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.

Read about jazz in the Beatnik: Chris Garrick and David Gordon’s concert from just before Christmas. Here are the duo performing in the shop It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.

The Beatnik Reading Group met next on Tuesday, February 28th at 6:30pm. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald is their choice; copies are available for sale in the shop. Thereafter 28th March, the book still to be selected.

frontcover-ss2The second issue of the shop magazine, The Sandspout, is now available. 162pp, £3. Articles on Harold Pinter, William Blake, David Jones, Muhammad Ali & Miles Davis; an interview with Matthew Shipp; a short story by Baret Magarian, an extract from Yvonne Eller’s novel, flash fiction; poetry from Andrew McNeillie and John Lanyon; much else. Writing by Heathcote Williams, Sally Bayley and others. Submissions for the next issue (April 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 last week by the Albion Beatnik: Baret Magarian’s Mirror and Silhouette, launched with a reading here. Baret lives in Florence. His first full length novel – much praised by Jonathan Coe – The Fabrications, is to be published in the U.S. early next year. Mirror and Silhouette is £4 only, a brilliant read. Further details…

whiteguardIt’s thrilling that the Poltergeist Theatre Group will be performing Bulgakov’s The White Guard in the Beatnik in February, a five night run, an audience of twenty each evening, a new adaption, a promenade performance, will be very exciting, especially all those bayonets (a few like it up ’em) and the vodka. The shop had a three night run of a one act play set in a bookshop (!) in 2011, some curiosities with theatrical flair, and a one-off and engaging youthful performance of a Shakespeare play three years ago, its exits and entrances dazzled like snooker balls careering on a snooker table. Have searched ever since for live theatre, at last got it.

For Oxford Arts Week we hosted an exhibition by local artist Stella Shakerchi entitled 50 Shades of Re(a)d, subtitled an attempt to curate a vital book collection. Stella exhibited here before four years ago. An accompanying book has been published, and the paintings will remain here for sale: sale proceeds will go to the charity Humane Society International, which works on animal protection issues







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.