Load the Guns

by Joseph Ridgwell

Published by Blackheath Books

Publication date: May 2009


The confederate companion to Ridgwell’s first chapbook of poetry the highly acclaimed, Where are the Rebels? is finally out. In, Load the Guns, Ridgwell once again drags the reader down into the underbelly of society to reveal the cracked modern world in all its ruined beauty.


On delving into this stunning collection the reader encounters the beat apartments and alcohol drenched streets of London, Kings Cross, Sydney and even a midnight Mexican beach as Ridgwell continues his doomed search for the mythical lost elation. There are paeans to Bonnie & Clyde, ex-lovers, hedonism, sex, booze, near-death experiences, beauty, loneliness, and wasted life blues.


Load the Guns, required reading for lovers of underground and anti-mainstream poetry and any isolationists, offbeats, non-conformists, nightcrawlers, dandies, hippies, boozers, junkies, hobos, sweethearts, young lovers, grievous angels, and misfit outsiders all over the world.


Praise for Ridgwell’s writing: 


‘Joe Ridgwell is a man to watch. He's stacked with talent. This book of poems is just the beginning. Look out world.’

Mark SaFranko(Author of Hating Olivia and Lounge Lizard)


‘Joe Ridgwell is the kind of poet that those obnoxious fucking poetry critics hate.  He didn't go to school and swallow the classics, and come out regurgitating them for up-their-own-arse poetry journals that nobody reads.  He's an East End geezer who wields stanzas like some people wield Stanley knives.  In some idealistic alternate reality, where our national drug of choice is something a bit stronger than reality TV, Joe Ridgwell would the fucking poet laureate.’

Tony O’Neill (Author of Digging the Vein and Down and Out on Murder Mile)


‘Tough...raw...from the heart, and from the gut. Ridgwell might be the best young writer out there.’

Mikael Covey (Editor Lit Up Magazine)


About the author:

Joe grew up in the East End of London and left school with few qualifications. He then embarked on a succession of menial jobs. After being stabbed in a bar brawl he decided it was time to leave the country and promptly travelled the world. He stayed in Australia for five years living mostly in the red-light district of Kings Cross Sydney until he became an illegal immigrant. To avoid imprisonment and deportation Joe then went to Thailand and brought a share in the world's smallest bar, the now defunct Barcelona Bar. After fleeing Thailand with a tail between his legs he finally returned to London where he lives and writes to this day.