In the early hours of 14 June 2017, a fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London, killing at least 72 people and injuring many more. An entire community was destroyed. For many people affected by this tragedy, the psychological scars may never heal.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that affects many people who have endured traumatic events, leaving them unable to move on from life-changing tragedies. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the focus was rightly placed on providing food, shelter and health care for those left homeless – but it is important that we don’t lose sight of the psychological impact this fire will have had on its survivors.
24 Stories is an anthology of short stories, written on themes of community and hope, by a mix of the UK’s best established writers and previously unpublished authors, whose pieces were chosen by Kathy Burke from over 250 entries.
Contributors include: Irvine Welsh, A. L. Kennedy, Meera Syal, John Niven, Pauline Melville, Daisy Buchanan, Christopher Brookmyre, Zoe Venditozzi, Nina Stibbe, Mike Gayle, Murray Lachlan Young, Barney Farmer.
How Freakin’ Zeitgeist Are You? is the definitive collection of Murray Lachlan Young’s poems from 1994 to the present day.
It tracks his career as a writer and performer, from his arrival as a wide-eyed, twenty-something in London, through his sideways look in and around the music, fashion and film businesses, as well as a few observational works from what he now refers to as his ‘Cornwall years’. From his humorous and witty take on social phenomena to dark commentary on today’s society, Murray covers a wide range of topics from the weather, hair and machines to the UK festival culture, sex, men’s issues, pop music and God.
The book also contains sixteen of his original illustrations and several of the sketch poems he was commissioned to write through his hugely popular slots as poet-in-residence on BBC Radio 6 Music and Radio 4’s Saturday Live.
Anyone who has watched or listened to Murray perform will recognise the range of his work, from whimsical comedy and several darker pieces through satire into cosmology, theology and metaphysics. Though primarily written for the ear, with a radio listener in mind, his incurable addiction to rhyme is evident from the first page and the whole collection is designed to be read out loud and shared with friends.
So open it up, find the beat and enter the strange and marvellous world of Murray Lachlan Young.
Murray Lachlan Young’s poetry career began in the underground poetry/cabaret nights of mid-nineties London. Word of his unique style of writing and performing soon spread and he was signed by record company Almo Sounds and given a series on MTV USA. Murray then toured with various bands, including Julian Cope and the Pretenders, and performed on the main stage at T in the Park and Glastonbury festivals. In 1996 he was signed by EMI in a recording deal that saw him dubbed, for a while, the ‘Million Pound Poet’.
He is now best known as an ‘across network’ performer on BBC radio. He has appeared regularly on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live, Radio 5 Live and Test Match Special. Since 2011 Murray has been resident poet at BBC Radio 6 Music. Murray has two sons and now lives in London.