Tag Archives: Small Press

Day 25: Small Press Advent Calendar: CINNAMON PRESS

day 25This will be the last post in this 2012 Small Press Advent Calendar, and so I’d like to thank you for following, sharing, and most importantly, buying the books. Without you buying books, these fantastic, quirky, and sometimes life-changing, independent publishing houses would not be able to operate. So, without further ado, behind door 25, is…

‘Above the Forests’ by Ruth Bidgood, Published by Cinnamon Press

Cinnamon Press is a small, independent publisher run by a family team. They publish fiction, poetry and selective non fiction books, choosing not by genre, but by selecting works they feel passionate about, writing that is thought provoking and says something new.

Based in North Wales, they aim to include a significant list of Welsh writing in English amongst their titles, and their other authors come from a wide range of places from South Africa to New Zealand, America to China, the rest of the UK, and more.

They also run Envoi poetry magazine, which is now in its 53rd year, and a number of competitions.

cinnamon_-_above_the_forests_resized_‘Above the Forests’ by Ruth Bidgood, is a collection of poems in which the lie of Welsh land, local and family history, social pressures, the promptings of dream and of scientific speculation are all evoked, serving to draw the reader, often literally step by step, into processes of questioning, self-questioning and an intuitive crossing of boundaries.

At 90 years of age, Ruth’s voice remains effortlessly precise: the thought and language in the poems comes across razor sharp, and with ‘a lyricism that pushes at the boundaries of life.’ [-GWales]

“These are daring poems… Above the Forest combines deep feeling with keen intelligence.” – Anne Cluysenaar

‘Above the Forests’ is available to buy now via Inpress Books for £7.99.

[Day 25 on the Poetry Advent Calendar is ‘Eleven pm, 25th December’ by Charlotte Wetton. Do carry on visiting the site daily for the rest of their calendar, which carries on until Dec 31st!]

Merry Christmas!!

 

Day 22: Small Press Advent Calendar: SMITH/DOORSTOP

day 22Behind Door 22 we turn once again to one of the more established publishers on this list, to find…

‘Otherwhere’ by Catherine Smith, Published by Smith/Doorstop Books

Smith/Doorstop is the imprint under which The Poetry Business publishes its books, pamphlets, audio and ebooks. Described by The Independent as a “small but enterprising publisher talent-spotting marvellous new poets”, their poets have won or been shortlisted for almost every major poetry prize, including the Forward Prize on 11 occasions and 10 Poetry Book Society awards.

The Poetry Business operates on the basis of four priorities:

  • The spreading of interest in contemporary poetry
  • The encouragement of new writers
  • The publishing of work of new and established writers
  • The setting of high artistic standard

smith_doorstop_-_otherwhere‘Otherwhere’ by Catherine Smith is described as “recklessly wise writing”, which romps through such themes as the spaghetti harvest and the drought of 1976, vegetarian hangovers, horse-racing, teenage girls inhaling helium and cats brought in a case through customs.

There are a number of short, tantalising reviews on both the Smith/Doorstop and Inpress websites, a couple of which I’ll post below, or you can get more of a taste for the book by heading over to The Poetry Shed where you can read ‘The Spaghetti Harvest‘ in full.

“Her scary, unsettling voice seems unexpected in poetry, and cuts her free of the crowd.” – The Times

“Catherine Smith’s poems are at once visceral and delicate. The mythical seeps through the tang and stench of the everyday and asserts itself, triumphant and strange.” – Sasha Dugdale

You can buy ‘Otherwhere’ now direct from The Poetry Business for £9.95.

[Day 22 on the Poetry Advent Calendar is ‘Walking to Snowfall’ by Vivien Foster.]

 

Day 18: Small Press Advent Calendar: EYEWEAR PUBLISHING

day 18As I featured a book called ‘Tea‘ the other day, I thought it only right and proper that for Day 18, we should indulge in some…

‘Dangerous Cakes’ by Elspeth Smith, Published by Eyewear Publishing

Eyewear Publishing Ltd. is a small independent press that is still, so to speak, ‘hot off the press’. They are based in London and started up just this last year (2012). They focus on excellent new work by poets from the UK and abroad, as well as the rediscovery of out-of-print figures, such as   Terence Tiller.

dangerous cakes‘Dangerous Cakes’ by Elspeth Smith is full of “sly poems that limit themselves with obsessive tropes – shoes, wine glasses, balloons, tea, cake, dancing – and then open up, somehow, into vast, mysterious places, with a question or aperçu. Her vision is both light and dark, for curtains open and close. And, though her own life is, and was, doubtless filled with countless personal details of interest, she has pared all back in her poems, that, in their quiet universality, are all the more intimate, and devastatingly lovely.” – Read this and more reviews on Eyewear.

‘Elspeth Smith’s poems are indeed “dangerous cakes”; tiny parcels of benign delightfulness with danger at their centres. A patch of grass, a fresh covering of snow, an old shoe box take a sinister turn if you dare to join the party.’ – Lorraine Mariner

‘Dangerous Cakes’ is available to buy now for £12.99 direct from Eyewear Publishing.

christmasBundle320x216Also, Eyewear are including this book in their SPECIAL CHRISTMAS OFFER: £39.99 for a bundle of books  (normally £51.96)! In this you get four very different poetry collections that offer a snapshot of contemporary poetry, and it all comes tied up nicely in a special Eyewear ribbon.

The bundle includes:

  • Dangerous Cakes by Elspeth Smith
  • Cape Town by Kate Noakes
  • Night Journey by Richard Lambert
  • Midwest Ritual Burning by Morgan Harlow

Eyewear are also happy to include a gift message with the set, if you type the message in the ‘note to seller’ box on their Paypal site, which you’ll see when you order. Buy the lot here now.

[Day 18 on the Poetry Advent Calendar is ‘Unplug the Fairy Lights before Bedtime’ by Matthew Stoppard]

Day 15: Small Press Advent Calendar: FIVE LEAVES PUBLICATIONS

day 15This next title is perhaps more suitable for those looking for a companion through a difficult Christmas time, or perhaps just for those who like their reading subjects serious, even while their halls be decked and their trees be tinseled. Day 15 is…

‘The Oxygen Man’ by Joanne Limburg, Published by Five Leaves Publications

Five Leaves is a small, independent press, that specialises in several areas – Jewish secular culture, social history, fiction and poetry.

In addition to their publishing program, the press is one half of the organising team for Lowdham Book Festival (the largest literature event in Nottinghamshire), a sponsor for several writing prizes, and one of the brains behind States of Independence, a project promoting independent presses.

Five Leaves is supported by Arts Council England. Read about them in more detail here.

five_leaves_-_the_oxygen_man‘The Oxygen Man’ by Joanne Limburg is a collection of poems written in response to the death of the author’s younger brother, a brilliant chemist who took his own life in 2008. They follow Limburg as she visits the mid-Western town where her brother lived, worked and died, range back over their shared childhood, and look ahead as she tries to work out what it means to be the one who stays behind.

“Limburg’s universe appears to be constantly twisting away from perception even as she pins it down in lines of singular economy.”
Poetry Book Society

You can read 3 sample poems from the book on the blog Peony Moon.

Buy ‘The Oxygen Man’ now via Inpress for just £4.00 .

[Day 15 on The Poetry Advent Calendar is ‘Tattoo in Winter’ by Kate Noakes]

Day 14: Small Press Advent Calendar: BLACKHEATH BOOKS

day 14Next up, we once again have a press who embrace the handmade, papery, personal touch of the pamphlet. Behind door 14, is…

‘Dark Corners of the Land’ by Adelle Stripe, Published by Blackheath Books

‘blackheath books’ provide a home for literary outsiders, for those “mavericks who swim against the flow of incessant mainstream specialness.” They deliberately keep things small, with very limited print runs of  signed and numbered editions. All their books are hand printed using vintage equipment and techniques on 100% recycled paper and card that contains a high percentage of post consumer waste.

‘blackheath books’ are a ‘not for profit’ organisation and receive no external funding.

‘Dark Corners of the Land’ by Adelle Stripe is a collection of confessional poems exploring rural life, strange deaths, hunting, farming and hedonism set against the backdrop of a small Yorkshire town.

Dark+CornersAdelle Stripe draws influence from Robinson Jeffers, D.H. Lawrence and Ted Hughes. Her poems respond to subjects from myxomatosis and bull castration, to the Battle of Towton, underage drinking and acid house. It’s…

“Brave new writing, touched with tenderness and raw emotional depth”
– The Guardian

The handmade chapbook features a stenciled barbed wire spray-painted cover, and the first 50 copies come with a vintage Brooke Bond Tea Card ‘Wild Birds of Britain’ edition by C.F. Tunnicliffe, and contain within their pages an exclusive print by London artist Lisa Cradduck.

Read more about ‘Dark Corners of the Land’ by Adelle Stripe by clicking here.

Buy the book here for £5.00 (inc. p&P).

[Day 14 of the Poetry Advent Calendar is ‘Tapering’ by Rachel Newlon]

Day 13: Small Press Advent Calendar: CANDLESTICK PRESS

day 13If, like me, you prefer to do your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your dressing gown, then this next one is for you. These pamphlets make perfect little gifts, probably even for people who don’t think they like poetry. Door 13 is…

‘Tea’ by Various, Published by Candlestick Press

Candlestick Press is a small, independent publisher based in Nottingham. They publish poetry pamphlets aimed equally at people familiar with poetry and those who are not. They chose the pamphlet form partly because they love it’s historic associations with literature, politics, philosophy, radical thought and social welfare; and partly because it’s perfect size to make an ideal alternative to a greetings card.

And this is where Candlestick Press come into their own on the gift front. The pamphlets come with matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message, and they issue them on a wonderful range of intriguing themes such as tea, or mother, or sheep, or bereavement, or London, or love, or pudding, or even… a series of 12 Poems for Christmas, introduced by Carol Ann Duffy.

ten-poems-about-tea‘Ten Poems about Tea’ by Various, with an Introduction by Sophie Dahl, does what it says on the tin really. You like poetry? You like tea? You’ll like this. As Kenny Knight rightly says in his poem ‘Lessons in Teamaking’, there was a time when, in the eyes of some,

“the teapot was the centre
of the known universe.”  

Get this book for anybody who still feels this is true!

And if you don’t like tea, be sure to check out the Candlestick Press anyway because they’re bound to have something that does appeal.

For a full list of the poems/poets included in ‘Ten Poems about Tea’, just click this link, where you can also buy it now for £4.95 (+£0.75 p&p).

Thanks you to Lydia Towsey for this recommendation!

[Day 13 of the Poetry Advent Calendar is ‘Seasons Jewels’ by David Mountain]

Day 12: Small Press Advent Calendar: WRITE BLOODY

day 12Poetry has long been a form that has provided a space for marginalised voices to make themselves heard, and both this next publisher and poet have done their fair share of amplifying the seldom heard. Behind door 12, we go over the pond to…

‘The Madness Vase’ by Andrea Gibson, Published by Write Bloody

Write Bloody are grass roots, DIY, boot strap believers who believe that great poetry and other forms of literature changes people for the better. Based in California, they publish and promote:

“4-12 tour savvy authors per year, and [their] authors are out there — in small record shops and large colleges, in strange theaters and swampy bars — doing readings all across Europe and the United States.”  

[And it’s true what they say, I caught Buddy Wakefield in Bangor, of all places!]

the madness vaseIf you like your poetry spoken with passion and full of raw emotion then you’ll love Andrea Gibson. The poems in ‘The Madness Vase’ by Andrea Gibson cover topics from hate crimes to playgrounds, from international conflict to hometowns, from falling in love to the desperation of loneliness. Throughout her career, Gibson’s poems have always been a call to social justice. But this collection “goes beyond awareness. Her images linger in our psyches and entreat us to action. They challenge us to grow into our own skin.” – Read more here.

To give you a sense of her work, here’s Andrea Gibson performing a longer version of the title poem, ‘The Madness Vase’. She explains that some of the motivation for the piece was the It Gets Better Project, a campaign that really reminds us of the power that words can have as people share their stories to make a difference to the lives of young L,G,B,T&Q people.

‘The Madness Vase’ is available to buy (in time for Christmas) from Amazon: £5.18 on Kindle or £9.00 paperback (or direct from Write Bloody if you’re in the US.)

Amazon also features a small preview of the book, where you can read a couple of the poems.

[Day 12 on the Poetry Advent Calendar is ‘Fog’ by Nick Jarvis – hey, that’s me!]