“tensely constructed and authentically rendered”
Carly Holmes, Editor TLR Issue 12
One harsh winter I worked at night and weekends as a volunteer in cold weather shelters, set up by St James’ Piccadilly and St Martin-in-the-Fields to try to support the hundreds of people sleeping rough in Central London, in places like the notorious cardboard city on the South Bank. Most of the people I met were from the UK – mostly male ranging upwards in age from late teens. It was difficult to tell how old the older people were – living on the street and the things that go with it accelerate ageing processes and a recent study by Crisis showed that people who live on the streets die an average of 30 years before the general population.
The Lampeter Review has just published my short story, ‘Me and Heston walk all night,’ in Issue 12. It’s based on what I learnt back then. You can read Issue 12 here: Me and Heston walk all night
I’m looking forward to hosting Melissa Harrison and Rob Cowen at Kew’s first literary festival on 26 September (see Write on Kew). Both their books, At Hawthorn Time and Common Ground, feature men who have chosen to live on the road, though England makes it almost impossible. There is much to discuss.
Today the Solidarity with Refugees rally in central London was well attended. Hopefully the shift in public and media attitudes will help not only people who are seeking asylum but also people already here – the latest figures show that 57% of London’s rough sleepers are non-UK nationals.
Read Emma Warren’s review of At Hawthorn Time on Caught by the River here.
Read Ben Myers’ review of Common Ground on Caught by the River here.