a weekend at nine worlds

Much excitement as I’m doing a panel and reading at Nine Worlds next week, plus a Google Hangout and some Courtly Fantasising beforehand. So, on the Thursday 6th August at 3pm I’ll be doing the hangout with Alex Lamb, Aliette de Bodard and Anna Caltabiano – I’ll post a link when I have it. Then […]

A walk with Zali Krishna

Zali and I went for a walk the other day. We started at Thamesmead, then moved down the Thames past City Airport. Halfway through, we stopped and dug random quotes out of some books we had with us. I took several pictures. Here’s some of them, plus the quotes we found: ‘You will never know […]

Enclosing Wild Orchids

For today’s post, allumination brings you – Iain Sinclair live! He’s reading from ‘Hackney, that Rose-Red Empire’ at the British Library, with musical and spoken word accompaniment from John Harle. Together, they create a rather wonderful aural collage; and, although my little N95 made them look rather blocky, it caught words and music pretty well. […]

William Blake understood as a West London Shopping Mall

On Sunday, I went to the William Blake 1809 exhibition at Tate Britain, reviewed here in The Guardian. It’s absolutely fascinating; it restages his first and only public display of prints and paintings, and sets them in a context which helps explain their abysmal critical reception. I wanted to do a video review of it, […]

Return to Albertopolis

A very enjoyable night last night, as I hit the rather wonderful Book Club Boutique (and here on Facebook) for a London Short Story night set up and MC’d by Tony White. Some excellent writers – particular stand outs were Will Ashon‘s subtly fantastical biscuit opera, and Matthew De Abaitua‘s Ballardesque tale of North London […]

Inspectors of the Heart

Apropos of nothing at all, here’s a poem I wrote a few years back. I was walking up St John’s Hill, past the hairdressers, when a siren cut through the moment and everything seemed to stop: Inspectors of the Heart A violent sound puts streets in shock – cars stop to let the siren past. […]

Smashing the piano

Well, it’s quite the weekend of music coming up. On Saturday night, Stoke Newington’s legendary Drones Club hosts the awesome testosterone rush that is synth duo Raagnagrok, plus mash up Arabist mayhem from Djinn. More details here, it’s going to be a blast. On Sunday, as part of Resonance FM’s Month of Sundays sessions, Raagnagrok […]

Flesh eggs, scarlet tracings

Bringing Iain Sinclair’s book of poems, ‘Buried at Sea’, into work this morning made me think about the impact his selected poems ‘Flesh Eggs and Scalp Metal’, and his novel ‘White Chappell Scarlet Tracings’, made on me when I first read them. I was at a very conservative boarding school in Dorset; every so often […]

Time regained

Broken city. Shattered buildings, where they had climbed out of the ground, gnawing away at the dense certainties that held them down. I saw so much rubble, so much death – vivid and prowling through the streets, faces carved from chalk, flesh harder and so much more ragged than the bones that support it. I […]