I’m an artist, writer and published poet, living and working in East Anglia. I graduated from Norwich University of The Arts in 2020 where I studied Fine Art on a scholarship and left with a first and two awards. I’ve exhibited widely, most notably Mall Galleries (2019), East Gallery (2019) and Norwich and Norfolk Festival (2021) and have been writing dumb, bordeline offensive reviews for years now. I started writing about art because galleries felt both stale and kind of terrifying and, as a working class kid, they felt like spaces I did not belong in. I wanted reviews to be juicy, passionate and unflinching, but what I found was aloof, and wordy; lacking any real opinion. So I started writing what I wanted to read, and that eventually led me to rrramble.
Your ultimate desert island disc track: that one song you would take with you to a desert island, if you could only choose one.
Even though I would do unspeakable things for Taylor Swift, it’s got to be (Escape) The Pina Colada Song by Rupert Holmes. For entertainment purposes, I wilfully ignore the fact it’s about adultery.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why?
I’d have to go for Kettle’s Yard just so I could chill in The House. It’s one of those places that is just painfully beautiful. It’s curator Jim Ede and Helen Ede’s former home and is restored and kept as if they never left. Sometimes I think: what the hell is a curator. Like… What do they actually do? What’s the point? And then I walk around The House and I’m like oh ok. Yep. Everything is so beautifully placed to consider lighting as the sun moves, there’s paintings hanging low along skirting boards, sculptures from his famous artist friends are dotted everywhere, bowls of flowers sit next to arranged stones, seating is placed to create cosy reading nooks throughout and even the light switches are cool.
What was the last book you didn’t manage to finish?
I’ve been reading Rutger Bregman’s A Hopeful History of Mankind for months….years? Decades? It’s super interesting, and I loved his first book, but sometimes I like being cynical and pessimistic about the world. Kind of like shrek and his swamp. It’s fun to hate stuff.
Have you ever heard a song that feels like it HAD to be written about you? What was it and why?
I waitressed for two years and I used to listen to Don’t You Want Me by The Human League just so I could shout SHE WAS WORKING AS A WAITRESS IN A COCKTAIL BAR. I worked in a chain restaurant not a cocktail bar, but let’s just skip that part because it really made me feel like a main character.
If you could have written one play/novel/poem/song, what would it be and why?
Ryszard Krynicki’s poem “I can’t help you”. Honestly when I first read it, I was so pissed off. He got things I can only say in messy paragraphs and filtered it down to 13 words. What a skill. Haunting and concise, it feels like a bullet.
Hello, I’m Eve and I live in Norwich. I’m a Librarian and in many ways live up to the stereotype: I enjoy tea, reading, wearing cardigans, and knitting. The only things I’m missing are a pair of glasses and a cat.
Your Ultimate Desert Island Disc Track: Don’t Delete the Kisses by Wolf Alice. I think it’s one of the best love songs to ever exist, and it perfectly captures that feeling of meeting someone and immediately falling for them.
If you could have written one play/novel/poem/song, what would it be and why? Any book by Taylor Jenkins Reid – she’s proof that commercial fiction can 100% cover the same big, ‘meaningful’ themes as literary novels, but also make them fun to read.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? The Rijksmuseum because then I would finally get to go into the library! (It’s viewable but entry is off-limits to the public)
What was the last book you didn’t manage to finish? The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – I fully intend to go back to it, but the world-building is a bit intense and I didn’t have the mental capacity at the time.
Have you ever heard a song that feels like it HAD to be written about you? What was it and why? No Body, No Crime by Taylor Swift. It reminds me of my friend’s cheating husband who mysteriously disappeared… I wonder what happened to him!
Hello, hello, I’m Becca! Almost a year post-graduating from my MA in Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures (niche, I know) I am very excited to get writing again. The topsy turvy world of Covid has me unexpectedly living at home again and working as a Teaching Assistant in a primary school just outside Cambridge. Much like almost every person who’s ever once stepped foot in Norwich, studying there had me proper head over heels in love with the city, so I try and find myself back there as much as possible. Through my studies, and just through being an East Anglian from birth, I have a particular affinity with anything arts / cultural / generally interesting happening in this part of the world. I am, however, really quite unfussed about any of the media I consume, which I’m choosing to believe is a good thing…I’m obsessed with podcasts, scrapbooking, and embroidery. I like cooking, pretending I can sew my own clothes, and Lucy and Yak dungarees. I hate that I still sometimes mist my glasses up while wearing a mask, when your phone sensor thing doesn’t recognise your fingerprint, and how often the children at school give me colds.
Your Ultimate Desert Island Disk Track?
I had a track in mind, but thought I’d check which is my most played track on Spotify just to confirm. Sure enough, it’s ‘Which Witch’ by Florence + The Machine. I’ve been obsessed with Florence since ‘Lungs’ and am just in love with how this track starts so strong but still manages to build so euphorically throughout as each new layer is added.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, what would it be and why?
Does the British Library count? After volunteering for a few years at the Norfolk Heritage Centre, followed up with an MA for good measure, I am mildly obsessed with everything manuscript culture so would be quite happy to hide away in their archives.
If you could have written one novel, what would it be and why?
Probably ‘Grief is the Thing with Feathers’ by Max Porter. Incidentally, this answer also doubles up for the question ‘what was the last book that made you cry?’ Honestly, it’s one of the most powerful things I’ve ever read and I have a lump in my throat just thinking about it – I recommend it to anyone who will let me ramble on about it.
What’s a poem you could recite in demand?
I used to know the ‘Jabberwocky’ quite well and I reckon I could still give it a good go.
If you could live inside one painting/sculpture, what would it be and why?
Maybe a Beatrix Potter illustration – you chose which one! They’re so delightfully charming and evoke such childhood nostalgia for me. I am also a proper country bumpkin, so that might be part of their appeal…
Hello! My name is Jayne, I am originally from a rural mining town in the North East, but I now live and work in Greater Manchester. Pre-covid I dabbled in all sorts of creative industries jobs from performing to writing but have yet to settle into one full time, and at the moment I work as a project trainer for a telecommunications company while I find my feet. I have a lot of passion for all things creative and I spend every free moment painting, writing, crafting, and even making graphics or editing videos. I studied Creative Writing and Theatre at Brunel University in Uxbridge and ideally would like to find a full time career in the arts. I started writing for rrramble because I love the core values they stand for. As a queer creator from a working class background, I always found it hard to relate to the kind of people who seemed to be reviewing works I was interested in. Finding rrramble gave me writers to identify with, and I’d quite like to be able to give that relatability back!
Ultimate Desert Island Disk Track:
Fixin’ – Walk the Moon
Who would play you in a film of your life?
Julia Davis. I connect with her sense of humour on a spiritual level – of course the film of my life would be a comedy. I love everything she writes so with luck we’d convince her to write the script too!
The last book that made you cry?
‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ by Charles Mackesy. It was given to me for my birthday and I went into it completely blind. It is without a doubt a book that changed my life. Simple but beautiful and full of exquisite illustrations, the kind of thing I will pick up and read over and over again.
What’s a song that HAD to be written about you?
‘Life Less Ordinary’ – Carbon Leaf. I feel like the first time I heard this track it just struck me in my soul. If music were a person I would definitely be this song’s best friend. It’s so bouncy and upbeat, just like me! But it also talks about things I want for myself – a life extraordinary!
A poem you could recite on demand?
‘The old astronomer to his pupil’ – Sarah Williams. I read this for the first time when I was sixteen and I have adored it ever since. It’s my go-to poem.
Ultimate Desert island disc track?
The entirety of Chance the Rapper’s mixtape ‘Coloring Book’. I know it’s only supposed to be one track, but if I’m expected to survive on a desert island, I need that whole record.
What’s a poem you can recite on demand?
‘Annabel Lee’ by Edgar Allan Poe, and ‘Boyfriend Interview’ by Haley Mosley.
What was the last book that made you cry, or laugh out loud? (or both!)
‘Everything I know about love’ by Dolly Alderton. I both sobbed and chuckled, sometimes at the same time, pretty much the whole way through.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why?
Not a gallery, but the Voodoo Museum in New Orleans. It’s a tiny house in the middle of the French quarter, that’s been converted into a museum of Voodoo and Hoodoo, that also does cemetery tours. It’s jam packed with artifacts and pieces of historical interest (including some personal items of Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen herself) and just epitomises the New Orleans vibe. I would live there if I could!
Hi, I’m Wayne. Grew up in Lowestoft, now living in Saxmundham and really enjoying the commute to Norwich where I look after press and PR for performing arts hub The Garage. Juggling that with freelance writing, reviewing and editing for anyone who’ll have me after years as a journalist. Love having honest, fun chats about arts, culture and entertainment.
Your ultimate desert island disc track? Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giants.
Who would play you in the film of your life? Easy, Meryl Streep.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? Not exactly a gallery but The Museum of the Moving Image in London (sadly long closed).
If you could live inside one painting or sculpture, what would it be? Bit of a cheat but the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Imagine the stories.
What was the last book that made you cry, or laugh out loud? The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Literary detective Thursday Next chases a master criminal through the world of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Hilarious and so quotable. Worth it for the line “You’ve got a face longer than a Dickens novel. What’s the problem?”
Hi, I’m Sabrina (she/her)! I’m from Hong Kong and currently based in York after graduating from my MSc in Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology. I love reading, drawing, writing and making music, and I run book and art blogs on the side. I’d like to resurrect my Soundcloud too if I’ve got time… (If I really was a witch I could probably conjure up some extra hours in the day!) I post reviews/bookish chat on my book blog ‘Notes From a Paper Plane Nomad’ and bookstagram and I’m excited to review other art forms too with rrramble, especially as the performing arts is another passion of mine – whether it’s onstage, backstage or in the audience. Pre-COVID, I volunteered at the Norwich Castle Museum, Earlham Library Drop-in-and-Draw and Norwich Theatre Royal (which I do remotely now). Hopefully I can volunteer in person again soon!
Your ultimate desert island disc track? ‘Respiro’ by Sebastián Yatra as it never gets old, even when I listen on repeat. It’s super calming yet somehow energises me too. Bonus points because the song is all about persevering in the hopes of seeing a loved one again, so I guess it would be good motivation if I was marooned on a desert island!
What was the last book you didn’t manage to finish? ‘Feathertide’ by Beth Cartwright – I was really excited for this (mermaids! magic! mystery!), but I sadly couldn’t past about 40% as it was quite slow and I wasn’t attached enough to the protagonist to carry on. The writing style is beautiful though, and this is a debut, so I’m probably still going to check out Cartwright’s future books.
What was the last book that made you cry, or laugh out loud? (or both!) The last book that made me laugh out loud is my current read, ‘Cemetery Boys’ by Aiden Thomas! The dynamic of the budding friendship (romance?) between the first lead (a queer, trans Latinx brujo) and second lead (a ghost that said brujo accidentally summoned) is so energetic and their banter cracked me up so many times.
Have you ever heard a song that feels like it HAD to be written about you? What was it and why? ‘Tomorrow’ by BTS. It’s a very specific sort of connection I feel with the song, now that I’m in my 20s and during COVID lockdown(s). I relate so much to what they rap/sing about: the frustration of feeling stuck, wondering where the dreams of their youth went, the inexorable passage of time and the hope for tomorrow being different/better. My favourite line is probably “This is not a stop, but a momentary pause in your life to rest”, which I think about a lot when I’m feeling demotivated. (If you’re curious about the whole song, I recommend the English translation on the blog ‘muish’s ramblings…’!)
If you could have written one play/novel/poem/song, what would it be and why? Probably the ‘Heartstopper’ webcomic/graphic novel by Alice Oseman. I absolutely love the story, characters and the art – one of my dreams is to create my own graphic novel or webcomic! The way in which Oseman discusses serious mental health and LGBTQ+ topics, threaded together with uplifting messages about friendship, love and hope is something I hope I can emulate one day. I love this comic so much that I even surveyed a number of ‘Heartstopper’ readers before writing a Medium article about the different ways it’s impacted us!
My name is Charlie, that’s about all of which I’m certain.
My parents told me I was born and raised in Cambridge, but I was asleep at the time so couldn’t possibly comment. My childhood was spent stubbornly indoors where my books were. At university I discovered other people do exist, which was rather a blow to my productivity, I got out with a first in English Literature and Creative Writing so everything worked out in the end.
I’m a writer which means I’m a liar. At the very least I try to be an honest one.
Your Ultimate Desert Island Disc Track: Villon Song by Stick in the Wheel
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? Museum of Modern Art in New York. I have a lot of happy memories from going there as a child.
What was the last book you didn’t manage to finish? Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. I read a sentence so good it made me depressed for a week. I’m still too scared to go back.
What’s a poem you can recite on demand? To a Mouse by Robert Burns.
If you could be inside one painting or sculpture, what would it be? The North Cape by Peder Balke. I love the starkness of the light in his work, and I just dig the sea in general.
My name is Becky and I was born here in Norfolk and have lived here all my life (except for a 3-year stint in Cardiff studying Performance and Media). Like most people I know I missed Norfolk whilst studying and boomeranged back here once I was finished. I am so happy I did! I currently work freelance throughout the Norfolk arts scene and I feel incredibly lucky to do so. I facilitate workshops, write things, and document and support arts projects. I am currently studying to become a qualified counsellor and it’s amazing how much that training is informing my creative freelance work. I am really interested in the interplay between the arts and wellbeing and can’t wait to see how this part of my work grows.
Your ultimate desert island disc track: Shelter by Finneas – No idea why, it just feels right.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight which would it be and why? Natural History Museum. I have been a couple of times and there is always something else to notice.
Who would play you in the film of your life? Florence Pugh. She is awesome and has a great silly sense of humor which suits me 🙂
What was the last book that made you cry or laugh out loud? Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I read it pretty much in one sitting and it’s just wonderful.
If you could have written one novel what would it be and why? I WISH I had written something like the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. The world building is so simple and subtle, you suddenly realise you understand it all without him simply shouting it at you. It’s great.
Hi, I’m Isaac. I grew up on the Wirral before studying English Literature at UEA. Now I live in Gateshead, where I work for Sage Gateshead and spend my free time circling the drain in the North East cultural scene. In the past I’ve worked as an actor, amateur production manager, and programmes intern for the National Centre for Writing; as well as an onslaught of customer service jobs. I miss both Liverpool and Norwich, but I’m also glad to be away, it keeps me engaged with different parts of the country and challenges me to keep thinking different. I hate confining myself to one thing and like exploring art I might not be familiar with, especially when it’s experimental and crosses the boundaries between disciplines. My dream project is an intersection of poetry and light vandalism.
Your ultimate desert island disc track: Love Bites (So Do I) by Halestorm.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? The Biscuit Factory: it’s a small gallery, but so interesting and welcoming I feel like I could build a little house inside.
What’s a poem you can recite on demand? Mina Loy, Love Songs ‘XIV’
What was the last book that made you cry, or laugh out loud? (or both!) Boy Parts by Eliza Clark had me laughing out loud a few times. As far as I can remember only one book has ever made me cry.
If you could have written one novel, what would it be and why? Água Viva by Clarice Lispector. The entire reading experience is like hanging out with a friend who’s cooler, smarter, and hotter than you and I’m immensely jealous that I could never write a book like it.
Hi, I’m Alex. I grew up in South-West London/Surrey, moved to Norwich to study English Literature at UEA and currently live in Brighton (for now!). I’m a queer poet by nature and am lucky enough to have been published in A Queer Anthology of Wilderness by Pilot Press, journal Persephone’s Daughters and zine Just Snails, among others. As well as poetry and Rrramble, right now I’m also a website volunteer for the Museum of Transology, which gives me the chance to help support one of my favourite exhibitions in the world.
Your ultimate desert island disc track? Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac.
Who would play you in the film of your life? I think Bex Taylor-Klaus would absolutely smash it (and let’s be real my pool of non-binary actors to choose from is pretty small!)
What was the last book you didn’t manage to finish? Normal People by Sally Rooney! I know so many people love it, but I realised about halfway through that I wasn’t invested and gave up.
Have you ever read a poem that feels like it HAD to be written about you? What was it and why?Alternate Universe in Which I Am Unfazed by The Men Who Do Not Love Me by Olivia Gatwood struck such a chord with me the first time I heard it. It doesn’t quite feel like me already, but more of a call to arms / something to aim for. I still sometimes consider getting the final line tattooed at some point.
If you could have written one song, what would it be and why? Probably Elysium by Bear’s Den, just because I think it’s one of the best songs ever written, and I’d be incredibly proud to have created something so hauntingly beautiful.
Hello! I’m Lucy, a 22-year-old prose writer and occasional poet based in Sheffield. I studied creative writing at UEA from 2016-19, which was wonderful – I loved writing, performing and creative opportunities, and was lucky enough to run the Creative Writing Society. I hope to return to Norwich asap, but for the time being I’m up North, where I’ve been a Waterstones bookseller, short-story fanatic and a performer with the Dead Women Poets Society. I currently work part-time in a primary school, and as an editor with the Society of Young Publishers.
Your ultimate desert island disc track: Short Movie, by Laura Marling.
If you could have written one novel,what would it be and why? The Secret History by Donna Tartt. The feelings, the crimes, the characters, – everything in that book is so well-balanced and gripping. If I’d written that novel I would simply ascend to a celestial plane.
If you had to be locked inside one gallery overnight, which would it be and why? The Artemesia Exhibition at the National Gallery in London. I was absolutely dying to see it, but London tier-4ed and ruined all my plans. She was a 17th Century Italian painter, like Michaelangelo and DaVinci, who portrayed canonical women in ways that had simply never been done before: Samson’s Delila, the rape of Lucretia, Judith beheading Holofernes. Radical renaissance? Yes please.
Have you ever heard a song that feels like it HAD to be written about you? What was it and why? You Don’t Want Me, by Margaret Glaspy. I came across the album after a fairly horrific breakup and listening to that song especially felt like having a little friend on my shoulder saying, ‘you are MIGHTY.’ It was magical.
What’s a poem you can recite on demand? The Night is Darkening ‘Round Me, by Emily Bronte. I used to read it over and over because I was so interested in the fact it was unfinished. Or Phainetai Moi/Fragment 31 by Sappho, for very similar reasons.
Hi I’m Ruby. I’m a third year Scriptwriting and Performance student at UEA and have lived in Hellesdon which is just outside Norwich my whole life. I think that Norwich has an amazing arts scene and one of the nicest things about staying here to study has been sharing this with the friends that I have made at uni from all over the country. I have worked at the Norwich Theatre Royal and have volunteered with the National Centre for Writing, Young Norfolk Arts Festival and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival for several years and love keeping up to date with all the funky arty things that come in and out of the city!
Ultimate desert island disc track? Islands in the Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. It always reminds me of summer road trips in America when I was little, back when my grandparents lived in Florida.
What’s the last book or film that made you laugh, or cry (or both)? The new Pixar movie Soul had me a bit weepy. I love how it kind of explored positive nihilism for children, and not putting pressure on yourself to find a purpose, that life is just supposed to be enjoyed for whatever you make of it. It was also super funny and had me laughing a lot as well, nothing better than a cat body swap!
What’s a poem you can recite on demand? As a former moody high school literature gal I can pretty much recite Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath. I used to constantly listen to her collection Ariel on audiobook so I know those poems pretty well. The last verse still gives me goosebumps, and I think “I eat men like air” would look badass on a t-shirt.
If you could live inside one painting or sculpture, what would it be?
Almond Blossom by Van Gogh always makes be feel so peaceful and happy, I also really love Cafe Terrace at Night, you just want to jump inside them.