1969-10 KSP with Soviet friend last picture written on back slwa_b3822418_1

It’s the KSP Writers’ Centre Open Day on Sunday 3 May and I’m giving a speech at 1:15pm called “What these Walls Saw: Katharine Susannah Prichard at Old York Rd”. Counting on the fact that many good speeches have taken their inspiration from 1980s pop music, I use Amy Grant’s song “If These Walls Could Speak” (which didn’t even chart, and was actually written by Jimmy Webb) as a framework and ask, given these walls are actually mute, what do the archives say these walls saw? Katharine lived in that house (with some breaks) for fifty years, and the walls and gardens and workroom saw much, from gipsy-themed engagement parties to a widow consoled by her exotic garden.

It’s a nice way to start a month-long residency at the centre, in which I will be living in Katharine’s place as I do some writing – mainly a new version of my novel, “The Remains”, but also on the biography itself.