Hand Job Zine An Anthology

handyA stark cross in the brickwork. This is England and Hand Job have been exploring the best from the underground for 10 strong issues. This its final before they head into the heady territory of publishing via Hi Vis Press ‘Publishers Of the Unbound’, with many projects already slotted for the ink treatment.Blazers of the do-it-yourself ethos, this gang of word renegades are ready to share their finds and like minds, voices breaking out of an uninspiring age. They are part of the new awakening. The more I read from the many publishing houses that I have been introduced to via Hand Job and friends, the more I realise I have nothing in common with the popular. I am absolutely proud of this fact. I love the reality I have chosen, that is celebrating a part of the shaping of unheard and underheard voices of Britain, all in the comfort of my little nest in Sydney. I lived and worked in England for many years. It is very much a part of me and my loved ones. The only reason I started Urban F and reviews was for the sole purpose of staying connected with a place very dear to me. The people, the towns, the language, the humour. In doing so I have miraculously entwined myself with some of the most brilliant writers, comfortable in their talents, choosing to be original, rebellious and beautiful, with many ‘did I really just read that’ moments. I like the trust one develops with independent publishers, Hand Job wont give you a bum steer. They will sniff out all the bad, the profiteers and schemers.

This line up is the best of ten issues. So here I am again, with paper in front of me, a comfy chair. Silence, the day passing inside someone else thoughts. Yessica Klein “an excuse to jump momentarily into someone, the contours of their past”. It is this and a poet’s eye that we build ourselves by reading and exploring our responses. Thomas McColl goes the ‘sad tale, hard lesson’ road well with 50p and the his new creation myth, the very funny and weird Han The Headless. Regular Hand Jobber and Glove Lit Zine’s Ian Cusack hits the page with his matter of fact solid text. His faustian wet dream had me in shock. A thick retelling of close encounters on the motorway is amazing. He does misogynistic psychopath with so much flair you can’t help being torn. This is a hit with a brick tale. There is the compelling short stories from Amy Victoria Gray which seem to dissolve into each other. The Great Pyramid Of Tower Hamlets and Council Estate Ghost walk through concrete realities, she writes out of body of stark monotony, her story telling is heady and unique.

Terence Corless teases back and forth in a daydream with a taster 2nd Weekend from his upcoming novel Quarter Life. His second contribution Big Bruv is an eulogy of the living. A life encapsulated, his shortcomings forgiven. Miggy Angel smacks out four pillars of hard hitting sublime beauty with The Door, Alchemy, Life On Mars (Bars) & The Plastic Detox Mattress. His urban creative is endless, Burning House Press and The Arsonist Magazine just one part to keep an eye out for.handy-2

Holly Watson shines out of the page with two treats Jackie’s Marvellous Medicine and The Lie. I’m addicted to Holly’s storytelling, her funny light bending in our day to day, her take on family observations and growing up in Coventry has me reaching for the ventilon, keeping my smile on well after the her stories finish. Her Coventry Conch blog page is my favourite remedy when life starts to stink.

Shame by Ben Williams is a heart wrenching story on bullying, when children pack and encourage, roused by cruelty you understand how the right interference and a simple gesture can steer wrong intentions.

Regular at Hand Job central is Dean Lilleymen. More extracts from his novel Billy And The Devil. Check out his performances, recitals of passage on his fantastic website. These snippets will hook you to tackle the whole story and guide you to links to purchase. Another piece plucked from The Gospel According To Johnny Bender, a snapshot from the Edendale carnival is a smirk away from being uncomfortable, and is a definite on my reading list this year. There is also a piece called Diference = Exchange that is a knockout, “tricked by her own singularity in a meadow of same” Rise Up! indeed.

On to our host Hand Job president Jim Gibson. Thrilled to be seeing more of his work around the place, both these  pieces An Essay On Woodcarving, Nature and the adrenalin kicks of Romance, has me paused and re reading to feel the atmosphere and mull over the sentiment again and again.

A couple of quickies from Joseph Ridgwell that at first glance would have you topping yourself if the blade was handy. It spits and hisses after a bad night on the booze, it’s vapour a mood changer. If New Year Blues has an opposite it would be serene observations and psychogeographical waltz of Wardie Bay Blues, and its lilting bliss.

Wonderful to see Gwil James Thomas on a new page. My main encounters have been poetic, this time Gwil tells the story of ‘how I’d meet Diego, the world’s greatest coach driver’ This is the same trip where beautiful prose materialised for some of the pages of Gwil Vs Machine available via Martin Appleby’s, Paper And Ink Zine offshoot. Gwil makes us all comfy, he tells it like we are all sat round a table sharing sangria, sunrise travels, reminding us all we have so many stories to tell, this one perfect and simply told.

Martin Appleby whose work has appeared in many past issues of this brilliant literary zine has the final page, Burger Man and Shit Jokes is punk word beats and past loves, funny, melancholic, straight up thoughts with no pretention. The accompanying picture has me pondering Martin’s finds.

Though the words are at the heart of Hand Job one must mention how their design just keeps getting more sophisticated no doubt accentuated by the artful eye of Sophie Pitchford. After gazing at the photography and layout of this Anthology issue, one gets a taste of what exceptional results the posse at Hi Vis Press can achieve.

This anthology is like a grown up version of itself. Ten issues, The layout, images, strong short stories and sublime poetry is planted perfectly. You can purchase this, back issues and follow new projects via Hi-vispress .com.

If you’re in or near Nottingham On Friday March 3rd, head to the Hand Job – An Anthology – launch, music, live readings, zine stalls, mayhem and shenanigans start at 7:30 @ the Chamelon Notts NG1 6HL

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Hand Job 10

There is a lot of spirit in this issue. I’m sensitive to these things and this seriously vibrates with the stuff. Poetry, photography, short stories and performance, all here. I slowly peel back the clear plastic sleeve to see who’s inside. Hand Job Issue 10 gave a call out for all things a little…um, strange. An ‘Occultist Realism’ theme. You know, something Alistair Crowley could peruse while dunking biscuits in his tea. Jim Gibson and Sophie Pitchford searched far and wide on this one. No stone circle was left unturned. The tin foil hat brigade reject slips were sent out quick, leaving them with a stellar bunch of writers to accommodate the page. CmmNHI7UEAAmKfbSo, we start with Granton Leviathon. I grab my blanket and get stuck in. Like Renwick’s grandchildren, I stare up into the old man’s face and let the tale unfold. ‘Tell us of the Granton People eater’ we whisper. We are all ready for a candle-under-the-chin story, but my ears are settled on what is going on next door. Magdelena is frustrated. Promises of a new home, a new life back in her homeland once they save enough money is not coming quick enough. So she kicks her no good husband out into the cold night. A lighthouse and a six pack is his destination. Will he meet the monster himself? Of course! No one writes domestic squalor with comic accents quite like Joseph Ridgwell can. Funny, edge of your seat and nasty, his Granton Leviathon is a great start. Another component of this surprise package of a zine is the bonus poetry performance CD of artists who have been in this and past issues. Joseph turns on the mic and bursts out first with his do-it-yourself, no airs, no graces, just himself and some chintzy back up tapes. It has all the clunks and amateur fades of a bitter bingo caller. I dig it muchly. 8mm is all tequila and mucho macho, and reminds me of his brilliant novel Burrito Deluxe. He spins a few on this bonus CD, Arose From The Dead, The Kiss and Satan’s Garlanded Pimp, all with cheek, irreverence and fun. I’m excited because I have Raif Mansell in my ears at the same time reading him. I remember other poems of his when I was catching up on the evolution of Hand Job. Bang On is a lesson in synonyms and love ‘the moon was hanging with the sun in the sky‘ a touching poem of a father and daughter, and the influence from all that surrounds them. His soft delivery exactly what the title suggests. A Waiter In Kingston Upon Thames just as thoughtful and hopeful. The Holy Hydron Collider is next forming a weird synchro as I can hear the popcorn festival of Angels & Demons on the background telly as I type. So its links to the Hadron Collider and the god particle is pretty fresh in my mind. Ben Williams confirms that these scientists’ gods are in for a bollocking, theories fly by like short stories, their own gods dangling from their keyrings. Time for some photography and Hand Job‘s own Sophie Pitchford nymphs it in the buds and brambles of nibbled mushrooms and shows us some nature shots. We ask the forest for answers, we see them in the trees and soil. Onto The Shine Of John Donne where ‘everything glistened like the inside of a drunk God’s puppet-theatre’ I’m an avid follower of Miggy Angel‘s work. His poetry, photography and collaborative ventures are exceptional. This metaphysical story on the stairs glows like a dustbin fire and tears into you. No truer tale could teach as much. Besides hosting a premiere performance poetry night called Speech Therapy every month, Miggy is also editor of the wonderful ‘not for profit/for prophecyBurning House Press community. It is a must to explore this supportive and encouraging project. Azeem Ali’s symbols and simulcrae have me staring for a while and ready to tackle Dead Witches and that old chestnut fear of being different. Cody Yeo brings the rituals of both parties through a tight dialogue and brings to the fore the truer evil. Ian Cusack’s The Wicker Man is as mad as putting a toad in your mouth. I love its cantakerous rant. Terence Corless never stops impressing me. So pleased to read his short story Gladys. An intriguing, mystical, sad and joyous mind bomb of a story. Bonus thrill is his aural contribution Taking It In produced by Penny Ashdown with Music by Matthies -LS. Thoughts swallowed when the sensurround kicks in. There is a cool abstraction by illustrator and collager Blair Frame, his contribution If Death Can Fly, So Can I swirls with everyone’s own meaning. Dean Lilleyman reads like a hallucination with Moon Burns The Sun. A ritualistic trance into another realm, shifting shapes raw and instinctual, in and out of his own night sweats. The poem Changeling by Michael Murray skips inside its folkloric beat ‘with crumbs for dreams and a blob of butter where my heart was’, loneliness is a strange creature. Thrilled to see a piece from Dean Cavanagh. This poem I’ve read dozens of times. Like a casino floor of Dante’s that’s been closed for renovations. The dice man’s reflection twists in a modern fury of randomness and manipulation leaving me with a beautiful fear, a calm inside an uncontrollable future. Yvette Robinson and Jennifer Skip’s photography looks like a switched on absurdist revival. Closer investigation reveals a deeper meaning on gender, body image and the media. Their photography from promotion during The Festival Of The Body held in Leeds in March stops me in my tracks. More words and Michael Murray is resurrected inside the vivid world we enter in dreams and vice versa. Onto the world of a cashless society. Paul Case’s story of Mr Fitzjohn’s frustrating transformation in The New Bank shows the futile circle we get ourselves into. The pages now thinning I see Jason Jackson’s name. His childhood once again reminisced. A haunting of Worms so perfectly recalled, where dream becomes real becomes dream, just perfect. The words keep flowing as I pop my headphones back on and get all snug inside Holly Watson’s (The Conventry Conch) The Carboot story. This has me in stitches. Later, she has Nanny Pams Jeans on. Holly sounds exactly how I read her in my mind. The sweet, straight delivery of her own prose has perfect comic timing. She just has to share more of these aurally. Holly is getting quite a fan base with everyone I share her work with. Listening to her read is just a joy. Hollow Hyms – Captain Of the Rant Vs Hair Explosion blasts nice bass beats between a spleen let loose, waxing on the homogenisation of our world, his passion wilted with frustration. The orchestration around the strong lament is enough to take this to the level of an extraordinary recording. CmmNDXPUIAAtSWpIan Cusack pops in between lunch and records this exclusive Universe Of Life. Having read Ian over the years, it is a delight to hear the strength and nuances on the lines he has cooked up. He is a great story teller, his no thrills intros like calling the next patient inside his surgery. Poisoned is grim, but what a story, I adore this CD so much, hands free, all ears. Dean Lilleyman’s I Get Into Town Early, is a piece from his novel Billy & The Devil. I have heard him recite many pieces before, usually uncomfortable squirmers, absolutely fantastic. His latest The Gospel According To Johnny Bender has been launched and ready to check out. Meetings And Tales by Yessica Klein and read by Anya Oderyakova flies over your mind. Words rest where they are needed. Line by line, the delivery is mesmeric. Lay on the grass, let the light in. This is a beautiful collaboration. When I first heard the collaboration of We Bleed Ink I was gobsmacked.  The poetry of Miggy Angel (Words/Voice)  combined with the brilliant sound sculptures of John Freer (Instruments/Production) are mesmerising. Freer’s audio poise is sublime and if they don’t release all the pieces they have in their back catalogue soon this emptiness inside me will remain forever. Their audio piece, The Saint, strolls the pavement until it has the guts to spit the truth. Finally something slips onto the ground. A folded A4, Jim Gibson residing on each side. These two pieces highlight his own skill with prose. You become the observer inside the melancholic haze of childhood, black and white moments. A great way to end this fantastic package of lit and performance that Hand Job has produced. Limited edition so get your hands on one quick.  Also out RPM – A Micro Zine and Children Of Snakehill, all available here.

 

 

 

Dean Cavanagh Dean Lilleyman Hand Job Joseph Ridgwell Miggy Angel Poetry Reviews Uncategorized Zines & Journals

Zine Reviews by Abbie Foxton

Zine Nation

zine 1

People Make Plans by Nicole Jennelle

Her stomach is rough cut open. Paper flap reveals everything inside. Textures and a hidden message. A tiny envelope stuck to the inside opens, stark and to the point, not knowing exactly what it means, well, not yet.

People Make Plans deals with educator Nicole Jennelle’s experiences within education reform. The stomach is a fitting image for this zine because everything is churning, internalised deep within her gut. The main stories are dated and stamped with location. From New Bedford Massachusetts where Nicole grew up to Portland, Oregon and many cities in between. This is made clear via her ‘Moving Around The Country In Table Form’ with accompanying analysis “Rich people ruin everything cool”.

This is part diary, part personal manifesto. The grief from her mother’s death in 2008 consumes her. It is our first glimpse into her life, to understand some of the…

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Zine Reviews by Abbie Foxton

Zine Nation

MC Sunflower Jones

Ain’t Misbehavin’ – A Billie Holiday Pocket Reader

by MC Sunflower Jones

These teeny zines thrill me. Such a neat fit, perfect for inside a dolls hands or fob pocket. I used to make zines like this, way back when I used to run with scissors. So its size I feel immediately taken with. Subject. Ain’t Misbehavin. Jazz siren, Billie Holiday gracing its cover. Big magnolia bursts like a bullet hole, black and white, pages stapled and unaligned so charming. You feel other things being done while this was made, it is relaxing to hold. A little bit of magic for the eyes to get lost in and the ears to remember the honey dripping. “Her haunting voice drifted through the small nightclub” Miss Holiday starts up, “Southern trees bear strange fruit” I can hear the protest, fear and tears. Dierdree Prudence & Steven Hughes Purkey popped this one out…

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island life

urban f

squid urban

Laid back, the early risers rest in wheelbarrows. Woven baskets with tubers piled high. Mountains of breadfruit, starch is staple, the perfect ride for exotic spices. Green leaves and bundles of onions, towers of eggs and flower stalls. Birds of paradise fenced us all inside, I felt drained of colour.

Noise and heat of the city zooms. Some guy with a fake ‘Ask me’ badge stops to see if I’ll fall for his scam. Flip a mental bird, my eyes say I ain’t no newbie wanderer, hassles the next in line, an elderly couple gazing in circles, pointing to the sky. Across the street a slower pace begins.

Fish markets wrap the periphery. Small catches displayed like Renaissance, backed by wood, stones and rifles. I have trouble eating blue, the parrot fish belongs to the coral. Big and bulging iridescence, to be admired not swallowed.

Kids swished away flies from…

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