Sunday, 11 March 2018



'Bedsit Bohemia' is Jacob Louis Beaney's follow up to his 2016 novella 'Notes From An Overweight Starving Artist' and follows the same hapless protagonist in his pursuit of romance, whilst attempting to live a bohemian, starving artist lifestyle. 

Coming in at just eighty pages, this is a quick read, but is packed full of Beaney's trademark surrealist humour. Right from the off, you know what you're in for. The opening few lines spell it out for you in no uncertain terms; "None of this takes place in a bedsit. I came up with the title for the book before I wrote it and you know it's really hard to come up with a good title so I decided to keep it despite its utter irrelevance.". The narrator continues in this vein, admitting that they are only writing the book in order to use up the ten ISBNs they obtained as you can only buy them in bulk. Being a writer myself, and being inspired by the down and out tales of the likes of Charles Bukowski and George Orwell, I very much related to the protagonist struggling with his romantic ideals versus the realities of life. This particular passage had my laughing out loud... "My dream ever since I was a child had been to develop a debilitating drug addiction and live in a squalid, damp bedsit spending all day drinking cheap wine and writing poetry on a battered typewriter. But it was proving harder than imagined to achieve. For one thing it was really hard to find printing ribbon and drugs seemed to cost an absolute fortune."

The novella is also filled with an array of excellent woodcut prints (also by Beaney), and came accompanied by some humourous flyers for fictional businesses that are mentioned in the story. The prose is generally smooth, but there are one or two spelling and grammatical errors, which whilst could have been ironed out with another round of editing, also add to its rudimentary and haphazard charm. This is well worth a read, and I implore you to buy a copy. To do so, just contact Jacob via


'Killing Our Saints' is the latest poetry collection from Oregon poet Scott Wozniak, and is illustrated by prolific Swedish artist Janne Karlsson (and published by his press Svensk Apache). Scott's words and Janne's imagery are a fucked up, dysfunctional match made in the depths of desperation and despair. The perfect compliment to one another. Each poem I read became my new favourite in the book, and each accompanying illustration more messed up than the last. 

As any fan of Wozniak's writing will know (or anyone who looks at the front cover pictured above will see) this isn't the poetry that your Nana used to read. These are the words of a man who has come close to the edge on (many) more than one occasion and lived to tell the fucked up tales. These are life lessons from a teacher who knows that if you a reading this book, you probably won't heed its warnings, but implores you to do whatever you need to do to make it through...

"When young, / it's your duty / to piss / on graves- / Death's / handy work.
It's like throwing / the first punch / in a fight / you know / you can't win."

This is a short read, clocking in with 23 poems, but they're all made of pure, solid Gold. As quickly as you devour this book, you'll want to open that first page and start again right away, and I advise that you do just that. Buy one now RIGHT HERE.

Thursday, 25 January 2018


Okay, so I am a little late to the party with this book. It was published in 2014 by Burning Eye Books, and has been sitting on my bookshelf for about two years (for shame), but it's fashionable to be late, right? Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere is the debut novel by Alice Furse, about a nameless protagonist who struggles to find meaning in her hum drum post-graduate life.

I related to this book SO HARD. Like, I have literally lived the life of these characters. From post-graduate shitty mind numbing office jobs to relationships built on foundations of fire and passion that quickly crumble after that fire goes out. It was all a little too real at times, and I won't lie, at certain points I found myself frustrated with it. Largely because, well, nothing ever really happens - it isn't so much a story as it is a moment in time. Which is fine! More than fine, in fact, it is just not what I was expecting... 

The tagline on the front cover is "A Girl. An Office. The Apocalypse" and the blurb on the back reads "As her days fill with low paid office work and her boyfriend abandons ambition, a young woman believes there must be an apocalypse on the horizon and hatches a dramatic plan to escape". Maybe, naively (?), I was expecting a wry take on an impending apocalypse, something akin to Seeking A Friend For The End of the World or Don McKellar's Last Night. But there is no apocalypse (other than, perhaps, a metaphorical one), the protagonist never mentions the imminent destruction of the world nor the salvation of the righteous (the word apocalypse is mentioned more times in this review thus far than it was in the book), and the protagonist does not in any way "hatch a dramatic plan to escape". I don't know, maybe I missed something, maybe I am just an idiot, or maybe I am just focusing on the wrong thing here, but I feel that the selling of the apocalypse angle does a massive disservice to what is otherwise a really bloody brilliant book.

To not only see the extraordinary in the couldn't-be-more-ordinary is one thing, but to bring it to life and make it sing the way Alice does is exceptional writing. There is a funny passage when the protagonist criticises Charles Bukowski's novel Women for being too unrealistic, and you could almost level the opposite criticism at Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. It perfectly captures the realities and the restlessness of being twenty-something and lostAt times it is uncomfortable. At times it is hilarious. At times you want to grab her boyfriend by the scruff of the neck and tell him to turn his bloody Xbox off and at times you realise that you were that boyfriend that was more interested in his Xbox than anything else (No? Just me then?). This really is a brilliant read and I highly recommend it. Just don't get too hung up on the whole apocalypse thing, like I did.

Grab a copy right now from Burning Eye Books.  

Monday, 15 January 2018



I don't normally like to review zines that I appear in (I have a poem in this one), but this particular little zine is worthy of special praise. A delightful collection of literary material on the theme of failure, put together by author Alice Furse (Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Burning Eye Books, 2014). In her own words, from the introduction, "There is no Hallmark card that reads 'Sorry you didn't make the grade this time mate', there is no FAIL button on Instagram, there are no speeches for relationships that didn't work out". This collection is designed for the reader to take those feelings of failure, of messing up and being messed up, and help them work out how to unpackage those feelings and use them in a positive way. It is an inspiring read, I especially enjoyed strong pieces by Harry Gallon and Laura Winnick, but the closing lines by Louise Cox are perhaps most poignant, "If we didn't fail we wouldn't have cause to celebrate the successes, and the success can simply be not being crushed by our failure". Get a copy right here.


This poetry zine by Sally Jenkinson is a real beauty! I saw Sally perform a headline set at a poetry slam last year and fell in love with her poetry there and then. I was lucky enough that she agreed to trade a copy of PAPER AND INK for a copy of her book Boys (Burning Eye Books, 2016) and I was delighted when I saw that she was making her own zine. This contains a set of poems that were mainly written when Sally was on a trip to the USA and they're full of wonderful insights and intimate intricacies that make it a joy to read. Sally is fast becoming one of my favourite poets and I can't wait to read her next zine (if there should be another). Visit her website right here for details of how to purchase a copy.  


Editor Derek Steel has upped his game with the fourth issue of his punk inspired lit rag Razur Cuts - The biggest and best issue yet of the street literature mag out of Falkirk, Scotland. Featuring a who's who of international talent, including PAPER AND INK favourites Jared A. Carnie, Fee Johnstone, Ian Cusack, Jim Gibson, Jamie Thrasivoulou and Wesley Cooke, as well as many more great writers. Not only is there the excellent literature content but that is interspersed with interviews and album reviews. Great stuff and well worth the meagre price of £4. That will barely get you a pint these days! To order yours email Derek at

Thursday, 23 November 2017



I don't normally review anything that I am in (I have a poem in this), but this Charles Bukowski tribute chapbook is well worth mentioning. Edited by Katie Doherty (Patchouli Press) and featuring a stellar line up of writers, each with their own unique take on the infamous poet. Whatever your thoughts about Bukowski the man, there is no denying his literary merit. It goes to show that some 23 years after his death, he is still held in such high regard. Some of his opinions and attitudes may have been problematic but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I would not have started writing poetry, or created Paper and Ink Literary Zine, had I not discovered his words. Sunny Side Down is a fine collection of work and a must have for any fan of Buk. Order one for yourself from Patchouli Press right here.


Another outstanding chapbook of poetry from Holy&Intoxicated Publications, featuring the work of two poets whom I would have no problem mentioning in the same breath as the aforementioned Charles Bukowski. Honest, raw poetry, dredged up from the gut and laid bare on the page. This is Grade A material, and a young upstart poet such as myself can only dream of being able to tame the written word as well as these two gentlemen. Special mention should go to Janne Karlsson for the terrific cover artwork. Get your hands on a copy by emailing John D Robinson at

"If you're gonna
write a poem
write words
that will burn

words that will
the paper they are
written on

the eyeballs
that read them

and leave
but the message
into the
and the

- Adrian Manning, 'And Fahrenheit 451 Evens The Score'