Russell Hoban Some-Poasyum

London, UK

11-13 February 2005


A celebration of the work and 80th birthday of "The most original novelist we have" (The Times)

Russell Hoban at the Some-PoasyumRussell Hoban 1925 - 2011

Our dear friend Russell Hoban passed away on 13 December 2011 aged 86.

Some-Poasyum Celebratory Booklets


The Celebratory Booklet


The unique Some-Poasyum Celebratory Booklet specially published for the 2005 convention and featuring contributions from David Mitchell, Glenda Jackson, Quentin Blake, Harrison Birtwistle and many other fans of Russ is still available - 6.00 plus p&p.


Please select

Please note orders are limited to one copy per person as there is limited stock.


Please send any general enquiries to nexovollma [at]

UPDATE 09/07/05: The Arga Warga t-shirts have now all been despatched. If you ordered one and for some reason have not received it yet please tell us.


UPDATE 26/06/05: A short film, captured with a mobile phone, of Russell Hoban reading from Come Dance With Me is now available on the Nomad Books Evening page.  


UPDATE 01/06/05: Thank you for all your "Arga Warga" t-shirt orders. We are no longer taking new orders for t-shirts or mugs. We do however have some "Trust Me With the Idea of You" t-shirts left and there are plenty of the superb and exclusive Celebratory Booklets still available!


UPDATE 19/05/05: There is now a feedback form for participants to rate their experience of the convention. Click here to give us your thoughts.


UPDATE 16/05/05: Apologies to anyone who's been waiting for an 'Arga Warga' t-shirt! We are now ready to roll with these. There will be one printing only, to satisfy present demand: we won't be keeping any stock, so it's now or never! We'd like to be able to put in all the orders together: closing date will be 31st May. If you've already ordered, it would be a help if you'd drop us a reminder (stating whether or not you have already paid): this will be useful for cross-checking our records. Click here for more information.


UPDATE 20/03/05: The original 'agenda' pages for the three days of the convention have now been removed and replaced by pages documenting the main activities: the Friend at Hand meeting, the Il Fornello dinner, the Tour of Hoban's London, the Nomad Books evening, the Canterbury trip and the Troubadour dinner. More photos have also been added to these pages, and the reports and merchandise pages have also been updated. Please note that we're still interested in receiving photos from the weekend! Click here for submission details.


UPDATE 17/02/05: The convention was a great success! Our warmest thanks to the 50+ people who came along, many from hundreds or thousands of miles away, and made it all happen so well.


This site has now been updated to include photos and reports from the weekend and recent cuttings from the national press mentioning the Some-Poasyum.


Some now-redundant pages have been removed, but keep an eye on the merchandise and booklet pages for updates and details of how to purchase more unique Some-Poasyum souvenirs.


Other new pages give details of the Some-Poasyum Quiz and the fabulous participants' Welcome Packs.




On 4th February 2005 RUSSELL HOBAN, author of such classics as Riddley Walker, The Mouse and his Child, Turtle Diary, the Frances books and The Medusa Frequency, celebrated his eightieth birthday and published his 13th adult novel, COME DANCE WITH ME. To honour this prolific ambassador for the imagination and celebrate his unique body of creative work, a group of Russell Hoban enthusiasts decided to get together in London for a weekend of Hoban activities - or, if you will, a some-poasyum ("symposium" in Riddley-speak) - to which they invited Hoban fans from around the world.

This was a unique opportunity to meet Russell Hoban and fellow fans, watch a traditional Punch & Judy show, visit Canterbury Cathedral and see St Eustace, take a guided tour around Hoban's London, obtain memorabilia and trade collectables, read a favourite Hoban extract at the open-mic, enjoy the brilliant convention booklet, win signed Hoban books, and much more.

The convention was hosted by THE KRAKEN, the worldwide community of Russell Hoban fans. The organising committee for the convention was a group of Kraken members known as THE TENTACLE, who are (in alphabetical order): Alida Allison (USA), Dave Awl (USA), Chris Bell (New Zealand), Eli Bishop (USA), Roland Clare (UK), Richard Cooper (UK), Emmae Gibson (UK), Olaf Schneider (Germany), Diana Slickman (USA), and Yvonne Studer (Switzerland).

Move your mouse over the image area to explore some of the visual ideas in the world of Russell Hoban...




London is the city where Russell Hoban set up home in 1969 after leaving his native USA. Long inspired by the London-based stories of classic authors such as MR James, Joseph Conrad and Charles Dickens, Hoban - who grew up in Pennsylvania and later lived for many years in New York - originally intended to come to London for a two-year stay, but found himself reluctant to leave. He has lived, worked and set most of his novels in the city ever since. London is inseparable from Hoban's work and imagination, to the point where he has said that if he hadn't made the move in 1969 he would never have written the books he went on to write. Read more about this in the Some-Poasyum Russell Hoban Interview.


Russell Hoban was born in February 1925, and for the past several years, fans from The Kraken have celebrated his birthday by sending him gifts, posting goodwill messages and, since 2002, participating in the mysterious activity known as SA4QE, whereby favourite Hoban quotes are dropped in public places. It was felt by members of the group that in 2005 something special should happen to recognise Russell Hoban's 80th birthday, and that the date for the celebration should therefore be appropriately close to the actual occasion. Also, many of Hoban's novels are set during the atmospheric winter months of the year; as he once wrote, "more things happen when it's grey and glistening and rainy." Participants in the Some-Poasyum can certainly vouch for that!

Russell Hoban signing novels at Nomad Books, 12/02/05

Riddley Walker

Come Dance With Me





































London: grey, glistening, rainy, beautiful, inspirational...

"London has a hold on me. This town has been very good to me in providing settings for my stories. Because London has become the place of my heart I am encouraged to believe that it puts heart into the comings and goings of the people in my books." - Russell Hoban

Click here to check the current London weather



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