Since May 2011, this blog has operated under the moniker ‘Outline to a Complicated Dream’, which is a line from the song ‘Everything Must Go!’ by The Weakerthans, whose songwriter, John K Samson, is one of the world’s best (and most unknown) poets.
The Weakerthans, though having not released an album since 2007, only ‘officially’ called it a day this week, in July 2015. Samson, who had recorded solo material in 2012, hinted that the band may record together in the future, but a Tweet from Weakerthans drummer Jason Tait earlier this week seemed to suggest that the band have gone their separate ways.
What does this have to do with my blog and its name change? Well, things are changing for me: as of September this year, I will be enrolled, once again, as a full-time student. I have been incredibly lucky to have secured funding through the AHRC’s Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership to undertake my PhD in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Although I don’t formally begin my research until the autumn, now feels like the right time to be tweaking my online presence somewhat; to calibrate it more with the aims and intentions of my academic research.
My new title is a reference to the Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which will form an aspect of my work over the next three years, beginning with my involvement this summer in walking in Bede’s footsteps. Stringing Bedes: A Poetry and Print Pilgrimage will allow people to follow the 12-mile route through South Tyneside and North Sunderland, between the twinned monasteries of St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s, where Bede and his scholars and fellow monks operated from in their pursuit of religious knowledge and devotion. The walks are open to members of the public, and details can be found in the poster, below.
As for the rest of my research, I plan to use this blog to chronicle my writing over the next three and a bit years, so watch this space. I will, of course, continue to blog about my writing practice more generally, which will include several very exciting updates shortly!