Hope you are keeping well in your various corners of the world.
Here in London, a very busy summer is creeping into autumn and it’s high time to send you my latest news, as well as highlighting my first photography exhibition in the United Kingdom.
Over the summer I participated in several live storytelling events, including one organised by London Dreamtime (https://www.londondreamtime.com/) and another by the Story Pilgrim (https://thestorypilgrim.com/). They were both very different in setting and atmosphere – one in the great outdoors under the stars and the other in the cosy, upstairs theatre of west London’s Canal Café – but equally fun and engaging. I feel like I’m finding my feet with storytelling, stretching the old comfort zone by telling stories without a “cheat sheet” or prompts and it’s something I definitely intend to do more of over the autumn and winter.
Last week I ran my first workshop in many years, for the Newham Poetry Group (http://www.newhampoetrygroup.com/), sharing some of my poetry and a short story from my collection Boldly Into Darkness Go. The group runs workshops and hosts events on a regular basis and Poetry House in Stratford Park is a much-needed oasis and safe communal space in east London.
Poetry, although not quite as new a venture as storytelling, is something I find myself writing from time to time – usually a poem turns up without warning and just “wants to be written”. Some months are quite barren and some more fruitful, poetically speaking, but autumn always inspires me to write poems, more often than not in my native Swedish. I have had a few published in Swedish in recent years, but none in English, until this week. My poem All of a Sudden can be read online as part of the Royal Society of Literature’s poetry map of London: https://rsliterature.org/poems-map/all-of-a-sudden/.
From poetry to sports tourism – the contrasts can be a bit sharp in a freelance writer’s life, but I do love the variety. As my latest book, Wayward Wanderings, has a good number of sporty adventures, I contributed a blog to the Sports Tourism News website over the summer: https://www.sportstourismnews.com/sports-travel-an-active-ingredient-in-wayward-wanderings/
Wayward Wanderings is still available for sale from my website and has now made it to about a dozen countries, which feels great. I’ve had some lovely feedback and finally decided to add some reviews to my website. These can be viewed at the bottom of the front page, as well as the books page:
All my books are currently still available from my website, but the two cat books for children – How Pat Got Her Five Cats (illustrations by Dani Bergson) and How Pat Met the Curry-Cat (illustrations by Antonella Sands) – look likely to soon sell out and I’m not planning to do a new print-run before Christmas. These illustrated hardbacks are great gifts for cat lovers of any age, so if you’d like to get one before the Christmas rush, they can be found here (copies will be signed and can be gift wrapped):
As mentioned earlier, I have a photography exhibition here in the UK (after having had three over in Sweden) and it is running as we “speak”, at the community hall of the Swedish Church in Harcourt Street in London. The exhibition is small, but nice and colourful; 25 images from worldwide locations, including several of those featured in Wayward Wanderings.
Viewing times are unfortunately a little “pandemic” still, but the community hall is open Mon, Tue and Thu 10am – 3pm and Sun 12 – 2pm (after mass), with the exhibition running from 27th September until 17th October. (https://www.svenskakyrkan.se/london)
For Swedish-speakers in London and surroundings, I’m also giving a talk in Swedish at the Swedish Church on the 14th of October:
Society has been opening up in the UK over the summer and although we’re by no means completely back to normal, it has been wonderful to connect with a real, live audience and do live events again.
This is something I’m hoping to do much more of later this year, into 2022 and beyond, so I’m looking for recommendations. Do you have a favourite book festival or cultural event where authors are invited to speak? Or would you even be interested in organising such an event in your area? Do you have any useful contacts or ideas you’d like to share? If so, feel free to drop me a line. Any book feedback is as always also welcome and any images you’d like to share for my “fiction collection”.
Travel remains rather complex and costly at the moment, but as an avid traveller I hope this will start to change by 2022. In the meantime, to stop me missing Latin America too much, I’m contributing to a new cookbook, where I’m focusing on Uruguay and Colombia, to be published in spring 2022. It’s going to be a tasty autumn!
Keep well and keep in touch,
All the best,
AM Hellberg Moberg