Category Archives: live literature

Resonance 104.4fm annual fundraiser

I have been listening to Resonance 104.4fm and valuing the station’s unique contribution to the arts since its earliest days, when I was lucky enough to have been involved via my then job at the national office of Arts Council England. Since leaving the Arts Council, and wanting to continue to support the excellent work of Ed and the rest of the team, I have been a director and I currently chair the Resonance board, but I am still also a listener and a supporter, and Resonance 104.4fm continues to make an incredible and growing contribution to the arts in London and the UK. That is why I am devoting this post to sharing the information about some of the events that are being put on around London by Resonance 104.4fm programme makers as part of the annual fundraiser.

resonance web logoIf you haven’t tuned in before, Resonance 104.4fm is London’s award-winning arts radio station. It was established by London Musicians’ Collective and licensed as a community radio station by Ofcom. Resonance 104.4fm started broadcasting on May 1st 2002 as one of the first community radio stations licensed by the then Radio Authority, and it provides a radical alternative to the universal formulae of mainstream broadcasting.

Resonance 104.4 fm features programmes made by musicians, artists and critics who represent the diversity of London’s arts scenes. With hundreds of live sessions every year, with weekly programmes from, by and about just about every art form, and with regular weekly contributions from nearly two hundred musicians, artists, thinkers, critics, activists and instigators; plus numerous unique broadcasts by artists on the weekday “Clear Spot”.

Resonance broadcasts 24 hours per day on 104.4fm in London or online and via the Radio Player app. The station’s annual fundraiser runs from 10-16 February this year. Here’s the blurb from the Resonance site:

with a series of live events, an on-line auction and plenty of special broadcasts. We hope you will join us in our efforts to raise funds. The boring bit: we need to secure £50,000 reserves in order to bolster our next funding application to Arts Council England, who have generously supported us for the last 11 years. The exciting bit: our programme makers and many friends have organised a variety of amazing entertainments for you – all proceeds going to Resonance. With your help we can keep our unique and exceptional broadcast service on air and advert-free!

Resonance104.4fm Fund-raising Events!

Resonance programmes makers have organised a series of events from tonight. Featuring art movies, debate, ukulele luminaries, high tea with Max Keiser, Rough Trade DJs and Sound Art Superstars.

Please check your diaries and the booking info below, and do come along if you can. It would be great to see you at one or other of these events.

Monday 10th February

Facing the Music

The Pod Delusion and Little Atoms with Soho Skeptics present “Facing the music” – a cultural debate with Charles Shaar Murray, David Stubbs, Andrew Mueller, Jude Rogers and more. Lively discussion about popular culture and sound: a chance to meet like minds and disagree with them. T-shirt stall, bar. Buy tickets here.

Monday 10 February 8pm £6, NB: Change of venue and start time: The Slaughtered Lamb, 34-35 Great Sutton St, London EC1V 0DXL

Tuesday 11th February

Henry Scott-Irvine presents a night of blues & folk

Henry Scott-Irvine presents a night of blues & folk – Mollys Daggers + The Bermondsey Joyriders + Sasha Ilyukevich + Ronnie Golden + Howard & Clack. A rollicking gig with former members of Chelsea, The Little Roosters, and Johnny Thunders – and a Belarusian Troubadour.

Tuesday 11 February 8pm £5, 12 Bar Club, Denmark Street WC2H 8NJ

Thursday 13th February

Sine of The Gravy

Sine Of The Times & The Gravy present LV (Hyperdub), My Panda Shall Fly, Only Rays (Circles and Squares), DJ Bobafatt (Rough Trade), Will Ward and Patrick from The Gravy plus Sine of The Times’ very own Rita Maia.

More details here.

Thursday 13 February 7pm till 1am £5, Candela Clapton, 159 Lower Clapton Road E5 0QX

Thursday 13th February

Gala Sound Art Concert

Resonance104.4fm presents sound-art superstars Janek Schaefer + Rie Nakajima + Yuri Suzuki + Oscillatorial Binnage. Headlined by the UK’s leading sound-artist Janek Schaefer, this bill also features Arts Award Foundation Experimental Music fellow Rie Nakajima and BASCA Composer of the Year (and Resonance station manager) Chris Weaver.

Thursday 13 February 8pm £8, Cafe Oto, 18 Ashwin Street E8 3DL

Friday 14th February

The Relatively Good Valentines Do

The Relatively Good Valentines Do – Dulwich Ukulele Club + The Gents + Double Bass Dan and Friends + Santa Mozzarella + The Relatives. Resonance’s Relatively Good Radio Show presents a night of all-star local talent in London’s first cooperatively owned pub. Buy tickets here.

Friday 14 February 8pm £15, Ivy House, 40 Stuart Road SE15 3BE

Saturday 15th February

Bermuda Triangle Lovely Audio Visual Extravaganza

BTTTB presents Bermuda Triangle Lovely Audio Visual Extravaganza featuring Bruce Gilbert + Bermuda Triangle Test Engineers + Greta Pistaceci + James Alec Hardy + Chips For The Poor + DJs Art Terry and Dave Ball. A night of audio-visual treats with cult musicians including Gilbert (Wire), Ball (Soft Cell) and numerous Resonance luminaries. MC is The Man From The Bermuda Triangle. Bar, bar food, t shirt and merch stall.

Saturday 15 February 8pm to 2am £5, The Roxy, 128 Borough High Street SE1 1LB

Sunday 16th February

High Tea with Max and Stacy

Join outspoken financial pundits Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert of The Truth About Markets for a face to face high finance Q&A session.

Tickets available at the WeGotTickets website.

Sunday 16 February 4pm £15, The Roxy, 128 Borough High Street SE1 1LB


Missorts mini-readings

Situations and I have made some small videos of mini-readings from my novella Missorts Volume II, which just came out as a limited edition paperback. The idea was to pick some very short but vivid extracts that would introduce readers to each of the novella’s four characters — Paul, Ronnie, Jessica and Oliver — and contain some actual ‘story stuff’, but without being more than a minute or two long.

We shot eight of these mini-readings, on location on Vauxhall Bridge.

Starting on Tuesday 21 January, Situations are releasing one mini-reading every weekday lunchtime at 1:00pm on Twitter.

Here is the second video: ‘A broken auto-level trolley’


Tony White
Missorts Volume II
Published by Situations
ISBN 978-0-9574728-2-2
Price: £10.00 £5.00
Format: Paperback
Pages: 128
Publication date: 11 December 2013
Distribution: Central Books

Buy Missorts Volume II direct from publisher Situations

Missorts Volume II — new paperback


Here is Situations’ announcement of their new limited edition paperback of my novella Missorts Volume II, which has been beautifully typeset by Charles Boyle of CB editions. I’ll be reading from Missorts Volume II at the Winter Shuffle Festival in Mile End, London on Thursday 5 December, sharing the bill with Michael Smith and Adam Foulds. Tickets still available: booking and other info here.

Situations is delighted to announce the print edition of Missorts Volume II

Taking its title from a Post Office term used to describe letters that have got lost in the system, Missorts Volume II takes the cityscape of Bristol as the inspiration for a contemporary work of fiction. Set in the shadow of the derelict former Royal Mail sorting office that is never far from local headlines, Missorts Volume II is a timely reflection on how the city impacts on the imaginative life of its residents.

Available from 10th December 2013 in a limited edition of 250, this will be the first print edition of the novella, which was originally published as a free e-book in 2012 by Situations in partnership with Bristol City Council to accompany Tony White’s permanent public sound work Missorts.

Design of the edition’s cover was the subject of an open-call design prize earlier this year. The winning design from graphics agency An Endless Supply was selected from a shortlist of ten by design historian Emily King and the award-winning graphic designer Fraser Muggeridge.


Tony White
Missorts Volume II
Published by Situations
ISBN 978-0-9574728-2-2
Price: £10.00
Format: Paperback
Pages: 128
Publication date: 11 December 2013
Distribution: Central Books

Research for Missorts Volume II was initially undertaken in 2007–8, supported by Media Office as part of the research phase for a planned public art programme for the re-development of the former Royal Mail Sorting Office, Temple Meads, Bristol in association with Ginkgo Projects Ltd. Further research and completion of the novella was undertaken in Bristol and London throughout 2012 with the additional support of Situations and Bristol City Council.

Missorts Volume II at the Winter Shuffle

I am delighted to have been invited to read at the Winter Shuffle Festival taking place in and around the old St Clements workhouse in Mile End, London. I’ll be reading from my novella Missorts Volume II, which is published in a new paperback edition the following week. I’m sharing a bill with fellow Faber author Michael Smith, which is great news because I’ve been looking forward to getting hold of his new book Unreal City.

There is loads of other great stuff on. Here’s the full programme. Click through for tickets and bookings, and more information about the Winter Shuffle film programme.


Missorts cover design prize


Situations have today announced the winner of the Missorts Volume II cover design prize. From a very strong shortlist of ten, the judging panel (i.e. design historian Emily King, graphic designer Fraser Muggeridge and me) unanimously picked this beautifully understated design by An Endless Supply. I love everything about this design. A limited edition paperback of the novella is being published in December. More info on launch events coming soon. See my events page for updates, or follow Situations on Twitter.

Missorts Volume II is published to accompany Missorts, my permanent public soundwork for Bristol, which is produced by Situations, the award-winning Bristol-based arts producers, and funded by Bristol City Council for the Bristol Legible City initiative. 


More about Missorts.

If you can’t wait for this paperback edition of the novella featuring An Endless Supply’s gorgeous cover, you can download Missorts Volume II as a free ebook compatible with most devices from the Missorts website.


Here is a quick link to Karen Regn’s excellent review (for the Manchester sustainability portal, Platform) of my event last week at Manchester Literature Festival. It’s a great piece, and Karen has really engaged with Shackleton’s Man Goes South:

White’s novel is structured with a converging dual narrative in which a fact-based strand telling of the discovery of an “overlooked” short story, written in 1911 by polar explorer and scientist George Clarke Simpson, plays off and adds tension to what White calls the “melodrama”, a tale of refugees fleeing south, who are undertaking Shackleton’s journey in reverse. In this second strand, Emily and daughter Jenny are traveling to meet John, Emily’s husband, who has gone ahead to find work. They travel with Browning, a sailor who has already saved their lives more than once. In the slang of their post-melt world, Emily and Jenny are known as “mangoes”, a corruption of the saying “man go south”.

The dual structure reflects White’s belief that science and human experience are inextricably linked … 

Karen Regn is also a photographer and took this fantastic shot of me in mid-reading, framed by the beautifully lit and Piranesi-esque stairs and vaults of Manchester Museum’s Life Gallery.

Photo: © Karen Regn, 2013

Photo: © Karen Regn, 2013

Interestingly, Karen also uses the review to discuss the Festival’s policy and approaches to climate change and sustainability. Issues that may be of interest to artists and audiences just as much as arts organisations. Karen points out that:

Manchester Literature Festival organisers chose White’s novel as part [of an] ecologically-minded commitment to sustainability in the hopes that through this event and others of climate change-themed literature audiences will engage with sustainability agendas.

I was really impressed with Manchester Literature Festival’s use of Twitter to promote the event to climate change and other environmental interest groups and networks, as well as to the Manchester Museum Book Club who had chosen the novel for their September read. The Festival also collaborated with event sponsors Gaeia, who held an ethical investment workshop earlier in the day. The event was very well chaired by novelist Gregory Norminton, editor of the Beacons short story collection, which I am now looking forward to reading. I enjoyed my visit enormously.


Shackleton’s Man Goes South is available free and DRM-free from the Science Museum at

A London event at the Science Museum at 2pm on Thursday 24 October has been organised by future-publishing consultants The Literary Platform. Booking is essential, and the modest ticket price of £15.00 includes a tour of my exhibition and a signed copy of the limited edition paperback. Info and booking here.


Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 16.03.59Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.05.59Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.05.21Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.04.55Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.04.36Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.03.52Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.03.07Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.35.05Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.34.36I just got back from Manchester Literature Festival, where I was talking about — and giving a short reading from — my Science Museum novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South. Chairing the event was novelist Gregory Norminton, who recently edited the Beacons collection of climate change-themed short stories. Our venue was a beautiful old-fashioned room in Manchester Museum, in which two ranks of tall glass vitrines were filled with animal skeletons and other curiosities, while above our heads hung not the sword of Damocles, but an enormous whale skeleton.

There was a good-sized audience, too, which included members of Manchester Museum’s Book Club who had chosen Shackleton’s Man Goes South as their title for September. Feedback from these readers was incredibly positive but also useful, as the Science Museum and I have been discussing preparing a page of information about the novel for book groups. It was fascinating hearing which aspects of the novel had provoked discussion. These included the fact that central characters Emily and daughter Jenny are women, for example, but also questions about what a particular shift of focus might mean, partway through the story, or about Emily and Jenny’s lives beyond the confines of the novel. I’m wondering if it might be useful to give some prompts for discussion around these and other questions, and also how to do this without giving too much away.

One thing that I’ve also realised would be incredibly useful for future Shackleton’s Man Goes South events, is a small flyer giving the URL where people can download the novel free and DRM-free on the Science Museum website.

The link is:

At right are a selection of tweets about yesterday’s gig. Manchester Literature Festival very actively used social media to promote the event, and — as you can see — to give some live commentary during it. I was also very interested to see how people in the audience continued the conversation on Twitter, and that a couple of people tweeted that they are reviewing the book and/or the event.

My next event is at Ilkley Literature Festival this Saturday 19 October, where writer and broadcaster Siân Ede will chair a discussion between me and IPCC lead author Professor Andy Challinor.


Shackleton’s Man Goes South, cover jpegNews of two events to promote my Science Museum climate change novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South, at literature festivals during October. It would be great to see you at either gig if you are in the Manchester or Leeds areas.

On 15 October I will be reading from and discussing Shackleton’s Man Goes South at Manchester Literature Festival, with Gregory Norminton, author and editor of the climate change-themed short story collection Beacons: Stories for our not so distant future (One World). Last time I did an event in Manchester was last year, when I read from my 2012 novella Dicky Star and the Garden Rule for Whitworth Gallery’s lates programme, and there was a great audience, so I’m looking forward to this one.

If you want to help spread the word, please tweet this event using @McrLitFest

Later that same week, joining me at Ilkley Literature Festival on Saturday 19 October will be IPCC lead author Professor Andy Challinor from the University of Leeds. This conversation will be chaired by the brilliant Siân Ede, who as well as being an eloquent broadcaster and writer on art and science collaborations of various kinds, has also been responsible for much art and science activity in the UK through her former role at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. I’m delighted to be sharing a stage with both of them. Also it is a great coup to have Professor Challinor taking part in this conversation just as the first parts of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, IPCC 5, are published, so look out for some personal insights in to both the IPCC process and the very latest thinking on climate change.

You can help spread the word by tweeting this event using @ilkleylitfest Thank you.

Topical trivia: I lived in Leeds for a couple of years in the mid-1980s, and the very first short story that I ever had published was set in Ilkley, but that was a long time ago and is probably a story for another time. More recently, my 2012 novella Dicky Star and the Garden Rule is set in the Leeds 6 area and here is Phil Kirby’s excellent (not-a-)review of it, from Leeds’s own Culture Vultures site.

Shackleton’s Man Goes South is available in free and DRM-free ebook formats from the Science Museum website, while Science Museum visitors can use the dedicated touchscreen that is part of my display in the Museum’s Atmosphere Gallery to email themselves an ebook of the novel in formats compatible with most contemporary devices, until 24 April 2014.


New DRM-free label, Submitted by dpic on Mon, 2012-08-13 08:54Shackleton’s Man Goes South: Tony White in conversation with Gregory Norminton, Manchester Literature Festival. Tuesday 15 October 2013, 7.30pm, The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL. Tickets £6/£4 concessions. Bookings: 0843 208 0500 or book online.

Shackleton’s Man Goes South: Tony White and Professor Andy Challinor, chaired by arts and science broadcaster Siân Ede. Ilkley Literature Festival. Saturday 19 October 2013, 1.30-2.30pm, Ilkley Playhouse Wharfeside, Weston Road, Ilkley, LS29 8DW. Tickets £5/£3 concessions. Book online.

Download the novel FREE and DRM-free.

Shackleton’s Man Goes South has an official Facebook page.

Castañeda and the conquistadors

Short story 'Bully Buck' commissioned by the artist Steven Hull and illustrated by the artist Soo Kim as part of the amazing Ab Ovo project.I was just invited to write a new short story for a performance by the US artist Steven Hull at Glow Santa Monica — an ‘all-night cultural experience featuring original commissions by artists that re-imagine Santa Monica Beach as a playground for thoughtful and participatory artworks.’ Glow is this Saturday, 28 September. It only happens once every three years, and previous festivals have included commissions by a wide range of artists including Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot and Usman Haque.

I’ve worked with Steven Hull a few times before. The first time was when I contributed a story to his brilliant Ab Ovo (2006) for which twenty artists sat the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). The resulting reports were given to twenty writers to use as the basis for a character in a story for children or young people, and the resulting stories were given to another twenty visual artists to illustrate; a kind of collaborative relay. My own short story ‘Bully Buck’ was beautifully illustrated by artist Soo Kim. Ab Ovo existed as a book, a website (not currently operational) and a touring exhibition.


Ab Ovo was a brilliant project to be involved in, and Steven is a great collaborator, so when he emailed this summer, enclosing this sketch (left), to ask if I was interested in writing something for Glow, I didn’t need to think about it for too long, especially as the piece would also include a specially commissioned piece of music/sound by Gibby Haynes, of Butthole Surfers.

Steven’s email said that he was looking for a ‘surrealist’ short story about a stage filled with large sculptures of puppeteers holding marionettes. The puppeteers, he suggested, could be clowns or knights…

I had already been mulling over a short fiction that included a Californian beach scene, so Steven’s request was just the provocation that I needed — ‘How about conquistadors?’ I thought — although, in the event my story, which is presented as a piece of Carlos Castañeda apocrypha, is more psychedelic than surrealist. Also, a simple lesson learned during the testing of Missorts (my GPS-triggered soundwork for Bristol) was that when writing or editing a story that will be listened to in the location where it is set, one doesn’t need to include much description of setting, as this is already visible to the listener. The application of that lesson here would be that if a stage was already physically present, I wouldn’t need to mention it.

Here is the blurb for the new work, which is entitled A Puppet Show:

Steven Hull will create a rotating stage featuring a marionette show based on the short story ‘A Fragment from the Lives of the Conquistadors’ by Tony White. The stage, situated behind the historic arbor in Crescent Bay Park, will display Hull’s sculptures of conquistadors whose hands detach and become the animated marionettes. There will be several performances throughout the night featuring puppeteer Alex Evans, Eric de la Cruz and their marionettes, with musical accompaniment by Anna Huff and Petra and Tanya Haden. The sculptures will be accentuated with light works by Marilyn Lowey and a sound piece by Gibby Haynes.  An illustrated storybook and flags by Tami Demaree will be produced to commemorate the event.

A Puppet Show will be performed at 8:00pm, 9:00pm and 10:00pm, this Saturday evening, behind the arbor in Crescent Bay Park (number 1 on the map below). I will post some images as soon as I get them.


Here are the opening few lines of my story:

Carlos Castañeda once told this parable about the Conquistador Hernán Cortés. He didn’t write it down, so you won’t find it in any of his books or among his papers, but in any case I heard that Castañeda once spoke of a legend about Cortés, one that he in turn perhaps had heard from his own teacher, don Juan Matus. The legend tells that late in his life – but before his final fall from grace – Cortés and his closest allies, maybe his generals and one or two of their mistresses or companions, stopped on the beach in what is now Santa Monica and stayed here for a short time…

To find out more you’ll have to go to Glow Santa Monica this coming Saturday, or wait for the planned publication of story and audio. More news on that as and when.


Glow Santa Monica, Santa Monica Beach, 28 September 2013, 7pm to 3am. Plan your Glow here!

Also (until 12 Oct), Steven Hull at Rosamund Felsen Gallery, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Bergamot Station, B4, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Asian Eastenders flyer

Click here to open the Asian Eastenders flyer (opens as PDF) for the event that I’m doing at the Idea Store Whitechapel on Saturday 20 July. I’m delighted and honoured to have been invited to read from my novel Foxy-T as part of Asian Eastenders for the Cockney Heritage Festival on the 10th anniversary of the novel’s publication by Faber and Faber.  Booking is recommended! Click-through this Googlemaps Streetview photo for the eventbrite page.Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 11.54.08


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