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Selected publications






































Here are some of the things I've written and some of the other things I've done, or am going to do.

Some of the links work if you're that way inclined. Some don't. You can always drop me a line.



Multiple Joyce: 

100 short essays about James Joyce’s cultural legacy 

Published on 16 June 2022  by New York’s Sagging Meniscus Press 

to mark the centenary of the publication of Ulysses. 

Selected writing 2009-2022



Cambridge University Press


The Documentary Moment  in Auden in Context (edited by Anthony Sharpe) 2013

Political Collaborators: Benjamin Britten and Montagu Slater (Literary Britten conference paper)


CB editions

About a Girl: a reader's Guide to Eimear McBride's A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing (2016)

The first book about Eimear McBride's acclaimed debut novel A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing. Written in close co-operation with the author, this is an essential introduction to the most remarkable and talented writer of her generation.


Dostoyevsky Wannabee


Love Bites: Fiction inspired by Pete Shelley and Buzzcocks (September 2019)

I contribute to this anthology prompted by the death of Pete Shelley, founder of the seminal Manchester punk band. 





Genuine pure filth


An essay on Samuel Beckett and auto-erotic strangulation for the 13th issue of Ireland’s leading literary journal, edited by Susan Tomaselli (forthcoming)



The Idler


Between 2017 and 2019 I wrote a regular feature about independent publishing for this bi-monthly magazine.



Press gang. On Tramp Press (July/August 2017)


Found in translation. On Pereine Press (Issue 55 September/October 2017)


Ridicule is nothing to be scared of. On Peter Owen Publishing (Issue 56 November/December 2017)


Pressing matters. On Little Island Press & gorse magazine (Issue 57 January/February 2018)


Stream of consciousness. On The Republic of Consciousness Prize 2018  (Issue 58 March/April 2018)


Mag men. On Little Magazines, past and present (Issue 59 May/June 2018)


We're all doomed. Not.  On Will Self and the state of things (Issue 60 July/August 2018)


Fight the power. On Galley Beggar Press vs. W. H. Smith  (Issue 61 September/October 2018)


Go Gentle. On Spitalfields Life & Henningham Family Press (Issue 62 November/December 2018)


To the end of the night. On Guillemot Press & Winter Papers  (Issue 63 January/February 2019)


On the case. On bookshelves & Spring 2019 highlights (Issue 64 March/April 2019)


News from Norwich. On The Republic of Consciousness Prize 2019 & Boiler House Press (Issue 65 May/June 2019)

Lots of fun at Finneganight. On Finnegans Wake & The St Arbuc Encyclopaedia (Issue 66 July/August 2019)


Paper weight. On the costs of independent publishing (Issue 67 September/October 2019)



Literary Review 

Spinach and Ice Cream

Exorcism by Eugene O'Neill (April 2012) 

Auden and the Camera's Eye (Feature) (May 2012)


Lost Kids on the Concourse

Living Life the Essex Way  by Sam Faiers (June 2012)


Possum Agonistes

T. S. Eliot Letters Volume 3 1926-1927 (July 2012)


A Coat, a Hat and a Gun 

Raymond Chandler: A Mysterious Something in the Light by Tom Williams (August 2012)


Thoroughly Modern Milieu

Constellation of Genius (1922: Modernism Year One) by Kevin Jackson  (October 2012)


Inner Visions

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks (December 2012/January 2013)


The Philosopher's Philosopher

Frank Ramsey (1903-1930): A Sister's Memoir by Margaret Paul (March 2013)


A Fine Bromance

Distant Intimacy by Frederic Raphael and Joseph Epstein (April 2013)


Chekhov in the Rhondda

Rhys Davies - a writer's life by Meic Stephens (November 2013)


Bard of Subtopia

Ian Nairn: Words in Place edited by Gillian Darley, David McKie (February 2014)


Stores of memory

Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas by Patrick Modiano (December 2014)


Lengthening Shadows

Wrote for Luck by D J Taylor (February 2015)

A Waking Dreamer

Playthings by Alex Pheby (November 2015)


Keeping Calm & Carrying On

Darkness Falls from the Air by Nigel Balchin (December 2015)


Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Dodge Rose by Jack Cox (April 2016)


Ghost Writing

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (May 2016)

The Meaning of Light

A Field Guide to Reality by Joanna Kavenna (July 2016)


Ridiculous perfect

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (September 2016)


Living Hells

Darker with the Lights On by David Hayden (September 2017)


Leopold the second

Dedalus by Chris McCabe (August 2018)

Joint favourites

Tamarisk Row and Border Districts by Gerald Murnane (June 2019)

Life sentence

Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann (September 2019)


Tales from the New Bedlam

Endland by Tim Etchells (December 2019)

Germany calling

Radio Joan by Kevin Davey (February 2021)

Lose Your Delusions

Cold New Climate by Isobel Wohl and Insignificance by James Clammer (June 2021)



Oxford University Press

A Guest of Existence - the Life and Times of Thomas Good (1901-1972) Pembroke College Record 2011/12


Contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ongoing) with entries on Dai Vaughan, Stan Barstow Geoffrey Jones, Raymond Durgnat etc



Parthian Press / Library of Wales

Afterword to the re-issue of Stan Barstow's A Kind of Loving for Parthian Press, an imprint of the Library of Wales (Autumn 2013)



A Personal Anthology

I'm an occasional contributor to Jonathan Gibb's website dedicated to short form fiction and have written about:

H. G. Wells ('The New Accelerator'), James Joyce ('An Encounter’), Dylan Thomas ('A Child's Christmas in Wales’), 

Brian Aldiss (‘Supertoys Last All Summer Long’), Arthur Conan Doyle (‘The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle’)  and Georges Perec (The Winter Journey/Le Voyage d’hiver) 


Printmaking Today

'Bass Notes' - an interview with the artist/lithographer John White (Winter 2016)



Repeater Press

We'll Never Have Paris, edited by Andrew Gallix. (2019)


I contributed to a collection that 'brings together many of the most talented and adventurous writers from the UK, Ireland, USA, Australia and New Zealand […] to build up a captivating portrait of Paris as viewed by English speakers today - A Moveable Feast for the twenty-first century'.



review 31

Occasional contributions to this online literary journal edited by Houman Barekat

Another girl, another planet

On The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell


Desert island risks

On Robinson by Jack Robinson


My book of the year 2017

As a God Might Be by Neil Griffiths


My book of the year 2018

Oedipa by Amy McCauley


My book of the year 2019

We Are Made of Diamond Stuff by Isabel Waidner


My book of the year 2020

Spring Journal by Jonathan Gibbs

My book of the year 2021

Queer: A Collection of LGBTQ Writing from Ancient Times to Yesterday edited by Frank Wynne

My book of the year 2022

Appliance by J. O. Morgan


Sagging Meniscus Press

Multiple Joyce: 100 short essays about James Joyce’s cultural legacy
Published by New York’s Sagging Meniscus Press on 16th June 2022 to mark the centenary of the publication of Ulysses.


Extracts have appeared in

    The Daily Telegraph

    The RTE website
    The Irish Post

Spirit of Soho


Introduction to the catalogue of this retrospective exhibition of prints, photographs and drawings by the artists Alyson Hunter, Michael Heath and John White. (September 2019)


Standpoint (October/November 2020)

‘A knife-fight in a phone booth’

On Ian Hamilton and the 1970s Poetry Wars

3:AM Magazine


On Toby Litt’s Patience



Times Literary Supplement


I'm a regular contributor to the TLS, writing about fiction, poetry, photography, memoirs, biography, architecture, theatre, cinema and no end of other things.

Noriko Smiling by Adam Mars-Jones  (3 Feb 2012)

The Projection of Britain: a History of the GPO Film Unit  (10 Feb 2012)

More Worthy than Lark (Commentary 9 March 2012) 

Music Wars by Patrick Bade (27 April 2012)

A Point of View by Clive James (25 May 2012)

The Literary North edited by Katherine Cockin  (4 June 2012) 

Lucky in Love (5 October 2012)

Journals  - 1946-1995 by Stephen Spender 

I'm a believer  (20 November 2012)


London E1 by Robert Poole (1 March 2013)

In every dream home (8 March 2013)

Maynard L Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream 


Birth Control (5 April 2013)


Blokelore and Blokesongs poems by Robert Conquest (19 April 2013)


Gob impressive (14 June 2013)

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride


On Writing with Photography edited by Liliane Weissberg and Karen Beckman (28 June 2013)


Class Difference

The Likes of Us - Stories of Five Decades by Stan Barstow  (Fiction lead 13 July 2013)


Twitter and Brimstone (Fiction lead 20 September 2013)

Night and the City, The Angel and the Cuckoo, Nightshade and Damnations and Fowlers End 

by Gerald Kersh 


Why Photography Matters by Jerry Thompson (11 October 2013)


When the Cat was away (3 Jan 2014)

The Animals - Letters between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy edited by Katherine Bucknell

Syndicated in the Italian literary periodical Il Foglio


Inconspicuous consumption (Fiction lead 21 February 2014) 

Two Novellas: The Sanatorium and Facing the Sea; Viennese Romance and Married Life by David Vogel


Literary Criticism (14 March 2014)

Edward Upward and Left-Wing Literary Culture in Britain edited by Benjamin Kohlmann 


The Gaffer of Greek Street - Ian Hamilton and The New Review (Commentary feature - 2 April 2014)


The Seventh Myth (Fiction lead 23 April 2014)

The Prince's Boy by Paul Bailey and A Room in Chelsea Square by Michael Nelson


He do the Police (Fiction lead 16 May 2014)

Vanishing by Gerard Woodward

Summer reading  

Contributor to the annual census of summer books (11 June 2014)

Seeing the light (Fiction lead 18 June 2014)

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The calm confusion (Fiction lead 25 July 2014)

Munich Airport by Greg Baxter

Visible scars (1 August  2014)

The Great War Seen from the Air, 1914–1918  edited by Birger Stichelbaut

Love for the crushed (15 August 2014)

Flametti by Hugo Ball translated by Catherine Schelbert

Accompanied by a TLS podcast about Ball's Dada 'sound poetry' and this novel


David Hockney: A Pilgrim's Progress by Christopher Simon Sykes (22 October 2014)


Mathias Enard's grammar of estrangement  (7 November 2014)

Zone and Street of Thieves by Mathias Énard

Exactly what they've missed (28 November 2014)

Things to Make and Break by May-Lan Tan


A Particle of his Soul

Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos  

Edited by Mark Webber. Foreword by P. Adams Sitney (21January 2015)


Dog Days

spill, simmer, falter, wither by Sarah Baume (3 March 2015)

Pretending for others

Why Acting Matters by David Thomson  and Great Shakespeare Actors by Stanley Wells (7 October 2015)


The book of the film

Vertigo by Boileau-Nacejac (9 December 2015)

I also presented a podcast considering the original novel and Hitchcock’s film version (see below)

Rubber and acid

Jumpin' Jack Flash: David Litvinoff and the rock’n’roll underworld by Keiron Pim (16 March 2016)


Double drowning

In Casting Off and Interference Pattern by J O Morgan (29 June 2016)

Murder who wrote?

The Face on the Cutting-room Floor by Cameron McCabe (21 December 2016)


Flesh, fluid, hue, etc

An Aesthetic of Obscenity by Jeff Nuttall (11 January, 2017)

Benign, muscular owl

Selected Poems by William Plomer (29 March 2017)


Déjà lu

On the pleasures of re-reading (17 April 2017)

Thinking about Freud

Let Go My Hand by Edward Docx (3 May 2017)


On London

My Favourite London Devils by Iain Sinclair (24 May 2017)


Mechanical laughter

In the Absence of Absalon by Simon Okotie (1 August 2017)


Possum Agonistes

Playing Possum by Kevin Davey (20 October 2017)


Correspondence by Mark Girouard (5 December 2017)


Intelligence squared

The Fountain in the Forest by Tony White (9 January 2018)

Total recall

Remembering Places: A Memoir by Joseph Rykwert (19 January 2018)


Welcome to Realito

Felix Culpa by Jeremy Gavron (6 March 2018) 


Camus of the North

Getting Carter: Ted Lewis and the Birth of Brit Noir by Nick Triplow  (20 March 2018) 


Clearing a path

Lucia by Alex Pheby (15 June 2018)


Put a spell on you

Jinx by Abigail Parry (11 September 2018)


Some remain so

Jott by Sam Thompson (19 October 2018)


Family fusion

Where to Find Me by Alba Arikha (19 March 2019)


Full of characters

Under Cover: A Poet's Life in Publishing by Jeremy Robson (28 June 2019)


Crystal clear

Machine in the Head: selected short writing by Anna Kavan (9 August 2019)


Fallacy and the tickling stick

Happiness and Tears: The Ken Dodd Story by Louis Barfe (22 November 2019)

Flash fiction

Pharricide by Vincent de Swarte, translated from the French by Nicholas Royle (19 December 2019)


Terrible loss, long aftermath

Sleeping Letters by Marie-Elsa Roche Bragg (16 October 2020)


Down, but not out 

should we fall behind by Sharon Duggal (22 Jan 2021)

It ought to have been happy
Poguemahone by Patrick McCabe (20 May 2022)

Not a good normal
Ghost Signs by Stu Hennigan (22 July 2022)

            High dishonest decade
            Original Sins: a memoir by Matt Rowland Hill (TBC)



I also blogged regularly for the Times Literary Supplement between 2014 and 2016



Word Aversion

'Apolitical ponce' - W. H. Auden in the OED 


Epidermal doodles - some literary tattoos


Cellar door - and other euphonies

Knocking on heaven's door - Amis, McEwan and the Jehovah's Witnesses


Against unremembering - the Great War and Henningham Family Press


Love letters - alternative sexual allegiances


Al-Mutannabi Street Starts Here - a moving art project


Spiegelhalters, Norton Folgate and the Water Poet


Love and death: re-viewing Hitchcock's Vertigo


Man with a Movie Camera restored


Michaelangelo Antonioni's plot development


How money behaves - a performance piece



TLS podcasts 

On Hugo Ball’’s novel Flametti and the Dada movement 


On Hitchcock’s Vertigo NB I recorded this podcast while suffering from flu, which may explain my 

confusing Los Angeles (where the movie isn't set) and San Fransisco (where it is)


On Ian Nairn’s Paris  



Valancourt Press, USA. 

Introduction to the American reissue of J. B. Priestley's Saturn Over the Water (2014)



The White Review


Interview with Eimear McBride (May 2014)





Radio 3 Sunday Feature: Crossing the Border – Poetry and Film (22 August 2017)

I discuss with presenter Matthew Sweet the  influence of the Russian experimental film-maker Dziga Vertov on the  1930s GPO Film Unit.


Radio 4 Today programme 

Discussing rediscovered Auden verses  

Nairn's London by Routemaster (November 30 2014)

I organised and hosted a one-day bus tour of the east End and City to mark the reissue of Nairn's London by Ian Nairn. Fifty Nairnians joined me on a guided tour to sites mentioned in the book, followed by a talk, panel discussion, readings and screenings. Sponsored by the Twentieth Century Society.


TLS London Literary Weekend 2015/2016

I took part in panel discussions on the representation of the capital in fiction (2015) and over-rated/under-rated writers (2016).


An evening with David Hayden (October 2017)

Hosted this event following publication of David Hayden's debut short story collection Darker with the Lights On at Waterstones, Islington. 


The Republic of Consciousness Prize 2018

I was chair of the judging panel for the third annual Republic of Consciousness Prize, awarded to independent publishers in the UK and Ireland.  


Finneganight - a celebration (May 2019)

I devised, organised and presented Finneganight, an event celebrating the 80th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce's last novel Finnegans Wake. This took place on Saturday May 4th 2019 (the day on which the Wake was first published in 1939). A cohort of writers, artists, poets, publishers, performers and musicians  from London, Dublin, Paris and New York took part in a one-off cabaret. Among those taking part were Alba Arikha, Anna Aslanyan, June Caldwell, David Henningham, Jen Hodgson, Dan O'Brien, Melanie Pappenheim, Alex Pheby, Jessica St Clair, Susan Tomaselli, Tony White and Eley Williams.


A Night of Pure Moby-Dickery (July 2019)

Following the success of Finneganight the same team produced another one-off literary cabaret prompted by Herman Melville's Moby-Dick and celebrating the author’s bicentenary. There were grog-fuelled hymns and sea-shanties, performances, poetry, a settee salon and a staged reading of Orson Welles' two-act play Moby Dick - Rehearsed, last performed in London in 1965. The production was designed by Laura Hopkins.


A Leap in the Dark (Feb 29 2020)

A one-off night of Dadaist cabaret to mark the leap year with music, songs, performance, readings and uncertainty. Featuring Anna Aslanyan, Tim Etchells, David and Ping Henningham, Michael Hughes, Amy McCauley, Melanie Pappenheim, Paul Stanbridge, Aea Varfis-van Warmelo, Tony White and Natalia Zagorska-Thomas. When the pandemic lockdwon began the following month we moved the show online . . .


A Leap in the Dark (March - September 2020)

I organised and hosted this live online gathering twice a week for six months, ending with the fiftieth show on Saturday 19th September.


The Leaps featured an international cohort of writers, poets, performers, musicians, singers, film-makers, indie publishers and other creatives. Contributors from the US, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland and all parts of the UK shares their latest work to an invited audience, with appearances by more than 150 creative practitioners including Chiara Ambrosio, Kevin Boniface, Marie-Elsa Bragg, Charles Boyle, Susanna Crossman, Susan Curtis, Will Eaves, Lucy Ellman, Wendy Erskine, Tim Etchells, Jonathan Gibbs, Neil Griffiths, M. John Harrison, David Hayden, Michael Hughes, Paulette Jonguitud, Amy McCauley, J O Morgan, Simon Okotie, Helen Ottaway, Aisha Orazbayeva, Anakana Schofield, Julian Stannard, Rhys Trimble, Aea Varfis-van Warmelo, Anna Vaught, Eley Williams, Frank Wynne and many, many others.


carthorse orchestra (October 2020 - October 2021)

A year-long series of weekly online gatherings every Saturday from 24th October 2020 featuring poetry, prose, performance, polemic, music, film-making, cooking and other creative activities. Guests include Owen Booth, Marina Benjamin,  Edward Carey, Wendy Erskine, Tim Etchells, Rachel Genn, M. John Harrison, Rónán Hession, Paulette Jonguitud, Gary Lachman, Riva Lehrer, Linda Mannheim, Eimear McBride, Amy McCauley, Oscar Mardell, Adam Mars-Jones, Lisa Morton, Dan O’Brien, Nick Powell, Fiona Sampson, Isabel Waidner, Frank Wynne and many, many others.

The Glue Factory (January 2022 - December 2022)

A third series of online gatherings in aid of The Trussell Trust. Weekly, on Sundays. 


Salt Poetry night (November 2020)

I hosted online an evening of readings by four contemporary poets: Matthew Haigh, Rob A. Mackenzie, Louise Peterkin and Julian Stannard.

Saline Drip  (March 2022)

I hosted a gathering of Salt authors to raise funds for the British Red Cross Ukraine Appeal, featuring Bibi Berki, Peter Daniels, Samuel Fisher, Daniel Hardisty, Nicholas Royle, Julian Stannard, DJ Taylor and Ventia Welby. In all we raised £10,400.



           Untitled (published in Spring 2024 by Sagging Meniscus Press)

           A collection of fifty essays about one short poem

           'You can't keep a good man down'

            An essay about Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry, part of a forthcoming anthology of film writing published by Vanguard Books in                      early 2023


All Along the Watchtower

A memoir about the author's upbringing as a reluctant Jehovah's Witness. 


Auden on Film

The first comprehensive study of the poet's work in cinema, from his collaborations with Benjamin Britten in the 1930s documentary film movement to now-forgotten projects in 1960s America. 


The Gaffer of Greek Street

The first full account of Ian Hamilton's tumultuous editorship of the New Review (1974-1978). This legendary monthly magazine featured an astonishing cohort of young writers who went on to become literary big hitters - Martin Amis, Jim Crace, Clive James, Ian McEwan and many others. This book assesses the cultural significance of this publicly-funded highbrow arts journal and profiles its charismatic editor.

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