Dr James Holden: Cultural Writer

Dr James Holden Independent Writer and Academic

Hi! I'm Dr James Holden. I'm an independent writer and academic with a passion for all forms of cultural engagement. I am also a freelance copywriter based in South Yorkshire.

On this website you can read about my work as a Lisztian, Proustian and as a Nerd. Discover all my writings: read exclusive online articles including my experimental series of features on modern board games; and browse my complete publications, includng my academic works on subjects ranging from the piano to philosophy. You can also find out how to hire me to produce compelling commercial copy for your online store and stylish content for your site to engage your readership and excite your audience.


In his cave allegory, the Greek philosopher Plato describes people watching shadows moving across the back wall of a cave before being released and dragged outside into the sunlight. It's a parable about the very nature of Being and truth. In Caverna: Cave vs Cave, the German game designer Uwe Rosenberg has produced a boardgame in which players take on the roles of dwarf tribes seeking to excavate caves and triumph over their rivals. It’s a fun way to pass an hour.

Can reading Plato’s philosophical allegory help you to play Rosenberg’s worker placement game? In the first article in my new Board of Philosophy series I try to answer this question.

Board of Philosophy

James Holden: Cultural Writer

Lisztian: Piano Keys


Liszt claimed to play the piano 'tolerably well'. I can't claim that.

I've spent seven years writing a book on Liszt. How's that for tempo rubato?

Proustian: Madeleine Cakes


For a long time, I read the works of Marcel Proust.

I wrote a book on Proust. Like all such books, it's really a book about myself.

Nerd: Nintendo Switch Joy Con Controller


On my turn I move meeples, manage inventory and roll dice.

I play boardgames, videogames and DnD. I speak nerd and think geek.

Lexicon Card Game

NEWS! Board Game reviews for Zatu

I'm pleased to announce that I'm now writing reviews of board games, card games and game expansions for the UK’s leading specialist boardgame retail website, Zatu Games. My honest reviews can be trusted to help you decide whether a game is right for your table and game group. I’ve gathered together the links to all of my reviews. Click to read more...

Cultural writing: 'Sheffield: A meeple city'

Dr James Holden Cultural Writer Reflections
Dr James Holden Profile Picture

Independent wrtiter and academic. Lisztian, Proustian, Nerd.

Dr James Holden: Cultural Writer