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books Review

The Death of Vivek Oji

January 3, 2021

Long dark winter evenings in the van offer time to immerse in more books, podcasts and films. So I thought I’d share the occasional opinion here on the blog. I began The Death of Vivek Oji, by award-winning Nigerian author Akwaeke Emezi, in December but only finished last night so felt this would be a good one to start 2021. This quite beautiful river of a book slides silent through the private world of a group of friends in which…

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books creating feature feminism poetry


November 19, 2020

View this post on Instagram A post shared by OUTSIDER [Sophie McKeand] (@sophiemckeand_outsider) A old poem and one I’ve been thinking about a lot this past month. Also wanted to do something to celebrate finishing this beautiful jumper: pattern by @camillavaddk. #feminism …

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books creating poetry

What am I aiming for?

October 21, 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what kind of artist I am. Which seems ridiculous really – I’m a poet and novelist, a writer. But part of this is understanding how I network (fyi- I don’t); how I cope with rejection, and success; and also who engages with my work, who likes and feels an affinity with what I do.Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in chasing other people’s dreams of success without really questioning why I’m doing it,…

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Never leave the dogs behind

October 15, 2020

Another thing bringing us all joy during lockdown is this gorgeous hardback book sent to me by the truly generous and inspiring Helen Mort. Andy and I are both currently reading it, and it’s wholly Bonnie approved. “There are two types of people in this world: those who love dogs and those who haven’t spent enough time with them yet.” Absolutely. A beautiful book to hold and immerse in, especially if you and your four-legged friends can’t get out in…

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books creating feature poetry

The 30 days of books challenge

September 3, 2020

Back from mainland Europe, in quarantine for 14 days. Decided to set a #30daysofbooks challenge over in my Instastories to keep the inspirstion flowing when I can’t get outdoors. If you fancy joining in, tag me and I’ll share yours too. 🧡🧡🧡 #booklover #bookstagram #poetlife #homeiswhereyouparkit #quarantine…

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Some thoughts on change

June 22, 2020

I haven’t been posting on here so much lately, & it feels as if I’ll be posting less now as the months roll on. Originally I set up this account, and the OUTSIDER Instagram to document our shift from a settled life stuffed full of overwork & fast-paced living, to a more minimalist, slow, migratory way of living. That was thirty months ago. I cannot believe how quickly the time has flowed around us & we have felt like a…

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books creating poetry

a return to the beginnings of things

March 30, 2020

Today I thought I’d open up a Patreon post that details how to make a hand-stitched poetry pamphlet. There’s more than one way to do this of course, but it’s how I made the last two: Hanes, and The Slow-Time Traveller and I love their letterpress covers, tracing paper inserts, and unique designs. These last few years in the van have brought about some wild and inexplicable personal changes have been about a deep burrowing into self and a need…

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books creating Europe poetry

The Madness of Sara Mansfield – The End

December 22, 2019

It feels fitting that I’ve just typed these words on the winter solstice. There have been so many synchronicities while writing this book – sections dreamed under the magic of supermoons, wild rivermint conversations, endless west-coast syrupy orange sunsets, and of course our vanlife travels last winter down to Crete, and this year through Spain and France. This isn’t a travel book though, it’s speculative fiction/sci-fi, a bit anarcho-feminist, with myriad elements of the natural world encountered making appearances. So,…

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