Episode Date November 9, 2021
Featured Guest Tope Folarin
Featured Book "The Half-Finished Heaven" by Tomas Tranströmer

Episode Summary

Tope Folarin reading from Tomas Tranströmer’s The Half-Finished Heaven, and discussing open and honest creativity.

At the ANU Law School, I wrote a thesis about applying English Literature theory to reading laws: ‘How have what we learnt about reading the texts in the world of Shakespeare, Patrick White, and Jane Austen, tell us about how we might read legal texts?’ No one understood it, I barely understood it, and I was writing the thing! I knew there was something there, but at the boundary where these two worlds met, I had a sputtering candle against the mist and darkness, and it didn’t throw much light.

Tope Folarin is a far better navigator than I am. He’s a man who has crossed boundaries and transcends worlds; a creator and an author who has won numerous prizes for his short stories. Not only that, he’s also a leader in the world of social policy, being the Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Studies. These are different worlds, but Tope has found a way to contain multitudes.

Tope reads two pages from ‘The Half-Finished Heaven’ by Tomas Tranströmer. [reading begins at 13:40]

Hear us discuss:

  • “I am the place where creation is working on itself.” [15:17]
  • Surviving the pace and ambition of the material world: How to sit and wait. [18:51]
  • Finding the time to nurture creativity. [22:56]
  • How literature influences leadership: “I have walked in so many shoes, thought so many thoughts that don’t originate from my head, and when I’m sitting in front of people trying to articulate a new perspective, I can draw on these great ideas, thoughts, and emotions that I’ve gleaned from years and years of reading literature.” [24:20]

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Tope Folarin | Website | Twitter

Tope’s book | A Particular Kind of Black Man: A Novel

Tomas Tranströmer | The Half-Finished Heaven: Selected Poems

Follow Michael on | Instagram | Twitter | YouTubeLinkedIn | Facebook

Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.

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