ORGAN: Billy Childish, life has it’s own meanings which we must discern for ourselves, what’s that book doing there?

BILLY CHILDISH - Tje Ward Porter

BILLY CHILDISH – The Ward Porter

The new Billy Childish book then, his new novella, The Ward Porter, seems copies have been appearing in cities and towns across the world, people have just been finding copies of the new book left on benches, on walls.  In total 3,000 free books will have been distributed ahead of the official launch on December 13th.


“Chances are they’ll be kicked about, put in the rubbish bin, mistaken for trash or believed that they’ve been dropped by somebody or left behind but there’s also that nice little hope that a few will be picked up and taken home, even passed on to a friend.  The idea that they’ll not be snapped up and treasured is upsetting for us book loving folks so we’re letting you in on a secret, this Saturday 12 December, from 12 noon until 2pm, 100 copies will be handed out by a man outside Charing Cross Station wearing Wellington boots and carrying a William Morris umbrella.  To ensure you receive a copy from this fellow, you must quote the closing lines of the book”

“Life has it’s own meanings which we must discern for ourselves”

“Do it; be a part of literary, and art history.  While this furtive event takes place, additional books will be dropped off at other locations, they will be left in a number of book shops running along Charing Cross Road including Foyles”.

here’s what L-13 have to say:  “A new BILLY CHILDISH novella printed on bible paper. The novella is based on the author’s true life experiences as a porter in a county asylum in the late 1970′s.

Since August 2015 thousands copies of Childish’s new novella The Ward Porter
have been distributed for free in major cities around the world without a clue to their origin
or true author.

From Chatham to Cyprus, from Berlin to Bangkok, from London to LA, Childish
representatives have inserted rogue copies in the fiction section of unsuspecting bookshops, left them in cafes and phone boxes, on trains and on the tops of bins in the street. It is hoped that at least several copies will have found safe homes, though we realise that most will have been trashed without a thought.

Photographs of some placements can be seen on and at

Some ‘finders’ may be intrigued to learn of the The Ward Porters origin and others, who
never happened across a copy may be sad to have missed out.  To remedy this and help finance the folly of free books 75 copies of the ‘Free Edition’ have been specially bound in boards for L-13 with an original woodcut by the author laid in.

This “Library Edition” is hand bound in buckram covered board with the original
pictorial covers laid in, has an Oakwood Hospital Library lending slip tipped in on the
front endpaper and a 2 colour woodcut is bound in as a frontispiece.  Each copy signed and numbered by the author/artist.  Available now from the L-13 shop”

Praised by Peter Doig and ‘copied’ by Tracey Emin, Britain’s biggest art enigma Billy Childish talks about his art, punk music and the joys of amateurism.



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