Dark Angels Note 61

Dearest friends,

Welcome back to our writerly thoughts to distract, inspire and reassure you. Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here..


1 Writing

This week’s writing experiment comes from John Simmons. His second novel, Spanish Crossings is back in print; thoroughly deserved too as it’s a great book. In a recent blog, John reveals the different forms of inspiration that set the story in motion. He writes:

We all have family stories from times when we were not present. Often these stories are shown in the pages of a family photo album. Ask yourself – Who was that? Who are the other people in the picture? Where are they? How did they get there and what will they do next? Perhaps the scene will grow into something bigger. Enjoy the exploration. Perhaps you will find a novel emerging.

Read Spanish Crossings.


2 Reading

Photographs of Ghosts

Smiling with kept coiffures and enormous
silken hats my several aunts
and mother posed, graceful as sylphs
for this seabeach photograph

on fleshcolored sand whose bits of sticks and tar
are long since tideward drawn, and by
the waves engulfed, quite gone, like their long skirts
that flourish no more under a different sun.

Cruel photograph, to have caught them
exuberant and young, the one’s hand
at that clear cameo, and the starched lacy stuff
at this one’s throat for an instant only.

Among them, resurrected, the dead sister shares
their two–dimensional moment, ephemerid
frailer than they who circle
but a little longer the bright helium sphere.

Harold Witt
First published in Poetry, vol. 83, no. 1, 1953, pp. 13–13. JSTOR.

3 Workshopping

Foundation Course

This autumn we’re very excited to be running the four-week online version of our acclaimed Foundation Course for the second time. The course is limited to eight places and will be led by Neil Baker and Jamie Jauncey, with spot visits by guest tutors from the Dark Angels family.

Two-hour sessions, twice a week, for one month
Each Monday & Thursday, 7 September to 4 October UK 5.00-7.00pm
US East Coast 12.00-2.00pm
US West Coast 9.00am-11.00pm
Fee: £795, €895, $1095
Limited to eight places

Interested? Drop Susanne an email to save your seat.


4 Gathering

Join us via Zoom for an hour of writing and talking with other Dark Angels. We meet at 7pm UK time every Tuesday. Click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on. There’s no charge. And feel free to bring a friend along.

From everyone at Dark Angels

Also published on Medium.