Coming soon: Zombies Ate My Library!

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A Place Free Of Judgement book launch and knowledge sharing event: Tue 21 February 2017, 11:00 – 16:00. Southwater Library, Southwater Square, Southwater Way, Telford, TF3 4JG. Bookings and more info here.

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Pre-order the A Place Free Of Judgement book, featuring my exclusive YA novella ‘Zombies Ate My Library’ (orders ship 22 February 2017)

A Place Free Of Judgement — launch eflyer

More on this shortly, but here is the eflyer for a launch and sharing event about Blast Theory’s and my libraries project A Place Free Of Judgement, which will be held in Telford’s Southwater Library on 21 February.

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Blast Theory and I will be there, and we’re launching the A Place Free Of Judgement book. Here’s the blurb:

During 2016 Blast Theory and acclaimed author Tony White worked with a group of 30 young people in libraries in Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire, and Staffordshire, to re-imagine libraries, story telling and their place in the world. On 29 October 2016, over the course of 9 hours from 3pm to midnight, the young people then took control of their local libraries, and performed live to a worldwide audience, via an interactive live stream, broadcasting from each library in turn.

This book is a result of that process.

A Place Free of Judgement includes Tony White’s specially commissioned novella for Young Adult (YA) and general readers, ‘Zombies Ate My Library’, which was performed as a series of readings by White during the live stream on 29 October, and which draws on ideas, conversations and off-cuts that emerged in the workshops and during the development of A Place Free of Judgement.

Zombies Ate My Library’ follows the lives of four young people in the West Midlands—Alice, Gareth, Tommy and Rukhsana—as they plot a sleepover in a haunted library. What could possibly go wrong?

The book is available to pre-order direct from Blast Theory now, and will ship on the 22nd February 2017.

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Tue 21 February 2017, 11:00 – 16:00. Southwater Library, Southwater Square, Southwater Way, Telford, TF3 4JG. Bookings and more info here.

Sign up to receive news and invites to book launches and events from me and my publishers and producers

Pre-order the A Place Free Of Judgement book, featuring my exclusive YA novella ‘Zombies Ate My Library’ (orders ship 22 February 2017)

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Resonance fundraisers – live in February 2017

resonancelogolargeSome readers may be aware that I chair the board of directors of London’s brilliant and award-winning arts radio station Resonance FM. I am proud to support this incredible project.

If you don’t know it, Resonance is a groundbreaking 24/7 radio station which broadcasts on 104.4 FM to central London, DAB to Greater London, nationally on Radioplayer and live streamed to the rest of the world. Realised by a dedicated community of volunteer engineers and programme-makers, Resonance offers over 100 creative broadcast series every week featuring local and international artists, makers and experts. Resonance seeks to discover, encourage and support a diverse range of artistic voices through radio – from first-timers to seasoned broadcasters. Kindly supported by the generous donations of its listeners and by key partners including Arts Council England and The Wire, Resonance collaborates widely with visionary individuals and organisations including V&A Museum, Mixcloud, The Science Museum, The Arts & Culture Unit, Merge Festival, and Radia.

Resonance’s annual fundraiser runs from 11–19 February 2017. Here is their newsletter listing just some of the events taking place. Hope to see you there ;)

Dear Resonance listener,

We’re sharing news of an exciting programme of live events all taking place as part of our Annual Fundraiser: a range of great concerts and our Resofit stand up comedy special, all happening across London between 11 and 19 February, with something (we hope) for everybody. Full details of these and much more is on our Fundraiser website, updated regularly throughout the next fortnight. Below are the Fundraiser live event essentials.

rienakjimaGwaith Sŵn’s Sonic Art Gala   |  Aces & Eights Tufnell Park NW5 2HP  |  Sat 11 February at 8pm
An all-star evening of radical sound art, improv & radiophonia. Featuring Rie Nakajima & Ken Ikeda + Phil Minton + Viewfound & Daniel R Wilson + Dan Linn-Pearl & Paul TQ Freeman. Tickets here.

Wavelength Roadshow  |  Kansas Smitty’s Hackney E8 4PH  |  Mon 13 February at 7pm
Join William English for a live extended edition of Wavelength with legendary performance artist Bob Parks (conceptual R&B, voodoo), Adham Fisher & other guests from the cult underground. Tickets here.

Club Integral Valentine’s Day Special  |  Iklectik Lambeth SE1 7LG  |  Tues 14 February at 7.30pm
Fourteen acts, each playing for fourteen minutes, courtesy of the Home of the Uncategorisable that is Club Integral – in a presentation with Resonance FM’s Is Black Music. Tickets on the door.

fwe1Scratch Orchestra All Stars  |  Cafe OTO Dalston E8 3DL  |  Weds 15 February at 7.30pm
Members of the legendary Scratch Orchestra come together for a rare night of mind-boggling musical anarchy – including John Tilbury, Stefan Szczelkun, Dave Smith, Hugh Shrapnel, Michael Parsons, Bryn Harris & Resonance FM’s Sound Out anchor Carole Finer. Tickets here.

Tin Can Review Live!  |  Aces & Eights Tufnell Park NW5 2HP  |  Fri 17 February at 7pm
Acoustic/Americana showcase with James Hodder of Resonance FM’s Tin Can Review introducing (and supporting) acclaimed songsmiths Ady Johnson + Hannah Rose Platt. Tickets here.

stewart_lee_2015_colin_huttonforresofitResofit  |  Leicester Square Theatre Soho WC2H 7BX  |  Sun 19 February at 3.30pm
Stand up comedy matinee with Daniel Kitson, Tony Law & Stewart Lee. Tickets here.

Nest Collective Takeover  |  Aces & Eights Tufnell Park NW5 2HP  |  Sun 19 February at 7pm
The city’s finest contemporary folk club and radio series – with  presents a very special night of radical/traditional song and performance. Tickets here.

Ulrich Schnauss + support  |  Silver Road Lewisham SE13 7BQ  |  Sun 19 February at 7pm
An intimate performance by the contemporary master of mesmerising electronica Ulrich Schnauss, (Tangerine Dream, Longview, Engineers) with SM-LL label acts en creux + Typeface. Tickets here.

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Cover Gallery #4

It was a great thrill to have the cover of the first edition of my novel Foxy-T designed by Gray318, who at the time was fresh from the success of the dynamic, hand-painted (and by then ubiquitous) graphic he’d produced for Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated, and who remains one of the best cover artists in the business. Interviewed for the Independent about his approach, Gray318 a.k.a. Jonathan Gray says,

Originally, design was very much about finding a lovely photograph for the jacket … I like creating more of a brand, a logo for the book. I’m a big fan of text, and of pushing that text to the limits of legibility. I don’t want to give a literal sense of the book’s subject, but more a flavour.

foxyt_demy_innertutuola-coverThe first edition of Foxy-T was produced in a jacketed demy paperback, and Gray318 produced a stark graphic that picked up on themes from the opening pages of the novel by mixing a hand-drawn, graffiti-like, marker-pen treatment of the names of the novel’s two main characters—Foxy-T and Ruji-Babes—with the title and (my) name floating in bold and narrow sans serif caps that appear to be cut or fractured along a couple of axes, as if in a rough collage. In a final, romantic detail, the ‘O’ of ‘FOXY-T’ contains two vertical hearts, slightly reminiscent of (although more slenderly-drawn and closer together than) the Papermate pen logo; a device that perhaps brings together the relationship at the heart of the novel and the neat, felt-pen tags seen in its opening paragraph.

faber-sf-coverThere are two colour schemes: the cover itself has white-out graffiti and hearts on a red ground with black title floating across the central third, while the paper dust jacket (below) in which the book is wrapped features red graffiti on a yellow ground with black title identically placed. The finishing touch is that the hearts on the dust jacket are picked out in red foil.

At the time, Gray318’s stark designs with their monochrome grounds reminded me of the simple typographic covers on Faber paperbacks of old: novels by the likes of Lawrence Durrell and Amos Tutuola. I loved—and still love—that the design of a contemporary Faber novel could make a connection with the house’s rich heritage of typographically-based cover art in this way.

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This all came to mind recently, when I met up with Lee Brackstone, my editor at Faber and Faber, to go through the edits on my forthcoming novel. I don’t yet know what we’ll be doing for the cover of The Fountain in the Forest, but watch this space.

Incidentally, if like me you are into this kind of thing, there’s a great coffee table book of Faber and Faber cover design put together by the novelist Joseph Connolly.

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Buy Foxy-T direct from Faber and Faber

16047-books-origjpgPraise for Foxy-T

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Buy Faber and Faber: Eighty Years of Book Cover Design, by Joseph Connolly

The Holborn Cenotaph

Last time I gave a reading of this satirical short story — at Bow Arts on 1 December — there were 1,583 names on ‘The Holborn Cenotaph’. Now, today, there are 1,594.holbcenotourt2016final

Listen to ‘The Holborn Cenotaph’ live on the Speakers’ Corner stage at London Radical Bookfair, Goldsmith’s, University of London, 7 May 2016.

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I am always happy to hear from anyone about a reading or a talk. So do feel free to get in touch. (For more info see this note about bookings.)

Franco Rosso (29 August 1941–9 December 2016)

Dread Beat an' Blood, dvd sleeve

I was very sorry to hear of the death of film director Franco Rosso, via this Guardian obituary; condolences to his friends and family.

Best known for directing the British feature film Babylon, Rosso also directed an indispensable documentary on poet Linton Kwesi Johnson for the Arts Council (then the Arts Council of Great Britain, now Arts Council England).

I am lucky enough to have a copy of the film on a Japanese DVD, but it is (or was) also bundled as a DVD extra on SOME editions of Babylon, however I think these are mainly out of print.

Thus I was delighted to discover that the film is now available to view in the UK on the BFI player (for a nominal charge of £1).

It is a great film—and one that I frequently refer to—which captures LKJ at a transformational moment in his life and work.

I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Here is a short extract released by the BFI.

Launch: The Bowie Neurotransmitter by Susana Medina

medinapoppcoverroughPiece of Paper Press is delighted to present the first publication (in a limited, numbered edition of 150) of ‘The Bowie Neurotransmitter’, a new text work by the author Susana Medina. ‘The Bowie Neurotransmitter’ will be launched with an event at London’s Bookartbookshop on the evening of Tuesday 10 January 2017, the first anniversary of David Bowie’s death.

Medina’s acute and evocative account of initially adolescent engagements with Bowie’s work—and the ‘fantasy of rapport’ he created—transcends nostalgia, and ‘The Bowie Neurotransmitter’ is at once personal and profound.

For Medina, David Bowie is ‘fundamentally political’. She writes:

There’s a politics of the self, and a politics of outrage. Bowie has been fundamental in my life. I discovered his songs in my adolescence, a time of crisis and rupture which marks loss of innocence. I learnt English with Bowie by translating most of his early LPs and singing along with him. Throughout the years, with gaps here and there, I often returned to his songs and wept.
Like many of us who love Bowie’s music, I was devastated on the 11th January 2016. Not having posted anything for ages in Facebook, I began sharing a series of posts and a friend emailed me, saying how saddened she was too and that it was a mystery how the communal sadness seemed overwhelming and yet, ‘he never had a message of “peace and love”.’ I quickly replied that oh, yes he did, quoting a few relevant songs. A longer reply continued to grow in my head over the following days. I started writing, and found myself writing a tribute. This piece became a love letter, a thank you letter, a way to dissect my tears and a proud homage to all those who feel part of the Bowie lineage.

Part of the print run of the Piece of Paper Press edition of ‘The Bowie Neurotransmitter’ by Susana Medina will be distributed free at the launch, while stocks last.

DOWNLOAD THE PRESS RELEASE HERE

SUSANA MEDINA is the author of Philosophical Toys (Dalkey Archive Press), offspring of which are the short films Buñuel’s Philosophical Toys and Leather-bound Stories (co-directed with Derek Ogbourne). Other books include Red Tales / Cuentos Rojos (published in a bilingual edition, co-translated with Rosie Marteau) and Souvenirs del Accidente. Medina’s story ‘Oestrogen’ featured in Best European Fiction 2014 (Dalkey Archive Press). She has been awarded the Max Aub Short Story International Prize and a Grants for the Arts award from Arts Council England for her novel Spinning Days of Night. ‘Object Lessons’, an audio-visual story produced in collaboration with photographer Paul Louis Archer was recently published in El País in English. ‘Poem 66’, translated by R. Marteau, was runner-up in the Goodmorning Menagerie Translation Contest and will be published by the USA Press on 14 February 2017. Medina has also published a number of essays on literature, art, cinema, and photography, curated various well-received international art shows in abandoned spaces, contributed texts to art catalogues, exhibited at Tate Modern, and collaborated with numerous artists. Her website is www.susanamedina.net.

PIECE OF PAPER PRESS was created by author Tony White in 1994 as a lo-tech, sustainable artists’ book project to commission and publish new writings, visual and graphic works by artists and writers. Each book is manufactured from a single A4 sheet that is printed on both sides using a photocopier or a domestic printer, and then folded, stapled and trimmed by hand to create the book. Piece of Paper Press titles are always distributed free.

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Susana Medina,
The Bowie Neurotransmitter, launch event
Bookartbookshop, 17 Pitfield St, London N1 6HB
Tuesday 10 January 2017, 6:30–8:00 p.m. (reading 7:15)

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