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August’s Stories and Poems

Written by Rachael Norris, 17th August 2022

What does it mean to grow as a human being? A question that might not seem to have any easy answers, but one which connects several of the selections in August's Stories and Poems. Ahead of Gravity festival, which will be returning later in the year, the stories, extracts and poems chosen this month are helping us to think about life's ups and downs.

Perhaps what makes us grow is having the opportunity to go to new places, meet different people and have new experiences, or maybe it's through connecting with others on a personal, human level where we discover more about ourselves. Sometimes, we don't even need to travel that far to forge new relationships; they can await us just around the corner of where we live. In other places, growth can be just as much about revisiting the past as it is about moving forward.

Each month we’ll also be delving into The Reader Bookshelf as part of the Monthly Stories and Poems selections. This month we’re introducing choices and extracts from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Simon Armitage.

August's stories and extracts are:

'Why am I so changed?' (from Wuthering Heights) by Emily Brontë

'Things' by D.H. Lawrence

'Chibi and Lightning Alley' (from The Guest Cat) by Takashi Hiraide (translated by Eric Selland)

'The Apple Tree' by Katherine Mansfield

'Arcturus' by David Guterson

This month's poetry selections take a look at two different sides of life - the side that we might consider to be more everyday, what we might call the fundamentals of living, and on the other side, something more unknown, perhaps fantastical or out of reach. Do these apparent opposites always exist separately from one another? What happens when they meet? For those of us keen for an adventure on these late summer days, the idea of 'being lost' may appeal, as also perhaps a journey up a mountain will too...

'Cutting Loose' by William Stafford

'Things Shouldn't Be So Hard' by Kay Ryan

'Christmas at Camelot', from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Simon Armitage

'A Dream of Mountaineering' by Po Chü-i (translated by Arthur Waley)

'Wonder Woman' by Ada Limón 

If you're a Reader Leader, head to the Online Community Hub to download this month's selection.

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