The web page of the Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford, now closed (as usual) for business: muses and misspills on books, jazz, poetry, stuff like false flags and smoke screen: was randomly decrepit and proven to be more than neo-bankrupt: it was so analogue it was anal and now deceased.
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 shop closed in January, 2018.
Albion Beatnik Press published SARAH GILLESPIE’s first collection of poetry at the end of last year: Queen Ithaca Blues.
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.