My new website is launched. Please visit the Official Romesh Gunesekera website at www.romeshg.com

Look forward to seeing you there!


Moving on …

I now have a new blog. So please visit the new place and bookmark it for news. Click Romesh Gunesekera and be transported.

News about new publications will be there.

End of an Era

Sadly, my year at Somerset House is now over. Last week we had a farewell drinks at Tom’s Bar organised by Charlotte. It was great to see everyone from different parts of Somerset House and the Courtauld there, as well Pauline Melville on her way to France. Josie came back for it with her wonderful recreation of the building in paper as my leaving gift. In return I offered a discovery of  a poem after John Masefield’s  ‘Sea-Fever’. I’ve always been reminded of the opening lines walking into the courtyard and seeing the Naval references and the sea gulls. I have put a copy of  the poem ‘Salt Room Fever’ up on a separate page, with apologies to Masefield.

I would like to thank everybody who has been involved in the many events we have had in connection with the residency, and all the friendly wonderful people in the different parts of Somerset House. Many thanks and au revoir.   

There will be one more post here to redirect  you to my next blog. But in the meantime, I must go down to the seas and sail across to …

Another magical evening! Michael Morpurgo charmed us with a story in which a youngster encounters the greatest artist in the world. Cezanne, or was it actually Picasso? Then Margaret Drabble took us to her childhood and from there into the heart of Van Gogh. Then we moved with Andrew Motion into  the public and private worlds of Rousseau as he watches over  the gates of Paris. The evening  ended with a new poem by Andrew Motion in response to the painting. Wonderful!

A wonderful evening and a full house despite the tube strike on 4th October.  Amit Chaudhuri started out by explaining why he will be talking about a painting that was not his favourite but which he was becoming fascinated with and in the process illuminated not only Renoir the painter, but also Renoir the film maker. Ruth Padel then took us through the extraordinary narrative of the Flight from Egypt and gave us a  new poem inspired by the painting. Finally Ali Smith read a dazzling story of  discovering Cezanne and offered us arrows to the heart from Rilke. A very special evening.

Next week, we will have the second evening in the series  with Michael Morpurgo, Margaret Drabble and Andrew Motion. Already sold out. Then on the 14 October, the last of the 2010  Salons.

Picture This

On Saturday the Guardian published some wonderful pieces by Ali Smith, Amit Chaudhuri, Ruth Padel, Margaret Drabble and Andrew Motion on their favourite paintings at the Courtauld.  They will be talking about these in the gallery on the 4th and 13th of October. Book early!

Autumn Salon

The next Salon will be on 14 October. The topic will be ‘Fostering New Writing’. What helps new writers and new writing? How do competitions, publishing outlets, magazines or the internet help? What do you get from workshops, bookshops, an MA, a mentor, a publishers and an agent? We hope to bring together these different perspectives together and share ideas. The next Salon will also announce the winners of the Wasafiri New Writing competition.