Written during a different time, when the world was consumed by another virus, the themes of The Normal Heart remain extraordinarily relevant in today’s world.
The play is set in New York City, and takes place over a span four years in the 1980s — during the early days of the HIV epidemic when the virus did not yet have a name. It is centred around the writer Ned Weeks and the gay health advocacy group that he helped to establish along with closeted banker Bruce Niles, the free love advocate Mickey Marcus, and the self-described “Southern bitch,” Tommy Boatwright. Also part of this ragtag group is Dr Emma Brookner who pushes the group to campaign harder for their voices and her advice to be heard by the community.
After watching the 2021-revival of Larry Kramer’s largely autobiographical play, a question lingers in my mind: What does it mean to be a moral gay man?
During my creative writing MA, we were given a writing prompt, encouraging us to take a seat in a coffee shop and write what we could hear. The piece that followed from my mind gave me reason to believe that sounds are subjective. Not only am I hearing impaired, since my mastoidectomy in the year 2000, but an active imagination saw me writing stories within the coffee shop sounds.
I sat down with Nick Makoha, second year PhD student in the English department here at King’s. We mainly talked about Nick’s work with the Obsidian Foundation, but also moved on to his creative work generally. Below is a transcript of our discussion of the Obsidian Foundation. See the attached audio file for the full interview…
Sally Barnden, in conversation with Emma Stuart, explores Shakespeare’s Second Folio, which was in possession of Charles I during his imprisonment.
One of the most prized objects in the Royal Collection is a ‘Second Folio’ edition of Shakespeare’s plays, first published in 1632. It contains handwritten annotations made by the deposed King Charles I in the final days before his execution on the orders of Parliament, during the English Civil War.
As part of the interview series Writers on Research, Joe Bedford speaks to KCLProfessor of Poetry Ruth Padel about the research process behind her new book Daughters of the Labyrinth released on 1/7/21.