Melanie Jones gives a round up of our first MIRLive.

On Friday 13th May, MIROnline submissions opened and a MIRLive was required to celebrate. We organised a triple headliner on a Friday night and hoped that we could lure people away from their usual weekend activities to spend the evening with us in The Harrison. We were happily surprised by the amount of people who came to join us, our readers were excellent, and I think it’s fair to say that we gave MIROnline a great launch into the world.

To kick us off Anne Rabbit told the story of a couple who have very different ideas about what life should look like with an empty nest. Anne showed us a mother’s frustration at not being able to deliver a birthday cake to her son and a father’s disappointment that a romantic weekend away was not on the cards.

Martin Wakefield shared two pieces of flash fiction with us, and his performance really brought out the mix of the comic and tragic in his work. Both pieces had us laughing before they delivered the final punch. When We Used to Smoke explored the effects of the smoking ban and Model Railway was a microcosm of a societal decay.

Simon Townend presented us with an ethical dilemma; if your Grandmother has died whilst watching television, your parents are out, and the girl you’d quite like to lose your virginity to is on the way over, what would be the best thing to do? More importantly, what would Grandma have wanted?

Our first headliner, Benjamin Wood, treated us to an extract from his most recent Novel, The Ecliptic. Benjamin showed us how his protagonist, Glaswegian painter Elspeth Conroy, began to fall for her mentor, Jim Culvers. The subtle character development in this chapter was an intriguing introduction to the novel. The Ecliptic is available to purchase here.

After the interval, Gilli Fryzer took us to the seventies disco scene in her story Dancing To Elvis. The death of Elvis affected the characters in different ways and Gilli used this catalyst to show us a family in crisis.

Our second headliner, Nadim Safdar, shared an extract from his debut novel, Akram’s War. Akram Khan is preparing to detonate a bomb when he meets a prostitute named Grace. In the extract, we discovered that Akram has gone home with Grace and saw how his conversation with her cast doubts on his mission.

Our final reader was Courttia Newland. Courttia read a short story from his upcoming collection, Cosmogramma. The story depicted a dystopian version of the UK where anti-immigration laws had been taken to the extreme. Immigration officers patrol the streets and tear people from their homes, taking them away in an ominous van. The chilling story was told from the perspective of a young boy as he watches his neighbours house being raided and attempts to help them.

Overall, our first MIRLive was a great success. Thank you to all of our readers and everyone who attended. We will return in September with a selection of readers chosen from the upcoming Mechanics’ Institute Review: Issue 13. In the meantime, please send your short fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry to editor@mironline.org. We’d love to read it!

Photos ©Melanie Jones

May 27, 2016
May 13 16 480

Great Turnout For The First MIRLive

Melanie Jones gives a round up of our first MIRLive.
May 25, 2016

Len Lukowski Poems

Three poems by Len Lukowski
May 23, 2016

They Are Trying To Break Your Heart

David Savill’s novel They Are Trying To Break Your Heart came out last month with Bloomsbury Publishing and is available here. David shares an extract with us and talks about the novel and his writing process on the Birkbeck blog.
May 21, 2016
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Being Dad Interviews

Melanie Jones speaks to authors Dan Powell, Toby Litt, Nikesh Shukla, and Courttia Newland  about Being Dad and the effects fatherhood has had on their writing
May 18, 2016

Paula Lorraine Poetry

Three poems by Paula Lorraine
May 16, 2016
Sarah Alexander 480

Sarah Alexander discusses The Art of Not Breathing

Sarah Alexander’s debut novel, The Art of Not Breathing was released on April 1st and is available to purchase here. She shares her first chapter with us as part of our published alumni series. Sarah talks about the novel and her writing experiences in  interview which you can read on the Birkbeck Website.
May 16, 2016

The Art of Not Breathing

Sarah Alexander’s debut novel, The Art of Not Breathing was released on April 1st and is available to purchase here. She shares her first chapter with us as part of our published alumni series. Sarah talks about the novel and her writing experiences in  interview which you can read on the Birkbeck Website.
May 9, 2016

Tom Norton Poetry

Three poems by Tom Norton
May 3, 2016
Layout 1 copy

Birkbeck Arts Week

Birkbeck Arts Week, 2016 runs from Monday 16 to Saturday 21 May and the Creative Writing department will be hosting two events during Arts Week. These events will be complimented by MIRLive on May 13th and Birkbeck Poets on May 22nd.
May 2, 2016
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MIRLive May 13th

Our first MIRLive will take place on May 13th 2016 and we are joined by Benjamin Wood, Nadim Safdar, Courttia Newland, Gilli Fryzer and Anne Rabbit.
May 2, 2016

Steven Rogers Poetry

Two poems by Steven Rogers
April 28, 2016

Dance Affliction

Creative Non-Fiction by Paola Moretti
April 26, 2016

We Go Around In The Night And Are Consumed By Fire

An extract from Chapter One of We Go Around In The Night And Are Consumed By Fire by Jules Grant, out on 28th April with Myriad Editions.
April 20, 2016

The Future is Not Here

Creative non-fiction by Tom C. B. Williams.
April 18, 2016

When We Say Goodnight

Short Fiction by Aliyah Keshani
April 15, 2016

Fran Lock Poetry

Four Poems From Risperidone Diaries
April 13, 2016
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Courttia Newland to read at MIRLive

Our first MIRLive will take place on May 13th 2016 and we are looking for readers to join Benjamin Wood and Courttia Newland.
April 13, 2016

For Bowie and For Spurs

Creative Non Fiction. Words and pictures by Elizabeth McGrath
April 11, 2016

Murmurations

Short fiction by 2013 Bristol Short Story Award Winner, Paul McMichael. 
April 4, 2016

The Don

Short Fiction by Paul Goodman