Elinor Johns rounds up MIRLive.

Images © Melanie Jones


MIRLive’s latest evening of readings was held at the Harrison on Monday 26th June. This time the focus was on work derived from the writers’ own experiences. The readings took the audience through a range of emotions in a variety of compelling pieces.

Firstly, Louise Kramskoy read a story called “Glassblowing” in which the narrator depicts her parents, meeting at college and falling in love. The intricacies of her mother’s skill at glass blowing was beautifully evoked through Louise’s imagery, and the child and her father’s reactions to the craft, powerfully demonstrated the intense love and awe they felt. The story is ultimately an effective depiction of grief and loss and the child’s sudden awareness of her mother’s vulnerability created an extremely moving ending.

This reading was followed by an extract from Christina Baum’s book “English and Me” which was a detailed, humorous account of her experiences as a young woman, leaving Brazil and living in digs in London. Christina’s account of the difficulty of understanding London accents and phrasal verbs was very funny. She certainly had the audience chuckling at the landlady, Mrs Davies, offering hapless Christina baked beans and Dallas, as the highlights of life in Britain in the eighties. The extract ended on a tragi-comic note that left the audience wanting more.

Next to take the stage came Aliyah Kim Keshani who read a piece about the day of her uncle’s funeral in Malaysia. Alyiah evoked the sense of people and place through carefully chosen descriptive detail and the story communicated the sad, strange, yet wonderful mixture of emotions she felt on such a significant day. The poetic nature of the piece as she moved to the end was very poignant.

I would have liked to have taken longer to process it, but I had little time, because I was lucky enough to be next up to the mic with a piece called “Our Father.” This was an extract from a longer piece about growing up in Wales in the seventies and eighties, and I was relieved to hear laughter in the “right” places!

After a rush for the bar, the Welsh theme was continued when Miranda Glass took to the stage. Miranda’s story was extremely funny, depicting her experience of dating an eccentric chap, who thought dressing up as a Welsh dragon was the way to her heart. Despite the great comedy value, Miranda’s story-telling skill meant the ending was rather touching and very effective.

Next came our first headliner! Emma Henderson read a piece that she had started while at Birkbeck. It was called “Treatment” and dealt with power imbalance, infatuation and abuse. The description of the child taken advantage of by her piano teacher was disturbing but skilfully worded, and while the themes were challenging they were deftly handled. I, for one, hope she will write the second part which she promised would be called “The Cure.”

The evening came to a close with our second headliner, Katherine Angel. Katherine read an extract from her new book in which she used her expertise and extensive research to analyse how we construct our own realities. Katherine’s academic understanding of psychoanalytic concepts allowed her to bridge the gap between theory and emotion, and her own motivation to create and self- define. It was an extremely thought- provoking piece and a great end to a thoroughly enjoyable evening!

July 13, 2017

MIRLive Life Stories Special

Elinor Johns rounds up MIRLive.
June 20, 2017

MIRLive Life Stories

Katherine Angel and Emma Henderson Join us for MIRLive
May 22, 2017
MIRlive 480

MIRLive Call for Submissions: Life Stories

Join us at The Harrison for our last event of the summer term. We’re looking for stories inspired by real life.
May 19, 2017
live performance poetry given by Birkbeck postgraduate students and staff

Poetry Live Arts Week Special

Elinor Johns rounds up Poetry Live.
March 30, 2017
MIRlive 480

Poetry Live!

An amazing line up of poets for our Arts Week Special
March 15, 2017
MIRlive 480

MIRLive Celebrates International Women’s Day

Sue Tyley and Stella Klein round up our MIRLive International Women’s Day Special
February 28, 2017
MIRlive 480

K J Orr Headlines MIRLive

BBC National Short Story Award Winner KJ Orr headlines our International Women’s Day event. 
February 15, 2017

Leila Segal brings Cuban Warmth To A Frozen January

Katherine Vik rounds up our January MIRLive
February 4, 2017

K J Orr To Headline Women’s Day Event

Our next MIRLive takes place on March 6th at the Harrison, 28 Harrison Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 8JF. This event will be headlined by BBC Short Story Award Winner, K J Orr, and will be an International Women’s Day Special. We will be accepting submissions from all genders but work should be […]
January 23, 2017
MIRlive 480

Leila Segal Headlines MIRLive

Leila Segal reads from her debut collection, Breathe. MIRLive’s Alison Hitchock shares work from her letter writing project, From Me To You. Leila and Alison are joined by five more wonderful women reading poetry and short stories.
December 11, 2016

Leila Segal to Headline MIRLive

Our next MIRLive takes place on January 30th at the Harrison, 28 Harrison Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 8JF. This event will be headlined by Leila Segal. The deadline for Submissions is January 15th.
December 9, 2016

MIRLive: An Evening of Festive Fun

Alison Hitchcock rounds up our MIRLive Christmas Special
November 2, 2016
Liz Fremantle 480

MIR13 MIRLive special

Sue Tyley rounds up our October event.
October 25, 2016
ein altes aufgeschlagenes Buch auf einem Tisch vor einer Schultafel

MIRLive December 5th

Our next MIRLive takes place on December 5th at the Harrison, 28 Harrison Street, King’s Cross, WC1H 8JF. This will be a Christmas Special and we are looking for work inspired by folk tales, fairy tales and magic. The deadline for Submissions is November 18th.