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.

Queen Ithaca Blues: Sarah Gillespie

£8.00

Sarah Gillespie’s three albums have received widespread critical acclaim and much radio airplay in the UK and 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. Her poetry bristles with brio.

68pp, C format paperback, card wrapper.

“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

Description

Sarah Gillespie was born in London to an American mother and English father, her childhood in Norfolk was interspersed with many extended visits to Minnesota. She moved to the U.S.A. when only eighteen, busked, returned later to the UK, then obtained a first class degree and an MA in Politics and Philosophy at Goldsmith’s University. 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. She has been a guest on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Loose Ends, and has been interviewed by Andrew Marr on Start the Week.

Sarah’s poetry hints at the throwaway yet relishes the lingering and tender phrase. It shapes delinquency as disquisition, makes hyperbole look commonplace, and it bolts urbanity to the transient. 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. It can leave you gently concussed as though smitten about the head with a feather boa; at the same time it has antidotal force to be medicinal, enough to cure life’s migraine. It wasn’t Sarah that rhymed ‘Rimsky-Korsakov’ with ‘rip me corsets off’, but there is such urgency and cultured swank about her poetry that it could have been. She’s so talented that if you give her a bucket of cement and a pickaxe, she’d fashion a Bernini.

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