Book review: The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

The Color PurpleBook review by Emma Bragg.

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple is one of the most powerful and controversial books of its time.

Published in 1982 and winner of The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the book is set in the 1930s and located deep in the American South.

The central character is Celie, a young black girl who has had to overcome a horrific youth, suffering abuse and rape from the man she calls ‘Pa’. Walker does not shy away from detailing this explicitly and part of the reason this is successful because Celie writes of her experiences in letters to God – the only person she is permitted to tell them too. Continue reading

Tread gently…

Some Friday nights are for dancing in crowded clubs and bars, others are for attending contemplative art previews and letting your mind expand just a little bit…

Matti Braun sculptureLast Friday night was definitely the latter, with exhibition launches at Bristol’s Grant Bradley Gallery and the Arnolfini.

Matti Braun sculpture4The pics here show Matti Braun’s extraordinary stepping stones, created from a Douglas Fir tree that lived out its days at Westonbirt Arboretum, one of my favourite local spaces.

Matti Braun stepping stonesThere was something oddly calming about simply treading from circle to circle, inhaling the faint scent of sawn wood and watching reflections quiver on the water.

As far as I know, nobody fell in. Not that night, anyway…

 

Capture the Scene – a writing workshop

Sunday 21st October – 1pm-3pm

Find your inner author with this two-hour creative writing workshop at the end of Bristol Literature Festival.

Arnos Vale book tombEver been moved unexpectedly by the briefest of descriptions? From poetry to journalism, short stories to novels, less is almost always more. But this makes choosing the right words all the more important.

Whether you want to improve your fiction writing, produce copy that sells or simply learn to transform sights, sounds and impressions into evocative writing, Capture the Scene is for you!

Poet Joanna Butler and travel and fiction writer Judy Darley lead this two-hour writing workshop in the inspirational Arnos Vale to learn how to make your writing resonate.

Use all your senses to create a piece of writing inspired by the setting of the cemetery, drawing on the sense of timelessness as well as specific details in the landscape and on the tombstones. The workshop includes a short walk among the graves, so please bring sensible footwear and warm waterproof clothing.

The workshop will culminate in each writer producing a short piece of writing for possible inclusion in a future exhibition of work.

Places are limited, so book yours now. Tickets cost £5, with the full amount donated to registered charity Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust.

About the Tutors

Judy DarleyJudy Darley is a fiction writer and travel journalist. Previously her short stories have been published by literary magazines and anthologies including Riptide, Litro Magazine, The View From Here, ‘The Love of Looking’ and ‘Crab Lines from the Pier’. Two of her stories appear on the Arnos Vale Cemetery website. Her travel writing has appeared in magazines, on websites and in ‘1001 Retreats to Make Before You Die’, published by Penguin. Recent journeys include visits to Borneo, Italy, Iona, Slavonia, and Tunisia. Judy tweets at http://twitter.com/EssentialWriter

Joanna ButlerJoanna Butler is a writer and poet. She has a special interest in finding inspiration in different sites and has created and exhibited writing at The Bed Workshop, Bedminster, The Tobacco Factory, Bristol South Pool, Tate Modern and the archaelogical site of Contrebia Leucade in Spain. Her first poetry collection ‘This is our archaeology’ is out soon.

HOW TO BOOK

Buy your ticket online via Paypal at the Arnos Vale Cemetery website.  Alternatively visit the Gift Shop in the East Lodge building (to the left as you enter Arnos Vale through the main gates just off the Bath Road entrance) .  The Gift Shop is open daily from 10:00am-4:00pm or, if you want to purchase your tickets by phone please ring: 0117 971 9117.

For more information on this event please telephone 0117 9719711 or email bookings@arnosvale.org.uk

 

 

Welcome to SkyLightRain

Writing room2

Hi. I’m Judy Darley, a fiction writer and journalist specialising in writing about travel, the arts and anything that catches my eye and fires my imagination.

Inspired by the sound of rain falling on the skylight just outside my writing room as well as the look the sky takes on at certain times of day at certain times of year, I’m hoping this website will provide inspiration, information, advice and a bit of company for writers, and aspiring writers, like myself.

Unless otherwise stated, all words and imagery on this website is copyrighted to me.

If you’ve made a resolution to have your writing read more widely this year, you might be interested to know that SkyLightRain.com welcomes input from other writers. I’m always happy to receive suggestions for reviews and features, as well as creative pieces produced in response to the midweek writing prompts.

Every piece published includes an author pic and bio, with links so that people can find out more about you.

Book, film, art or magazine reviews

Get in touch and let me know what you would like to review, and why. In the case of art reviews, images are a must, but in the other cases a few stills or the book cover will do. I can contact publishers on your behalf to request review copies to be sent to your home. The word-count should be between 300 and 600 words.

Writing genres or writing tools

I welcome guest posts. This is a great opportunity to share your skills, and talk up recent projects such as novels. Contact me to let me know what you would like to write about, and why. The word-count should be between 600 and 1000 words. Previous examples have included author-in-progress Maithreyi Nandakumar exploring the question ‘When is your novel finished?’ and Nina Milton sharing her tips on thriller writing.

Creative writing

I’m always happy to receive short pieces of prose or poetry inspired by the midweek writing prompts. These are posted each Wednesday and provide story ideas, hints and potential plot lines. No need to send a query first – just email me your creative work as soon as you feel it is ready to be seen by the world!

I also accept ideas for this slot, so please get in touch if you’re happy to share your own prompts for firing up a new creative work. What inspires your writing?

Feel free to spread the word about these opportunities.

To get in touch about any of these slots or just get in touch, you can find me on Twitter @JudyDarley, or send me an email at judy(at)skylightrain.com.