More to Me Than HIV Read more

More to Me Than HIV

First published in Gscene July 2020 For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library.For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being           Read more

More to Me Than HIV: GScene post Aug 2020

More to Me Than HIV is a project that aims to breakdown the stigma that has historically been attached to this virus.  When I saw my piece in last months Gscene to promote the More to Me Than HIV project, I was extremely proud, but a small part of me was filled with anxiety; but why should I feel this way? I have been on effective antiretroviral therapy since the Read more

More to Me Than HIV: first published in GScene July 2020

For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being             diagnosed HIV+ 32 years previous. Back then there was no treatment and a lot of fear and misinformation concerning how HIV was transmitted. As such stigma was rife, Read more

Brighton & Hove

Have a Word Summer Special

Founder of Have A Word

Founder of Have A Word

Ellis Collins, the brainchild behind Brighton literary event, Have a Word, returns for a summer special on 27th August, at the Latest Music Bar, Manchester Street. An all male line-up promises to be an exciting and diverse range of poetry, story telling and music.












Nicolas Collins first collection of poetry, Washing the Duvet, spanned the life of a gay man exploring subjects: love, lust and loss with equal amounts of soul searching and humour through personal experience and wry observations of the world around him with a panache of exploring the world of cats! For the Have a Word Summer Special, Nicolas will be reading from his new collection of poetry.
Nicolas’s first book, Washing the Duvet will be on sale on the evening and from






Where all the neighbours are a nightmare.

Where all the neighbours are a nightmare.

Glenn Stevens passion is the short story, taking great pleasure in dissecting the world of suburban gothic in his collection of stories, Blanche Street: where all the neighbours are a nightmare, available on the night to download as an ebook. He will be reading the Brighton based tale, Dead Famous.

During a ghost walk in Brighton’s Lanes, Bryan bumps into Janice and Nick. As a new boy in town, Bryan is pleased to meet such a nice couple. Even better, Janice loves the fact that Bryan longs to be a writer, an actor or someone famous. With their help he will be, but at what cost? (website coming very soon)










Liam Murray Bell who will be reading second novel,The Busker, published by Myriad in May 2014 and Scottish Book Trust 2014 Pick of the Year.

“A modern-day ballad set across three cities and two years, The Busker is a richly comic exposé of the music industry, the occupy movement, homelessness, squatting — and failing to live up to the name you (almost) share with your hero. It is also the story of what survives when the flimsy dreams of fame fall apart.”








Singer, song writer.

Singer, song writer.

Paul Diello is a Brighton based singer songwriter and it is a real treat that he will be bringing his soul drenched songs to Have a Word Summer Special, singing songs from his second album, Looking Glass, including new double side single, (I am) a Voodoo Doll, reminiscent of Soft Cell’s Marc Almond in both sound an dark lyrics, with the flip side bringing Paul’s soulful sound to the Bronski Beat/Jimmy Somerville classic, Small Town Boy

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Sound and Visionary: Francis Poulenc

Francis Poulenc

Way back in 1899, famous French gay composer, Francis Poulenc was born to Emile and Jenny Poulenc. His mother, an amateur pianist, taught Francis to the piano, which in turn would begin his life-long love affair with music.

In his early career he embraced the radical Dada movement, (imagine the work of Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam without any restraints and that’s Dada art)an art form that suited Poulenc’s playful compensations as shown at the end of this blog.


During this time, Poulenc joined forces with a group of French and Swiss composers who would become known as the avant-garde group, ‘Les Six’. Together the group set about redefining musical compositions, while reacting against the impressionist and late Romantics of their time; including, composers: Richard Wagner, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.


From the aged of eighteen, onwards, Poulenc had an extremely successful career in music, which would take him across the globe. During the years of 1921-25, Poulenc undertook his first formal training, but the majority of his learning from thereon in was self taught compensations. It has been said that he’s work was influenced by that of Stravinsky and Satie, but when one listens to his work, it is distantly his own. 

Although it has to be said being gay in 1920’s Paris wasn’t seen as particularly shocking, Poulenc was always open about his homosexuality, had a string of affairs with men but was rather taken by the painter, Richard Chanlaire to whom he dedicated  the ‘Concert champêtre’ and is quoted as saying of  Chanlaire, “You have changed my life, you are the sunshine of my thirty years, a reason for living and working”


Random fact: Poulenc’s piece, Perpetual Motion Nr. 1 was used as part of the soundtrack for Hitchcock’s gay themed film, Rope.

Poulenc’s , Perpetual Motion Nr. 1used in the film, Rope

Poulenc’s , Perpetual Motion Nr. 1used in the film, Rope

in 1936 the death of his close friend and fellow composer, Pierre-Octave Ferroud, led Poulenc to return to his Catholic faith, which interestingly did not stop him embracing his own homosexuality. However, his musical output changed dramatically where he composed both liturgical music and compositions laden with religious themes.

Pierre-Octave Ferroud,

In later life he would dedicate the one act opera, La voix humaine (The Human Voice) to his lover, Louis Gautier who was with Poulenc on the day he died of heart failure in Paris on January 30th 1963.

As well as giving a little history lesson, the Brighton Writer wrote this piece because, with Christmas but a distant memory, and those New Year shenanigans locked away as you get yourself back to the grindstone, he asks you to take a moment of time from your day to sit back and enjoy the beautiful composition from Francis Poulenc, while watching this brilliant piece of Dadaism at the same time.


Suite en 3 mouvements, FP 19 (1920)

1928 Dadaist Film

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