Reading at Grit Lit on December 9th

I am very excited to announce that I will be reading at Grit Lit on December 9th. The event takes place in the Red Roaster and will include readings from Tim Lay, Amy Riley, Joe Evans and Nina de la Mer. I'm particularly excited about seeing Erinna Mettler, whose novel Starlings sounds fantastic, "a daisy-chain novel set in Brighton" that Louise Halvarddson recently wrote about.

The piece I'll be reading is 'The Other Child', a horror story about ex-girlfriends and books.

"Sarah and I broke up a year back and we’ve both seen other people since, but she still calls me when there’s a problem. A few months after we split she phoned one Sunday morning because there was a spider in the bath. That time, with the spider, I thought it was an excuse, that she was too embarrassed to say what she really wanted. I flushed the spider, followed her to the kitchen and put my arm around her. It was fairly awkward when Sarah explained that it was just about the spider. I apologised and went back home to bed.
I’m the person she calls when the bathroom floods, or her house was burgled, or her new boyfriend needs another man to explain that it’s over and he should return his key. The Paula Sharp thing started with one of those ‘can you help me’ calls, but this time Sarah refused to describe the problem on the phone. “Just come over, please?” I’d promised myself I’d stop doing her bidding but was curious about what she wanted. And there was always the chance it might be the other thing.

Advance tickets are available here for £5. The event starts at 8pm on December 9th.

Under the paving stones, the beach


On Thursday night, I made my second appearance at the Catalyst Club. The venue was packed and I was a little nervous – it was the largest crowd I've addressed. Hopefully my nerves didn't show when I was talking.

My talk was about Psychogeography. I gave a brief introduction and talked about how the practises involved make you more aware of your environment. One of the things I spoke about Brighton's amazing street art, something I occasionally post about in this blog.

My favourite ever Brighton artist was 'Dean', who used to tag around the turn of the century. Dean's logo didn't look particularly impressive, but great care was taken with its placement. As much as I love this street art, I never think too much about the people producing it. I consider the art as a natural part of the urban environment, as something that simply emerges. Dr. Bramwell told me he had a story about the person behind the Dean tags and I declined to hear the story, because I like the idea of these things simply appearing.

Thanks to everyone who came along, and to Kate Shields for the photo above.


Psychogeography PDF Broadside

As part of my talk on psychogeography at the Catalyst last week I prepared a single-sheet handout with some suggested activities and further reading. One of the things that prompted this was Warren Ellis' discussion of broadsides. Laying it out was beyond my word-processor (quite fairly, since that's not what word processors are for) but I found a free, open source DTP package called Scribus which made it easy. 

Copies of the sheet are available below. Feel free to download it, print it out or whatever. I hope people find it interesting. 


I’m speaking at Brighton’s Catalyst Club on November 10th

I'm very excited, because this Thursday I will be speaking at Brighton's Catalyst Club. Last time I spoke there was back in January 2010, when I talked about How to Escape from a WW2 POW Camp.

The Catalyst Club is something of a Brighton Institution, and may be having its 100th event this week. Each month it presents three talks, the subjects of which are not announced until that night. This means that people don't stay away because the subjects sound unpromising. Instead you give yourself the opportunity to be amazed by something you didn't realise was fascinating. I've particularly enjoyed seeing talks on Corsairville, The History of Boylesque, Algorithmic Art, Houdini in Australia and Vladimir Mayakovsky.

But the above description doesn't give much idea of the friendly, slightly rowdy atmosphere or just how much fun it can be. The event is at 8pm at the Latest Music Bar and tickets are 5 pounds on the door or online. And, just in case it didn't sound exciting enough already, I'll be printing some handouts.