So pleased to discover this in amongst the early Phraser pieces. Originally I split the interview into two parts – here I have put them together. My thanks always to Jem Rolls for allowing me the interview.
Jem Rolls – a tall, intense performance poet with over two decades experience – first performed his poetry on stage at the age of 31. He began in London, took his work to Edinburgh, and has spent many summers performing on the Canadian Fringes.
Here he explains the art of the performance poet, and touches on the life and challenges that come with it.
Meryl Harrison of the ZNSPCA who led animal rescues at the time of Zimbabwe’s chaotic land redistribution programme (photographed in England in 2012)
Ten years ago the BBC presented Meryl Harrison with a Special Award for Outstanding Work in Animal Welfare. Her ‘outstanding work‘ was done on Zimbabwe’s farms whilst Mugabe’s chaotic land redistribution programme was in full surge.
Barnaby Rogerson (in the white shirt) with Nigel Barley (author of The Innocent Anthropologist). The photograph was taken at the Eland Open Day in early December 2017.
The day is sunny, the bus ride easy, and the grey door is exactly where it should be. There are no signs … just a button to press, and then a set of narrow grey stairs to follow in a spiral to the top.
I climb the smooth steps and at the top a door is open. Just inside a tall, elegant, eager dog waits to say hello. Beside the dog is a slightly less-leggy man. He is, as I presume, Barnaby Rogerson, author of In Search of Ancient North Africa – a History in Six Lives, and one of the directors of Eland Publishing.
A look back (first published 11 January 2016): I have to declare an interest here … if it wasn’t for Bonnie Alberts and the power of Napoli Unplugged I know my writing about Naples would have fizzled into nothing. Somehow she, and Penny Ewles-Bergeron, found The Phraser and their encouragement keeps coming. So … how did I begin to find my way around Naples? One of my first ways in was with the website Napoli Unplugged and later with the book – the Napoli Unplugged Guide to Naples. Of course there were others but none of them had Bonnie Alberts based in the centro storico, keen to communicate (in English!), and passionate about the city. A top tip (and it’s not because of the debt owed) is that if you want to explore Naples, either in person or from your sofa, their guidebook is like a richly carved doorway into the hidden, and the un-hidden. It talks to you … so, you will find, does the city.
Michael Aspinall photographed in Christ Church, Naples Italy in 2016
The trouble with being the king of a niche is that however impeccable your talents your kingdom may not be big enough for those outside the niche to notice your crown … which, if the king is a modest man, leaves the rest of us none the wiser … as it were.
I met such a king recently and it took two years to discover who he was.