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 bookstore will launch its own magazine, entitled The Sandspout (although the title will be in small print as I’m quite ashamed of it.). A Sandspout is the sand sucked into the air by a whirlwind: such apparent serendipity, of course, rivals the nature of this bookstore, hence the magazine’s title.
The first issue will be published in late January, and will comprise 128 pages, A4, of short story, poetry, article and serendipity, its rationale that it is in some way linked to the shop. It is not unlikely that its format will be changed as it develops.
For the first issue, poets included are Michael Horovitz, Heathcote Williams, Nancy Campbell, George Roberts and Camille Ralphs, with short stories by Olivia Stewart Liberty, Allyson Armistead, Alistair McNaught and Marc Nash, and essays contributed by Gilad Atzmon, Heathcote Williams and others.
The first issue will be launched offically on Sunday 24th January, alongside the publication by the shop of two novellas (both, in fact, a collection of three, related short stories): Black Milk by Olivia Stewart Liberty, and Ode to Jouissance by Dan Holloway.
I am unaware of any other bookshop with its own magazine – even chain bookshops – so hope folk will see this as a chance to support the bookstore without spending too much money. The price will be £4.50.
If anybody has a piece of writing to contribute, of any nature (poor and politically incorrect humour, pornography and bad spelling especially welcome), for future issues, please get in touch, initially by email [albionbeatnikbookshop AT gmail.com]. Occasionally a fee is paid, usually only if the piece is commissioned, but the fee will be so small that it will fund, just, a jar of Marmite and a packet of Jacob’s Cream Crackers (so make sure you have no chance to give anybody a snog for a few days after payment as Marmite stinks awful, and that payment, possibly imaginary, is to be received only when you’ve chased me and spoken to your solicitor).
There will be four issues per year. It is likely that each issue will be linked to a particular country, and may involve the participation of another bookshop from that country.
The illustration used on the cover (and as the mast of this blog page) is by Emma Wright of the Emma Press, and many thanks to her for her generosity.