All that Jazz

Ruth HartleyApartheid, Jazz, Memoir, Short Stories, Southern Africa, When We Were Wicked, ZimbabweLeave a Comment

Monday 26th July Marciac Jazz Festival At 10.30 am at La Chouette Qui Lit I will be signing my latest book When We Were Wicked.  Please come – I’d love to see you and I will have copies of all my other books with me as well. La Chouette Qui Lit is a lovely bookshop where you can also get […]

The purpose and power of poetry

Ruth HartleyBook Launch, Book Publishing, Poetry, Politics, Songs, The Spiral-Bound Notebooks, Zambia4 Comments

At school, we learnt to declaim poetry. It was mostly heroic stuff designed to inspire patriotism and action like Felicia Dorothea Heman’s Casabianca about filial duty and Thomas Macaulay’s incredibly lengthy poem Horatius at the Bridge about courage. We weren’t taught to make poetry, and poetry was never going to be about us and our lives. Even though this kind […]

Hop, skip and jump to the heartbeat of life

Ruth HartleyArt Process, Creativity, Family, Imagination, Poetry, Songs, Writing Process5 Comments

The Child in the Garden The child in the garden goes hop, skip and jump and sings to herself. She dances her world into being. The garden is dusty, dry sand, withered leaves and sharp-edged stones. The child draws in the dirt. The garden is a clearing in a forest, a marketplace of musical insects, a place where snakes wait […]

What a writer does and doesn’t do all day

Ruth HartleyArt Process, Book Publishing, Books by Ruth Hartley, Education, Imagination, Music, Promotion, Reading, Writing Process1 Comment

All beginnings are hard – just look at the time already! It’s a good morning’s work when I sit down at my laptop in my pyjamas, before breakfast, ignore my husband, begin at once to write, and then carry on for hours. There were many a good night’s work done when, as a single woman, I wrote after supper, then […]

Spain, Flamenco, Ladino and Duende

Ruth HartleyArt Process, Music, Songs, Visual Arts2 Comments

A few days in Seville               I have an odd relationship with Spain. I knew very little about Spain and yet, curiously, it is an intimate part of my family, and therefore, of me. This is how it began for me. My grandfather was a wool-broker from Manchester who traded in Buenos Aires, Argentina, […]