Writers and Rum (audio)


The hangover has faded, but the memories remain – of the first half of the night, at least. Writers and Rum, a storytelling evening with nine Anthill writers and nine hand-picked rums, in collaboration with Badr Benjelloun and Cuju bar on April 16, was a blast (see pictures from the night here). If you missed out, fear not! – you can now listen to a recording of the stories, which has been released as a Creamcast over at Beijing Cream, and is embedded below.

Plus a special bonus: During the night Hudson Lockett, co-host of the excellent China Hang-up podcast, was drawing sketches of the authors (unbeknownst to us, or we would have tried to look more intelligent and less drunk). Here are those sketches, along with bios of the authors and time markers for their stories – five of which have now been published on the site – so you don't get lost. Happy listening!

Anthony Tao is a writer, Ultimate Frisbee player and cat lover in Beijing. It's true that he's fond of whisky, particularly peated single malts. He is editor of the blog Beijing Cream, which can always use more contributors.

You can follow him on Twitter @anthonytao if you enjoy cat GIFs and sports updates.

Story: Broken Scotch – a poem about spilt whisky. [6:00]

Steven Schwankert is an award-winning writer and editor, and author of Poseidon: China's Secret Salvage of Britain's Lost Submarine. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, the Asia Chapter Chair of The Explorers Club, and founder of Sino Scuba, Beijing's first professional scuba diving operator.

You can listen to Steven talking more about his book and the HMS Poseidon on the Sinica podcast, or follow him on Twitter @greatwriteshark.

Story: Rum, Sodomy and the Lash – the British navy and rum. [10:00]

Nick Compton was born and raised in Strawberry Point, Iowa, home to 1200 people and the world’s biggest strawberry. He did his undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa and spent the next few years teaching in New Orleans with Teach for America. He then came to China to complete a Master’s degree in business journalism at Tsinghua, and has lived and written in Beijing for the past three years.

More of Nick's writing over at Beijing Cream.

Story: Baijiu Baby – why not to drink baijiu in a yurt. [20:00]

Hannah Lincoln works in Beijing in market research, and writes frequently for Anthill, Beijing Cream and herself. She grew up in a town near Boston in a family of six. She double majored in Religious Studies and Chinese Language and Literature at Middlebury College, and Chinese International Studies at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.

Hannah calls herself a Beijinger for Life, and also runs a photography blog Your Daily China Moment.

Story: James and I – non-fiction about teenage love. [27:30]

After graduating from university in England, Carlos Ottery spent years working a variety of jobs ranging from trash collector to journalist to sales, until he finally found himself on a plane to Guangdong in 2008. He taught for a year and a half before relocating to Beijing. Soon after he founded Comedy Club China, a showcase of Chinese and expat comedians.

Carlos is still in Beijing, where he is an editor at The World of Chinese, and is the lead actor in the film This is Sanlitun.

Story: Big in Beijing – fiction about a certain kind of expat. [34:00]

Stephen Nashef is a high school physics teacher who reads, writes and translates poetry. He comes from a small town in the UK that is mostly, if at all, known for experimentation on animals. He doesn't know to what extent this has affected him, but it strikes him that an ingrained sense of distaste for where he calls home might be what brought him to Beijing.

At time of writing, Stephen is enjoying the poetry Robert Lowell. Watch his recent poetry recital as part of Poetry Night at the Bookworm here.

Story: Let's Drink! – a creative transltion of a Li Bai poem. [43:00]

Amy Daml is a host of the radio program EZ Café on 91.5 FM in Beijing. She tries to meditate her way through her daily subway commute, and when that fails she writes and tells stories about her cultural mishaps. On weekends, you can find her voice-dubbing soap operas or sipping whisky-sodas at a rock concert.

Don’t be intimidated by the post-rum sketch – she doesn’t really have a chin beard!

Story: Peng! – anectode about a drunken mahjong fight. [47:00]

Tom Pellman is a writer and co-editor of the Anthill, living in Beijing. He writes stories, non-fiction and songs for his blues-rock band Beijing Chicago Brothers (Zhijiagemer), who have just released an album. He recommends pairing a full-bodied Islay single malt with his prose and an ice-cold Yanjing with his music.

Contact Tom at tpellman[at]gmail.com.

Story: Why Do Writers Drink? – from The Trip to Echo Spring. [55:00]

I'm Alec Ash, I'm a writer and journalist in Beijing, and editor of the Anthill. My story isn't in podcast, but Hudson did a sketch of me too.

Don't forget the Anthill is always looking for new submissions. If you have a China story to tell, either narrative non fiction or fiction, just email us a brief bio and your idea or submission, and join the colony.

Finally, to get really active in Beijing's writing community, do come to the Beijing Bookworm next Tuesday, May 6th at 6:30pm, for Writing on Walls, a workshop for emerging writers. It's the brainchild of Leslie-Ann Murray, and the Anthill is a publishing partner.