• Our first title, from Big Issue John Bird, launches with London show

    For a social enterprise whose objective is to help members of the community to realise and release their stories, we couldn’t be more pleased to announce that our first title will be a new book by social entrepreneur and Big Issue founder, John Bird.

    John’s book with us, Why Drawing Naked Women Is Good For The Soul, will be published in a week’s time, in ebook and initially a limited physical edition. We are collaborating with John on a six-night London run of shows in early May to promote the book, and here’s some information about that:

    Big Issue founder John Bird’s six-night London show

    What makes a man move from wrongdoing to do-gooding? For John Bird, it was the pursuit of art. As a boy locked up in remand homes or prison, he used art as a way of thinking. Living on the streets of west London, he enrolled for evening life classes at the Chelsea College of Art, and combined a life of crime with a love of art.

    On May 6th, John Bird opens a six-night show in London entitled Naked Bird, in which he is interviewed about current politics and the need for social change by fellow Big Issue founder Phil Ryan. In the second half of the show, John will be interviewed live on stage by a member of the audience, whose naked shape he will draw while he answers her questions about the role of art in his life.

    Bird will be simultaneously launching his new book, Why Drawing Naked Women Is Good For The Soul, which goes on sale on 6th May.

    Art, for John Bird, is about redemption, and he hopes these six nights will be an opportunity for Londoners to come and talk about making change.


    John Bird: “I was born into poverty, brought up in care, and have lived through a lot. My life’s journey has included spells as a thief, prison inmate, artist and poet. I launched The Big Issue in 1991 with the help of Gordon Roddick of The Body Shop in response to the growing number of rough sleepers on the streets of London. Together we believed that the key to solving the problem of homelessness lay in helping people to help themselves, and were therefore determined to offer a legitimate alternative to begging. I have always drawn, I have always felt a need to draw, and I feel that only by doing so have I been able to save my soul.”

    Naked Bird runs for six nights, starting at 7.30pm each night, at Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, Camden NW1 1TT: http://www.theatrotechnis.com/show.php?id=101

    Tickets for the show are available from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/search.php?tm_link=tm_header_search&language=en-us&keyword=naked+bird

    Why Drawing Naked Women Is Good For The Soul will be published by The Word Machine CIC on 6th May as an ebook priced £5.99 and a limited edited physical edition priced £9.99.


  • The Necessity of Poverty

    This week I pitched up at the launch of Big Issue founder John Bird’s new book, The Necessity of Poverty. The launch was at Gerry’s Club in Soho in London. I couldn’t stay long, but stayed long enough to buy a copy of the book, which I’ve now read. It’s a provocative and committed read. It’s more of an essay than a book, more of a call to action than a tome. Bird’s thesis is that the poor are employed by all of us throughout our lives: in our buying habits, our politics, our ways of lives, our habits, our thoughts. We rely on the poor to be who we like to be. He hasn’t gone into depth with this argument – I sense that this book may well form the germination of a bigger project – but he has laid down the gauntlet. The title in itself is challenging: how much do we all depend on the existence of poverty to sustain the life we choose to live? Get hold of his book here. The book, while it doesn’t necessarily offer solutions, sets out the challenge for us all. What are we going to do about it?