The Booklaunch of When We Were Wicked

Ruth HartleyBook Launch, Memoir, Politics, Southern Africa, When I Was Bad, When We Were Wicked6 Comments

When We Were Wicked My new short story and short memoir collection, When We Were Wicked has been published this January 2021 during the pandemic lockdown. How on earth could I organise a book launch for it? This is what happened: Celebration online, in print, and in person! Here is the first answer – Booklaunch magazine! I discovered Booklaunch through […]

Blame it on the man in the brandy barrel – Admiral Nelson

Ruth HartleyApartheid, Colonialism, Family, Hamera and Hartley, Identity, Migration, Politics, Power, Racism, South Africa, The Shaping of Water, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, When I Was Bad, When We Were Wicked11 Comments

Art and storytelling 200 years later by a distant descendant. Born into the British Empire during the Second World War in a colonial country that no longer exists, I’ve been flung around in a turbulent vortex of political and personal change. My art and my writing are the ways I hang on to the world spinning around me. I have […]

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 […]

How to be a published writer in Zambia – or anywhere in the world

Ruth HartleyBook Publishing, Education, Festival, The Shaping of Water, Writing Process, Zambia10 Comments

Writers Circle I want to thank Daniel Sikazwe very much or inviting me to take part with Mubanga Kalimamukwento, the author of The Mourning Bird. in this Writers Circle online forum.  Mubanga and I have published our books in different ways and I’m here to tell you about the decisions I made and why I decided to self-publish. First of […]

When I Was Bad

Ruth HartleyApartheid, Family, Feminism, Human rights, Religion, South Africa, When I Was BadLeave a Comment

Wicked women Bridget and I are the same age and we were both ‘unmarried mothers’ a long time ago. Bridget became pregnant in Ireland at 17 years. She escaped to London but was sent home by a priest to the torture of the brutal Bessborough home, a Catholic institution for unmarried mothers. Her tragic story and the death of her […]