Goodbye 2021 -hello to an exciting year!

This next twelve months hopes to see things build, in both my writing career, and the success of beatnpress. There are projects on their way, and many new opportunities to come I am sure!

It’s been a very mixed year for me 2021. I have had some extremes throughout. There are almost too many things to mention – and that is no way me to trying to brag. From an individual point of view I have achieved some things and made a reality things that were once upon a time dreams and aspirations.I have made my publishing venture more than just a vehicle for my own work – it now serves as a platform for others. Beatnpress saw the publication of the incredible memoir written by the late Tanya Kennedy – UB40 a legal drug – who with her husband Andy Kennedy – we created a book that has proved to be quite popular and at one point was number 2 in the Reggae Music Book chart on Amazon – all proceeds of which have gone to St Margaret’s hospice in Taunton.Earlier in the year I published my poetry collection Pop Versus Subterranean – a collection of Pop Art poems I am extremely proud of. As yet due to the Pandemic I have only read and performed from it once to a live audience and that was on stage at The Palace Theatre in Paignton.2021 also saw the www.beatnpress.co.uk website go live – providing an outlet to sell these books and other books I have written over the years. I have also had a busy time writing articles including articles for Detail magazine, Adam Cooper at Heavy Soul, and Subbaculture – as well as working on my most recent book The Lost Notes By Diz (An unconventional novel about spiritualism, jazz and erm – Jim Morrison!) , and other forthcoming publications. There is my first non fiction book The Desired Article – a Concise Look at Style. This is a series of articles written about articles of mens clothing and some particular fabrics. Articles that reflect why they have remained popular throughout the last century and form the basis for what in the 21st century we see as the building blocks of true style. The book will be published by Zani soon and more news about it will be announced in the New Year. The brainchild behind Zani is Matteo Sedazzari – who has worked with some fantastic people and is a respected author in his own right. Recent publications by Zani are Tales from the Foxes of Foxham written by Matteo Sedazzari and the play Performers written by Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh.I have also been co-writing Sartorial 64 with Nick Keen with the design and artwork by the fantastic Alf Button – if you are not familiar with Alf’s work check out Alf Button’s Revenge. This project has taken up many interesting hours of research, and is one I can not wait to see when it’s complete. All I can say is – we are all in for a treat. 2022 will see me continue to write, including my third Jake Brody Novel Reach Out Of The Darkness – which is taking longer than I had hoped since I have been so busy on other projects. There is also my third Pulp Fiction Poetry tale The Forgotten Whisper On The Wind to complete, and is I am pleased to say, nearing its climax.Other things that happened in 2021 that I did not expect but did were: taking my father to see Tom Jones perform live in Plymouth, be on Morcheeba Band‘s guest list at the Gone Wild Festival at Powderham Castle, meet Steve Brookes at the Stone Foundation gig at Exeter Phoenix and briefly chat with Neil Sheasby and Neil Jones. All of these things were highlights to at times a difficult year. Continued separation from loved ones has been hard. The Pandemic has made life far far from normal – and I feel blessed to have achieved some things in the last twelve months. However, financially I have struggled, and health wise things have been up and down both physically and mentally. As I write this, I am writing it whilst having Covid. At the moment I seem to be OK, and I sincerely hope I make a quick and full recovery. My wife is also poorly, and I so hope she gets well soon. Understandably this isn’t the end to 2021 that we hoped for. I hope 2022 will be one of vast improvement, and that I am able to continue to follow my dreams. I also hope there are many good times to be had by all in the future. I like to live in the now and will take each day as it comes. My reflection on the past year – is that determination can see you through if you believe enough. Follow that dream – work hard and eventually things will fall into place. I dreamed of being a writer, and 2021 has been the first year that I can say writing is more than a hobby – it is what I am supposed to do. So, move forward always, and learn from your mistakes. Peace and Love to you all and Happy New Year. I think 2022 may hold a few surprises… JD aka Diz x

The Lost Notes reveal more than you think.

Some of The Lost Notes

When the new book by Diz was conceived it was after the discovery of many pieces of writing had been found in a box at the back of a cupboard. Writing that had been written a long time ago. Some of it was even over twenty years old! Half written projects, ideas that had been quickly noted down – but were not fully formed. None of it was a cohesive narrative. Taking the concept of William Burroughs cut ups – it was decided to take these many separate themes and ideas and create something new. Creating a character that linked the different mediums together, and with that character being a jazz musician – so the concept of composing came to mind. Like any piece of Jazz there are those moments that hook you in, and take you on a journey – and then the tune can take you off on different tangents with improvised moments before returning to its main theme. This is exactly what The Lost Notes hopes to achieve, and so far the initial feedback from those who have been fortunate to read pre release copies the concept has indeed created something that is both different and entertaining.

Gary Malby from Gama Clothing had the pleasure of reading The Lost Notes, and his reaction was everything Diz hoped. Gary is a clued up guy with a broad knowledge of music, style and culture. His site sells a range of t shirts, accessories and books to people who have interests in British subcultures, music and modernist ideals based around living a full life. He stated it is

‘Like a Blue Note Revisited album, the sights and sounds are familiar and classic, but with a brand new twist baby! A great tonic for the instant throwaway culture and a great read’

Gary Malby @gamaclothing

Another recipient of a pre release copy was Jason Brummell. Jason is an author in his own right, and has been called the leader in modernist fiction thanks to two seminal books and a raft of articles. His books All About My Girl and All or Nothing being cited as two of the best tales depicting the modernist experience in 60s Britain. In fact his work has spurred other people to take up the challenge of creating fiction and his encouragement of other writers is to be highly commended. His reaction to the pre release copy was also glowing.

“A highly entertaining lysergic flight of fantasy across the astral planes. An energetic rollercoaster of voodoo, jazz, Jim Morrison and the power of spirituality. As inventive and as original as a solo by the master himself, Dizzy Gillespie.”

Jason Brummell, Author.

Jason’s reaction sum up the book succinctly. For all the elements he mentions are indeed in the tale. It mixes creativity with a fantasy that evolves, and as it does it enters other realms of existence and deals with spirituality, death and magic. Its a potent mix that conjures up an original tale that is as the author hopes – refreshingly different.

Another, and the final endorsement for this forthcoming Beatnpress publication is from Detail Magazine’s Claire Mahoney. As an editor and writer herself – her reaction to the book was one that ‘Diz’ hoped would be positive and insightful. Diz needn’t have worried. She stated:

“If Jack Kerouac and Carlos Castaneda went on a road trip together, you would probably wind up with something not dissimilar to The Lost Notes. A beguiling transatlantic tale of jazz, spiritualism and Jim Morrison ” Claire Mahoney, Detail magazine

Claire Mahoney, Detail magazine

In all this experimental novella that mixes poetry, prose, screen writing, music and images together achieves what it set out to do. It is a book that is not only entertaining, but explores composition, structure and a mixed media approach to provide something that is just different enough that the experience itself is original and new. It’s a true trip with a jazz element. If it was a piece of music it could be termed Acid Jazz, but as it is a form of literature it’s a modernist beat book for the soul.

The Lost Notes by Diz will be available to pre- order from http://www.beatnpress.co.uk on the 24th of October for £10.99

A book with a difference – The Lost Notes by Diz – As inventive and original as a piece of jazz.

Creating something that is both original and different is no easy task these days. It can sometimes feel like everything has been done before, and to some degree that is true. The Lost Notes by Diz is a book that sees the author approach his topic in a creative form that is- well – not typical. There is an affinity for Jazz in the creation of the novel – but not in the long unpunctuated style and rhythms of the original Beat writer, Jack Kerouac. No. This book has themes running through it, ideas that are interesting tangents, and distractions, yet will return to its main theme. Much like the improvisation you would find in Jazz music. It’s novel approach creates a tale that is modern, yet has enough familiarity in it that it is still entertaining. There is in fact a point where the novel explores the ideas of clichés and whether both the book and the protagonist needs to use them. The layered approach allows the reader to enter the realms that are created. As fellow author Jason Brummell, ( All About My Girl and All Or Nothing) says – it is

“A highly entertaining lysergic flight of fantasy across the astral planes. An energetic rollercoaster of voodoo, jazz, Jim Morrison and the power of spirituality. As inventive and as original as a solo by the master himself, Dizzy Gillespie.”

Using poetry, prose, screenwriting, images and other creative elements it generates an almost fragmented trip into both reality and the fantastical that serves to echo its contents. The tale is also the result of twenty years of discarded ideas and notes that have never been published before. When the notes and discarded manuscripts were found they were edited and spliced together in yet another inspirational cut up style creating a completely new and original narrative.

As yet it is uncertain whether there will be a second tale. Diz is both a construct and a psuedonym – Should there be another though. It will certainly be another great addition to the Beatnpress library.

The Lost Notes will be available for pre orders from October 24th 2021 via http://www.beatnpress.co.uk

Introducing Diz!

A new book is on its way! Published by Beatnpress, an experimental book culled from many hand written notes that consist of extracts from short stories, poems and film scripts. This non linea novella tells the tale of Diz – a young trumpet player who leaves his mundane life in Manchester, England, to spontaneously fly to New York and find himself. Roll forward 5 years. He is still in America. He is beginning to make a name for himself as a musician. Commissioned to write a Jazzy score for a movie – he takes on challenges he did not expect. Memories are evoked, and his past seems to be looming ever larger in his present day life. Vignettes crafted together build up the tale of his recent past, his mental health and the truth he is trying to escape from. Can those around him help him when it matters most?

In other news UB40 (A Legal Drug) by Tanya Kennedy recently published by Beatnpress

Has continued to be a success and is so far the bestselling book at Beatnpress. It sold out of its first print run, and should sell out of its second print run soon, as half of the second print run is already accounted for – and this is before the new run has been delivered from the printers! The books should be arriving tomorrow or Thursday and will begin being shipped out to customers as soon as they arrive. So, if you want a copy go to http://www.beatnpress.co.uk today and get your order in quick.

More news and updates to come later this week.

JD.

No more “Beating” about the Bush – I am here to promote my work!

So I have published my latest collection of poetry.

Pop Versus Subterranean by Jason Disley out now!

It is a great feeling producing a book and seeing it in the flesh. Published through my own imprint Beatnpress. This book is a really honest collection. I am proud of it, because it has been created during what has been a tumultuous year for so many people.

As poet and artist Becky Nuttall writes:

Jason covers all the current major themes in ‘Pop Versus Subterranean’ – everything we have lived through and our thoughts in the last months ; the Pandemic, Black Lives Matter, the Government, reflections on love, youth, the Jazz Age, suburban life , the influence of Pop Art, the Cosmos – understanding how we need to recreate our own space – virtual, fantasy or reality.

From the Foreword of Pop Versus Subterranean by Jason Disley (2021)

The intention is a collection that is relevant and up to date, but also explores the nature of what is popular, and what is considered Subterranean or Underground. Its about being innovative and striving for success, but not necessarily selling out.

As with most of my work there is a musicality and use of rhythms often likened to Jazz. I am a self styled Beat Poet, and I wear my influences on my sleeve.

Of all my poetry collections, this one is perhaps one that reflects the way I think the most. I have also been very creative with the design of the cover. Using Pop Art style motifs similar to Peter Blake and colours I have tried to link the interior with the cover in an artistic way. The arrows and the red circle are a nod to the influence Paul Weller has had on my work.

The image of Paul Weller wearing on the cover of This Is The Modern World shows Paul wearing a jumper with two arrows and a badge on the front.

I chose a reinterpreted simplified version for the main image. When creating this cover. It’s not an exact copy. The arrows differ in size on the book cover because the meanings inferred by the image in relation to the books title are different than the Pop Art/Punk ethos Paul Weller is implying. It is also reversed as I did not want to be seen as copying an idea, but taking it as an artistic influence.

If you are interested in Pop Versus Subterranean you can either use the contact form on the menu of this page and make a request for signed copies or go to lulu.com where the book is printed and dispatched on demand.

A Pint Of Bitter, and Pulp Fictions

It’s been a week, since I last posted anything. Last Monday I mentioned various book releases I have made available as ebooks. Such as my novella Seven Day Fool, which is now available via iBooks

https://books.apple.com/us/book/seven-day-fool/id1505606104

and my first Pulp Fiction Poetry collection – Beat To A Pulp which is also now available via iBooks

Beat To A Pulp by Jason Disley

https://books.apple.com/us/book/beat-to-a-pulp/id1505713274

As well as releasing these books, in the last week I have written an article for Zani, which is an online magazine with articles covering a wide range of topics. The article I wrote was titled A Pint Of Bitter, Bound To Be A Good Thing… And was About British Jazz icon Tubby Hayes, and a new limited edition book that has been published by Mono Media Books. In the article I interview the main man behind the project-Mark Baxter, who is an author and film producer, amongst other things.

Tubby Hayes

You can read that article here, and if you are interested in this book about the British Jazz legend. You can follow the link for more information at the end of the article.

https://www.zani.co.uk/zani-music/item/3068-tubby-hayes-a-pint-of-bitter-bound-to-be-a-good-thing

So, as you can see – I have been fairly busy. However, the main thing I wish to bring to your attention is my new paperback that has been released – it is titled – Angel In Alabaster,

Angel In Alabaster the new book by Jason Disley is out now.

and is the sequel to Beat To A Pulp. It is a book I am very pleased with and continues with the theme of writing a prose tale in verse form. My interest in Pulp Fiction and Film Noir is very apparent in this book, and it contains moments that feel familiar, and comfortable within the environment of the tale. In fact. An up and coming writer – who is very hip to the world’s I allude to in the book has written a foreword to the book, which I feel gives the reader an insight into what Pulp Fiction Poetry, Or Film Noir Verse is. Here is that foreword:

FOREWORD

It’s a pulp world. A space where people make shapes, alloyed by desire. It’s where Exterior means: “I need to get from Point A to B, with a direct response,” as Interior leaves us groping for dark epithets with one hand, while knocking back a boiler maker with the other.
Jason Disley knows this world like the back of his hand. Read The Angel in Alabaster and you’ll be on several fifth drinking terms with it. It’s a warm enough room; a bourbon haze, a nascent lounge lizard on the Wurlitzer and a Turkish delight scarlet hue in the furnishing. Pick through the Fry’s, expect to stumble upon some ebon promise.
Loretta, Johnny, The Artisan: all creations unique to Jason’s palette – the wasp’s sting here is in their familiarity. The initial impact of The Angel in Alabaster comes from this sense of ironic comfort. For a long time fan of the novels of Raymond Chandler, the songs of Johnny Mercer and the silhouette of Gene Tierney, reading words that invoke 1940s LA hums the same heat as Vernon Duke’s mellow Manhattan Fall: “Glittering crowds (…) In canyons of steel / They’re making me feel I’m home.” But, as a later poet of sky rises observed, It’s also where the hatred is.
The Angel in Alabaster has a raison d’etre supplanted from a previous work, Beat to a Pulp: a juxtaposition of the argot of gumshoes and cheese cakes with the ennui of the verse styling found in T. S. Eliot’s 1920s modernism. In laymen’s terms, this is a way of depicting a story filled with the pulse of hard boiled sensuality, through a poetic metre impressing ‘hip’ speech rhythms, for those of a Spillane bent, at the same time as employing strong rhymes to locate a subtle sense of the universality of Noir in these Google fried times. “The stuff that dreams are made of” now so manifest that “doing a number” is as much part of the current bloodstream as a commonplace app; on its 20th Luckie for the day of course.
And this is where Jason mounts his own unique killer-diller.
Jason’s poetry in The Angel in Alabaster delves into Noir as an intrinsic part of so many of today’s cultural default mode. Sin City – look at the implied neons and Edward Hopper pallor. Peaky Blinders – the hissy darkness and ‘hat as icon’ imagery. Boardwalk Empire – well, It’s like a resort for…. Gangsters. However, Mr. Disley is anything but the lid on a semiotic dust bin. E. M. Forster told us to “only connect;” he could be describing the best way to tuck into The Angel in Alabaster’s rhyme of the non’lent gumshoe jazz riff. Dig the influences, connect the dots. How modernist.
Dot connection is indeed the thing wherein we catch the shtick of the Dis. Slang is normally habitual; It’s great paradox residing in it being always there, despite fashion making it permanently transient. Within the bounds of The Angel in Alabaster, it functions as a refining signifier, beckoning towards a signified inscribed with ‘pleasure.’ Jason’s utilisation of Eliot’s bleak poetics illustrates this best of all. Cf, The Waste Land:
She smooths her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.
‘This music crept by me upon the waters’ (…)
O City City (….)
Now ‘Angel’:
Johnny needed to shake the lead out of his shorts (….)
He would find the gator with a gat
Or the cat with a shiv
Who had decided the Lady in The Jade Dress must crowd (….)
He needed Seven to become Eleven in this crap shoot.

In The Waste Land, speech rhythm connotes towards ennui – a boredom that beckons towards an out of reach memory from a Tempest. In ‘Alabaster’, the metre is also of speech, but this time the modernist urge to make it new comes not as a lofty literary, but in a bouquet of side mouth rye. The fragments that Jason stores against The Artisan’s ruins read more like William Gottlieb’s photograph of 52nd Street: from swing to bop is the measure of Seven becoming Eleven. The Angel of Alabaster may allude to Eliot’s “a handful of dust,” in form; when read and digested, the grab is still there but definitely in a lamp gaze view – from the lipstick cap to Lana Turner’s eyes, plus John Garfield’s peak in between.
Whether you dream of Rita Hayworth or crack like Jimmy Cagney, rein in your 38. for Jason Disley’s latest invitation to the pulps. *

Nathan James Le-bas

*: All quotes from The Waste Land, The Complete Poems & Plays of T. S. Eliot (London, 1969).

Angel In Alabaster has a wonderful bookcover designed by Mark Head Aka Mr. H. Mark, designed the cover for Beat To A Pulp, and it seemed natural to ask him to design the cover for this collection.

The book is available now from

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

And soon it will be available from other online retailers such as Amazon.

Going forward, I am working on a third Film Noir Verse book, and the sequel to Seven Day Fool, titled Take It Or Leave It, this book will initially be made available as an ebook. I hope that when the time is right it will be published in paperback.

Lastly I wish to share a video of a poem I have written, that is a message for all of us at this time. As we all make our way through this Pandemic – follow the rules and keep safe. I will no doubt be sharing something else with you next Monday. JD.

Keep Your Distance

Strange Times, and opportunities.

It has been some time since I wrote anything here. For that – I apologise. Life for everyone has reached a point that is very different from the norm. I have been busy, and in the coming months will be taking the opportunity of self isolation to complete various writing projects. In fact – I am here to show you how busy I have been!

Seven Day Fool – my debut novella First published in 2017 has been made available as an ebook

Firstly I wish to announce that my debut novella Seven Day Fool which was published in paperback by Suave Collective Publishing has been released as an ebook. At this time of social distancing, many of us have more time on our hands to read. Whereas a real book to hold is preferable, digital copies are essential at this time. In a few weeks – the sequel to Seven Day Fool, a book I have titled Take It Or Leave It will make its debut as an ebook, with the hope it will be published in book form some time next year, when Covid 19 is hopefully is nothing but a memory, and life has some sort of normality with personal freedoms restored.

As well as prose, I have been writing a lot of poetry. All of which is available from Lulu. Com

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Beatnpress

Two of my poetry collections, are what I term Film Noir Verse or Pulp Fiction Poetry.

Beat To A Pulp & Angel In Alabaster by Jason Disley.

Beat To A Pulp has been available as a paperback since 2018, but, as of this week it is available as an ebook. Angel In Alabaster – a sort of sequel to Beat To A Pulp is available now from Lulu.com,

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Beatnpress

It will no doubt be available as an ebook at some point in the not too distant future.

Over the coming weeks, I will endeavour to make the majority of my books available to download. I will also take this extra time on my hands to continue to write and work on other projects.

I will also endeavour to write more articles and keep you readers informed with my writing exploits. Next week I will be writing about Speaky Blinders a Spoken Word night I Co-host with Robert Garnham, the new You Tube Channel for Speaky Blinders, and a recent digital single I have released, which is available via various platforms.

For now I say good bye, I wish you all well – and ask that you stay safe – and maybe read a book, or even write something yourself. 😊

Jason Disley.

My Debut Album: Speakeasy

Speakeasy by Jason Disley – Available now!

It is now available! The spoken word album that began as a concept back in 2016.

When I was approached after sharing a poem on a popular social network, and asked if I would like to record something. I jumped at the opportunity. It was something that had never really crossed my mind. But, as soon as it was proposed, I thought – yes! So then Rick Blackman – the musician and producer who had proposed the idea – and I got to work on teaming up original compositions with my poetry. So it began – a fulfilling and exciting period of creativity. It was a project that was done over long distance. Rick lived up in the north west of the UK and I lived in the South West. But with the use of today’s technology we were soon able to work well together, swapping ideas and doing our best to create an interesting body of work. Both Rick and I love music and have an affinity with various styles of music. Both of us are interested in the history of British subcultures, especially the mid twentieth century. This is reflected in some of the music on the album. There are many nods to those periods. There is also a very European feel to it, and with one track – Breathless there is a real sense of French cinema in the music. In fact Breathless is read in French by Gabriela Giacoman – the lead singer of the French band French Boutik. Serge Hoffman, also of French Boutik also adds his voice at the start of the album, supplying and setting the scene with an introduction that allows the listener to imagine the album has been recorded live in a club in Paris.

To add to this, fellow writer Jason Brummell has kindly written a fictional scene as a foreword to the twelve page booklet that is included with the CD.

When Adam Cooper, the head honcho at Heavy Soul Records heard the demos and agreed to releasing the album. You can imagine how thrilled I was. This was an incredible moment. I was at the beach with my family when I received the call. You can imagine how I was when I heard the news. I was jumping up and down in my swim shorts on the beach. Onlookers probably thought I was trying to invent a new dance! I was that elated. Even with the yes, due to the schedule and the album taking its place in the run of things, it took another year for this release date to arrive. In the meantime I have worked hard at improving my craft. Becoming more comfortable with performance, (I even host a regular spoken word evening called Speaky Blinders) and have written quite prolifically. Returning to these poems will be a joy as I endeavour to share what is on the album in the coming months.

Here is just one of the tunes off the album for you

The Weekend – from Speakeasy by Jason Disley with music by Rick Blackman

Buy Speakeasy here! Heavy Soul Records

More news about Speakeasy soon.

JD.