Blood and Ruins: the Great Imperial War 1931-45, Richard Overy

I have begun reading Richard Overy, Blood and Ruins: the Great Imperial War 1931-45 (2021). This new comprehensive world history of World War Two renames, redates and rethinks that conflict that still dominates the mental world of world leaders

culture, literature, Personal story

Day Three of Thirteen Days of Looking at a Bureaucrat

The third chapter of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat is the title essay, 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat'. It plays with Wallace Stevens' poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, and seeks to open up the reader's mind to the many unexpected, even poetic ways you can look at this plain, humble, even despised personality, the bureaucrat.

history, literature, Personal story

Day Two of Thirteen Days of Looking at a Bureaucrat

The second chapter of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat is Silenced Voice of the Bureaucrat. The second way of looking a a bureaucrat is to see a subtle mind that has been gagged, and who, if that code of silence were released may have something interesting to say. In this chapter I have… Continue reading Day Two of Thirteen Days of Looking at a Bureaucrat

culture, history, literature, Personal story

NEW BOOK! Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat

My new book, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat, is now out! Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat: Writing on Governing, is both memoir and essay collection. I think it breaks new ground because bureaucrats don't publish memoirs. It will change how you see government, politics, working life, and bureaucrats.

literature, Personal story

The poet, the bureaucrat and the émigré

During the week I have been finalising my next book, 13 Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat, and reading some essays and poems of Marina Tvetaeva (1892-1941), the great Russian poet, collected in Art and the Light of Conscience. A strange mix, true, but that is the life of my strange mind.

Personal story, The Burning Archive Podcast

How I wrote and published my book while working full-time

I have posted this evening on my podcast and on Youtube a special episode. Here I talk openly for the first time about how I wrote my book, From the Burning Archive, which you can buy at the Amazon affiliate link or other online book retailers.

culture, history, literature, Personal story

From the Burning Archive – essays on history and culture

I have published From the Burning Archive: essays and fragments 2015-2022. You can buy it as print or e-book here at Amazon and also at other online retailers. Here is an excerpt of the introductory essay of that collection. It tells how a dream image became a poem became a blog became a podcast and then an author platform.


Republishing blogs as books

The focus of my writing attention over the last couple of weeks has been on editing a collection of my blog posts that I will publish as books.I don't know how common it is to republish blogs as books, if in edited and curated form. It seems little different to me to the many collections of oped, short essays, book reviews and occasional pieces that do get published quite often.

Personal story

A New Direction for the Burning Archive

I am going to approach the blog with the advice of "document, don't create" that I saw on popular vlogger on youtube, Ali Abdaal. For periods of the last ten years the blog has been my primary creative outlet. But that is now changing. I have my books in preparation, my podcast, my poems and my essays. And driving all of that my restless curiosity about how to save culture and history from the flames. So I am going to use the blog as the platform for all of those aspects of my author life.

literature, Personal story

My collected poems

I am very pleased to announced that I am publishing my collected poems, Gathering Flowers of the Mind: Collected Poems, 1996-2020 in both a print and e-book edition. You can purchase through online retailers such as Amazon and Booktopia. You can buy the print edition from Amazon here and the e-book edition from Amazon here.… Continue reading My collected poems