Event: Is London dying? Iain Sinclair, Katharine Hibbert, Angus Hanton and Tom Hodgkinson in conversation

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Date: Monday 9th May

Time: 7pm-9pm

Location: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

Price: £20/18 members/10 concs

Novelist and London psychogeographer Iain Sinclair is joined by Katharine Hibbert, founder of affordable housing enterprise Dot Dot Dot and author of Free: Adventures in the Margins of a Wasteful Society, Angus Hanton of Intergenerational Foundation and Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson for a discussion of the social and cultural significance of London’s property price boom. In many ways, London is booming. The city is buzzing and full of life. But crazy house and rental prices mean that the artists and young people can no longer afford to live here. As a result, we’re seeing a talent drain to Berlin, Lisbon or to more affordable parts of the UK. What can be done? Has London lost its edge?

Come and join the debate at the Conway Hall. A free podcast of the evening will also be posted on our website and the event will be broadcast by Resonance FM.   Iain Sinclair has lived in (and written about) Hackney, East London, since 1969. His novels include Downriver (Winner of the James Tait Black Prize & the Encore Prize for the Year’s Best Second Novel), Radon Daughters, Landor’s Tower and Dining on Stones (which was shortlisted for the Ondaatje prize). Non-fiction books, exploring the myth and matter of London, include Lights Out for the Territory, London Orbital and Edge of the Orison. In the ‘90s, Sinclair wrote and presented a number of films for BBC2’s Late Show and has, subsequently, co-directed with Chris Petit four documentaries for Channel 4; one of which, Asylum, won the short film prize at the Montreal Festival. He edited London, City of Disappearances, which was published in October 2006. In recent times, he has published Hackney,That Rose-Red Empire (2009), Ghostmilk (2011) and ‘American Smoke’ (2013). Sinclair’s account of a one-day walk around the orbital railway – London Overground – was published in June 2015. Sinclair is currently working on a new book called The Last London.

Katharine Hibbert spent two years exploring the world of the squatters and scavengers who use London’s empty homes and wasted food and goods to survive.  Her book, FREE: Adventures on the Margins of a Wasteful Society (Ebury Press, 2010) tells their story.  She then set up Dot Dot Dot (, a social enterprise which allows people who would like to help others through voluntary work to live cheaply in buildings that would otherwise be empty.  Dot Dot Dot now houses hundreds of people across London and the South East for around a third of ordinary market rent, enabling them to give tens of thousands of hours a year to good causes.

Tom Hodgkinson grew up in London, moved to Devon in the noughties and back to Shepherd’s Bush in 2013. He is the author of How to be Idle, How to be Free, The Idle Parent, Brave Old World, The book of Idle Pleasures, the Ukulele Handbook and the forthcoming Business for Bohemians. For five year he rented a commercial property in Notting Hill. –


26 April 2016: London Overground – A Day’s Walk around the Ginger Line Book Launch


Tickets: £12 / £10 conc. / £8 Close-Up members
Box Office: 02037847975

We are delighted to host the launch of the paperback edition of London Overground – A Day’s Walk around the Ginger Line by Iain Sinclair with work-in-progress screening of John Rogers’ film of the book.

Iain and John will present a selection of footage from the film with discussion and Q&A.

The film retraces Sinclair’s journey with Andrew Kötting around the Overground network over the course of a year rather than the Day’s Walk of the book. Iain is once again joined by Kötting, along with Chris Petit and Bill Parry-Davies on the 35-mile circular yomp.

“The completion of the full circle of London Overground provides Iain Sinclair with a new path to walk the shifting territory of the capital. With thirty-three stations and thirty-five miles to tramp – plus inevitable and unforeseen detours and false steps – he embarks on a marathon circumnavigation at street level, tracking the necklace of garages, fish farms, bakeries, convenience cafés, cycle repair shops and Minder lock-ups which enclose inner London.”

Iain Sinclair’s books include London Orbital, Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire, Downriver (which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Encore Award) Ghost Milk and American Smoke. He lives in Hackney, East London.

John Rogers’ previous films include The London Perambulator and Make Your Own Damn Art: the World of Bob and Roberta Smith

The paperback of London Overground will be published on April 7.

Luton Beat Festival. March 19. aka Lutonia Beat Day



1. 15. Alan Ginsberg and GUERRILLA TV – New York filmmaker David Shulman in conversation with Jeff Towns. They will explore David’s 1990 film and show rare footage of Ginsberg narrating the introduction.

2..05. Black Breton : White Negro – Race influences on Jack Kerouac writings . Prof. Daniel G Williams.

3.45. AH SUNFLOWER Iain Sinclair introduces a screening of his seminal film of Allen Ginsberg in London in 1967.

4.30. Break

5.00. Live dynamic Performance poetry from Mike Garry

5.45. American Smoke – Iain Sinclair talks about his Travel/memoir across America in search of Beats –

6 .30. A Rare Screening of “ No More To Say, Nothing to Weep For

A fine filmic eulogy to Allen Ginsberg .

7.30. Howl – a live performance with Ceri Murphy as Ginsberg reading the poem accompanied by with graphic illustrative projections .

8.30. Round Table Summing Up – Iain Sinclair, Dan Williams, Mike Garry and David Shulman will discuss the topics raised – chaired Jeff Towns.

9. 30.– till late. Jazz and Beats – Upstairs in The Hat Factory . A loosely structured endless exploration in Jazz and Words of the Beat Ethos with Ray Jones performing Bob Kaufman, more Ginsberg from Ceri Murphy and guest spots from Mike Garry with Prof. Dan Williams on Sax with Luton’s own Paul Jolly Trio.

An exhibition The Beats- WORD & IMAGE will be open in the Gallery space from March 5th until March 20th Open daily .The Exhibition will feature Original Portraits of the Beat writers by Simon Dark whose work features at the Hunter S. Thompson Center in Aspen Colorado, together with rare books, manuscripts, posters and ephemera from the Jeff Towns/ Dylans Bookstore Beat archive.Some art works will be available for purchase.

And DYLANS BOOKSTORE will have a POP-UP BOOKSTORE stocked with Beat Books and eclectic and desirable books drawn from stock.

JG Ballard event at British Library (11am-12am), March 13.

Inner Space: J G Ballard in the Seventies A Symposium