The Beautiful Game | Fiction for Ambit

Books

I have written a new short story on football and masculinity for the debut edition of Ambit Pop (243), guest edited by Fat White Family’s Lias Saoudi. This new strand of Ambit invites maverick artists to guest edit the magazine under their tradition of Poems, Stories, and Art.

Featuring an oulipo exchange with Rob Doyle, flash fiction from Benjamin Myers, and poetry from Jenni Fagan, Zaffar Kunial, Connor Seed, Jeremy Reed, Nina Power, Vida Adamczewski and Niall Griffiths, this new issue also includes art by Steven Allan, Anna McDowell, Neal Fox (Le Gun) and Wayne Horse.

The Ambit quarterly was (anti) established in 1959 by Dr Martin Bax to expand on the times. Editors including JG Ballard, Carol Ann Duffy and Eduardo Paolozzi published early work of many admired names, including David Hockney, William S Burroughs, Stevie Smith and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Copies are available for £10 via Ambit’s website

(Feature image: Wayne Horse Alles Wird Gut, 2017)

Stay Alive Till ’75 at Ration Books

Books

I am very pleased to announced that Stay Alive Till ’75 is published today at Ration Books. The pocket-sized edition features ‘The Humber Star’, a poem commissioned by John Grant for Hull City of Culture 2017, a memoir in make-up called ‘4 Ombres Dior’, and an extended essay of creative non-fiction set on the fringes of a religious cult in a fading East Yorkshire seaside town.

The book is available to buy direct from Ration Books, alongside new writing by Bill Drummond and Benjamin Myers.

Visit their website for further info.

Hebden Bridge: A Magical Town of Writers and Poets

Books, Poetry, Writing, Yorkshire

I have written a feature on the literary culture of Hebden Bridge in this weekend’s Yorkshire Post: ‘Aside from the proliferation of alternative lifestyles, its hordes of tourists, flooding incidents, or the title of ‘UK’s lesbian capital’, the small market town of Hebden Bridge has become renowned as an unlikely centre for literary culture in the North of England…’

New Author Page at Bookshop.Org

Books

I have set up a new author page on Bookshop.org that contains links to all of my books that are currently in print (including anthologies etc) and a few books lists to whet the appetite such as Bitter Northern Classics, Best Music Books, Books of the Year 2020, Favourite Female Authors and 3:AM, Offbeat & Brutalist Writers.

Bookshop is a new online store for independent bookshops in the UK that allows readers to order directly through them and for booksellers to keep a healthy percentage of the sale. Please support your local bookshop by searching for them on the website, then selecting your lockdown/xmas books through the search engine. You can read more about it here.

Happy reading, comrades!

Portico Prize in The New Review

Books

Anita Sethi has interviewed six shortlisted writers (including myself) for this year’s Portico Prize for the Observer New Review… with portrait photographs by Richard Saker (this one was taken in Mytholmroyd on a cold, blustery December afternoon)

‘Do writers in the north have to work harder to get published? Is there a northern aesthetic? We talk to the six authors shortlisted for the Portico prize – AKA the “Booker of the north”‘

Channelling the Spirit of the North

Books

Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile has made it onto this year’s £10,000 Portico Prize for Literature shortlist, an award for writing that “best evokes the spirit of the North”. Other shortlisted titles include Saltwater by Jessica Andrews (Sceptre), Ironopolis by Glen James Brown (Parthian), The Mating Habits of Stags by Ray Robinson (Lightning Books), The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness by Graham Caveney (Picador), and Under the Rock: The Poetry of a Place by Benjamin Myers (Elliott & Thompson).

Here’s what the Bookseller had to say about it:

The shortlist of six was revealed on Monday (9th December) and was praised by the judges for celebrating “the spirit of the people, the spirit of place and the wonderful diversity of the North”. It comprises four fiction titles, three of which are debuts, and two non-fiction titles, while the ratio of books from mainstream publishers against independents is 50:50.

The six books were whittled down from a longlist selected by the Portico Prize’s newly formed Society of Readers and Writers. They were chosen by a panel of judges chaired by journalist and broadcaster Simon Savidge of Savidge Reads.

Savidge said: “This list defies the rumour that it’s grim up North. Yes, it can be gritty up North; yes, it can be gothic up North; but more than anything it’s glorious and great up North. These books celebrate the spirit of the people, the spirit of place and the wonderful diversity of the North…”

Click here for the full article

Sweating Tears with Fat White Family at Rough Trade Books

Books, Music

The good ship Rough Trade Books have published an exclusive new edition, Sweating Tears with Fat White Family. It’s a pamphlet that I have worked on alongside Lisa Cradduck (my long-term collaborator and partner-in-crime) and together we have created this beautifully sordid publication. This exclusive edition features demonic engravings by printmaker Lisa Cradduck, inspired by Berber folklore and the grotesque 16th century drolleries of Richard Breton.

“A revealing examination of the dysfunctional songwriting partnership at the heart of one of Britain’s most unpredictable and controversial contemporary rock ’n’ roll bands, Sweating Tears with Fat White Family features candid interviews by author Adelle Stripe with Fat White Family singer Lias Saoudi and guitarist Saul Adamczewski. From childhood traumas to adult squalor and critical success, it is a tale of bitterness, humour, excess, cruelty, and the vile affections that bind this exceptional pairing on their continued Orphean descent into the underworld.”

Sweating Tears forms part of the Rough Trade “naughty series”, and is available to purchase online at Rough Trade Books, Drift Records, Bleep, Village Leeds and at Rough Trade stores. Copies are also available in galleries and bookshops across the UK, US and Europe. Check the full list of stockists here.

It was named as one of the Irish Times’ Books of the Year in 2019.

Eight Days Left

Art, Books

Eight Days Left is a new short story by Adelle Stripe that was commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Art Gallery in response to the Martin Parr Return to Manchester exhibition. It was performed in the Gallery on Wednesday 5th December as part of the 2018 Manchester Literature Festival. The story, which is inspired by one day in the life of a Salford funeral director, is now available to read at Manchester Review. An audio version can be heard on Soundcloud…

York Press: Little Apple’s Book of the Week

Books

Philippa Morris, of Petergate’s Little Apple Bookshop, has made Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile ‘Book of the Week’ in this weekend’s York Press

“The novel is gripping and written with real insight. The Buttershaw estate is described in gruesome detail, as is the violence Dunbar experiences and the poignant unravelling of her young life. It is not all grim though: there are plenty of funny anecdotes. I particularly enjoyed the bits when Andrea goes to London to work on her play. It is so far removed from her own world and the way Stripe describes it brings into clarity how fake it must have seemed to Dunbar.At one point, someone spends £48 on a round of cocktails (more than most people earn in a week) and Dunbar keeps the receipt to show her mum.This is a story about the difficulty of having no aspirations or expectations and about having no one to help or guide you through an alien environment. A gritty northern novel everyone should read.”