What is the relationship between imaginative writing and the built environment? From William Blake through to Iain Sinclair to Laura Oldfield Ford, literature has constantly sought to engage with, and transform, the urban spaces in which we live. Four contemporary writers discuss the ways in which we explore these environments and how we write, imagine, and dream them.
Paul Scraton is a writer and editor based in Berlin. Born in Lancashire, he moved to the German capital in 2001 where he has lived ever since. He is the author of Built on Sand (Influx Press, 2019), a novel of Berlin centring on personal geographies of place, and how memory and history live on in the individual and collective imagination. He is also the editor-in-chief of Elsewhere: A Journal of Place and the author of Ghosts on the Shore: Travels Along Germany's Baltic Coast (Influx Press, 2017).
Gareth E. Rees is author of the upcoming Car Park Life, an exploration of retail car parks from Plymouth to Edinburgh, occult Hastings memoir The Stone Tide (Influx Press, 2018), and acclaimed psychogeographic work Marshland (Influx Press, 2013). He has written weird fiction and horror tales for titles including This Dreaming Isle, The Shadow Booth, Unthology and The Lonely Crowd, and is the founder of the website Unofficial Britain (www.unofficialbritain.com).
Ashley Hickson-Lovence is a former secondary school English teacher who grew up on a Hackney council estate and now resides in Norwich while he completes a Creative and Critical Writing PhD at the University of East Anglia. He is particularly interested in capturing the incessantly changing cultural landscape of urban Britain. He is the author of the novel The 392 (OwnIt), set entirely on a London bus travelling from Hoxton to Highbury and taking place over just 36 minutes.
Alice Stevenson has worked as a freelance illustrator since 2005. She is the author of Ways to Walk in London and Ways to See Great Britain published by September Publishing. She has contributed to various print publications including a writing regular travel column, ‘Alice’s Adventures’ for The Simple Things Magazine. Alice is currently writing her first novel.