Surrealist Beach Reads 2019

Expecting a hot summer of mosquitoes and mojitos? No, me neither. I live in a British seaside town, so my summers are generally more showers and shandy.

But if you want some bite-sized Surrealist chunks to enjoy on your deckchair between mouthfuls of cold tea and Scotch eggs, then a short journal essay or zine article might be what you’re after.

Allow me to recommend a few Surrealist periodicals that have plopped through my letterbox in the past few weeks. I’ll be toting them all down to the beach with me whenever (if ever) the sun shines.

1. Phosphor, issue 5

The latest issue of this journal from the Leeds Surrealist group is reportedly also going to be the last. The issue’s theme is “Language & Liberty”. A particular highlight is Sarah Metcalf’s extended discussion of Surrealist word games, an absolute treasure trove of ideas for readers to try for themselves. A must-read.

In English, 80 pages, black and white. Price £8 + P&P, ISSN 1755-0009. Available from Surrealist Editions

2. The Oystercatcher, issue 16

Edited by Sheila Nopper and Ron Sakolsky, The Oystercatcher serves a mash-up of Surrealism and utopian anarchism, often with a side order of jazz. This issue includes recent reports, essays and declarations with a strong focus on ecology, plus English translations of short European texts dating back to the 1990s and beyond.

In English, 31 pages, black and white. Available from

3. Alcheringa, issue 1

Launched in January (but only recently landed in my hot little mitts), Alcheringa is the new periodical from the revitalised Surrealist group in Paris. Issue 1 is pretty packed. Highlights include an overview of recent collage works, introduced by Guy Girard; results from a collective poetry game; and a series of Surrealist interpretations of one of Sigmund Freud’s own dreams.

In French, 49 pages, full colour. Price €10, ISBN 978-2-910039-00-4. Available from

4. Dazet, issue 28

This is a one-sheet zine, although that description doesn’t do justice to the elegance of the thing. It’s produced by the Surrealist group of Río de la Plata, and I have to declare an interest, especially in this particular issue: the headline article is by a former co-conspirator of mine from the Surrealist London Action Group, plus there’s also a review of The Golden Cut on the flipside page. Both of which demonstrate the refined tastes of this impeccable organ.

In Spanish, one folded sheet, full colour. Available from Archivo Surrealista

Image credits: The Sea Monk by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, in the public domain
Journal/zine photos my own (which is why they’re crappy quality, sorry)

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