Callaloo @ Oxford University

Dreaming in Gothic

Dreaming in Gothic

Spent a week of intense focus on the current writing project–a new novel–at the Callaloo Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters Writing Workshop for fiction, lead by novelist Ravi Howard (If you don’t know him, get to know him: The workshop was held at Oxford University, one of three current academic locales that hosts Callaloo’s workshops. Good writing exercises and a humble but talented group of fiction writing participants made the effort worthwhile.

Enjoyed too the spirit of the young poets, who brought flair and flavor to the conversation. Of the 20 or so total participants in the fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction workshops, 4 of us were men. Not much to say on that; just an observation.

Oxford was overrun by tourists and all the gothic makes you think, “what where they thinking?”, but it has to be among the great college towns in the world: many, many bookstores, lots of cheap-ish eats, walkable streets, quiet parks, luscious lawns and gardens, pubs up the wazoo, and plays and concerts going on everywhere, even in the middle of summer. (I checked out “Love’s Labour’s Lost” put on by the Oxford Shakespeare Company in the garden of one of the colleges). And then there are the bells. Lots of damn bells ringing all the time.

Was treated very well as a solo Black male traveler and diner in Oxford and London; much better than I’ve been treated in many places in the states (looking at you, snooty San Francisco). Everybody wanted to know what I thought of “Brexit. “Not much” I had to tell them.


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