Jonathan Kemp

Jonathan Kemp

Jonathan Kemp was born in Manchester on the same day as the first Velvet Underground album was released. He spent the first two years of his life in Malaysia, but grew up in Cheshire and moved to London in 1989.

He currently teaches creative writing, literature and queer theory at Birkbeck, University of London, where he was named Distinguished Sessional Lecturer in 2010. Jonathan writes both fiction and non-fiction, and was a co-founder of the Planet Martha Theatre Company (1994-98). He is also a dj, running for the past nine years a monthly club night, Lower the Tone, with the artist Sadie Lee and musician Lea Andrews. He occasionally performs with avant-garde dada-esque dance troupe The Dancing Brodericks.

His fiction has appeared in Chroma, the online queer literary journal Polari, Brand Magazine, Best Gay Erotica 2010, and Best Gay Short Stories 2010.

His first novel, London Triptych, was shortlisted for the inaugural Green Carnation Prize and won the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award. His highly acclaimed collection of short stories, Twentysix, is a milestone of literary erotica in the tradition of Georges Bataille and Jean Genet. His new novel, Ghosting, will be published in March 2015.

Book group visits

If you're interested in asking Jonathan to visit your book group, please contact Vicky Blunden.

Bartlett and Kemp, taken from Beige Magazine

Read Jonathan's interview with playwright and author Neil Bartlett for the Winter 2012 issue of Beige Magazine. They discuss the 'queer aesthetic', Bartlett's love of Oscar Wilde and his latest and forthcoming work.

"I could be a lesbian and I don't know it" was Jonathan Kemp's mum's reaction when he first told her he was gay. Read Jonathan's sensitive and frank autobiographical story about coming out, written for online LGBT magazine Polari.

'I was writing London Triptych the whole time I was studying for a PhD in comparative literature, so I was exposed to quite radical thinking around language and narrative, exposed to some very avant-garde and experimental writers, but nevertheless it was a novel I was working on so it did conform to character arcs, etc.'

Jonathan Kemp talks writing, getting published and the language of sex with Rachel Silverlight for Little Espisodes.