Interrobang Interrogation – Claire Askew

To countdown to INTERROBANG: Lost in Space?! continues. T-4 DAYS until Saturday, 29th April at 2pm.

We’re very happy to introduce you to our latest crew member, CLAIRE ASKEW. We’ve been fortunate enough to see her blast off into the creative heights around town, but  we’re particularly excited to hear that she’s going to be treating us to some new material.

The stars in space shine for you, etc.
And the wall, it was all yellow (sorry). Photo credit: Sally Jubb Photography

Claire Askew is a poet, novelist and general dogsbody writer-for-hire based in Edinburgh.  Her first book of poems, This changes things, was published by Bloodaxe in 2016, and shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and the Saltire First Book Award.

Claire’s currently completing a debut crime novel on the cheery theme of male violence and how it affects the women who must pick up the pieces in its wake.  Next, she’d like to write a zombie novel about what might happen if the humans tried to negotiate with the zombies.  You can follow all of Claire’s antics on Twitter @onenightstanzas.

And here’s how she answered our questions:

?!:  You’re packing before blasting off with the Interrobang Space Cadets. What item are you taking with you to represent the human race?

CA:  I don’t know how well it represents the whole human race, but I can’t go anywhere without my notebook.  It’s full of random observations scribbled while people-watching, so it’d probably provide a useful human field guide for any aliens I encountered…

Our new alien overlords thank you very much, Claire
And the notes are bilingual, too?! Eh? Oh.

?!: Sitting on the launch pad, you feel like you’re starring in a sci-fi movie. What’s your favourite piece of science fiction?

CA:  Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin, because it’s the most genre-bending book I think I’ve ever read, and it’s a story within a story within a story.

?!:  As the Space Ship Interrobang pulls away from the Earth, you look down and see the curve of the planet. You play a piece of music to accompany this incredible moment. What is it?

CA:  Something by Led Zeppelin, perhaps the greatest band Earth has ever produced.

?!:  Mama, feast your ears, as Robert Plant might say. When the track ends, you look down again and see home is a little blue marble. For some reason, you’re hit by a vivid memory of a time you lost something down there. What was it?

CA:  I try not to have regrets about things that have lost or ended… but I did once miss out on seeing Tom Waits play live, and still kick myself about it… does that count?

?!:  Definitely! Back on the spaceship, you’re looking forward to presenting a piece of poetry or prose or music to the weird-looking people you’re going to encounter with the Interrobang crew. Without being too spoiler-ific, what can you tell us about it?

CA:  I’m just back from a month spent on retreat on a mountainside in Inverness-shire… an experience that felt very “lost in space” at times, I can tell you!  I’ll be sharing new poems written on that retreat.  Some of them might be pretty NSFW, just warning you all!

Helmets on, lads!
The Zep boys have decided to join the trip now!

 Thanks a lot to Claire for indulging the INTERROBANG?! Interrogation. If, like us, you want to hear a poet at the height of her powers discovering her new material,  come along to INTERROBANG: Lost In Space?! at The Biscuit Factory on 29 April (admission free, £5 suggested donation)

UPCOMING: Lost In Space?! 29/04/2017

Hi, folks!

We enjoyed the INTERROBANG: A New World?! show so much, we wanted to keep shaking things up for the new show. So here’s the skinny on Lost In Space?!

Good luck with that!
#1: We’re banning Ricky from making ancient references.

Never fear, we have the traditional line-up of awesome writerly talent:

  • JL WILLIAMS joins us as her third collection, After Economy, prepares to hit the shelves?!
  • EVER DUNDAS, a writer specialising in the weird and macabre, should fit into the INTERROBANG?! vibe perfectly. Her first novel, Goblin, will be published in May. You can find out a little more about that here?!
  • CLAIRE ASKEW, Bloodaxe Books poet, writer in residence at Golden Hare Books, and Jessie Kesson Fellow 2017, is dropping a fresh new set. How exciting is that?!

As well as all that, we have the awesome AURORA ENGINE and MATT NORRIS bringing the choons. We’ve been angling to have them both in for a while, and having them both in the same bill is gonna be incredible!

But, wait! There’s more?! If you can’t take the Bing Crosby/Walt Disney joke again, we present an actual, honest to goodness comedian.

  • Beth had the good fortune recently to catch GEMMA FLYNN as part of the Dangerous Women Project, and knew we had to have her at INTERROBANG?! Gemma performs stand up comedy regularly in Glasgow and Edinburgh and is part of the alternative comedy collective Chunks, as well as host of the academic pop culture podcast Dash Kapital?!

And of course, the theatrical stylings of our resident short-form playwright, JACQUES TSIANTAR and his notorious JACQUES’ BIG TWO-HANDER! Will YOU be one of the volunteer actors who gets to be Edinburgh-famous for fifteen minutes?!

Ooft. Queen Bitch, much?!
“Yeah. Make that *Bonnington*-famous” – Andy

We’ll be releasing some awesome Interrobang Interrogations with our guests this week, but for now, know these further exciting developments:

  • Lost in Space?! will be on a Saturday, starting at 2pm. This means you can supplement your Interrobanging with a swing through the Edinburgh Indoor Market – great food, fab art, and Ricky’s still banging on about the candles he got last month from The Soap Farm. QED.
  • With the market taking place downstairs, we’ll be upstairs. If you haven’t seen the upstairs at the Biscuit Factory yet, you’re in for a treat. New INTERROBANG?!, new vibe?!

We’re looking forward to seeing you!