Brixton BookJam celebrated our 4th birthday on Monday 6th June 2016, at our regular venue the Hootananny, with readings from Stella Duffy, James Flint, Alex Marshall, Jim Gleeson, Seraphina Madsen, Zelda Rhiando, Anna Mazzola, Lloyd Shepherd, Daniel Ruiz Tizon, Steve Mullins, Dennis Monaghan, Daniel Ruiz Tizon and Dorcas Pelling.
Stella Duffy is the award-winning writer of thirteen novels, ten plays, and over fifty short stories published in fifteen languages. She has twice won the CWA Short Story Dagger and twice won Stonewall Writer of the Year. She has worked in theatre for thirty-five years as an actor, director, playwright, and facilitator. She is Co-Director of Fun Palaces, the campaign for culture at the heart of every community.
Her new novel London Lies Beneath will be published by Virago in October.
Jim Gleeson is originally from Tipperary, and after leaving Ireland to live and work in South Boston, travelled the world, cycled beside the Nile on a ten-day ride for charity and has since lived in London long enough to develop a love/hate relationship with the metropolis in all the years between the fall of Margaret Thatcher and the rise of the shiny Shard. In between pushing a pen for various organisations to pay the bills he takes time to scratch out short stories and lend support to worthy causes including the occasional struggling alehouse.
Alex Marshall is a music and politics journalist who writes for the Guardian among others. He grew up where east London sinks into Essex and swore he’d never – ever! – move South, but has now lived in Stockwell for a decade. His first book, Republic or Death! Travels in Search of National Anthems, has just come out in paperback on Windmill Books and sees him travel everywhere from Kazakhstan to Japan to reveal the surprisingly important, funny and at times even moving stories of these songs. You can follow him on Twitter if you’d like @alexmarshall81, but he’d prefer it if you bought his book.
Seraphina Madsen was born in San Rafael, California when it was a hippy paradise and played with members of The Greatful Dead’s children as a toddler. When her parents split she and her sister moved to Maine with their mother where Seraphina spent summers attending the Choate Rosemary Hall writer’s program and the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. She attended Bates College and afterward returned to San Francisco where she discovered the underground rave scene which took her to Germany, South Africa, Sweden, France, Spain, and The Netherlands. Madsen received an MA from Kingston University, London and resides in London.
In 1998 Time Out hailed James Flint’s first novel, Habitus, as “probably the best British fiction début of the last five years.” His second novel, 52 Ways to Magic America, claimed the Amazon.co.uk award for the year 2000, and his third, The Book of Ash, won an Arts Council Writers Award and was described by the Independent’s leading literary critic as “a bold British counterpart to DeLillo’s Underworld.” His new novel, Midland, is currently funding on Unbound.co.uk.
Writer-broadcaster Daniel Ruiz Tizon’s 2013 radio series ‘The Letter’ was described in The Observer as ‘An Oddball Pleasure’. Since 2012, he has also presented the weekly radio/podcast show ‘Daniel Ruiz Tizon is Available’, in which he dissects the minutiae of everyday life. His new ebook, ‘Me! Me! Me!’ is available on Amazon from mid-May. As the road to the care home gets ever shorter and his poorly selling work makes an unmarked grave a near certainty, Daniel gets things off his no longer fashionable hirsute Mediterranean chest. From indiscreet toilet layouts at work and poor rapports with excessively earnest colleagues upset with his refusal to participate in after work events, to winter coat duplications, mid-life dental challenges and the mysteriously altering age of his aunt, Spanish Kanu, it’s all there. And it’s all about him.
Twitter: @1607WestEgg | www.danielruiztizon.com
Zelda Rhiando lives in Brixton and is one of the organisers of the Brixton BookJam. She is the author of three books (Caposcripti, a Fist full of Cherries and Good Morning Mr Magpie), as well as a contributor to the Poetry Library and occasional journalist. When not writing she can be found child-wrangling and making digital products. www.badzelda.com
Anna Mazzola is from Camberwell, not far from where the crime at the heart her debut novel, The Unseeing, took place. The Unseeing is based on the life of a real woman, Sarah Gale, who was convicted of aiding and abetting a murder in 1837. The Unseeing won the Brixton Bookjam Debut Novel competition in 2014, so she is delighted to be back at The Hootananny. Anna studied English at Oxford before becoming a criminal justice solicitor. She is currently working on a second historical crime novel set on the Isle of Skye. The Unseeing will be published by Tinder Press (Headline) on 14 July.
Lloyd Shepherd is the author of acclaimed historical mysteries The English Monster, The Poisoned Island, and Savage Magic. Set in the Regency period of the early 19th century, the novels feature the proto-detective Charles Horton and his irascible magistrate John Harriott, both of the Thames River Police in Wapping. The mysteries they seek to unravel are far more peculiar than they appear, and as Horton and Harriott find themselves entangled in the machinations of Westminster and the Court, they discover that nature holds her own bizarre mysteries, not all of them amenable to classification by the natural philosophers of the Royal Society. Lloyd has worked as a journalist and a web producer for the Guardian, the BBC, Yahoo!, Channel 4 and Financial Times Newsletters.
Steve Mullins has been a journalist for more than 20 years, a profession which has seen him living in Paris (twice) and San Francisco, but mostly in London (a city which is the beating heart of Fade to Black). He has also worked – and continues to do so – as a copywriter and as a ghost writer, so is on pretty close wrangling terms with the written word every single day of his life. Apart from Fade to Black, he has written other novels, including Looking for Paris (which is actually set in Brighton) and The Chicken Game.
Dorcas Pelling has been a freelance writer for over a decade contributing features, reviews, columns and interviews for magazines including The Erotic Review, LOTL, Grove Magazine, Canary (Conde Naste), The Evening Standard, and Time Out Sydney amongst others. Her first book came out in September 2012, published by Pavilion. Pelling is now working on an international, collaborative literary/art project entitled ‘Letters I Never Sent’.
Dennis (Just Dennis) is a Performance poet. His New Labour: a Lyrical Legacy follows politics, wars, environmental , sexism, racism and religious and monetary issues since 1997. He arrived in Brixton in 2000, was Bard of Brixton in 2003, and was England’s no 1 football poet/BBC5 Live resident poet. 2005/6 and winner of the All Ireland runner up poetry slam 2008. He has also performed with Alabama 3, Blockheads and Ruts, M C and performing at festivals and venues worldwide. Dennis wrote the England World Cup anthem sung by international tenor, Martin Toal in 2014, and has a short inclusion in Julian Temple’s film/documentary, London, the Modern Babylon.
Where to find us: Our venue is Hootananny Brixton (95 Effra Road, London SW2 1DF) – a large pub with a performance space that can hold 600 people. It also provides cooked food. The closest tube station is Brixton (Victoria line) and buses 2, 3, 415, 432 and 196 will transport you very near to the venue.