Essays, Interviews & Memoirs

Ian Brinton (ed.): For the Future
— Poems & Essays in Honour of J.H. Prynne on the Occasion of His 80th Birthday

Published June 2016. Paperback, 242pp, 9 x 6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848614901 [Download a PDF of the Introduction to this book here.]

J.H. Prynne is one of Britain's most significant living poets, and his friends, colleagues and admirers have come together in this volume to offer poems and also essays on his work—the latter being particularly helpful to students of the poet's work. Contributors are: Masahiko Abe, Anthony Barnett, Ian Brinton, David Caddy, Elaine Feinstein, Ian Friend & Richard Humphreys, Harry Gilonis, Peter Gizzi, Michael Grant, John Hall, Matthew Hall, Michael Haslam, David Herd, Peter Hughes, John James, Peter Larkin, D.S. Marriott, Anthony Mellors, Rod Mengham, Joseph Persad, Peter Riley, Gavin Selerie, Iain Sinclair, Simon Smith, Michael Tencer, Nigel Wheale and John Wilkinson.

Cover of Ian Brinton (ed.) For the Future — Poems and Essays for J.H. Prynne on his 80th Birthday.
Ian Brinton (ed.): A Manner of Utterance — The Poetry of J.H. Prynne

Published 2009. Paperback, 188pp, 9x6ins
[Download the introduction to this book here.]
ISBN 9781848610422 (hardcover) £30.00 / $45
ISBN 9781848610439 (paperback) £12.95 / $21

A Manner of Utterance offers a collection of responses to J.H. Prynne's poetry by his readers: not merely academics, but poets, composers, teachers and a painter (Ian Friend, one of whose works is featured on the cover). The contributors include Ian Brinton (also editor of the volume), David Caddy, Ian Friend, Richard Humphreys, Li Zhi-min, Rod Mengham, Keston Sutherland, John Douglas Templeton and Erik Ulman. NB. The "buy" link takes you to the hardback version of this title, but that page carries a further link to the paperback version if this is preferred.

Picture of book cover Ian Brinton (ed.): A Manner of Utterance — The Poetry of J.H. Prynne
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Ian Brinton (ed.) 'An intuition of the particular': some essays on the poetry of Peter Hughes

Published 2013. Paperback, 148pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848612969 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This volume, featuring essays by a number of poets and critics, is the first survey of Peter Hughes' poetry, and is published simultaneously with his Selected Poems (see above). The book features contributions from Andrew Bailey, Riccardo Duranti, John Hall, Simon Howard, David Kennedy, Simon Marsh, Ian McMillan, Peter Riley, Derek Slade, John Welch and Nigel Wheale.

Picture of book cover Ian Brinton (ed.) 'An intuition of the particular': some essays on the poetry of Peter Hughes
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Andy Brown (ed.) "The Writing Occurs as Song": a Kelvin Corcoran Reader
Published 2014. Paperback, 262pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848613201 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
This book offers a critical overview of the work of the British poet Kelvin Corcoran who, over nearly 30 years, has established a reputation as one of the most significant innovative British lyric poets; 'a giant of the middle generation' as Andrew Duncan has described him, placed between the radical poetics of the '60s and '70s and subsequent generations. Essays by Martin Anderson, Zoë Brigley Thompson, Andy Brown, Ian Davidson, John Hall, Lee Harwood, David Herd, Luke Kennard, Katherine Peddie, Peter Riley, Jos Smith, Simon Smith, Alicia Stubbersfield, Scott Thurston, plus some recent poetry by Kelvin Corcoran.
Picture of book cover Cover of Andy Brown (editor) The Writing Occurs As Song: A Kelvin Corcoran Reader
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David Caddy So Here We Are

Published 2012. Paperback, 156pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848610910 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In April 2007, when Didi Menendez, publishing director of MiPO publications and miPOradio, invited me to present a monthly series of literary talks, my remit was to be personal, direct and contemporary in the manner of Alistair Cooke's Letters From AmericaSo Here We Are: Poetic Letters from England began somewhat gingerly on 7 May 2007, with an essay on aspects of my poetic background, and picked up pace from there. I attempted to give some background to the contemporary poetry scene in England as well as responding to the deaths of poets, such as Bill Griffiths and Andrew Crozier. The talks were written quickly and intended as intelligent introductions rather than definitive statements. Their aim was to stimulate the reader / listener and prompt further reading and discussion. (David Caddy)

Picture of book cover David Caddy So Here We Are
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Andrew Crozier  'Free Verse' as Formal Restraint

Edited and introduced by Ian Brinton, With an afterword by J.H. Prynne.
Published 2015. Paperback, 216pp, 9 x 6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848613966 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This volume contains the remarkable PhD thesis submitted by Crozier in 1972, and for which his external examiner was J.H. Prynne—whose comments on the thesis are also included here, as an afterword.
“My intention in writing this thesis has been to cast some light on the prima facie case that free verse, in abandoning the exercise of metre, has abandoned that principle of restraint upon which the creation of artistic form depends. This point of view contrasts with a general contention on the part of the exponents of free verse that their works possess form which is not only unique but which also bears an immediate relation to the significance of the work, a relationship felt to be ‘musical’, although not in any directly analogical sense.”
Cover of Andrew Crozier - Free Verse as Formal Restraint
Andrew Crozier Thrills and Frills — Selected Prose of Andrew Crozier

Edited by Ian Brinton
Published 2013. Paperback, 214pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848613010 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Almost without exception the prose of Andrew Crozier, reviews and articles centred upon the close reading of poetry including fearless debate about the importance of some figures who have either been overlooked by the establishment or given little more than a cursory nod of acknowledgement, has been out of print for far too long. The work, often published in journals or as contributory chapters to other books, has never before been collected together and this seems astonishing. —from Ian Brinton's introduction to this volume.

Picture of book cover Andrew Crozier Thrills and Frills — Selected Prose of Andrew Crozier
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Edward Dorn Two Interviews

Edited by Gavin Selerie and Justin Katko
Published 2013. Paperback, 102pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848612785 [Download a PDF of the introduction to this book here.]

Edward Dorn's Two Interviews brings together two largely unseen interviews from 1971 and 1981, conducted in Vancouver and London, with Tom McGauley, Brian Fawcett, John Scoggan, Stan Persky, J.H. Prynne, Ralph Maud, and Gavin Selerie. Published alongside the interviews are uncollected extracts from Dorn's Day & Night Report (1971), extracts from his unpublished prose work Juneau in June (1981), and three uncollected poems from 1981. Along with Justin Katko's preface to the book, which focuses on Dorn and Prynne's 1971 trip to Vancouver, and an extended introduction to the 1981 interview by Gavin Selerie, which deals with Dorn's geographical and linguistic alignments, particularly those relating to his first period in England, this book includes unpublished photographs, and a bibliography of Dorn interviews.

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Nikolai Duffy Relative Strangeness: Reading Rosmarie Waldrop

Published 2013. Paperback, 190pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848612778 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"A sequence of fragments seems the most appropriate form for a work of this kind, introductory, surveying, essentially personal, marked, as with all things, by my own reading and preoccupations. 'Maybe,' Waldrop writes, 'the essence of the fragment is that it cuts out explanation, an essential act of poetry.' It constitutes, Waldrop continues, a 'lessening of distinctness, of "identity."' I do not claim to be comprehensive. Nor do I mean to speak for Waldrop or her work but simply to speak about some of its aspects, its various senses of poetics, the shifting relationships between theory and practice, to draw out a number of examples and to trace certain lines of thinking, ways of thinking." —Nikolai Duffy

Picture of book cover Nikolai Duffy Relative Strangeness: Reading Rosmarie Waldrop
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Andrew Duncan: The Council of Heresy —A primer of poetry in a balkanised terrain

Published 2009. Paperback, 312pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848610071 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Andrew Duncan's latest study of contemporary British poetry offers studies of some thirteen poets, together with a number of general essays giving an overview of events and trends in British poetry over the past thirty to forty years. Some of the names will surprise, others will be expected. The juxtapositions of ideas, and of names, will disturb those who are more comfortable with trench warfare than with dialogue, and Duncan's startling aperçus will leave even the most well-read student of poetry wondering.

Picture of book cover Andrew Duncan: The Council of Heresy —A primer of poetry in a balkanised terrain
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Andrew Duncan The Long 1950s

Published 2012. Paperback, 312pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848611375 [Download a PDF containing the introduction to this book here.]

"The story of poetry since 1960 is largely of people rebelling against what was there in the 1950s. But another story is about poets who didn't revolt against that, but went on with it — developing it organically. The present work deals with a complex of issues, but started with the double twist, that two 50s poets, Logue and Hill, have dominated the artistic scene over the last ten years (or, say, 1996 to 2006) and that the death of the main '50s style has liberated the official English poetry, with the decease of certain inhibitions which were glued together and brewed up to weapons grade quality back in the 1950s."  —Andrew Duncan

Picture of book cover Andrew Duncan The Long 1950s
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Andrew Duncan  A Poetry Boom 1990-2010

Published June 2015. Paperback, 324pp, 9 x 6ins, £14.95 / $23 
ISBN 9781848614239 [Download a PDF of the introduction to this book here.]

The third of Andrew Duncan’s surveys of 20th-century British poetry from Shearsman Books—there are also volumes from Salt and from Liverpool University Press, two of which have been republished here in revsied form (see below)—and as idiosyncratic and as fascinating as the previous volumes. This volumes covers the most recent period in our poetry, and pays special attention to recent anthologies as maps of the terrain, recent critical surveys of the secne, and to the work of a range of poets, from Claire Pollard to Emily Critchley, and from Pauline Stainer to B. Catling.


Cover of Andrew Duncan- A Poetry Boom 1990-2010
Andrew Duncan  The Failure of Conservatism in Modern British Poetry

Published 2016. Paperback, 364pp, 9 x 6ins, £16.95 / $25
ISBN 9781848614987 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Failure starts from the key misrepresentation of orthodox poetry criticism, that the conservative is also the new, and sets out to define the whole British complex of refusing to innovate. In the attempt to set up publicly accountable criteria for what counts as new, the book goes through the whole period from the 1950s to the mid-1990s, identifying what the stylistic innovations were at each point. 

Cover of Andrew Duncan - The Failure of Conservatism in Modern British Poetry
Andrew Duncan  Centre and Periphery in Modern British Poetry

Published 2016. Paperback, 328pp, 9 x 6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848614994 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Does what is true depend on where you are? or, can we speak of a British culture which varies gradually over the 600 miles from one end of the island to the other, with currents gradually mutating and turning into their opposites as they cross such a distance? The unbalanced local energies which gave birth to the central horror of possessive individualism, the Empire, and the State as war-machine, do not sound their triumphalist self-praises without conjuring up a reaction in favour of collective values, pacifism, equity, and the languages of the periphery. Poetry has to offer more than the illusion of being in the few rooms where a metropolitan elite solemnly engages in the circularity of authentication. A polemic tour of Scotland, Wales, and the North of England exposes the possibility that the finest poets of the last 50 years have lived in the outlands, not networking and neglecting to acquire linguistic signs of status. We contemplate the sublime through the works of Sorley Maclean, Glyn Jones, Colin Simms, and Michael Haslam. But a second look at poetry in the South jettisons the shallow  tricks favoured by High Street cultural managers to reveal a hidden stratum of intellectually sophisticated poets, even in Babylon. 

Cover of Andrew Duncan - Centre and Periphery in Modern British Poetry
Allen Fisher Marvels of Lambeth — Interviews with Allen Fisher

Edited by Andrew Duncan
Published 2013. Paperback, 214pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848612730 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Andrew Duncan says of this book:

"The first interview here with Allen Fisher dates from 1973. I took the decision to collect old interviews rather than make an all-new book. I am fascinated by the idea of a very long base line, records of one person's views over 30 years, change as part of the object recorded. Drawing on the creative input of Eric Mottram, Adrian Clarke, and Victoria Sheppard (among others) made the book more robust and embracing."

Picture of book cover Allen Fisher Marvels of Lambeth — Interviews with Allen Fisher
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Roy Fisher Interviews through Time (2nd, expanded edition)

Edited by Tony Frazer
Published 2013. Paperback, 146pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848612983 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Excerpts from several interviews conducted throughout the author's career and spliced together to form a coherent narrative of his development and his aesthetic. The book closes with two full-length interviews, conducted by Peter Robinson and John Kerrigan.

Picture of book cover Roy Fisher Interviews through Time (2nd, expanded edition)
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Roy Fisher "An Easily Bewildered Child": Occasional Prose, 1963-2013

Edited by Peter Robinson
Published 2014. Paperback, 198pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848613003 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

An Easily Bewildered Child: Occasional Prose 1963-2013 brings together all his rare autobiographical sketches, the memoirs of his life as a jazz pianist, his tributes to musicians, writers, and painters of various kinds, a number of his book reviews, and comments on classic forebears such as John Cowper Powys, Ezra Pound, the Black Mountain poets, and Basil Bunting. All of these writings, as Fisher notes, ‘owe their origins to commissions, suggestions or various forms of pressure from friends’. 

Cove rof Ror Fisher - An Easily Bewildered Child - Occasional Prose 1963-2013
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Veronica Forrest-Thomson  Poetic Artifice: A Theory of Twentieth-Century Poetry

Published 2016. Paperback, 232pp, 9 x 6ins, £16.95.
[Not for sale outside the U.K. and Republic of Ireland]
ISBN 9781848614451 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Edited & introduced by Gareth Farmer

First published posthumously in 1978 by Manchester University Press, this volume turned sharply against critics of the previous generation, notably William Empson, and against emergent strains of historicism. The book is an exhaustive (and sometimes exhausting) defence of “all the rhythmic, phonetic, verbal, and logical devices which make poetry different from prose.” According to the author, such devices are responsible for poetry’s most significant effect—not pleasure or ornament or some kind of special expressivity, but the production of “alternative imaginary orders.”

Bill Freind (ed.) Scubadivers and Chrysanthemums — Essays on the Poetry of Araki Yasusada

Published 2012. Paperback, 339pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848611849 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Araki Yasusada, allegedly a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, had his work published posthumously and in translation in the mid-1990s. The work was widely praised and seemed to fuse traditional Japanese forms and themes with more innovative North American techniques and a sprinkling of French critical theory. However, Yasusada was an invention, and while no one claimed responsibility for the work, most readers agree that Kent Johnson was the creator, although Johnson insists the actual author is Tosa Motokiyu, the pseudonym for an unnamed writer who is now dead.

This book considers all aspects of the Yasusada phenomenon.

Picture of book cover ill Freind (ed.) Scubadivers and Chrysanthemums — Essays on the Poetry of Araki Yasusada
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Carol Guess My Father in Water

Published 2011. Paperback, 90pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848611856 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"My father hovers in the aperture of a glistening window, suicide botched by his mother's ghost. Numbers from his slide rule pause on the sill, fallen by chance into a brilliant formula."

This interlinked collection of lyric essays documents Carol Guess's relationship to her father, a brilliant scientist whose intensity and eccentricity shaped family life in humorous and often lonely ways. In musical prose, writing as a poet, teacher, and queer activist, Guess describes a life lived in service to language. At once accessible and enigmatic, funny and somber, My Father In Water is a haunting examination of the impact of family history on one artist's journey.

Picture of book cover Carol Guess My Father in Water
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John Hall Essays on Performance Writing, Poetics and Poetry, Vol. 1: On Performance Writing, with pedagogical sketches

Published 2013. Paperback, 252pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23.
ISBN 9781848613171 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In 1993, say, the term Performance Writing, if used at all, suggested simply writing for performance. By 2011, when the author of this collection became the first Professor of Performance Writing, it had attained a much wider — indeed international — currency in discussions of contemporary writing, and had entered the curriculum of a range of courses well beyond its intense first conceptual and pedagogic development at the adventurous Dartington College of Arts. The task — and indeed the task of many of these essays — had been to fill out the terms for an approach to writing that looked beyond and beside literature for its sources, references and material practices. These other frames included: the rapid changes taking place within the technologies for producing, circulating and receiving text; a 'turn to writing' within other cultural practices, especially perhaps its integral presence within visual and sonic culture; the increasing textuality of the shared environment (words in public places, for example); and finally, philosophical preoccupations with the idea of performativity and its entailment with language.

Picture of book cover John Hall Essays on Performance Writing, Poetics and Poetry, Vol. 1: On Performance Writing, with pedagogical sketches
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John Hall Essays on Performance Writing, Poetics and Poetry, Vol. 2: Writings towards Writing and Reading

Published 2013. Paperback, 278pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23.
ISBN 9781848613188 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This companion volume to On Performance Writing, with implicated readings brings together most of the essays—taking a deliberately broad view of that term so as to include, for example, two single-page visual essays and one sonnet — on the reading and writing of poetry by the poet and teacher, John Hall. The collection is in two parts. The first, starting with the often cited 'Writing and Not Writing', takes on, in the spirit of poetics, current issues for the category of poetry, considered both formally and contextually, and with particular interest in reading as a practice in which poems are actions and events rather than capturable things. The longer second part develops these thoughts through readings of specific, mostly contemporary, poems: the poets whose work is read are not intended to represent a proposed new canon. They have all, though, contributed significantly to a growing body of work in recent decades that brings together the social and bodily pleasures (and displeasures) of poetry with the ethical demands of truthfulness. They include Andrea Brady, Kelvin Corcoran, Allen Fisher, Harry Guest, Lee Harwood, Peter Hughes, John James, Nicholas Johnson, R.F. Langley, Karen Mac Cormack, Peter Middleton, Geraldine Monk, Alice Notley, Douglas Oliver, F.T. Prince, J.H. Prynne, John Riley, Peter Riley and John Wieners.

Picture of book cover John Hall Essays on Performance Writing, Poetics and Poetry, Vol. 2: Writings towards Writing and Reading
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Robert Hampson & Ken Edwards (eds.)  CLASP: late-modernist poetry in London in the 1970s

Published 2016. Paperback, 180pp, 9 x 6ins, £12.95 / £20
ISBN 9781848614604 [Download a PDF of the introduction to this book here.]

CLASP is an exercise in collective remembering – with, as Lawrence Upton’s essay suggests, a consciousness of memory work as also a process of selecting, forgetting and inventing. The original plan had been to focus on the 1970s, the decade during which [Ken Edwards and I] had co-edited Alembic with Peter Barry. Some of those we approached felt they could not usefully remember enough of their poetry activities in this period; some were reluctant to return to the past. Also, as the project developed, it became clear that the original plan wouldn’t work: the history did not fit neatly into the limits of the decade. We would have to start earlier to understand the roots of 1970s London poetry, and we would have to stray into the 1980s to see how some of the debates and actions of the 1970s played out. —Robert Hampson, from the Introduction
Cover of Robert Hampson & Ken Edwards - CLASP
Lee Harwood & Kelvin Corcoran: Not the Full Story: Six Interviews with Lee Harwood

Published 2008. Paperback, 116pp, 8.5x5.5ins, Price £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848610019 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

To accompany Lee Harwood's new Selected Poems, we offer also this book-length collection of interviews with Harwood by his long-time friend and admirer, Kelvin Corcoran — himself also a Shearsman author. An invaluable opportunity to "hear" Harwood talking about poetry and about his own work.

Picture of book cover Lee Harwood & Kelvin Corcoran: Not the Full Story: Six Interviews with Lee Harwood
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Michael Heller Speaking the Estranged: Essays on the Poetry of George Oppen

Published 2012. Paperback, 176pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20. 
Expanded 2nd Edition.
ISBN 9781848612082 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

These essays cover the range of Oppen's poetry and the ways it has been read at all stages of his career, from his overtly Objectivist roots through his abandonment of poetry for political activism in the thirties, to his renewed poetic output after the 1950s. The volume is a revised and expanded edition of the 2008 publication.

Picture of book cover Michael Heller Speaking the Estranged: Essays on the Poetry of George Oppen
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Michael Heller Uncertain Poetries — Selected Essays

Published 2012. Paperback, 256pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23. 2nd Edition
ISBN 9781848612082 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

These essays concern the uncertain nature of twentieth century poetry. Dealing with such major figures as Pound, Stevens, Moore, Oppen, Duncan, Niedecker, Lorca, Rilke and Mallarmé and of poets in more contemporary modernist and post-modernist lineages, they examine how these poets articulate, virtually in the same breath, both affirmation and doubt concerning poetry, history and knowledge.

Picture of book cover Michael Heller Uncertain Poetries — Selected Essays
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Eric Hoffman Oppen: A Narrative

Published 2013. Paperback, 240pp, 9x6ins, £14.95.
Not for sale outside the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
ISBN 9781848612709 [Download a PDF of the book's introduction here.]

"Hoffman's narrative explores in considerable depth Oppen's thinking about his own work, his reasonings and judgments on himself and his contemporaries in life, politics and poetry. Throughout, Hoffman supplies a rich contextual background to the Oppens' story, one in which public and private life continually intersect not only in the socio-cultural aspects of their lives but in the undergirdings of love, hope and guilt that empower the thought and poetry… Complex, highly-nuanced and well-documented, Hoffman's narrative makes clear that few careers in modern poetry are so entwined with biography as Oppen's." —From Michael Heller's introduction.

Picture of book cover Eric Hoffman Oppen: A Narrative
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Jeremy Hooker: Upstate – A North American Journal

Published 2007. Paperback, 148pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781905700226 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

An American journal — recorded while on an academic exchange in the North-East of the USA — by a leading English poet, whose collected poems, The Cut of the Light: Poems 1965–2005 appeared from Enitharmon in 2006. Something of a companion volume to the same author's Welsh Journal (2001), which is still available from Seren.

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Jeremy Hooker Openings. A European Journal

Published 2014. Paperback, 292pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848613041 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Openings is a sequel to Jeremy Hooker's earlier Welsh Journal and Upstate: A North American Journal, permitting us a peak over the shoulder of a fine English poet at work, and on the move.

Picture of book cover Jeremy Hooker Openings. A European Journal
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Jeremy Hooker  Diary of a Stroke

Published May 2016. Paperback, 190pp, 9 x 6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848615090 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Diary of a Stroke is a poet’s journal with a difference. After suffering a stroke in July 1999, Jeremy Hooker kept a diary of his experience in hospital and of the subsequent period of recuperation at home, which ended with his return to work shortly after January 1, 2000. As in his other published journals, he observed the life around him, with notations of the living moment giving rise to reflection. Closeness to death gave his thinking about questions of ultimate meaning a special urgency. As time passed, he found the diary becoming a memoir of his early years. The past was coming back to him in ‘scenes’, which were ‘quick with sensation and laden with memory’. As a consequence, he was able to write about people dear to him – especially his parents and brothers - who had played a formative part in his life. At the same time as he was learning to walk again, and describing his immediate Somerset environment, he was remembering and vividly describing growing up in rural southern England during and after the Second World War. 
Cover of Diary of a Stroke by Jeremy Hooker
Gerard Manley Hopkins   The Wreck of the Deutschland

Published 2017. Paperback, 88pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848615428 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This volume contains the complete text of the great Hopkins poem, together with Nigel Foxell's introduction and his copious notes, touching on nearly every line in the poem. An indispensable reader's guide to one of the great poems in the language.
‘The Wreck of the Deutschland’‚ deserves and requires close and subtle attention from the imagination and intellect of critics. A new generation of readers will be grateful to Nigel Foxell, poet, novelist and scholar, for the diligence and love he has brought to bear on this formidable task.
Cover of Gerard Manley Hopkins - The Wreck of the Deutschland
Norman Jope, Paul Scott Derrick & Catherine E. Byfield (eds.)  The Companion to Richard Berengarten

Published 2016. Paperback, 460pp, 9x6ins, £24.95 / $39.95 
ISBN 9781848614475 [Download a PDF of the Introduction to this book here.]

This book, which accompanies the volumes published in the author's Selected Writings series, guides readers through the many-faceted poetic output of Richard Berengarten (formerly Burns). Berengarten has been a crucial presence in contemporary poetry for over forty years — not only as poet but also as translator, critic and driving force behind the legendary Cambridge Poetry Festival — and his poetry has been translated into more than ninety languages. With thirty-four contributors from over a dozen nationalities, the book is a testimony to the recognition of his poetry by fellow writers and critics across cultural, linguistic and geographical boundaries and frontiers. 

Cover of The Companion to Richard Berengarten
David Kennedy (editor): Necessary Steps

Published 2007. Paperback, 192pp, 9x6ins £12.95 / $23.
ISBN 9781905700639 

A collection of essays, several of which previously appeared in David Kennnedy’s magazine The Paper, revolving around poetry, walking, elegy and the spiritual. Contributors are Andrea Brady, Ian Davidson & Zoë Skoulding, John Hall, Sarah Law, Jennifer Moxley, Stuart Mugridge, Jeremy Noel-Tod, Malcolm Phillips, Peter Riley, Michael Symmons Roberts, Josh Robinson, Jane Routh, Penelope Shuttle, Lawrence Upton and Stephen Vincent.

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Zbigniew Kotowicz   Fernando Pessoa — Voices of a Nomadic Soul
Published 2008. Paperback, 116pp, 8.5x5.5ins £9.95 / $17
ISBN 978-1-905700-31-8  [Download a PDF sampler from this book here.]
With drawings and a cover painting by Aldous Eveleigh.
First published by The Menard Press in 1996, Zbigniew Kotowicz's long essay on Pessoa was the first book-length assessment of Pessoa's work in English. Twelve years later it remains an important work, and will help Anglophone readers come to grips with the astonishing work of this archetypal modernist master.
Cover of Zbigniew Kotowicz: Fernando Pessoa — Voices of a Nomadic Soul
D.H. Lawrence Studies in Classic American Literature

Introduced by Jon Thompson
Published 2011. Paperback, 196pp, 9x6ins, £10.95 / $18.50
ISBN 9781848611580 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Studies in Classic American Literature [...] is at once a work of cultural criticism, a study and critique of American myths, a meditation on the relationship between the Old World and the New, a new theory of the self, a theory of textuality (and a fearless demonstration of a radical, self-styled form of psycho-social criticism), a theory of art, a history of America, a critique of the Enlightenment and one of the greatest covert autobiographies in world literature (all the writers in the book represent either versions of Lawrence's self or versions of himself he felt he had to liberate). And, of course, it is a bravura interpretation of "classic" American texts, one of the most innovative and penetrating critical performances of modern times.
—from Jon Thompson's Introduction.

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Tony Lopez & Anthony Caleshu (editors): Poetry and Public Language

Published 2007. Paperback, 320pp, 9x6ins £17.95 / $28.
ISBN-13 9781905700646 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

A collection of essays and papers delivered at the University of Plymouth’s eponymous conference in April 2007. Contributors include Lyn Hejinian, Barrett Watten, Allen Fisher, Richard Kerridge, Peter Middleton, Robert Hampson, William Rowe, Andrea Brady, Robert Sheppard, Ian Davidson, Carrie Etter, Scott Thurston, Ian Davidson, Philip Terry and several others.

Picture of book cover Tony Lopez & Anthony Caleshu (editors): Poetry and Public Language
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Rupert M. Loydell Encouraging Signs

Published 2013. Paperback, 212pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848612990 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Since Rupert Loydell first began publishing his adventurous and wide-ranging Stride magazine, not to mention his influential and critically lauded Stride Publications list, he has endlessly discussed poetry, art and music. These ongoing dialogues, whether by letter and email, in pubs, record shops or university seminar rooms, have always informed his own practice and cultural understanding. A selection of these, first published in a number of magazines and journals, are now gathered here together in chronological order. From a field in Cheshire to a quick response internet interview, via Manchester Exchange Theatre and a Fulham basement, these engaging and lively pieces chart a zigzag course through composition, poetics, publishing, inspiration and experiment. Encouraging Signs is a poetics journal and a critical work, with a fascinating element of autobiography.

Picture of book cover Rupert M. Loydell Encouraging Signs
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John Matthias Who Was Cousin Alice? and Other Questions

Published 2011. Paperback, 370pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848611689 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Who Was Cousin Alice? & Other Questions attempts to answer both the first question posed in the title about American poet John Matthias' early family memories, and then to raise and engage, in a series of memoirs and critical essays, a large number of others. These range from a search for some answers about his wife's British family in 'Kedging in "Kedging in Time",' to memoirs inquiring into 'Poetry and Insomnia,' 'Poetry and Murder,' and the literary imaginations of 'Grand Old Dirty Old Men' (J.M. Coetzee, Gabriel García Márquez, and Octavio Paz, among others), an examination of erotic writing of the old and aging as a manifestation of "late style." Specifically literary essays include considerations of W.H. Auden, Benjamin Britten, Roy Fisher, Paul Muldoon, John Berryman, Robert Hass, Robert Pinsky, Michael Anania, and 'British Poetry at Y2K.' In this hybrid mix of genres—including both very recent work and a selection of pieces culled from the last twenty-five years—Matthias has added a number of poems that enter into a dialogue with his essays and memoirs.

Picture of book cover John Matthias Who Was Cousin Alice? and Other Questions
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John Matthias  At Large

Published October 2016. Paperback, 396pp, 9 x 6ins, £16.95 / $27
ISBN 9781848615175 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

At Large is a collection of essys by poet, John Matthias, covering matters both personal and literary in the same manner as his Who Was Cousin Alice? (2011) It also includes  an interview by Joe Doerr with Matthias and another by Matthias with Larry Siems, concerning the latter's work with American PEN.


Cover of At Large by John Matthias
Christopher Middleton: Palavers & A Nocturnal Journal

Published 2004. Paperback, 151pp, 9x6ins. £9.95 / $18.
ISBN 9780907562511 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Christopher Middleton is one of the finest living British poets and this volume presents the voice of the man behind a remarkable body of work, firstly talking to poet Marius Kociejowski, and then talking to himself – 18 months' worth of journal entries from the late 1990s, in which he muses on matters poetic, social, political. The book also includes an essay-memoir by Marius Kociejowski that traces the growth of his fascination with Middleton's art.

Picture of book cover Christopher Middleton: Palavers & A Nocturnal Journal
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Geraldine Monk (ed.) CUSP — Recollections of Poetry in Transition

Published 2012. Paperback, 244pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848612501 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"This book is probably best described as a collective autobiography. With few exceptions the contributing poets write about their origins and influences and how they became involved in poetry. My main objective is to present the spirit of a brief era which, in retrospect, was exceptional in its momentum towards the democratisation and dissemination of poetry. The era or "cusp" I'm concentrating on is between World War II and the advent of the World Wide Web. Already extraordinary in its social, political and cultural upheaval, it seems even more heightened when set against the technological transformation which has since been unleashed."—from Geraldine Monk's introduction to this volume

Picture of book cover Geraldine Monk (ed.) CUSP — Recollections of Poetry in Transition
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John Muckle  Little White Bull — British Fiction in the 50s and 60s
Published 2014. Paperback, 342pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $24
ISBN 9781848613058 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
Little White Bull takes a fresh look at the times before the day before yesterday, not the end times but the new beginnings, and tries to show how British fiction grappled with subjects as thorny and diverse as the impact of mass immigration and a new kind of rootless working-class character uncontained by previous conceptions of him or herself, and apparently ready to go to war over them. This exciting and readable book presents the fifties and sixties as a crucible of new departures, asking what remains and continues from those decades into the cultural present. It takes the form of a series of thematic essays each of which discusses the work of an individual or group of novelists.
     Writers examined in this book are Paul Ableman, Brian Aldiss, Kingsley Amis, J.G. Ballard, Lynn Reid Banks, John Berger, John Braine, Angela Carter, Nell Dunn, Gillian Freeman, Barry Hines, B.S. Johnson, Doris Lessing, Colin Macinnes, Michael Moorcock, Iris Murdoch, V.S. Naipaul, Bill Naughton, Edna O’Brien, Harold Pinter, Samuel Selvon, Alan Sillitoe, David Storey, Jack Trevor Story, Leslie Thomas, Alexander Trocchi, John Wain, Keith Waterhouse, Raymond Williams and Colin Wilson.
Cover of John Muckle - Little White Bull - British Fiction in the 50s and 60s
Paschalis Nikolaou & John Z. Dillon (eds.)  Richard Berengarten — A Portrait in Inter-Views  

Published April 2017. Paperback, 204pp, 9 x 6ins, £12.95 / $20.00
ISBN 9781848615120  [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Spanning a period of fifteen years, these five ‘Inter-views’ with Richard Berengarten explore the many facets of his writings. Hospitably and expansively, they yield insights into the work of a poet of our time, his methods, motives, and patterns of thought.
     Based in dialogue, an interview is always a collaborative venture. It discovers difference and clarifies commonalities between writer and reader. By working closely together in composing, editing and revisiting transcripts for each interview, Richard Berengarten and his five interlocutors reveal the potential of the literary interview itself, as they articulate and test its reticent boundaries.
Cover of Richard Berengarten - A Portrait in Inter-Views
Niamh O'Mahony  Essays on the Poetry of Trevor Joyce

Published 2015. Paperback, 242pp, 9 x 6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848613393 [Download a PDF of the introduction to this book here.]

Essays on the Poetry of Trevor Joyce is the first collection of critical responses to an Irish poet whose writing consistently challenges received ideas of Irish poetry.
       The contributions that make up this collection span Joyce's writing career, from Sole Glum Trek (1967) to Rome's Wreck (2014), and are written by literary critics, poets, and publishers. These essays illuminate Joyce's poetry, aligning careful reading with insightful analysis to reveal Joyce as one of Ireland's most innovative and creative living poets. 
       Contributors to this volume include: Lucy Collins, Eric Falci, Fergal Gaynor, John Goodby, Fanny Howe, David Lloyd, Peter Manson, Niamh O'Mahony, Marthine Satris, Geoffrey Squires, Keith Tuma and Jeffrey Twitchell Waas.

Cover of Niamh O'Mahony - Essays on the Poetry of Trevor Joyce
Jeremy Reed  I Heard It Through the Grapevine: Asa Benveniste and Trigram Press

Published January 2016. Paperback, 132p, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848614635 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Asa Benveniste (1925-1990) who founded the legendary Trigram Press in London in 1965, ostensibly to publish Anglo-American cutting-edge poetry, was not only a self-taught, one-off maverick genius as a printer, typographer and book-designer, but also a superbly innovative language poet, whose own poetry tended to be obscured by his merits as a publisher. Throughout its duration, 1965-1978, the Trigram list epitomised ultimate hipster cool, as a leading independent. Jeremy Reed's deeply personal tribute to Benveniste as his enduring poetic avatar, and the encourager and publisher of his early poetry informs a book that is both an appraising memoir and a significant evaluation of Trigram Press. The book also includes a reprint of Benveniste's collection Edge (1975), as well as miscellaneous writings of his retrieved from small press publications.
Cover of Jeremy Reed - I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Peter Robinson: Talk about Poetry — Conversations on the Art

Published 2006. Paperback, 148pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17.
ISBN 9781905700042 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Talk about Poetry is made up of twelve interviews, conducted over the last decade or so for hard-to-find print and internet journals, in which Peter Robinson discusses such subjects as poetry and sexual violence, the balkanization of the art and ways to resist it, the techniques of poetry and how they engage with the circumstances of life, and the connections between his own poetry, literary criticism, translations, aphoristic writings, and ancillary work. He recalls the editing of Perfect Bound and Numbers, and the organization of the Cambridge Poetry Festival; he responds to criticism, praises fellow writers, has his doubts about some questions put to him, and much more besides. Talk about Poetry is not only a companion volume to The Salt Companion to Peter Robinson, published in June 2006, but also a reliably open-minded guide through the forest of poetry during the last thirty years.

Picture of book cover Peter Robinson: Talk about Poetry — Conversations on the Art
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Peter Robinson (ed.) An Unofficial Roy Fisher

Published 2010. Paperback, 222pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $22
ISBN 9781848611207

Published to coincide with the poet's eightieth birthday, An Unofficial Roy Fisher is a showcase for the work of this extraordinary contemporary British poet. It begins with an unofficial gathering of poems and prose pieces covering the writer's entire career, none of which are to be found in The Long and the Short of It: Poems 1955–2005, his most recent collected edition. This is followed by a poet's poets' anthology of works by Fisher's extensive international following among significant contemporaries and juniors, including Fleur Adcock, Peter Didsbury, Laurie Duggan, August Kleinzahler, R.F. Langley, Angela Leighton, John Matthias, and John Wilkinson. This is followed by a group of informal essays and other prose comments on working with Fisher or Fisher's work by, among others, Charles Lock, Peter Makin, Ralph Pite, Richard Price, and David Wheatley. All in all, An Unofficial Roy Fisher is a must-have for the poet's fans, new and old, with its sequence of intriguing insights into the oeuvre and abiding significance of this unique literary artist.

Picture of book cover Peter Robinson (ed.) An Unofficial Roy Fisher
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Peter Robinson (ed.) Bernard Spencer — Essays on His Poetry and Life

Published 2012. Paperback, 218pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848612549 [Download a PDF with the introduction to this book here.]

When Bernard Spencer died in September 1963, he left behind two collections of poetry and a volume of collaborative translations from George Seferis. The second of these collections, With Luck Lasting, has proved aptly entitled with the publications of a Collected Poems (1965) edited by Alan Ross, an enlarged edition from 1981 edited by Roger Bowen, and a Complete Poetry, Translations & Selected Prose (2011) edited by Peter Robinson. With Bernard Spencer: Essays on his Poetry & Life, Robinson now offers the first collection of writings dedicated to the poet. Coming out of a 2009 centenary conference at Special Collections in the University of Reading, where his archive is housed, these essays cover a great many aspects of Spencer's poetry, translations, and his relations with contemporary writers. The volume also contains an updated bibliography of primary and secondary materials, and forms an invaluable aid to approaching this distinctive voice in mid-twentieth-century poetry.

Picture of book cover Peter Robinson (ed.) Bernard Spencer — Essays on His Poetry and Life
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Robert Sheppard When Bad Times Made for Good Poetry — episodes in the history of the poetics of innovation

Published 2011. Paperback, 218pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848611368 [Download a PDF of the introduction to this book here .]

This study presents an episodic history of an epic period in British poetry, when bad times forced political subversion and textual impaction upon its central figures and provisional institutions. In the episodes which cover the Poetry Wars of the 1970s; the centrality of Bob Cobbing as poetry activist and the SubVoicive poetry scene in 1980s London; and the cultural poetics of Iain Sinclair in the 1990s and since; the focus is upon poetic community rather than individuals.

Picture of book cover Robert Sheppard When Bad Times Made for Good Poetry — episodes in the history of the poetics of innovation
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Jon Thompson: After Paradise — Essays on the Fate of American Writing

Published 2009. Paperback, 136pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848610415 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

After Paradise: Essays on the Fate of American Writing lays bare the richness of classic American texts and their fraught relationship with what Jon Thompson sees as a culture of violence and war. Focusing on William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, Herman Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener, Walt Whitman's Specimen Days, Emily Dickinson's Letters and Michael Herr's DispatchesAfter Paradise offers a series of moving, interconnected reflections upon what Thompson calls "the fate of American writing." Part cultural reflection, part lyrical criticism, part idiosyncratic literary history, After Paradise attempts to restore a sense of the original strangeness of American literature and culture by pushing the boundaries of the essay form.

Picture of book cover Jon Thompson: After Paradise — Essays on the Fate of American Writing
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Scott Thurston (ed.)  Talking Poetics — Dialogues in Innovative Poetry
Published 2011. Paperback, 160pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848611917 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
This is a book of full-length interviews with the poets Karen Mac Cormack, Jennifer Moxley, Caroline Bergvall and Andrea Brady, carried out between 2008 and 2009 in the UK and USA by Scott Thurston. During the course of these conversations, the poets explore a huge range of topics likely to interest anyone concerned with the state of innovative poetry today. Each interview considers the complete oeuvre of each writer and includes detailed engagements with selected texts as well as unfolding themes such as the role of innovation, the politics of poetry and reflections on lyric and autobiography. Each interview is footnoted and there is an extensive bibliography.
Cover of Scott Thurston - Talking Poetics - Dialogues in Innovative Poetry
Gael Turnbull  More Words – Gael Turnbull on poets and poetry
Edited by Jill Turnbull & Hamish Whyte
Published 2012. Paperback, 204pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848610934 [Download a PDF with the introduction to this book here.]
This volume brings together a number of hard-to-find reviews, essays, memoirs and journal pieces by Gael Turnbull, a central figure in the interaction between American and British poetry in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and also publisher of the excellent small press, Migrant. Shearsman published his Collected Poems, There are words... in 2006, and this companion volume fills out the picture of an influential figure in British letters, with a number of pieces on poets such as Basil Bunting and Roy Fisher, as well as nods in the direction of Olson and Creeley from the other side of the Atlantic. The book is introduced by the poet's widow, Jill Turnbull, who has also made the final selection of pieces to be included, in consultation with Hamish Whyte, the author's long-time publisher in Edinburgh.
Cover of Gael Turnbull - More Words: Gael Turnbull on Poets and Poetry