Calling All Poets!

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Bear with a Sore Head is now recruiting a select number of people to write, perform and record a one minute poem about what childhood reading meant to you. If chosen, your video will be published on our social media, and used to advertise our website, plus it’s an excellent CV booster! For more details please get in contact via email: or over the Bear with a Sore Head social media pages: BWASH Facebook BWASH Twitter

We’re very excited to see the kind of work that only talented writers like YOU can create.
(Topics can include: how reading shaped you, what books meant to you, what effect reading had on your childhood etc).

Screening: Xiaolu Guo’s UFO IN HER EYES

What: Screening and Q&A

When: Tuesday 24th May at 5-8pm

Where: Antonin Artaud 003

As part of next week’s Brunel Festival ( there will be a free screening of  Xialou Guo’s ‘UFO in Her Eyes’, a feature film about a peasant woman in a Chinese village who claims that she has seen a UFO. As a result everything in her life and that of her community undergoes a tremendous transformation. The film explores identity, feminism and globalisation.

Xiaolu Guo has created a vocabulary of her own, both visual and linguistic, that reflects her sense of bXiaolu Guoeing caught between Chinese and English, and her experience growing up during her home country’s wild transition from totalitarian enclave to the new shrine of global capitalism. An “alien” at home and in the global intellectual elite, Guo is an ideal interpreter of the sense of alienation generated by social upheaval and globalization“- Toronto Film Festival, 2011

Xiaolu Guo wrote the novel, script and directed the film and will available for a Q & A session after the screening; a great opportunity to pick an acclaimed novelist and scriptwriter’s brains, as well as see an award winning film. Don’t miss it!

“UFO in her Eyes is surrealist and ironic, but also pierced with melancholy and beau­tiful photography. With startling detail, Guo reshapes reality into a hyper-vivid portrait of chaotic contemporary Chinese society.” – Toronto Film Festival

 To learn more about the author:



English Swearing vs. Everyone Else

It’s boring getting told to “eff off”. I recently asked a friend of mine, who speaks a good four or so languages, what his favourite swear word was. He told me that he never bothered with English swear words because they’re too dull compared to the choice phrases he’s picked up elsewhere.

He may have a point. According to, the most commonly used swear word on Facebook, in English, is ‘shit’. [1] The F-Bomb comes in a close second. Standard quadrilaterals. Most of our other curse words are seemingly just other names for our downstairs equipment. Add the word “off” to the end of nearly any four letter word and you’ve got a standard English curse, right?

So my friend demonstrated some of the more interesting insults and phrases that appear in other languages. The Greeks seem particularly adventurous, with one of my favourite phrases meaning ‘to slap your face with my dick’. Or even just the simple, yet effective, “old balls”. Most Italian insults seem to rely on everyone being a prostitute. Or even a pig-prostitute combination. A confusing Bosnian insult apparently implies a dog is taking advantage of your mother, although it’s “used by people who don’t want to curse”[2] (I might not start using that one instead of ‘damn!’).

In order to keep up, I propose that we get a little more saucy. This is a call to be more creative in your cussing. Call someone a ‘Stupid Quim’ an ‘Ass-Hat’, or a ‘Penis-Sneeze’. Express your surprise with a subtle “by st. Boogar and all the saints at the backside door of purgatory!” (which is apparently an established exclamation[3].) Curse someone with a “May the hairs on your arse turn to hammers and beat your balls to death.” It’ll certainly cause more of a pause in conversation than a standard ‘shit’.

See more interesting curses over at