Beatnpress is expanding with submissions from other writers! The current Bard of Exeter, aka The Professor Of Whimsey – Robert Garnham has a fantastic new book of “serious poems” on its way. Woodview is a departure from his usual works, and is the perfect fit for Beatnpress. Robert is highly respected on the Fringe circuit and has travelled wide and far to share his writing. More news about this book coming soon.
There is also works in the pipeline by other writers, the respected novelist Pete Mckenna, and poet Carl Burkitt. On top of that a series of short stories has been considered.
Also soon to be released is the third Pulp Fiction Poetry tale by myself, The Forgotten Whisper On The Wind. With a foreword by novelist/podcaster and the man behind http://www.zani.co.uk Matteo Sedazzari.
The Lost Notes Notes by Diz is receiving great feedback and will no doubt continue to garner enthusiastic readers. The fact that Beatnpress has enabled such projects to see the light of day is something that I am proud of.
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
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.
I have been so busy of late, working on several projects at once. You see with the Covid era we have been through, and the hours of not working at the “day job” because of furlough – it was necessary to keep active. To be creative, and occupied. So, as a writer and poet, it was a time of productivity. From writing articles for zines, to self publishing another book of poetry, to collaborating with other writers, and even recording a track for a spoken word album. On top of that I am working on a third novel, editing two books of my own, and helping a mate out with publishing a memoir written by his late wife for charity.
So, you can see. I haven’t been lazy, just watching Netflix and Amazon Prime the whole time.
The track for the spoken word album is called
A Dance With The Devil Called Chance, which appears on the new Croydon Tourist Office compilation Friends Of Croydon Tourist Office
This track is a whopping eight minutes and eight seconds long, and is an extract from another forthcoming book titled The Forgotten Whisper On The Wind, my third collection of Pulp Fiction Poetry. But, anyway I digress. With my latest collection of poetry Pop Versus Subterranean having recently been published, I realised that under my own imprint I had published ten books since 2016.
I had had the idea of my own small publishing press since the mid 90s, when I had embarked on trying to be a writer.
As those of you who have read my blog over the last few years, you will have seen that I am inspired by the Beat Generation, and being brought up in the 70s , I had developed that Punk attitude of doing it for yourself.
From my conscious decision came the idea of Beatnpress. So, naturally when I began to self publish I developed my “brand”. I had aspirations to not only write, but to help other writers. However, I had lacked the confidence to really go for it. That is, until now. When life was paused, it made me evaluate. I considered what I wanted to do. I saw what I had managed in recent years, but didn’t want to go backwards. I was more determined than ever to try and make things work. Opportunities come your way, and sometimes you need something to kick your behind – so that you can really make those dreams and aspirations come true.
By creating http://www.beatnpress.co.uk I have provided myself, not only a platform for myself, but hopefully in the future, a platform for others.
Something that, at the moment gives me a sense of pride.
Anyway. I am sure readers, you are wondering what all this has to do with an old “Tin Sandwich”? Well. Nothing really – apart from recently I wrote a poem that I thought I would share at the end of this post. 😊
The Old Tin Sandwich Clamped between the lips The tongue bending as the note is found. The vibration waves through the Comb Then the Blues wails With its responsive sound. A rhythmic backbeat Is found by stomping feet, claps or drums.
I have come to realise that as a writer, there is a style I gravitate towards. I don’t pretend to be highbrow or sophisticated like somebody who went to a particular university, or had a privileged education. I do not have airs and graces. I write about what I find interesting, and entertaining. I weave tales that are not over complicated, but have enough spice (I hope) to turn a page. So, what is it that drives my interests? What is it that makes me return to a genre that is full of those things that so called “polite” society call taboo?
It’s that boyish sense of adventure. I am quite clearly a little immature. I want to be titilated, and experience danger, lust and crime. I want to be the sheriff or the man in the black hat as you would see in a classic Western. I want to be a Gangster, or a super sleuth. I want to sleep with the Femme Fatale, although it could be the death of me – and so it goes on.
Pulp Fiction, is where its at. You escape into the underbelly of life and experience a grittiness that is equally alluring as it is distasteful. The tales can appeal to our most basic instincts. But they also serve as a quick escape from the real world. Where the mundane existence of life seems to crowd in. I think that a great pulp tale from the 20th century provides a portal to life that has a glamour that isn’t as obvious in life today. Interaction between characters is vital, and at a time when distancing yourself from others can be seen as important, so these interactions jump off a page.
So, for me writing within this genre seems a natural fit. I don’t just stick to the formula though. I experiment and provide stories that have enough familiarity that you want to read, but are also different in structure. My Pulp Fiction Poetry for example has a lyricism that helps convey mood, rhythm and a musicality.
Whereas my prose embraces many different genres so as to try and create something original. That is the crux though. How do you provide something that hasn’t been done before? Well you don’t. You go with your instincts. You write about things you are interested in, and hope others are as well. You pick the elements you like, you absorb ideas from around you – on the Internet, in books, on film or even on the radio. Then you regurgitate it in a new way. Taking things forward in the manner that storytellers do.
It’s hard work being a 20th century Pulp Fiction writer in the 21st century. But it continues as an accessible entertainment, and tradition that is there to be enjoyed.
I have written two novels and two Pulp Fiction Poetry collections. This year I hope to complete a third novel and a third Pulp Fiction Poetry collection. I am pretty sure these won’t be my last. It seems I am on a road of my own choosing, where story telling is my thing. So if you want to dig my work check it out at the various online platforms it is available from:
Barnes & Noble
Watch this space for my forthcoming projects – including news about my first non fiction book.
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.
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.
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,
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:
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, BeattoaPulp: 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).
AngelInAlabaster 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
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.