The Albion Beatnik Bookstore website (or how a bookshop can change a light bulb)

The web page of the Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford: muses and misspills on books, jazz, poetry, stuff like false flags and smoke screen: is randomly decrepid and is neo-bankrupt: is so analogue it's anal.

The Albion Beatnik


ALBION is an old word for England; BEATNIK is an American slang and constructed word for AN ATTITUDE OF MIND, introduced by JACK KEROUAC in 1948 (he claimed from the word ‘beatific’). The shop stocks twentieth century English and American novels and poetry, also jazz; and a range of second-hand books.

The Seasons of Cullen ChurchRecently the Albion Beatnik filmed Bernard O’Donoghue reading ‘Connolly’s Bookshop’ in the Bookstore (the poem is from his last collection, The Seasons of Cullen Church). It’s a bit discursive (nearly ten minutes), the opening sequence based on a car chase in Starsky & Hutch (blue-eyed Hutch makes an appearance later), the slow-mo of Bernard near the end will stampede sales at Clinton Cards, but thoughtfully filmed. It’s an attempt to take the poem outside of its bookish and Faber museum setting. To read the blog about the film, please click here.

Two book launches in the immediate future:

BeingInTime21st June, 7:30pm: Gilad Atzmon’s Being In Time. The book’s title is a nod to Heidegger (the John Coltrane of the philosophy world). Atzmon describes the post-political world we now live in: the political algorithms of Left and Right no longer resonate with meaning, politicians are no longer extensions of our will, we’ve witnessed also the rise of identity politics and political correctness. As a replacement for Left and Right we have now the Progressive and the Nostalgic.The Progressives project on to the future their idealism and their own Whig Theories of History, previously the preserve of interpreting the past; those inclined to nostalgia remember when we won gold medals at the Commonealth Games, or cite Trump’s vision to make America great “again”. The dystopian events of 2016, the votes for Brexit and Trump for which the world seemed to be so ill-prepared, have disrupted the progressive status quo. Sometimes controversial, always thought provoking. Free entry, refreshment available.

The Fabrications27th June, 7:30pm: Baret Magarian’s The Fabrications. Daniel Bloch, a throwaway novelist with literary ambition, starts to write a fictional account of the life of his close friend, the drab Oscar Babel. Bloch’s purpose is to add imagined spice to a life that is otherwise lacklustre and in abeyance. Copycat reality takes shape in the wake of the written fiction. Read more…

A recent blog on the screenings here of the Oxford Silent Film Society.

The shop’s blog page, mostly writing on books, music, some skullduggery.

SS3.2The third issue of the shop magazine, The Sandspout, is now available. 162pp, £4. Articles by Kristin Grogan, April Pearce, travel pieces by Yvonne Eller; an interview with Trevor Watts; short stories by James Benmore, Mark Mayes, Douglas Adamson; poetry from Eleanor Rees, Jenny Lewis, Kelley Swain, Andrew Smardon and others; much else. Submissions for the next issue (October 2017) gladly accepted, no criteria to be met other than an association with the shop, no requirement for length. Further details…

file-page1A free selfie can be taken in the reflection of the appropriately glossy and mirror-like cover of the novella published by the Albion Beatnik late in 2016: Baret Magarian’s Mirror and Silhouette. It is a brilliant read. “A stylish literary blend of Thomas Mann, Angela Carter and Patricia Highsmith,” writes Sally Bayley. “Baret Magarian writes of modern love and its pessimistic antagonists against the seductive backdrop of ancient Venice. This is an accomplished novella for literary and aesthetic readers.” Further details…

HOMILY >> The Albion Beatnik Bookstore is an independent and enthusiastic bookshop in Jericho, Oxford, opened in 2008. It sells new and second-hand books, including twentieth century literature, poetry and jazz. It has a cafe with over 70 speciality teas and cake, and it hosts reading and writing groups, many evening events, including poetry, book launches, talks, and jazz and folk concerts. The shop has a no petting, diving or bombing policy (unless with the owner). And if you are genuine and enthusiastic, you are always welcome.