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.

Albion Beatnik Press has just published Queen Ithaca Blues, Sarah Gillespie’s first collection of poetry. Sarah is simply the best singer songwriter in the U.K. at the moment. She has recorded three studio albums that have received widespread critical acclaim and much radio airplay on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 3, also on public radio in America. She combines demotic, raw beat poetry lyric with a wacky and individual musical style that nods to jazz and to folk. Sarah tours often in Europe and the United Sates. As with her lyrics, Sarah’s poetry bristles with brio. Caroline Bird describes Sarah’s poetry as “bright with horror and stricken with laughter,” and that gets it just right. This is the stuff of real life. Link here to buy Queen Ithaca Blues…

The Seasons of Cullen ChurchThe 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.

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.