It doesn’t come cooler than Albion Beatnik Press as a boutique venue for one of Britain’s best loved literary mags. Throw in a balmy Oxford evening, mouth-watering books packed from floor to ceiling, teapots in all sizes and some cracking poetry and you’ve got yourself a launch.
People came from as far away as Aberdeen, Wiltshire, Manchester and London to celebrate the work of 56 poets and short fiction writers, including Tammy Adams, Claire Booker, Nancy Campbell, Anas Hassan, Gram Joel Davis, Rachel Mann, John McAuliffe, Rosemary Norman and Judith Taylor.
TIH 59 is a bumper issue which includes the winning poems from the 2015 Open House Poetry Competition – Roz Goddard’s ‘The Baroness and the Nun’; Dan O’Brien’s ‘ The War Reporter Paul Watson on the Devourer of Hearts’; andTerry Jones’ ‘The Naked Blessed Childhood of Maire O’Hanlon’.
Liz Berry was the competition judge responsible for whittling an avalanche of entries down to three winners and seven highly commended poets. “I was looking for something magical or surprising, something well crafted and affecting too. There’s a strange indescribable electricity I feel when reading or hearing a brilliant poem and so I let that feeling be my first guide.”
Her choices don’t disappoint. Nor does the main body of poetry selected by Editor, Martin Malone. And for those who enjoy short fiction, there are stories by Jacob Ross and Alison Hitchcock too.
Now that the magazine has up sticks and left for Aberdeen, it remains to be seen whether TIH’s popular shindigs will come south of the border again. Aberdeen’s gain is Oxford’s loss. Or could dual launches be the answer (any excuse for a party!).
Copies of The Interpreter’s House (issue 59) are available for a very reasonable £5.00 from the website at: INTERPRETER’S HOUSE
If you come to Oxford, you’ll love Albion Beatnik Press as a place to brouse, drink tea, buy poetry. The cafe is close to Worcester College, only 10 mins walk from the main train station, at 34 Walton Street, OX2 6AA.