Spake: Dialect and Voices from the West Midlands

Spake: Dialect and Voices from the West Midlands

Urszula Clark


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Spake: Dialect and Voices from the West Midlands with contributions from Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders), Julie Walters, Jess Phillips MP, Liz Berry and many of the regions best known writers. Spake is a love letter to West Midlands voice and a challenge the preconceptions and prejudices that abound about dialect and non-standard English. Much maligned, frequently overlooked or simply left out altogether: the English West Midlands has for decades been diminished in the national conversation - and with it, the rich dialects and voices of the region are often misunderstood, ignored or worse ridiculed and mocked. But whos to say that the way we spake isnt every bit a vital and precious part of the landscape as other accents and dialects? This anthology features contemporary writing that draws upon dialect in ways that explore the potential of the narrative and poetic voice, bringing to life the silent histories and harsh realities of a vanishing working-class way of life in what was once Britains industrial heartland. From contemporary re-imaginings of the interwar decades in Steven Knights TV series Peaky Blinders to Liz Berrys prize-winning poetry and up and coming new talent, this book celebrates and gives voice to experiences rooted in the region that have largely lain at the margins.