A freelance journalist and author, Peter Mason writes for The Guardian and is an arts critic for the Morning Star. He has written seven books, including Learie Constantine, a biography of the great West Indian cricketer turned statesman; Jamaica In Focus, on the history, politics and culture of Jamaica; Bacchanal!, a study of Trinidad carnival; and Southend United, the history of Southend United football club.
The Brown Dog Affair, which chronicles the anti-vivisectionist protests that led to the Brown Dog Riots of 1907, has been dramatised as an afternoon play – The Strange Affair Of The Brown Dog – by BBC Radio 4, starring Nerys Hughes and Maggie Steed.
Strongly influenced by punk – not just the music but the do-it-yourself ethos – Peter was co-founder and co-editor, with John King, of Two Sevens fanzine, and has been in at the beginning of a number of other journalistic projects, including as news editor of Green magazine in the early 1990s, deputy editor of the alternative cricket magazine Third Man, and co-founder / editor of Ethical Performance, an international publication on business ethics.
He became interested in reggae music through its cross-fertilisation with punk, and for a number of years was a regular contributor to Black Echoes music paper, as well as to Caribbean Beat and Caribbean Digest magazines. A vegan since his early twenties, and having travelled widely in the Caribbean – including a short spell living in Jamaica – he wrote the first ever Caribbean cookbook for vegans, and followed up with another a few years later.
Brought up in Southend, he has lived in Battersea in South London for more than thirty years. Peter’s favourite authors are mainly English, including George Orwell, HG Wells and Thomas Hardy, or otherwise from the Caribbean, including Earl Lovelace, Sam Selvon and Roy Heath.