Monday, 14 July 2008


On Sunday August 17th I’m reading at Torriano with Sue MacIntyre (7.30pm at Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue in Kentish Town). Sue MacIntyre’s ‘Picnic With Sea-Fog and Elephants’ was the final publication I brought out with my press, The Many Press. That was back in 2003. Sue is someone who, having written earlier in her life, put it aside and took it up again many years later. Her work is conversational in tone, scrupulous, and tends to display a distinctive and very attractive wariness and sense of surprise. She deserves a full-length collection.

There’s a new venue here in Hackney, in Dalston, Café Oto (see their website at with a programme of readings currently being prepared. It looks as if it may develop into a combination of word and music – the space already hosts music events. Dalston is undergoing some quite massive and inevitably controversial development. Is this the ‘Shoreditch effect’ moving north? It wasn’t like that when we moved here back in the early 1970s. Back then Dalston still had Kossoff’s Bakers – this is the painter’s David Kossoff’s family isn’t it? He did paintings of Dalston. There were still other Jewish Bakers around – but most of the Jewish population, other than the Hassidim who are still here in Stamford Hill of course, had moved on and the Turkish / Kurdish population was starting to increase. And then gentrification, albeit patchily.

O and Peter Hughes' Oystercatcher Press has a website now at

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