Monday, 3 October 2011



I have a book coming out later this month. Called Folk Opposition, it's a sort of extended rant/jeremiad/screed, at the end of which I try to gesture at some broad ideas for a revival of grassroots collectivism in the UK.

There's probably something in the book for everyone to disagree with, that being the nature of this kind of thing. At bottom, though, I tried to write something informed by an ideal of commonality, unity, and hope, because, frankly -- and I don't care if this sounds corny or trite -- these sentiments are what I felt was in most need of championing at this particular moment in time; I hope this shines through whatever flaws and contentions you have with the subject matter or means of expression.

The book was written about a year ago now. Although most of it remains fairly topical (and props to Zero for bringing publication forward to ensure this), there are a couple of minor addenda. Firstly, the riots in London this summer represent one of the most notable examples of "folk opposition" in years; obviously, not being able to tackle them is a great regret (although, on the other hand, having been out of the country at the time, I'm not sure I would've felt competent to do this anyway). Secondly, Tom Pickard, who very generously read the manuscript, pointed out that he was unsure that the term "beat poet" was an accurate description of himself. This was a failure of eloquence on my part, for which the explanation that the book was written extremely quickly is hardly an excuse. I know full well that Tom's poetry fits much better into a British Black Mountain/post-Objectivist lineage, as well as connecting back to an older northern tradition of balladry (something I probably should have made more of, given my thesis). In fact, I would urge everyone to come to their own conclusions about Tom's nonpareil poetry by reading it for themselves, and thereby bypassing any maladroit summaries I might be able to offer.

I've tried to thank everyone I know in the Acknowledgements. If you're not there it's probably because I didn't know you well enough earlier this year. Probably the major people to have been omitted in this way are the people I've come into contact with this year through writing for the "decade blogs": Wayne Kasper, Phil Knight, Agata Pyzik, and others, many of whom I know only by their first name or avatar: William, Greyhoos, Zone Styx, Oliver et al. I don't actually know any of you personally but I'd just like to say that my life has been made immeasurably better by being a part of a discussion community with you. Thanks for being so clever and sympathetic and just fucking there.

Anyway, if you'd like to buy the book you can do so here

Cheers, Al.

P.S. Here is a short photo essay to, err, whet your appetites ...

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Congrats, man. Just pre-ordered my copy.