This post is the result of a confluence of Karen's wonderful post about where we read and a photographic series I'm doing over on tumblr. And a lifelong crush on Lucinda Lambton.
It's where many of us do much of our reading. And it's the only room in the house to have spawned a whole genre designed to be read in it (Schott's Miscellany, 21st Century Dodos etc). Yet we rarely celebrate the place itself. So here's to the literary loo.
The three specimens on this page are from three of the shows I've performed at lately. And in each case it's a fabulous indicator of the show itself.
93 Feet East in Brick Lane is home to FULLFAT, a fabulous spoken word night run by Orange Prize judge, former Oxford University Poetry Society President, and stunning poet Clarissa Pabi. It's edgy, loud, full of fire and passion and one of those atmospheres that feels like it could explode at any moment into something spontaneous and remarkable. The night I was on the bill, one of the audience members was there interviewing Dean Atta, whose incredible poem about Stephen Lawrence went viral after the sentencing of two of his killers. The resulting piece is on the Guardian website here (with a little more about the night).
Oxford's Albion Beatnik Bookstore is where I put on most of my shows. In particular it's been the venue for Not the Oxford Literary Festival for 3 years now. Our third staging runs from March 27-30 this year (I will say more about it next month). It's a celebration of everything that's not celebrated at the Oxford Literary Festival - notably: amazing local writers, underground literature, and the cuttingest edge of digital publishing (he doesn't know it yet, though he will when he reads this, but I'm hoping our own Dennis Hamley will be part of our alternative publishing slot on the Friday night). It's a warm, inclusive, super-chatty and thoroughly beatniky kind of an event - perfect summed up in that quotation-filled orange room!
Three Minute Theatre is housed on the ground floor of manchester's legendary Afflecks Palace. Last month it played host to the touring spoken word night I run, The New Libertines. It was truly the most incredible literary night I can remember with a smorgasbord of characters that ranged from award-winning novelists Michael Stewart and Elizabeth Baines to Anna Percy, host of the feminist poetry night Stirred and Sian S Rathore, whose reading of her poem I'm So Jacked was declared by everyone there to be the most incredible piece of art they had ever seen. The New Libertines is a glorious loose-haired cabaret of a night.
I have no idea what the loos will be like, but here's a little snippet of what I'll be up to before my next post:
A Man Eating Chicken on March 4th at The New Inn, Gloucester is the latest in a series of events from ARTournament, a super arts organisation based around Gloucestershire.
Poetry in the Parlour on March 7th at Blackwell's is part of Oxford International Women's Festival