It is already springtime as I write these words, trying to get the energy to put together the round-up of last year’s activities seems to have been more difficult than usual. Not quite sure why. In any case, the biggest news of 2022 was the start of a new project – The Winding Trail. This is a blog created together with my partner Katrin devoted to ‘adventures beyond the front door’… a little like Under a Grey Sky was once upon a time. We have published lots of words and pictures on the site since we launched last year, so go and take a look and an explore.
Also in 2022, we continued to keep Elsewhere: A Journal of Place ticking over. This project now enters its ninth year and I remain incredibly proud of everything we publish there, and especially the fact that we are increasingly a place where writers get there first piece of published work out into the world. It is something we will continue to work on in 2023, along with some new Elsewhere-adjacent projects that begin with a Joseph Roth evening in Berlin a few weeks ago – you can follow along on Elsewhere as we take the next steps.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re still in 2022… so what else happened over the year? There was the excitement of my novel Built on Sand (published in 2019 by Influx Press) getting an Italian release, published by 8tto Edizioni as Berlino Blues – including a tote bag with my words in Italian printed on it. Although no new books were published in 2022, I finished two. Harzwanderungen, for my German publishers Matthes & Seitz about a walk in the Harz Mountains following Heinrich Heine will be published in April 2023, and my next novel A Dream of White Horses will be published by the incredible Bluemoose Books in 2024.
So there was not much time for other writing, but I did have a few pieces published during the year:
For Slow Travel Berlin (essay): The Peace Race – Socialism’s Grand Cycling Tour
For ExBerliner (essay): The Panke
For hidden europe (essay): A Tale of Two Hearts: Emigration and the Azroean Spirit
For hidden europe (book review): In search of Joseph Roth
For Visual Verse (short story): Edgelandia
For Elsewhere: A Journal of Place (essay): Between the Years
What else? There were a few events over the course of 2022, including the chance to read and appear alongside wonderful writers such as Musa Okwonga, Kirsty Bell and Adam Scovell. I was also invited to Switzerland to read at Books Books Books, which has led to me becoming a judge on the Swiss Writing Prize for high school students, which should be a great experience.
There are quite a few events already in the calendar for 2023 and hopefully more will be announced soon. And I really need to crack on with the next book. I know what it is supposed to be… now’s the bit where I have to get on with it!
If you’ve read to the end, thanks for coming with me on this incredibly self-indulgent post, and I hope 2023 has started well for you and will continue throughout the rest of the year.