I’ve had a great time as editor of the fifth Oxford Indie Magazine. My theme was appropriately for me

An International edition for an International city

I included writers born in Africa, Asia and South America as well as in Europe. This fits with my experience recording the lives of 120 Oxford Castaways. They were from 5 continents. While writing the features, I had a blinding revelation – a vision of this amazing city of Oxford. It was not just the stunning architecture, the museums, libraries, theatres, parks, meadows and rivers but of the PEOPLE who live and work in it. Their origins are from all over the world. This is WHO WE ARE.  I fail to understand the appeal of the little Englander – it’s NOT our culture – it’s a perversion of it. Shakespeare dramatized our connectedness over 400 years ago .

I contributed a feature about a soon to be released film titled Beijing Spring.


One of the film’s heroes, Qu Leilei inspired me to write Brushstrokes in Time. My novel is, to my knowledge, the only book inspired by the courageous Stars artists.  At the time of writing one of them Ai Weiwei has a new installation at Blenheim Palace. I have a talking spot at the Oxford Indie Book Fair on Nov 6 between12.00 -12.35. I have titled it

Can art change politics? https://www.beijingspringfilm.com  about the Stars: Beijing 1979

A newcomer to Oxford city as a resident is Tiger Spirit podcaster Yang May Ooi.  She writes about her new Oxford based series which includes me

http://bit.ly/ccv-oxfordstories  Podcast with me

Photographer and editor, Fanny Dubes Arbuthnott has connected to USA and the Caribbean .She should be proud of her photograph of James Baldwin and her involvement in the iconic poetry anthologies Hard Lines.


Diana Bell is an internationally exhibited artist but I love her inspirational public engagement art projects.  My first encounter with her was when we launched Oxford Castaways 2, in 2014,in the just opened Story Museum. Diana was in the courtyard with a giant book and  we were all invited to write in. That day unusual  signatures included Korky Paul and Weimin He. I encouraged Atam to write in Hindi and Urdu as well as English.


This is the link to the whole magazine

A truly exceptional feature is by author Sarah Gray.

Sarah has advanced Motor Neuron Disease but is determined to carry on writing.

How to live well at 97? Find out from Professor Simon Altmann’s Distilled Wisdom  .

I used my friend the artist Weimin He’s Green Oxford as the cover illustration . I love his take on me too. I’ve used his caricature  or my ID on Shepherd.com.