How does it feel to be constantly regarded as a potential threat, strip-searched at every airport? Or be told that, as an actress, the part you’re most fitted to play is `wife of a terrorist’? How does it feel to have words from your native language misused, misappropriated & used aggressively towards you? How does it feel to hear a child of colour say in a classroom that stories can only be about white people? How does it feel to go `home’ to India when your home is really London? What is it like to feel you always have to be an ambassador for your race? How does it feel to always tick `Other’?

Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants … More

Now And Then is not merely a collection of a songwriter’s lyrics; the song-poems of this undisputed ‘bluesologist’ triumphantly stand on their own, evoking the rhythm and urgency which have distinguished Gil Scott-Heron’s career. This collection of poems carries the reader from the global topics of political hypocrisy and the dangers posed by capitalist culture to painfully personal themes and the realities of everyday life.

His message is black, political, historically accurate, urgent, uncompromising and mature and as relevant now as ever. Available in store … More

Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life. In the early 80s when punks & Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness & the National Front, Benjamin’s poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations & on the dance floor.

His mission was to take poetry everywhere, and to popularise it by reaching people who didn’t read books. His poetry … More

Born OTD in 1922, American novelist and poet, Jack Kerouac. Kerouac is recognized for his method of spontaneous prose. Thematically, his work covers topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. “A young innocent, joins his hero Dean Moriarty, a traveller and mystic, the living epitome of Beat, on a breathless, exuberant ride back and forth across the United States. Their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom, a test of the limits of the American dream..”

A brilliant blend of fiction and autobiography, Jack Kerouac’s exhilarating novel swings to the rhythms of 1950s underground America, racing … More

Long recognized as a poet of radiant fury, of lament, and of refusal, Sean Bonney was a modern-day Blake whose poetry reminds us what matters. Our Death, his latest and long awaited first US collection, is full of poems of militant despair that refuse any capitulation to the worldview of the enemy. These poems wander the hinterlands of our absolutely endangered cities, chart the aftermath of the collapse of the social movements of the early part of the decade, and pay homage to the Greek anarchist poet Katerina Gogou.

Available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1955, poet and playwright, Carol Ann Duffy. She is a professor of contemporary poetry & was the first woman, the first Scottish-born poet, and the first LGBT poet to hold the position. Her poems address issues such as oppression, gender, and violence in an accessible language that has made them popular in schools.

Carol Ann Duffy’s new Christmas poem, Frost Fair is inspired by the fairs held on the River Thames in London … More

It is a snowy London day in The Great Winter of 1683. We follow our bold narrator as she explores `the town on the Thames’, a thousand tents and dancing fires lit on the frozen water with jubilant residents and lively festive revelry. All is a fete upon the ice as she sees jugglers, dancing bears, palm readers and even a merry wedding. Her journey leads her to meet many new companions with whom to spend a starry night upon the river, where they sleep with no inkling of who will be looking down on them in the morning light . . .

Carol Ann Duffy’s new Christmas poem, Frost Fair is inspired by the fairs held on the River Thames in London … More

Born OTD in 1757, English poet, painter, and printmaker, William Blake. His poetry consistently embodies an attitude of rebellion against the abuse of class power as documented in David Erdman’s large study Blake: Prophet Against Empire: A Poet’s Interpretation of the History of His Own Times. Blake was concerned about senseless wars & the blighting effects of the Industrial Revolution. Much of his poetry recounts in symbolic allegory the effects of the French and American revolutions. Erdman claims Blake was disillusioned with them, believing they had simply replaced monarchy with irresponsible mercantilism and notes Blake was deeply opposed to slavery, and believes some of his poems read primarily as championing “free love” have had their anti-slavery implications short-changed.

Peter Marshall’s study draws on Blake’s complete writings, his poetry and his prose. It offers a lively and perceptive account … More

Working-class artists continue to be hugely underrepresented in the arts industries, though they make up a third of the British population. These professions are already notoriously hard to get into, but working class artists face extra challenges, from unpaid work reinforcing social disparity, to prejudice. How do we break this cycle of inequality in the arts? In Smashing It, leading musicians, playwrights, visual artists, filmmakers and writers share how they overcame obstacles, from the financial to the philosophical, to make it in the arts.

Edited by acclaimed poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, it celebrates the achievements of working class artists in Britain, from the … More

Marking Stephanie Gaunt’s 70th Birthday, this collection of her poems evokes memories of an unusual childhood and explores a full and eventful life. Raised by eccentric parents in a household of dogs, Stephanie lived and worked in London & Birmingham before moving to Hastings. As well as writing poetry & exploring Hastings, she is an active member of the W.I., & is kept busy with her popular on-line blog alter-ego The Hastings Battleaxe.

Sales of the book will benefit three charities: The Sara Lee Trust, Riding for the Disabled (RDA), and Queen Alexandra … More