Oxford Blackwell’s Launch of THE BITTERS

One of the joys of studying creative writing in Oxford is the bookshops. Blackwell’s in Oxford is one of my absolute favourite bookshops anyway, along with Shakespeare & Co in Paris and Strand in New York and competes with those two in terms of view from the front door.

One of my favourite bookshops, Blackwell's in Oxford

One of my favourite bookshops, Blackwell’s in Oxford


So I am particularly excited that the Oxford launch of THE BITTERS will be at Blackwell’s on Thursday 26th February.


We will be there from 7pm with readings starting at 7.30. It is free entry – with a free glass of wine – but in order to know numbers, please RSVP to events.oxford@blackwell.co.uk or by collecting a free ticket in store.

An aside: I knew I was in Oxford when I phoned the local wine store to order drinks for the evening and the friendly young man who answered the phone confessed that he too was a poet and might stay for the launch. I hope he does. Not only because it is always good to meet another poet but also because  I notice that I am being followed on twitter by several alcohol merchandise sites who have obviously mistaken the bitters in my title for angostura bitters. Majestic’s Jack might be able to clarify that the bitters I am referring to in my title are strychnine and arsenic. Perhaps not the best mixer for your drink.

I am extra excited about this launch because of the group of talented writers and poets who have agreed to help me push out THE BITTERS. They will each be reading their own choice of a poem from THE BITTERS, then two or three poems of their own. It is real opportunity to catch some of the best emerging writing talent in the Oxford, London and Cheltenham areas. Although they all write poetry, they also write (variously) short stories, novels and scripts and draw inspiration from a diverse field of interests: medicine, horror, mythology, the supernatural and comedy will all feature. A big shout-out for Samir Guglani, Daisy Johnson, Rae Sunshine, Shahla Haque, Sarvat Hasin and Katariina Kottonen who will be joining me on the night.

Do come and join us if you are in Oxford that evening and if you are interested in poetry or spoken word. It will be a scream – possibly quite a bloodcurdling one!


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