Knitting in Venice

As I walked down all the tiny streets and over bridges in central Venice I was bombarded by design and fashion. Most of it was luxurious. Some of it was fronted by men selling contraband right in front of Prada’s windows, calling to the tourists to buy their genuine look-a-like goods. At times I felt uncomfortable with this contrast between high-fashion couture set in air-conditioned shops and the men who stayed put on the streets in the sun until caught – which seemed to rarely happen.

I looked out for the original, small artisan seller. Paper, glass and jewellery makers were dotted about here and there. I recall my mother and her friends being very fond of Italian gold – it has a certain patina and weight that distinguishes it from all the others.

Then I found a yarn shop with  smiling knitters inside, despite 38C of heat every day…and like all yarn people, were extremely helpful. They told me their story and all about their yarns. We talked in a combination of English and Italian, enabling each other. We decided to stay in touch to share.

Dio benedice i maghi italiani!


Writing Well and Writing to Get Well 4 Podcast


What can writers and teachers of Creative Writing learn from psychiatry, neuroscience, and other medical disciplines about the links between creativity and mental illness?

Lily Dunn, Nathan Filer and Agata Vitale (Photo by Oscar Windsor-Smith)

The podcast from the fourth Friday evening event, which took place on Friday 19th May 2017, can be listened to here:

Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall, and Agata Vitale, Senior Lecturer in Abnormal/Clinical Psychology at Bath Spa University, discuss Creative Writing and Mental Health with Lily Dunn.

Nathan Filer originally trained and worked as a mental health nurse, then later as a mental health researcher at the University of Bristol. His debut novel The Shock of the Fall – which describes the life of a young man with schizophrenia – was published in 2013 to wide critical acclaim. It won The Costa Book of the Year, The Betty Trask Prize…

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