Jane Flett is a philosopher, cellist, and seamstress of most fetching stories. Her poetry is featured in Salt’s Best British Poetry 2012 and her fiction has been commissioned for BBC Radio, awarded the SBT New Writer Award, and performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She also leads creative writing courses with The Reader.
The Arms Long Enough Project are poet Rafael Mantovani, and musician Alex Highet. This performance was recorded at a Reader event in the summer of 2015. Alex also writes and plays music with We Are Only Made Of Snow.
“We’re seeing other people,” he says. “We just don’t talk about it much.”
I’m lying in the crook of his arm, dismantling and rebuilding the events of the afternoon. I say nothing. There’s a sharpness to his smell that reminds me of tomato plants, or pesticides.
“It works out better this way,” he says. “I mean, it’s the details, right? Would you want to hear the details of what goes on?”
Maybe. I know that if this man started to tell me about his wife fucking another man, I would listen. I would ask all the right questions, like: did she enjoy it? Did she put her underwear on again afterwards, or did she stand naked—did she walk, naked, around the room? When she poured the dregs of the champagne into the toothbrush mug, could she taste the minty shadow of everyone who’d been through the hotel before? Or was it just bubbles? Did she smile?
I pull the duvet between my legs and straddle it like a dolphin. “No,” I say. “I wouldn’t want to hear a thing.”
I cannot be here because I am lying in the middle of a tiny road in rural France. It is dusk. My bicycle lies beside me. I’ve a broken collarbone, cracked ribs, shock, a phone that can’t tell me where I am and a fine view of the Alps as the sun sinks and the temperature drops and absolutely no cars go past.
I cannot be here because I was thinking about my lovely Nan, dead these past two years. I was remembering her standing on the path in her back garden one summer evening when I was a child, and telling me how she couldn’t see in the dark, had no night vision at all and that as a young woman the doctor had told her to eat carrots, but it hadn’t worked, and how she was always falling over at night, especially during the war when they had had the blackout. I was thinking that I too have terrible night vision, and then suddenly there was a pothole, I hit it and went sailing over the handlebars.
Join us for a a special half day workshop exploring expressive writing with psychologist and writer Dimitra Didangelou.
Combining the joys of writing, nature and personal growth, the workshop will explore and employ the techniques of expressive writing with the aim of enabling you to write freely and without fear of criticism.
The workshop will take place on Saturday October 31st. To book please email firstname.lastname@example.org. More details here.
Our new collection of short stories is available now. The book anthologises the award-winning stories from our recent competition. In it you will find tales of Berlin spanning 1930’s propaganda, the contemporary club scene, dystopian futures, animals on adventures and so much more besides. Available as an e-book and in print, details are here.
Join us at Another Country on Saturday 26th September, where we’ll be celebrating the launch of an anthology of award-winning short stories. Compiled from the winning entries of the Reader Berlin’s 2015 Short Story Competition, these are ten tales of our city you won’t want to miss…
Our daytime and evening courses are now online! Beginning September, you can choose from Scriptwriting, Poetry, Memoir and Creative Writing. You’ll find daytime course details here and evening course details here.
We’d like to say welcome to award-winning memoirist Kenny Fries who will be leading a 7-week workshop on Tuesday evenings, and welcome back to Faber author Clare Wigfall who is returning to The Reader to host not one but two daytime courses.
We are very sad to be missing the Fort this year but are very exciting to be welcoming Ryan Van Winkle back to Berlin. On Saturday 25th there will be a launch of Ryan’s new book, The Good Dark, at Shakespeare and Sons on Warschauerstraße, in Freidrichshain. He will read to us and so will some surprise guests, I’m sure. Here he is in the trailer to his poetry show Red Like Our Room Used to Feel:
On Sunday 26th we will be holding a workshops at Another Country in Kreuzberg, followed by readings in the evening. Details and sign ups to follow.
Words in a hurry. Our friends SAND Journal are running a flash fiction and non-fiction competition. Prizes include money, beer, prestige, and time spent with the ever charming and informative Finn Ballard Tours. Word limit 300. Deadline July 15. Entry €5. You can submit your entries here.
We are pleased to announce the return of the ever popular Jane Flett, a BBC Radio short story author and one of Salt’s Best British poets. Over the summer she will be leading not one, not two, but three new courses! These will focus on getting your fiction up and running, and most importantly keeping it running. Starting June 17th and 18th. To reserve places on these courses please email email@example.com
More information on the morning course here and the evening courses here
Finally, we’ve pinned her down! Culture journalist, tutor and international woman of mystery, the fabulous Kimberly Bradley (ever wondered how Kim Bar got its name?) will be in town on May 30th and dishing all the journalistic dirt in a very special one-day workshop. If you’re a journalist or ever aspired to being one, this day is for you. More details here.
And on May 8th at 12pm, we’ll be giving one ticket worth 45 euros away! To enter, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with KIMBERLY BRADLEY in the subject line. The winner will be notified the same day.