Film rights…. and a poetry offer!

The film rights for THE BOY WHO COULD SEE DEMONS have been optioned by Sebastian Dungan, a Sundance-winning, Oscar-nominated and all-round lovely producer based in LA. Back in February Sebastian emailed me to say he loved the book, and via Skype told me he’d actually come across it in a public library (usually film rights are optioned on the heel of a formal submission via my agent). I’ve had interest in the film rights for this book for some time but Sebastian’s vision is very in keeping with mine, and I am excited to see the final product. I know a lot of you have commented online and emailed me about how you’d love to see the film of this book, so I know you’ll be excited to see it too.

And while we’re on the subject of films, I recently had a lovely opportunity to work with a children’s community group at the Southbank Centre in London as part of the am-aazzzz-ing Poetry International Festival. Seriously, London knows how to throw a festival… The Southbank was ALIVE and heaving with crowds, with a purpose-built, neon-coloured Temple of Love built outside the Festival Hall and a constant stream of events in the Clore Ballroom of the Southbank. I was meant to perform on the Sunday but couldn’t make it, so I was very glad when filmmaker Alastair Cook asked me to work with the kids on the Saturday (when I was available) to assist with the creation of the poem.

The kids were all 8 years old, second-generation refugees, and had little experience of writing poetry. But within little over 4 hours they’d managed to produce a wonderful poem about family (I was very careful not to force their words but merely wrote down what they said and organised their lines), act, co-direct, and narrate a whole filmpoem. Here’s the finished product. It’s really wonderful, so do take a look. It might well inspire you to make your own (all you need is an iPhone, iMovie, and a little imagination…)

I’m also appearing an a number of festivals this Autumn. First up is the Wigtown Book Festival on Sat 27th Sept, where I’ll be talking about motherhood with Debi Gliori and Kathryn Maris. Then, on Sat 4th Oct, I’ll be at the Sheffield Off the Shelf Festival with Rowan Coleman and Liz Fraser. Wed 8th Oct I’ll be at the Cheltenham Literature Festival performing my winning poem from the National Poetry Competition with Linda France and Julia Copus. Sat 11th Oct I’ll be at the Durham Book Festival with Kate Long and Liz Fraser, again, and Sat 18th Oct there’ll be more motherhood discussion at theBirmingham Literature Festival with Kate Long and Rowan Coleman. Phew! Hope to see you there.

My poetry collection BOOM! received a lovely review recently in New Welsh Review, which I was glad to see, and my publisher Seren is running a special promotion on the ebook for £1.99 instead of £9.99 for ONE WEEK ONLY!! So if you haven’t read it, now might be your chance…