatlantic life before settling in Co. Durham in the 1980s. Laura joined Anne in her home to talk about Durham’s shifting nature, and the different ways in which County and City have worked their way through her poetry. Anne Stevenson died in 2020.
Writing Durham 3 – Gillian Allnutt And Kayo Chingonyi
Gillian Allnutt has authored nine major collections and was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2016. She was born in London but spent half of her childhood in Newcastle upon Tyne. Kayo Chingonyi is a poet and critic whose collection Kumukanda?won the 2017 Dylan Thomas Prize. Like Gillian he spent some of his childhood in Newcastle, and in this episode the two poets discuss how their shared experience of leaving and then returning to the North East has shaped their work.
Writing Durham 4 – Mim Skinner
In this episode Laura is joined by Mim Skinner, author of the poignant and darkly funny? Jailbirds and co-founder and director of Chester-le-Street’s multi-award winning community interest company REfUSE, which works to intercept food that would otherwise go into landfill. Mim has spent years delivering arts courses in prisons throughout the North East, and talks here about the women she met, their stories, and the systemic problems that underpin their experience.
Writing Durham 5 – DBC Pierre
In this specially recorded podcast, which forms part of Durham Book Festival’s Writing Durham series, DBC Pierre will talk about a specially commissioned piece The Long Cascade, which is inspired by his family’s strong connection to Durham, as well as his latest novel Meanwhile in Dopamine City.
DBC Pierre is in conversation with Lee Brackstone, White Rabbit Books.