In 94 days the next Wakefield Litfest will start. There are 94 sections in Wakelost Wakefound, my commission as the Festival’s 2013/14 Writer in Residence. Part online novella, part photo essay, it follows 24 hours in the lives of four people moving about the fascinating and very different urban zones of Wakefield city centre.
I have always been fascinated by the way stillness and movement intersect in the area around the festival’s HQ, a beautiful 18th century orangery and garden. You have the oasis of The Orangery itself and nearby HMP Wakefield, a lifers’ prison. To one side is the constant movement of one of the main thoroughfares into town – Westgate - and between them a mainline station with all its trains, commuters and travellers.
Stillness and movement in a patchwork of urban spaces: a bit of industrial edgeland, a bit of red brick village, a gateway of banks and hotels converted to clubs and bars, a high street of empty shops local activists are reanimating, an almost collegiate area of Georgian brick, new developments around Burgage Square and Wakefield One. A station shifted a few hundred metres upline.
Each of the 94 days I’ll be tweeting and posting a section at the real time it takes place from 00.00 Wednesday through to 23.59 on the first day of the festival in September, although if you are so moved, you can walk through the whole piece online at any time.