A Welcome Message

“The concept of absurdity is something I'm attracted to.” - David Lynch.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

SCARY LOVE: A Rough List of UDW's Favourite Things

If any readers or writers would like an idea of what really gets us going, here's a list of stuff that inspires us: MOVIES by Harmony Korine, Alejandro Jodorowsky, David Lynch, Cohen Brothers, Wes Anderson, Dario Argento, Guillermo del Toro, Tim Burton's early stuff, 80s Horror Trash, Roman Polanski and Werner Herzog. MUSIC by Scott Walker (mainly Tilt and The Drift), The Moldy Peaches (also Adam Green and Kimya Dawson solo stuff,) Frank Zappa, The Residents, Tom Waits, The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack by Danny Elfman, Daniel Johnston, Crispin Glover (The Big Solution) and The Bonzo Dog Band/Vivian Stanshall. BOOKS by Harmony Korine, Richard Brautigan, Harvey Pekar, James Joyce, Hubert Selby Jr, Raymond Carver, Richard Milward, Matthew Sweeney, Gerald Stern, John Ashbery and Jim Carroll. ART by Paul McCarthy, Antonin Artaud, Salvador Dali, Gilbert and George, Philip Guston, Ed and Nancy Kienholz's Sollie 17, Robert Longo, Paula Rego and Robert Crumb.

We also like dreaming, staring at something in the distance, eavesdropping, wondering what could be lurking in the dark when the street-lights fail, trying to figure out what that noise is that's coming from next-door, clapping along with crazy people who rant about spies in the town centre, looking at clouds, walking through abandoned factories, peeping through the dark windows of haunted houses, riding on trains past housing estates that have seen better days, talking to strangers on telephones that hiss, checking that loved ones are still breathing, falling over on the beach, bizarre stories told by people with mental health problems, demolitions, ghost stories, cheese before bed, cats, UFOs, reading about cults, night time love, day time love, scary love, silly love, silliness and creepy pictures... I could go on all day, but this should give you a taste of what we're all about. This doesn't mean that we are turning our back on what UDW has so far stood for, it just means that we hope to lean into the darkness and see what happens; it just means that we want to grab hold of a dream and see if it is still in our hands when we wake up; it means we want you to freak us out a little bit from your Urban hideouts because something isn't quite right, the streets are hiding something - the streets are full of stories.


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Urban District Writer Blog is Now Here!

Here it is, a Blog for UDW (seeing as a quick search on the internet reveals next to nothing about us). Geoff Stevens has brought us this far, and the preparations are under way for the 11th issue and a new direction.

Here's a bit of history of the magazine. Geoff Stevens started UDW as a supplement to Purple Patch about two years ago. It is a hastily stapled quarterly magazine, in the tradition of punk pamphlets and small press rags, and has so far attracted a bunch of poets who model themselves on the likes of Charles Bukowski and the Beat Outlaw American Writers, except Geoff did the best he could to choose those with an Urban theme and a British flavour. So far poets such as A.D. Winans, Paul Tanner, Henry Blake, Sam Smith, Tom Kelly, David Mac, Gerald Zipper, Brendan Hawthorne and many others making a name for themselves have filled the raw pasted together pages with poems ranging from drunken apologies to satirical meditations on the state of modern Britain. Now that it has been passed on to me (Bobby Parker - a regular in the magazine myself up until now) there are going to be some significant changes, and a bit of an upgrade, with some big names offering poems for my first couple of issues, which will no doubt help to support the magazine as it becomes a place to turn when other magazines are becoming too predictable, and therefore unlikely to attract younger readers.

I hope to retain, in some way, the gritty feel to the magazine, the anything goes poetry with balls and bite, but I would also like to try and make my own mark upon the magazine, which means all manner of weirdness and silliness and general misbehaviour. Even though I will be sending my begging letters out to well-established poets for their valuable submissions, this is not because I want to compete with the bigger more mainstream magazines, but rather gather everybody together in a free-thinking community, not unlike the cafes where a straight-backed professor could be found discussing existential problems with a bearded smelly little man with a pigeon in his coat pocket.

So, from now on there will be regular updates concerning all things Urbany and Districty and Writery (I am considering changing the name of the magazine, it does sound rather like those free glossy things you get through your letterbox from the local council!) and I will be interviewing our poets on here, posting news, pictures and generally annoying you until you can't take it any more and decide to put a voodoo curse on my fingers.

If you are interested in submitting, send your work to bobzparker@hotmail.co.uk - contributors will get a free copy - and if you can find it in your weeping wallets to send me some money for a subscription, it is £4 for two issues, and cheques should be made out to Bobby Parker and sent to 7 Maureen Aston Court, Broad Street, Kidderminster, DY10 2LQ, United Kingdom. (note. I am known for sending free stuff too, all kinds of odd extras, so there's no excuse for missing out on the excitement - I mean, imagine asking for two magazines and getting some artwork or free chapbooks or posters, you're hiccupping and chasing your tails with excitement, right? Damn right you are!)