The Albion Beatnik Bookstore website (or how a bookshop once changed a light bulb)

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.

Bookshops I Have Known

In 1982 I was running books from a nearby market town, Aylesbury, to the academic, provincial avatar that is Oxford, to sell them on for what I regarded to be … Continue reading

6th April 2018 · Leave a comment

The Moving Toyshop & the Awkward Hour Between Evensong & Cocktails

EDMUND CRISPIN’s The Moving Toyshop is one of the classic Oxford novels. Crispin was the pseudonym of Robert Bruce Montgomery, a composer of vocal and choral music which included An Oxford … Continue reading

27th February 2017 · Leave a comment

Three Doorbells in Search of a Door

It took an act of generosity from a Portuguese friend to deliver the rooster, an ornament as fine as a Botticelli angel. But it took my brilliance with a drill to … Continue reading

9th October 2016 · 2 Comments

The Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library was refurnished by 1613, and the Old Schools Quadrangle extension was already under serious planning – to be measured in cubits rather than feet and inches, based on … Continue reading

11th May 2016 · Leave a comment

Fifty Shades of Re(a)d

It was Oxford based artist Stella Shakerchi who came up with the idea of hanging a collection of book cover design in the Albion Beatnik Bookstore windows, and the shop … Continue reading

1st May 2016 · Leave a comment

This Is A Bookshop

The poster found often in the shop window did for a few golden days go viral and rampant on the internet. Its tale is told here by Dan Holloway in … Continue reading

27th April 2016 · Leave a comment

Novels Set in Oxford

This is a non-alphabetical list of novels set in Oxford, not necessarily recommended as some are a little bit toffee-nosed and derelict, but all are well regarded and all are … Continue reading

19th December 2015 · 2 Comments

A Love Affair with Libraries

Quite a few times on the internet recently I have stumbled across a collection of startling photographs taken of old Cincinnati Public Library, bulldozed in 1955: greyscale, razor sharp images of silhouetted and … Continue reading

20th November 2015 · 1 Comment

Christopher Wren in Oxford

I think that Christopher Wren was a bit of a donkey aesthetically, an opinion likely to raise eyebrows. In the late seventeenth century most architectural roads led to Wren; he hovers … Continue reading

12th November 2015 · Leave a comment

News of Albion Beatnik Press

Two new series of titles – American Vintage and British Vintage – 24 titles to be published in 2019
https://www.albionbeatnik.co.uk/2018/07/18/elizabeth-von-arnims-the-enchanted-april/

Sarah Gillespie’s Queen Ithaca Blues

“Dipped in song, these are dizzying poems in which lovers are skyscrapers and words walk on wires between them.Bright with horror and stricken with laughter, Sarah Gillespie’s lyrical collection lives in the extremities, dealing with loss, vertigo and joy.” – Caroline Bird