Eclectic England Part 1 Contributors
Invited Authors
Editor Artist
Gabriel Josipovici Peter Robertson George Blacklock
Deborah Levy  
Composers
  Graham Fitkin
Aamer Hussein   Ruth Wall

Peter Robertson is an Associate Editor of The Mad Hatters' Review. He was born in Glasgow in 1960 and lives in Buenos Aires and Madrid. He has contributed to many literary reviews, including The Oregon Literary Review, Eclectica, The Cafe Irreal, The Salt River Review and Apt-A Literary Journal and his work is forthcoming in The Literary Review and Turnrow.

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Patience Agbabi was born in London in 1965 to Nigerian parents and educated at Oxford University. R.A.W., her groundbreaking debut collection of poetry, was published in 1995, and won the 1997 Excelle Literary Award. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, including Bittersweet: Contemporary Black Women's Poetry and IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain. Her most recent work, Transformatrix, a commentary on late twentieth-century Britain and a celebration of poetic form, was published in 2000. Agbabi was a member of Atomic Lip, poetry's first pop group, whose final tour, Quadrophonix, 1998, incorporated video with live performance. She has recently taken part in Modern Love, a UK tour featuring a number of Spoken Word poets and in 1998 her work was featured on Channel 4's Litpop series. She has served as Lecturer in Creative Writing at several universities including the University of Greenwich and the University of Kent at Canterbury. At present she is working on a third collection of poetry, Bloodshot MonochromeAuthor's Link

View Author's Work Here.

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Nicola Barker by Tony Davis
Photo by Tony Davis
Nicola Barker

Nicola Barker was born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, in 1966. She spent part of her life in South Africa but returned to England where she was educated at King's College, Cambridge. She is the author of two acclaimed collections of darkly comic and surreal short stories: Love Your Enemies (1993), which won the David Higham Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award, and Heading Inland (1996), which won the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her novels include: Reversed Forecast (1994); Small Holdings (1995); Wide Open (1998), the story of two brothers coming to terms with their past, which won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2000; Five Miles from Outer Hope (2000), about a teenage girl living on a small island situated off the Devon coast; Behindlings, published in 2002; and Clear (2004), inspired by the transparent plastic box in which David Blaine was suspended near Tower Bridge, London. Her latest novel, Darkmans, was published earlier this year. In 2003 Nicola Barker was nominated by Granta magazine as one of 20 'Best of Young British Novelists'. Central to her work is her concern, as she puts it, to "present unacceptable or hostile characters, and my desire is to make them understood." Author's Link

View Author's Work Here.

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George Blacklock, the English abstract artist, was born in Sedgefield, County Durham in 1952 and was educated at the Stourbridge College of Art and later at Reading University. His extensive oeuvre has been exhibited in many countries, including the UK, Spain and the USA, and Blacklock is currently represented by Flowers East Gallery in London. His awards include grants from the Welsh Arts Council and the Greater London Arts Association. Blacklock's paintings are to be found in a number of public collections, such as those of the Arts Council of Great Britain and the Phoenix Assurance Company in Israel, and he is featured in Painting and the School Curriculum, published by the Tate Gallery in London. Blacklock has held many teaching positions over the last twenty years, and is currently Acting Dean at the Wimbledon College of Art. He lives in Hampshire, England.

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View more of artist's work: Bay Art Gallery, Cardiff | Pietas | Monotypes
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David J. Constantine
Photo by Norman McBeath
 
David J. Constantine

David J. Constantine has published seven books of poems, five translations and a novel with Bloodaxe. His most recent collection, Something for the Ghosts, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Award. His Bloodaxe translations include editions of Henri Michaux and Philippe Jaccottet; his Selected Poems of Hölderlin, winner of the European Poetry Translation Prize; his version of Hölderlin's Sophocles; and his translation of Hans Magnus Enzensberger's Lighter Than Air, winner of the Corneliu M. Popescu Prize for European Poetry Translation. His translation of Goethe's Faust is forthcoming in Penguin Classics. He is a freelance writer and translator, co-editor of Modern Poetry in Translation, and a Fellow of the Queen's College, Oxford. In November 2004 Bloodaxe published both his Collected Poems and A Living Language: Newcastle/Bloodaxe Poetry Lectures.  Author's Link

View Author's Work Here.

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Graham Fitkin
Graham Fitkin | Fitkin Wall
Composer

Graham Fitkin is one of the foremost British composers of his generation. After studying with cult Dutch composer Louis Andriessen, he emerged writing mainly for piano (from soloist up to six players on six pianos), and gradually moved towards music for small ensembles and orchestras. He was Composer in Residence for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for two years, has composed for Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, Halle, BBC Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra (amongst others), and contemporary dance companies such as Random, Shobana Jeyasingh, Munich Ballet and New York City Ballet.

In 1988 he signed to the Factory Classical label and subsequently released albums on Argo, Decca and Sanctuary’s Black Box. Albums include the recent Kaplan, Flak, Granite, Ironic and Hook.

Future projects include a new multi media event with video artists The Wilson Sisters and choreographer Wayne MacGregor; a new recording of Circuit for piano soloists Kathryn Stott, and Noriko Ogawa with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; a new commission from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society; and a string quartet for The Elysian Quartet.

Listen to Music: Here
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Aamer Hussein was born in Karachi in 1955 and moved to London in 1970. His first published story, Colour of a Loved Person's Eyes, appeared in 1987, and he has since published 5 collections of short fiction, most recently Turquoise (2002) and Insomnia (2007). He divides his time between writing and teaching and likes his privacy.  Author's Link

View Author's Work Here.

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Gabriel Josipovici was born in Nice in 1940 of Russo-Italian, Romano-Levantine parents. He lived in Egypt from 1945 to 1956, when he came to England. After graduating from Oxford University, he joined the faculty of the newly-formed University of Sussex as a lecturer, going part-time in 1979 and retiring as Professor of English in 1998 to devote himself to his writing. He has published fifteen novels, three volumes of short stories and six books of criticism; his plays have been performed on stage and on radio. His most recent books are A Life (2001), a memoir of his mother, the translator Sacha Rabinovitch; two works of fiction, Goldberg: Variations (2002), just published in America, and Everything Passes (2006); and a volume of essays, The Singer on the Shore (2006).  Author's Link

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Playwright, novelist and poet Deborah Levy was born in 1959 in South Africa and later moved to Britain. Formerly director and writer for Manact Theatre Company, Cardiff, Deborah Levy's plays include Pax (1984); Heresies: Eva and Moses (1985), written for the Royal Shakespeare Company; Clam (1985); The B File (1993); and Honey Baby (1995). A collection of her plays, Plays: 1 was published in 2000. She is also the author of a collection of short stories, entitled Ophelia and the Great Idea (1989), and several novels, the most recent of which, Billy and Girl, was published in 1996. An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell, a collection of poems, was published in 1990. An outstanding practitioner of many genres, Levy also wrote the screenplay for a short film, Suburban Psycho, televised by the BBC in 1998. Her latest book is a collection of short stories, Pillow Talk in Europe and Other Places(2004).  Author's Link

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Sara Maitland's first novel, Daughter of Jerusalem, won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1979. Since then she has written five more novels and has published five collections of short stories. In October 2007 Maia will publish a further collection, Far North and Other Dark Tales, to celebrate the launch of the film Far North, directed by Asif Kapadia and starring Michelle Yeoh and Sean Bean, based on that dark tale. She also writes assorted non-fiction, including theology (A Big Enough God, Cassells 1995) and Radio Drama.

She is presently working on a book about Silence (Granta 2008) and, in search of that elusive lifestyle, has just built herself a “hermitage” on the Galloway moors in S.W.Scotland.  Author's Link

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George Szirtes was born in 1948 in Budapest and came to England as a refugee following the Hungarian Uprising in 1956. He trained as a painter in Leeds and London, and is the author of several collections of poetry, his first being The Iron Clouds (1975), and his most recent, An English Apocalypse(2001). He has also written many works of translation, including those of writers Agnes Nemes Nagy, Otto Orban and Zsuzsa Rakovszky; books for children, including The Red-all-over Riddle Book (1997); and a study of the work of artist Ana Maria Pacheco, entitled Exercise of Power: The Art of Ana Maria Pacheco (2001). George Szirtes became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1982 and has since won many awards for his work. His latest poetry collection, Reel (2004), was awarded the 2004 T. S. Eliot Prize.  Author's Link

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Ruth Wall
Ruth Wall | Fitkin Wall
Composer

Ruth Wall is one of the UK's leading harpists. She has worked as a soloist and with ensembles such as Regular Music and Nanquidno, collaborated with composers such as Peter Maxwell Davies, Howard Skempton and Gabriel Jackson, and composed for the BBC Radios 3 and 4. She has performed in countries as diverse as Japan, Morocco, Italy and Bulgaria, and gives lectures, workshops and seminars on harp techniques at universities and colleges through the UK.

As a composer and performer she is committed to expanding the modern repertoire for the instrument and pushing its boundaries beyond its regular sound worlds. Her solo album, The Uncommon Harp, released in 2004, included newly commissioned work specifically for the lever harp. Still Warm is the next CD.

Listen to Music: Here
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