Crime in the House

Any of you living within the M25 with an interest in crime fiction and £25 for a worthwhile cause, should consider coming along to Lauderdale House in Highgate, North London this Sunday evening for a fundraising evening intended to transform this glorious building into an arts centre for the 21st century.

Not only do you get to spend time – both formally and informally – with the galaxy of criminally inclined talent pictured below, there will be drink in some abundance – champagne, I believe – a delicious selection of canapés and, at the end of it all, a sense of well-being as you make your way less than steadily down Highgate Hill towards Archway Tube.


Join crime writer, Guardian reviewer and former editor of the Ham & High Matthew Lewin as he chats to fellow writers Alison Joseph (The Sister Agnes Mystery Series), John Harvey (Charlie Resnick) and Glenn Chandler (Taggart) about where they get their ideas, what inspires them, how they solve their mysteries and whether writing for the stage and TV is different to books. We promise a stimulating and ‘revealing’ evening of fascinating conversation. All proceeds help to fund Lauderdale Transformed.

You can find out more about Lauderdale Transformed here …


Poetry & Jazz, Then & Now

Daughter’s earnest foraging amongst our vinyl collection yesterday morning (yes, the sound is richer and deeper) brought to light an item I had almost forgotten …

4187444… an Argo box set containing two LPs, in what was proudly announced as stereophonic sound, recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall in 1969 and featuring the eight poets listed below, some, not all, reading with the Michael Garrick Sextet, which, as can be seen, featured a formidable front line of Don Rendell and Art Themen on saxes and Ian Carr on trumpet. It was a concert I well remember attending and there inside the box, to my delight, was the original programme …

P & Jazz

P & Jazz 2

 [Click on the above to see it more clearly]

The occasion was the 250th in a series of Poetry & Jazz events organised by Jeremy Robson, which had its beginnings in a reading at Hampstead Town Hall as early as 1961 and the first collaboration with Michael Garrick, at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry a year later.

Now Jeremy Robson, as it happens, will be reading at Lauderdale House in Highgate, North London, this Wednesday evening, along with four other poets – Chris Beckett, Simon Jenner, Stephen Watts and myself. If you’re anywhere in the area, do come along, it should be a fine evening. As far as I know, however, no jazz on this occasion, but I might point anyone interested towards two readings I’m doing in which jazz will be very much involved.

On Wednesday 11th February, Lydia Towsey and myself are guests of John Lucas and his Four in the Bar band at The Guitar Bar in Nottingham, and on Friday 27th February, Nancy Mattson and I are reading with the excellent four-piece Special Edition at the Dugdale Centre in Enfield.

Details of these events (and others) can be found here …



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