It's been a few months since I was last in touch via this newsletter and everything in the interim, I think it's fair to say, has gone to shit. At time of writing, Twitter is still available to us, but it does feel as though any day now we might wake up to find it gone. It's a strange feeling; if you know me, you'll know that I have had a very difficult relationship with that particular platform for the best part of twelve years, but I will be sad to see it go. I've made lots of wonderful friends there, some of whom I'm managed to translate into real-life friendships (more on this below). Anyway, this is a little update with some recent news from me, some content (ew) I've been involved with, and some recommendations.
I'm a Juvenalia co-host!
I am sorry to report that I now have yet another podcast to convince you all to listen to – though I suspect you already know and love Juvenalia, hosted by Alan Maguire and Sarah Maria Griffin, and now me! I officially joined the gang recently and couldn't be happier about it. I truly love this podcast, the immaculate and deeply wholesome vibe it creates, and everyone involved in making it. My first episode as co-host will be out next week so subscribe here to keep an eye out for that, and listen to the amazing back catalogue while you're there.
I'm a PhD student!
Perhaps the biggest piece of life/career news to report is that I have started my PhD studies at the TU Dublin School of Media where I'm researching women's music collectives, feminism and activism. I'm honoured to be funded for the duration of my studies by the Irish Research Council through their Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship. This has been a dream of mine since the day I graduated from my Masters back in 2016 and I can't wait to see what the next four years bring. Also if anyone knows how to write a literature review feel free to get in touch...
I'm still doing other things!
Over at the Nialler9 podcast , Niall and I have been recording weekly shows about the nest new music and some deep dives – we're very reliable if I do say so myself. I was a guest on Andy Gaffney's marvellous Be Grand podcast where I sat the Leaving Cert again and got something like eight thousand points because he is a kind examiner and great person (I loved this chat). I also had a great time on a panel about intersectional feminism and music as part of Bláithín de Burca's Blá Blá Blá in Sin É earlier this month which was a wonderful and affirming evening of laughs and solidarity.
I recently interviewed Seán Hewitt, poet and author of the beautiful gothic memoir All Down Darkness Wide, which I cannot recommend enough as a text that blends the personal, the gothic, the psyche and queer history. Look out for that interview in the Business Post Magazine in the coming weeks. Also in books, I recently read Mad Honey by Jennifer Finney Boylan and Jodi Picoult which was a beautifully told story of love, identity, a criminal trial and beekeeping. I'm currently reading Elena Ferrante's essays on reading and writing In The Margins while preparing to begin the fourth and final book in the Neopolitan Quartet series. I'm hoping there's some kind of support group I can join once I've finished them because I will miss these characters dearly. Also on the go is The Secret History because it seems I am the last person in the world to read it.
In just a couple of weeks, I'll be setting off to Dingle for Other Voices 2022, to have hot drinks by fires, listen to inspiring talks and experience the best live music that Ireland has to offer. This playlist was circulated in the Nialler9 discord this week and I've been enjoying it in preparation. Otherwise, I haven't been in discovery mode when it comes to new music, and have found it difficult to switch my mindset towards engaging with it lately. This happens to me at this time of year and I know it will come back soon. As soon as it does, I'll be sure to make a playlist that I can share here. I'm still listening to The Beatles every day of course.
That's all from me for now. Just a little update to say hi. I'm still here. Maybe I'll only be here once Twitter implodes.