In 2015, Inua Ellams was poet in residence at the Poetry Library at the Southbank Centre in London. His #Afterhours project took him on a voyage of cultural translation and transposition through time and place, to the heart of the libraries archive collections, and through his own life s story as he selected poems published during each year of his life, from birth to the age of 18.
In return, Ellams opens up a captivating and potent dialogue between poems, writing a diary and intricately-crafted poems of his own in conversational response to the poems he selected from the library collections. Here, for the first time together, are the collected #Afterhours poems alongside the re-discovered poems which inspired them and the diary entries which follow this journey. In Ellams meticulous hands, this becomes an entire narrative in its own right, compelling and magnetic, drawing parallels of displacement, language and reclamation, and showing poetry’s great capacity to be a powerful amplifier of human experience.
Winston Churchill’s political career spanned over 50 years, during which time he was alternately at the centre of power and out of favour. He is most remembered for his inspirational leadership in the second world war and his rousing speeches urging Britain to fight on. This book reveals the influences that shaped his life and career and looks at his strengths and weaknesses.
Quotation panels, featuring many of Churchill’s well-known sayings and comments, and the opinions of his well-known contemporaries, such as Stalin, are scattered liberally throughout. The final chapter examines his legacy and attempts to answer the question: how justifiable is his reputation in view of his achievements?
The 52 project started with a simple idea: Write a poem a week. Start now. Keep going. It became a phenomenon. Hundreds of poets took up the challenge and their poems swept the board of poetry prizes, publications and personal successes. This book brings together the 52 prompts written by poet Jo Bell and by guest poets ranging from David Morley to Rachael Boast, so that you can pick up the challenge yourself. With contemporary poems to illustrate each prompt, it’s a fine anthology as well as a book of lively and engaging exercises for poets, whether beginner or well-established.
Meet Monsieur Benoit, who appeared suddenly in Paris with a scheme for telegraphing messages across the world (or, at least, across the room) by means of electricity and the telepathic power of snails, and actually raised the money to build this extraordinary machine.
His powers of persuasion clearly exceeded those of Colonel Baker, who seemed the personification of Victorian solidity until that embarrassing incident in the sealed railway compartment, where he failed to entice Miss Dickinson to join in his bit of fun, and afterwards had to try and explain his conduct to the High Court, with the whole nation hanging on his every word.
Here is a fascinating collection of some of history’s most extraordinary characters. Richard Glyn Jones has cast his net wide to gather these accounts of human oddity and eccentricity, and the standard of his writing is high, with Lytton Strachey, Derek Hudson, Christopher Sykes and Ronald Knox among the authors included. Hilariously funny, sometimes rather sad, but invariably interesting, this is a superbly diverting book. And, with a couple of tiny exceptions, it’s all true.
As art critic of The Spectator, Andrew Lambirth’s reviews and articles have been entertaining and informing readers of the magazine since 1996. As he himself has written : “The coverage that this magazine, a weekly, gives to the arts is far wider than many daily newspapers. I wish more arts editors would take the initiative to cover a greater range of exhibitions than just the obvious.”
Practical tips for living a truly better life in a precarious economy:
Live better on less and have more fun doing it! This book offers hardcore, real-world, practical advice on how anyone can survive in a precarious economy. Learn useful tips and creative strategies, from a hardworking musician who, like most professional musicians, knows, from hard-won experience, how to not only keep the annoying wolf from the door, but how to give him a painful wedgie, so he’ll finally give up and leave you the f*&k alone.
Through the story of one man, Caleb Bawcombe, a shepherd whose flocks graze the Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset borders, we meet men and women of humble birth, poachers, gypsies, farmers and labourers striving to survive on the land. As we read, the cumulative affect of their stories becomes much more than a record of rural life.
“A Traveller’s History of Cyprus” offers a complete and authoritative history of the island’s past and also touches on the sensitive present-day issues for both sides of the island. Although Cyprus is a relatively small island, its position in the East Mediterranean has always given it strategic importance beyond its size. Well-placed for travel from all over the globe with plenty of sunshine throughout the year, Cyprus has become a favored tourist destination. All visitors, whether to the Greek or Turkish side of the island, discover the immensely rich history, which has resulted in so many civilizations making their mark upon its soil. With a historical gazetteer, chronology of major events, index, bibliography and historical and contemporary maps, this book is an invaluable companion to students or visitors to the island.
In A Traveller’s History of Greece, the reader is provided with an authoritative general history of Greece from its earliest beginnings down to the present day. It covers in a clear and comprehensive manner the classical past, the conflict with Persia, the conquest by the Romans, the Byzantine era and the occupation by the Turks; the struggle for independence and the turbulence of recent years, right up to current events. This history will help the visitor make sense of modern Greece against the background of its diverse heritage. Illustrated with maps and line drawings, A Traveller’s History of Greece is an invaluable companion for your vacation.
This is a definitive concise history of Portugal, from its earliest beginnings right up to the politics and life of the present day. It was not until the twelfth century that Portugal became a country in its own right, having been a Roman colony and then having suffered both Barbarian and Islamic invasions. The golden age of discoveries, the reign and foresight of Henry the Navigator, and great seamen such as Vasco da Gama led to the founding of Portugal’s empire and wealth. Troubled times followed: in 1755 Lisbon was virtually leveled by the ‘Great Earthquake,’ and the country had hardly recovered its former prosperity when it was overrun by Napoleon’s troops at the start of the Peninsular War, to be followed not long after by the Miguelite civil war. The middle decades of the nineteenth century saw the Port Wine trade flourishing, and further expansion into Africa. During the last quarter of the twentieth century, ever since the bloodless revolution of 1974 overthrew the rightwing dictatorship of Salazar, the country has regained its stability, and now takes its rightful place in the European Community. Illustrated with maps and line drawings, the book has a full Historical Gazetteer cross-referenced to the main text that concentrates on the historic sites in a country that has retained its individuality and thus its appeal to the individual traveler.
Throughout the millennia Turkey formed the core of several Empires–Persia, Rome, Byzantium–before becoming the center of the Ottoman Empire. All these civilizations have left their marks on the landscape, architecture and art of Turkey–a place of fascinating overlapping cultures. Traveller’s History of Turkey offers a concise and readable account of the region from prehistory right up to the present day. It covers everything from the legendary Flood of Noah, the early civilization of Catal Huyuk seven thousand years before Christ, through the treasures of Troy, Alexander the Great, the Romans, Seljuks, Byzantines and the Golden Age of the Sultans, to the twentieth century’s great changes wrought by Kemal Ataturk and the strong position Turkey now holds in the world community.
“This is the first time we are seeing… a conversation about defunding, and some people having a conversation about abolishing the police and prison state. This must be what it felt like when people were talking about abolishing slavery.” – Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter.
Abolishing the Police (An Illustrated Introduction) is both a contribution to this conversation and an invitation to join it. It provides rigorous and accessible analyses of why we might want to abolish the police, what abolishing them would involve, and how it might be achieved, introducing readers to the rich existing traditions of anti-police theory and practice.
Its authors draw on their diverse on-the-ground experiences of political organising, protest, and resistance to policing in the UK, France, Germany, and the United States, as well as their original research in academic fields ranging from law to security studies, political theory to sociology to public health.
Without assuming any prior specialist knowledge, they present the critical tools and insights these disciplines have to offer to ongoing struggles against the injustices of policing (and consider, in turn, what these disciplines must learn from these struggles.)
With Jacques-Louis Daguerre, William Talbot Fox, Etienne Jules-Marey and William Blake as his predecessors, Adam Fuss creates photograms and daguerreotypes that evoke a general poetic and spiritual vision akin to urbanites of the 1800s, people who have lost contact with nature and God. While technically seeking to refine the beginnings of photography, Fuss attempts, in the 100 new works presented here, to record life and death. Colorful spirals created by pendulums lead into great depths; snakes create geometric waves in water; loving pairs of rabbits appear in silhouette; a hunched woman cries; sunflowers sprout withered leaves and broken stems; otherwise placid water bears the concentric marks of water drops; the shadows of silvery children’s clothing hover in mid-air; light reflects on birds in flight–and all, for Fuss, mark the simultaneous presence and absence of the corporeal under the title My Ghost.
Her iconic blonde looks, stunning voice and songs of loneliness and melancholy have endeared her to millions, yet Agnetha Faltskog remains an enigmatic and distant figure. From her success as a teenage singer and songwriter in Sweden in the late 1960s to her years of global superstardom with pop giants ABBA and beyond, Agnetha has fascinated generations of fans. Her beaming smile graced record sleeves, television screens and magazine covers around the world yet never quite managed to conceal her natural shyness and vulnerability. Agnetha Faltskog The Girl With The Golden Hair is the first full-length biography dedicated to the life and career of the one of the most beloved and successful performers in music history.
Charting Agnetha’s journey from her early days fronting a local dance band in the small industrial city of Jonkoping, through her decade as one of the most famous and popular singers in the world, and the years of self-imposed exile that followed until her surprising and successful comeback in 2013, Agnetha Faltskog The Girl With The Golden Hair will delight her many legions of fans and any readers with an interest in the history of popular music.
In this breathtaking cultural history filled with exclusive, never-before-revealed details, celebrated rock journalist Joel Selvin tells the definitive story of the Rolling Stones’ infamous Altamont concert, the disastrous historic event that marked the end of the idealistic 1960s.
In the annals of rock history, the Altamont Speedway Free Festival on December 6, 1969, has long been seen as the distorted twin of Woodstock—the day that shattered the Sixties’ promise of peace and love when a concertgoer was killed by a member of the Hells Angels, the notorious biker club acting as security. While most people know of the events from the film Gimme Shelter, the whole story has remained buried in varied accounts, rumor, and myth—until now.
Altamont explores rock’s darkest day, a fiasco that began well before the climactic death of Meredith Hunter and continued beyond that infamous December night. Joel Selvin probes every aspect of the show—from the Stones’ hastily planned tour preceding the concert to the bad acid that swept through the audience to other deaths that also occurred that evening—to capture the full scope of the tragedy and its aftermath. He also provides an in-depth look at the Grateful Dead’s role in the events leading to Altamont, examining the band’s behind-the-scenes presence in both arranging the show and hiring the Hells Angels as security.
The product of twenty years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews with many key players, including medical staff, Hells Angels members, the stage crew, and the musicians who were there, and featuring sixteen pages of color photos, Altamont is the ultimate account of the final event in rock’s formative and most turbulent decade.
As known for her fraught personal life as her chart-topping songs, Amy Winehouse who died at the age of 27 in July 2011 was one of the most compelling vocalists in the world. But despite this fact, it was her self-destructive excesses that made headlines. Drinking binges, self-harm, eating disorders, drug abuse, and a turbulent marriage overshadowed her music even as her record sales soared, and the media watched eagerly as Amy’s world imploded. This richly illustrated biography tells her story in full, from childhood through to the pleasures and pains of superstardom, her blazing talent, the years she lost to her addictions, the final days before her death, and the legacy of her raw and heartfelt music.
‘Anchored in Love’ is an inside look into the life of June Carter Cash, through the eyes of her only child with Johnny Cash – John Carter Cash. With skillful prose, he reveals new information about the legendary woman through his tender memories and heartwarming stories.
Bristling with inspired observations and wild anecdotes, this collection offers unique insight into the voice and mind of the inimitable Hunter S. Thompson, as recorded over the decades in the pages of Playboy, the Paris Review, Esquire, in various lectures, and in television appearances, many in print for the first time.
Fearless and unsparing, the interviews detail some of the most storied episodes of Thompson’s life: his savage beating at the hands of the Hell’s Angels, his talking football with Nixon on the 1972 Campaign Trail (‘the only time in twenty years of listening to the treacherous bastard that I knew he wasn’t lying’); his razor-sharp insight into the Bush–Cheney administration, his unlikely run for Sheriff of Aspen, and his successful public battle, during the last years of his life, to free an innocent woman from prison. In addition, Hunter Thompson’s passionate tirades about journalism, culture, drugs, guns, and the law showcase his singular voice at its fiercest.
Complete with an exclusive introduction by author, journalist, and cultural critic Christopher Hitchens, Ancient GonzoWisdom genuinely embraces the brilliance of Hunter S. Thompson – his life, his voice, and his legacy – to provide an enduring portrait of the great gonzo journalist.
The children’s novel “Black Beauty” was written by Anna Sewell in her fifties and she sold it outright for GBP20. She did not live to know of its success. This work chronicles her extraordinary life from the tragic accident that left her lame at the age of 14 to the writing of her novel from her death bed.
A vivid, first-hand account of Nobel Prize-winning singer and songwriter Bob Dylan as an artist, friend, and celebrity, illustrated with never-before-seen photographs, and told by an engaging raconteur who cut his own swathe through the turbulent counterculture.
August 2014 marks 50 years since Bob Dylan released his fourth album, Another Side of Bob Dylan. Recorded in one night, in the middle of a turbulent year in his life, the music marked a departure from Dylan’s socially-conscious folk songs and began his evolution toward other directions.
During the years they spent together, few people outside of Dylan’s immediate family were closer than Victor Maymudes, who was Dylan’s tour manager, personal friend, and travelling companion from the early days in 1960s Greenwich Village through the late 90’s. Another Side of Bob Dylan recounts landmark events including Dylan’s infamous motorcycle crash; meeting the Beatles on their first US tour; his marriage to Sara Lownds, his romances with Suze Rotolo, Joan Baez, and others; fellow travelers Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Wavy Gravy, Dennis Hopper, The Band, The Traveling Wilburys, and more; memorable concerts, and insights on Dylan’s songwriting process.
On January 26th, 2001, after recording more than 24 hours of taped memories in preparation for writing this book, Victor Maymudes suffered an aneurysm and died. His son Jacob has written the book, using the tapes to shape the story.
This is the book that thoughtful readers of Charles Bukowski have been waiting for. Based on extensive research, it places Bukowski’s poetry in it’s American cultural context, and explores the key poems and collections in his development. It traces magazines, literary contacts and influences from the mid-1940’s to The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992).
Want to know about Bukowski and the movies, the Beats, Hemingway, Céline and Walt Whitman? About how and why Bukowski formed his unique style and image? And about where he fits in to West Coast and post-War American verse? Scholarly but accessible, this is the essential book to have. Also contains drawings by David Hernandez, rare photographs of C.B., and a preface by Gerald Locklin. – The Editor
Whether your passion is film, music, books, visual arts, or the stage, you can get closer to it as a reviewer and establish a career in one of the most influential roles open to a writer. A great review can be read by millions, and writing it calls for a high degree of skill. Based on a lifelong passion, packed into a few hundred words, and often written in less than an hour, a review makes heavy demands on a writer’s technique and experience. This book explains how to seize readers’ attention and how to be witty always, fascinating most of the time, and bitchy when you need to be.
Reviews from classic writers like Pauline Kael or Kenneth Tynan are contrasted with today’s hot names such as Mark Kermode and Stewart Maconie. The history of the critic is examined, including some of the groundbreaking groups who have shaped our culture—including Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, the French New Wave directors who founded Les Cahiers du Cinema, and London’s celebrated Modern Review. Interviews with successful journalists and commissioning editors from the NME and The Guardian about breaking into the field are also included.
Did you know that the Italians invented the fork, and the English named the Dolomites? That you can’t drink cappuccino after noon or buy coloured pasta in Italy without being instantly recognised as English?
This original guide to English-Italian stereotypes and prejudices – sometimes funny, sometimes serious – is an essential part of every European traveller’s luggage!
Elvis Presley is a giant figure in American popular culture, a man whose talent and fame were matched only by his later excesses and tragic end. A godlike entity in the history of rock and roll, this twentieth-century icon with a dazzling voice blended gospel and traditionally black rhythm and blues with country to create a completely new kind of music and new way of expressing male sexuality, which simply blew the doors off a staid and repressed 1950s America.
In Being Elvis veteran rock journalist Ray Connolly takes a fresh look at the career of the world’s most loved singer, placing him, forty years after his death, not exhaustively in the garish neon lights of Las Vegas but back in his mid-twentieth-century, distinctly southern world. For new and seasoned fans alike, Connolly, who interviewed Elvis in 1969, re-creates a man who sprang from poverty in Tupelo, Mississippi, to unprecedented overnight fame, eclipsing Frank Sinatra and then inspiring the Beatles along the way.
Intimate and unsparing, Being Elvis explores the extravagance and irrationality inherent in the Elvis mythology, ultimately offering a thoughtful celebration of an immortal life.
Metallica have sold in excess of 100 million albums and won seven Grammys. Their journey from scuzzy Los Angeles garages to the stages of the world’s biggest stadia has been an epic and often traumatic one, and one of the few truly great rock ‘n’ roll sagas.
No music writers have been afforded greater access to Metallica over the years than Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood, two former editors of Kerrang. Having conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with the band, they have between them gained an unparalleled knowledge of the group’s history and an insiders’ view of how their story has developed: they have ridden in the band’s limos, flown on their private jet, joined them in the studio, been invited to the quartet’s ‘HQ’ outside San Francisco and shared beers and stories with them in venues across the globe. There are countless memorable stories about the band never before seen in print, tales of bed-hopping and drug-taking and car-crashes and fist-fights and back-stabbing that occur when you mix testosterone and adrenaline, alcohol and egomania, talent and raw ambition.
Perceptive, emotionally attached, and intellectually rigorous, Birth, School, Metallica, Death will be the essential and definitive story of this extraordinary band. Volume I takes us from the band’s inception through to the recording and eve of release of their seminal, self-titled, 1991 album.
Bowie, Cambo & All the Hype traces the extraordinary and pivotal friendship between David Bowie and drummer John Cambridge, from the time when Bowie made his first major career breakthrough in 1969 to his death from cancer in 2016. Drummer, musician and friend John ‘Cambo’ Cambridge lived with Bowie at Haddon Hall when he had his first hit record ‘Space Oddity’ and toured with him in Junior’s Eyes. He was there for him at many key moments – when Bowie lost his father, passed his driving test, played his first Glam Rock gig with Hype, even acting as best man when Bowie married Angela Barnett in 1970. And if John had not persuaded his former Rats colleague Mick Ronson to join Bowie in February 1970, there might never have been a Ziggy Stardust or the stellar career which followed. In Bowie, Cambo & All the Hype we get a backstage pass to key people and events during those crucial early years. This is a heartfelt story of a unique friendship.
As a boy, Tony Fletcher frequently felt out of place. Yet somehow he secured a ringside seat for one of the most creative periods in British cultural history.
Boy About Town tells the story of the bestselling author’s formative years in the pre- and post-punk music scenes of London, counting down, from fifty to number one: attendance at seminal gigs and encounters with musical heroes; schoolboy projects that became national success stories; the style culture of punks, mods and skinheads and the tribal violence that enveloped them; life as a latchkey kid in a single-parent household; weekends on the football terraces in a quest for street credibility; and the teenage boy’s unending obsession with losing his virginity.
Featuring a vibrant cast of supporting characters (from school friends to rock stars), and built up from notebooks, diaries, interviews, letters, and issues of his now legendary fanzine Jamming!, Boy About Town is an evocative, bittersweet, amusing and wholly original account of growing up and coming of age in the glory days of the 1970s.
“Springsteen is probably the distillation of all that is best about American music rolled into one great artist, and in this book Marc Dolan goes into immense detail to prove it.” Irish Independent
Marc Dolan traces the cultural, political and personal forces that shaped the music of Bruce Springsteen. Beyond his constant stylistic adaptations, Springsteen developed from being the voice of a guy from working class New Jersey to writing about the larger issues facing America. Dolan draws on a range of new and little-known sources, making this an indispensable reference for avid Springsteen fans as well as those interested in learning the stories behind his music. Combining political analysis, music history and colourful storytelling, Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ‘n’ Roll reveals how a gifted, ambitious community college dropout achieved superstardom and spent decades refining what he wanted his music to say. Updated with a new chapter on The Promise, Wrecking Ball and the 2012 tour.
For over forty years, Bruce Springsteen has been on top of the rock n roll stage with 18 studio albums – from his debut Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. to 2014 s High Hopes – his a life dedicated to music-making and committed songwriting. This book examines every part of his musical career, discussing influences and how his background shaped his songwriting. His albums have reflected deeply-felt passions and concerns, from the position of the American working man in The River and Nebraska, to deep personal relationships in Tunnel of Love; from the bleak vistas in Darkness on the Edge of Town to the anger of Born in the U.S.A.
The tell-all memoir from the loudest, proudest Spice Girl – and the truth behind the headlines
As one-fifth of the iconic Spice Girls and judge on X Factor and America’s Got Talent, Melanie Brown, a.k.a Scary Spice, has been an international star since her twenties. Brutally Honest is an exposé of the struggles and acute pain that lay behind the glamour and success.With deep personal insight, remarkable frankness and trademark Yorkshire humour, the book removes the mask of fame and reveals the true story behind the Spice Girls, as well as the horror of her most recent marriage and her 10 year struggle to be free.