2016 Titles: Alphabetical by Author

 
Sascha Aurora Akhtar  199 Japanese Names for Japanese Trees

Published January 2016. Paperback, 196pp, 9 x 6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848614307 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Sascha Akhtar's method-writing invites the poetry into a pre-envisaged form which is then adhered to stringently. The manuscript was written continuously on exactly 199 pages. The poet was interested in the idea of 99 names of Divine Power in Sufi philosophy, with the 100th name being a secret. The title was pre-assigned as a philosophical & semantic conundrum that arose whilst on a walk through Kew Gardens. The horticultural convention of the English has always been to re-name and assign a Latin name. In this way, the native identity or "is-ness" of types of flora may never be known. A tree that only grows native to Japan, has its own identity in its country, in Japanese. By merit of simply transplanting it, that name may never be known. Within these pages are journeys to other planets, jaguars, ibexes, toothless sharks, the "vanguard" of poetry, a woman abandoned, cruelty, a depth of thought & emotion that stays steady holding the reader in its thrall and strange creatures mentioned only as 'jagged kittenstars'. The book is honestly, pure transcendental rock n' roll epic.

Cover of Sascha Aurora Akhtar - 199 Japanese Names for Japanese Trees
 
Kate Ashton   Who by Water

Published April 2016. Paperback, 82pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614802  [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

These poems came into being as a result of new nearness to loss and to the sea. They are intimate, an attempt to express the beauty of untamed power that demands respect of the human heart; the terror it strikes into the soul. The form of each poem or sequence flows freely from its emotional or visual impetus: often dark, sometimes joyous or ecstatic or pictorial. Always there is an underlying sense of awe, of the unknowable and the impossibility of knowing. Neutrality is sought in echoing the earliest Anglo-Saxon or Chinese poetry. The sea becomes witness, calm interlocutor, feared judge, absent lover, intercessor. The aim is impersonality, to evoke the eternal in relation to the present; ‘now-ness’, as David Jones put it.

Cover for Kate Ashton - Who by Water
 
Richard Berengarten  Changing

Published September 2016. Paperback, 584pp, 9 x 6ins, £19.95 / $35
ISBN 9781848615076 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Richard Berengarten’s Changing is the most ambitious poem ever written outside the Chinese language in honour of the Book of Changes, or Yijing [I Ching]. Changing is a homage both to this ancient text and to Chinese history and culture. The poem takes direct inspiration from the Chinese classic, as well as its form and the inter-relationships of its parts. The work is a remarkable achievement in its own right and a living testament to the enduring and universal quality of the Yijing. Berengarten has been exploring the Yijing for more than 50 years.

Cover of Changing by Richard Berengarten
 
Ilhan Berk  The Book of Things

Translated from Turkish by George Messo. 
Published February 2016. Paperback, 336pp, 9.21 x 6.14ins, £14.95 / $24
ISBN 9781848614628 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Unparalleled in the English language, The Book of Things, Berk's uniquely compelling lyric trilogy, is an uncommon meditation on the inner life of common things. Mud, bras, slugs and doors – Berk sings them all in this twisting, labyrinthine song of the strange and sensual, by turns playful and surprising, learned and hilarious, beautiful and unsettling in its quirkiness.
      Berk's tireless journey into the unknown, The Book of Things is a testament to the poet's undying appetite for engagement and renewal, his perennial call to awakening.

Cover of Ilhan Berk - The Book of Things
 
Ilhan Berk  New Selected Poems 1947-2008

Translated from Turkish by George Messo. 
Published February 2016. Paperback, 200pp, 9 x 6ins, £12.95 / $21
ISBN 9781848614611 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

?lhan Berk (1908-2008) has been called a literary Midas: everything he touched turned to poems. New Selected Poems shows us the full linguistic range and imaginative power of Turkey’s greatest experimental poet. With a large selection of poems drawn from over 60 years of work, New Selected Poems offers a unique and indispensable portal into the world of ?lhan Berk. Berk’s poems quiver and spark with a language always pressing out against its own skin: sensual, erotic, strange and intimate, relaxed and humorous; poems in which smells, tastes, sights, sounds, and touch become the preludes for a reawakening of history, the body, the very world around us. If Berk himself was concerned with re-engaging a lost sensory world, then for many this volume will be a journey of discovery.

Cover of Ilhan Berk - New Selected Poems 1947-2008
 
Linda Black  Slant

Published April 2016. Paperback, 96pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614680 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"Step into the magical word-world of Linda Black. Singsong and urbane by turn, these poems are rich in Hardyesque rhythms and moods undercut by an astute and often funny commentary. Using techniques more usually found in nonsense poetry, pastoral and ballad, this collection devises ‘a route map of liquid thought’. Linda Black leads the very few British poets who present the process of consciousness and she does it in a wholly original way. " —Claire Crowther
Cover of Linda Black - Slant
 
Daragh Breen  What the Wolf Heard

Published October 2016. Paperback, 86pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614963 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In the opening Lighthouses section of this volume the west coast of Ireland is recast as a kind of Burroughsian Land of the Dead, with the ghost-lights from defunct lighthouses mixing with those of the automated in a sequence that slowly allows itself to be decoded.
     Ned Kelly, given his own requiem, is found morphing in and out of a lupine-self following the destruction of the last wolf in Ireland and a period which saw the mass-banishment of many of the country’s underclasses to the new British antipodean colonies. Other poems are suggestive of a bestiary, presenting various animals that have been damaged and reformed by their current environment.
Cover of What the Wolf Heard by Daragh Breen
 
Ian Brinton (ed.): For the Future — Poems & Essays in Honour of J.H. Prynne on 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.
 
Carmen Bugan  Releasing the Porcelain Birds

Published April 2016. Paperback, 82pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614697 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In 1989 the five members of the Bugan family were allowed to leave Ceauşescu’s Romania with one suitcase each and death-threats in their wake. In 2010 the poet Carmen Bugan took possession of 1,500 pages of Securitate files on her father and in 2013 a further 3,000 pages of secret files on her mother, sister, brother and herself. Releasing the Porcelain Birds is about the transformation of that extraordinary history of Cold War Europe into poetry; it is about writing the self free and how poetry drawn in a new and tender narrative can do this. In this manner Releasing the Porcelain Birds is one continuous poem which faces down dispossession and reaches towards exuberance. 

Cover of Carmen Bugan - Releasing the Porcelain Birds
 
Jorge Humberto Chávez  I'd ask you to join me by the Río Bravo and weep but you should know
                                             neither river nor tears remain

Translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel
Published November 2016. Paperback, 86pp, 9.21 x 6.14ins, £9.95 / $18 
ISBN 9781848615151 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This is a translation of Chávez's prize-winning Mexican volume (Te diría que fuéramos al Río Bravo a llorar pero debes saber que ya no hay río ni llanto) from 2013, a book of poems that deals with life on the border, its dangers, its delights and its peculiarities.   

Jorge Humberto Chávez was born in Ciudad Juárez, on the US/Mexican border in 1959. Since 1980, he has published eight collections of poetry in Mexico, the current volume being the most recent.

Cover of Jorge Humberto Chavez - I'd ask you to join me by the Rio and Bravo and weep
 
Geraldine Clarkson  Declare

Published June 2016. Chapbook, 36pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £6.50 / $9.95
ISBN 9781848615069 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice — 4th Quarter 2016

Geraldine Clarkson lives in the Midlands. She comes from a family of ten, and her poetry is influenced by her roots in the West of Ireland, and years which she spent in monastic life, including three years in the Peruvian desert. Since she began writing, she has been selected as an Arvon/Jerwood mentee, and has received commendations in the Arvon International and the UK National Poetry Competitions. In 2015, she won the Poetry London and Ambit competitions, and the Magma Editors’, Ver Poets and Anne Born Prizes. Declare is her first chapbook.

Cover of Geraldine Clarkson - Declare
 
Susan Connolly  Bridge of the Ford  — Visual Poetry from Drogheda

Published June 2016. Paperback, 100pp, 8.5 x 8.5ins, £10.95 / $18.50
ISBN 9781848614659 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

“This is a love letter to the poet’s home territory: the Boyne Valley, its fabled and blooded river, the port of Drogheda and the mouth of the Boyne at Mornington and Baltray. Susan Connolly is a true original and like all true originals is intensely concerned with sources. These poems reach back to Kells, to Durrow, to Lindisfarne, to the holy books of those places, for the ground of their being. On the page, they negotiate visual spaces that can comfortably fit and ritualize the neolithic, contemporary hostage crises, Alexander Calder, the whammy pedal of a guitar. Symmetrical patternings that recall Persian carpets, traditional embroideries, and intricate folk handwork sit beside witty visual and verbal puns that recall ’60s and ’70s concrete poetry. Not the least of its many charms are the glimpses in this book of a fugitive Irish lyric poet flitting through the pages.”
­—Paula Meehan

Cover of Susan Connolly - Bridge of the Ford
 
Elsa Cross  Beyond the Sea

Translated from Spanish by Anamaría Crowe Serrano
Published March 2016. Paperback, 152pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £10.95 / $18.50

ISBN 9781848613997 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Beyond the Sea brings together two book-length sequences first published in Mexico in the early years of the century, both taking their origins from Greece, a matter of central importance for the poet for many years. Fittingly, for subject-matter thoroughly drenched in the Greek past, the poems are odes and dithyrambs; the gods are there, imagery that has echoed across the centuries is here transposed into a limpid modern Mexican poetry, composed with the lightest of touches. Here the Mayans of Bonampak meet the Minoans of Knossos, united across the centuries and thousands of miles by their preservation in wall-paintings, and by their observer. Here the gods meet our gaze, and come forth, raised from the ashes of history. They are no dead; they are not forgotten; they have merely been sleeping only to be awoken by the poet. Elsa Cross is one of the most important living Mexican poets, and this fine translation does her work spectacular justice. 
 
Cover of Elsa Cross - Beyond the Sea
 
Anamaría Crowe Serrano  onWords and upWords

Published June 2016. Paperback, 96pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614574 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"In these poems, words are a scalpel that probes the shifting sands of meaning. Themes of identity, communication, love, loss and isolation are peeled back to reveal, with devastating precision, both the deficiencies and the power of language: words that can heal or save; words that paralyse and attack. The poet uses her instrument – language – both to celebrate and to question whether words can ever be a true medium to define, express identity, communicate. With an unflinching gaze and an originality we have already come to know in Anamaría Crowe Serrano’s work, she both exalts and undermines patterns and form in a way that surprises, provokes and exhilarates."
—Elizabeth McSkeane

Cover of Anamaria Crowe Serrano - upWords and onWords
 
Claire Crowther  Bare George

Published June 2016. Chapbook, 36pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £6.50 / $9.95
ISBN 9781848614932 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The design of a coin is an act of succinct aggrandisement. Bare George explores the coinage of power through a far more famous numismatic image: created in 1817 for King George III and his son, the Prince Regent, by celebrity gem designer Benedetto Pistrucci, it pictures a saint, young St George, lancing a dragon. He is undressed. Any Greek warrior of artistic relevance to the nineteenth century would be. The dragon is submitting, as the opposition needs to be shown to do.

Cover of Claire Crowther - Bare George
 
Richard Deming  Day for Night

Published April 2016. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £8.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614857 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Day for Night, Richard Deming’s searching new collection of poems, takes its title from the cinematic term for shooting night scenes during the day. With a complex lyricism, these poems often explore the ways that art, in whatever form, creates the possibilities of an address by which we hope to encounter other people even as it reveals the impossibilities of ever truly knowing others or ourselves. Haunting the poems in echoes and allusions is Shakespeare’s Hamlet and that play’s profound meditation on skepticism and the role of art in knowing the self. The poems bring together high and pop culture, hope and loss, loneliness and belonging, melancholy and transcendence. Poems from this collection have appeared in such places as The Nation, The Iowa Review, The Colorado Review, American Letters & Commentary, and elsewhere.
Cover of Richard Deming - Day for Night
 
Laressa Dickey  Roam

Published October 2016. Paperback, 96pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614864 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Roam marks a migration: back, forward and round again. Who stays? Who is allowed to roam? Mistakes, reverses—what do we take of our presence and past as we discover the world through our own perceiving? Motion comes first, then form. What is fixed? And who is with us? How does the past come toward us? How do we make sense of loss, silence? Disoriented, relating to a past that is unclear, we cannot be sure both where we are and which direction we’re moving. The question becomes where is the future? Roam proceeds toward it by echolation and witness—making something integral come alive.

Cover of Roam by Laressa Dickey
 
Joe Doerr  Tocayo — New and Selected Poems & Songs

Published August 2016. Paperback, 150pp, 9 x 6ins, £10.95 / $18.50
ISBN 9781848614710 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

“By turns erudite and lyrical, esoteric and oracular, profane and ethereal – Joe Doerr’s Tocayo contains multitudes. This vast miscellany, a bravura poetic performance by every measure, signals the aborning of a new, necessary literary idiom for this mashed-up American age: the ineluctable punk sublime.” —John Santos
 
“Disturbs all the codes.” —John Kinsella
Cover of Tocayo - New and Selected Poems and Songs by Joe Doerr
 
Andrew Duncan  The Failure of Conservatism in Modern British Poetry (2nd, Revised Edition)
Published September 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. 
 
Cove row Andrew Duncan - The Failure of Conservatism in Modern British Poetry
 
Andrew Duncan  Centre and Periphery in Modern British Poetry (2nd, Revised Edition)
Published September 2016. Paperback, 318pp, 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
 
Ken Edwards  a book with no name

Published September 2016. Paperback, 92pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848615007.  [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

It is not a book of poems.
It is not a long poem.
It is not a novel.
Nor a volume of short stories.
It is not a work of philosophy.
It is not an object – like a stone.
Yet it drops into the well of nothingness 
and is never heard of again.
 
a book with no name
fuses the optimism of Beckett with the hyperrealism of Stein.
 
Cover of Ken Edwards - a book with no name
 
Carrie Etter  Scar

Published June 2016. Chapbook, 26pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £6.50 / $9.95
ISBN 9781848614871 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In Scar, Carrie Etter compellingly explores the effects of climate change on her home state of Illinois. The language shifts and evolves painfully as the land and its inhabitants find themselves wracked by climatic and political forces beyond their control.
 
You can hear the author talking about Scar on a podcast from the Scottish Poetry Library here, interviewed by fellow Shearsman author, JL Williams.
Cover of Carrie Etter - Scar
 
Veronica Forrest-Thomson  Poetic Artifice: A Theory of Twentieth-Century Poetry

Published April 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.”

 
Tony Frazer (ed.)  Shearsman 107 & 108

Published April 2016. Paperback, 108pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £8.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848614789

107 & 108 is the first issue of Shearsman magazine for 2016, and features work by Liz Adams, Clark Allison, Annabel Banks, Joey Connolly, Susan Connolly, Makyla Curtis, Adam Day, Adam Flint, Harry Guest, Lucy Hamilton, juli Jana, Norman Jope, Linda Kemp, Kenny Knight, Clare Nashar, Alasdair Paterson, Simon Perchik, Sabiyha Rasheed, Yvonne Reddick, Peter Riley, David Rushmer, Alexandra Sashe, Matthew Stoppard & Alan Wall; plus translations of Günter Eich (from German, by Ken Cockburn), Marie-Luise Kaschnitz (from German, by Harry Guest) and of Eduardo Moga (from Spanish, by Terence Dooley).

 

Cover of Shearsman magazine 107 and 108
 
Tony Frazer (ed)   Shearsman magazine 109 / 100

Published October 2016. Paperback, 108pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £8.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848614918 

The second issue of Shearsman magazine for 2016. This issue features work by Agatha Abu Shehab, Isobel Armstrong, Michael Ayres, Ken Bolton, sean burn, Sarah Cave, Stuart Cooke, Tom Cowin, Claire Crowther, Cathy Dreyer, Carrie Etter, Michael Farrell, Robin Fulton Macpherson, Valentino Gianuzzi, Mark Goodwin, Mark Harris, Maria Jastrzębska, Eluned Jones, Jill Jones, Julie Maclean, Sheila Mannix, Alasdair Paterson, Simon Perchik, Ian Seed, Hilda Sheehan, Lucy Sheerman, Rachel Sills, James Sutherland-Smith, Jon Thompson; plus translations of Mercedes Cebrían (from Spanish, by Terence Dooley), Kjell Espmark (from Swedish, by Robin Fulton Macpherson) and Mario Martín Gijón (from Spanish, by Terence Dooley).

 
Cover of Shearsman magazine issue 109 & 100
 
Luisa Futoransky  Nettles

Translated from Spanish by Philippa Page. Bilingual edition. 
Published March 2016. Paperback, 132pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848614642 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Luisa Futoransky is a poet of lived experience above all, though not hers alone; other voices inhabit the work, whether of friends, lovers, fellow travellers (people she met or figures from history and literature). Like her fiction, the poetry employs a direct language rooted in anecdote and reflection, while sometimes delighting in playful experimentalism. Hers are mosaic narratives, made of pieces, fragments.
     Something else to notice in Nettles is her flair for the theatrical, especially acute when she writes in shorter forms. Surely her studies of opera helped to hone her instinct for the dramatic gesture. But to think that we start in Rome with this book only to end up in Ohio. That is some sense of humour.

Cover of Luisa Futoransky - Nettles
 
Cameron Gearen  Some Perfect Year

Published March 2016. Paperback, 90pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614840 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Cameron Gearen’s first full-length collection of poetry, Some Perfect Year, opens with a poem entitled Invitation, and it’s one we should heed. “Come with stones and a selectively green car. / I’ve set aside a weekend for crying and sleeping,” the poem begins. Indeed, it would be a treat to spend a weekend or longer with this book. Crying might result as some of the subject matter is heavy, but Gearen leads us to a tentative redemption in the end: her final poem, called Aubade, mentions “the morning’s promise,” and foretells a more sanguine future. 

Cover of Cameron Gearen - Some Perfect Year
 
Hagit Grossman  Trembling in the City

Translated from Hebrew by Benjamin Balint
Published March 2016. Paperback, 92pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $17

ISBN 9781848614772  [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"Hagit Grossman's poetry hovers through the city streets like a floating camera, observing the outcasts and scanning them in wavelengths that are usually beyond the range of our perception. But in addition to mapping the actual city streets, this book also registers the city's interior spaces.
     The poems in the book shake us and cast us, with honesty and courage, toward the intimacies from which we prefer to avert our eyes."
—Amir Becker
Cover for Hagit Grossman - Trembling in the City
 
Gëzim Hajdari  Stigmata

Translated by Cristina Viti. Bilingual Italian/English edition.
Published February 2016. Paperback, 140pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $18

ISBN 9781848614413 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Gëzim Hajdari (b. 1957) was born in Lushnja, Albania, but has lived in Frosinone, Italy, since 1992, initially in the ruins of an abandoned building, but now in an apartment that he was awarded by the town council after he was awarded the prestigious Montale Prize. He writes in both Albanian and Italian, but is perhaps more recog-nised in his adopted country than in his native land. Stigmate / Vragë appeared in a bilingual edition in 2002 and here receives its first complete English translation. “My identity is Gëzim, my body is my fatherland,” says the author.

 
Robert Hampson & Ken Edwards (eds.)  CLASP: late-modernist poetry in London in the 1970s

Published January 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
 
Barry Hill  Grass Hut Work

Published March 2016. Paperback, 126pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848614758 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In the ancient tradition of poet-as-traveler-and-seer, Barry Hill’s Grass Hut Work is, like Basho’s Narrow Road to the Interior, both a travelogue of Japan and a journey inward, into what we’ll call the Soul—for lack of a better word. He sees with fresh eyes the merger of history and presence, and presents us vital insight at every turn. “In the grass hut,” he says, “I strive to be nobody,” and thereby becomes an everyman, an exemplar, a master and unsui, a beginner. Beautiful and quietly powerful, this is work to return to again and again. —Sam Hamill

Cover of Barry Hill - Grass Hut Work
 
Brian Holton  Staunin Ma Lane

Translated from Chinese, into Scots and English
Published March 2016. Paperback, 146pp, 8 x 8ins, £12.95 / $20

ISBN 9781848614666 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Staunin Ma Lane isn’t intended to be a comprehensive tour of classical [Chinese] poetry, though it does contain specimens of many of the major genres and styles, and it may serve as a first primer. Note that the poetry is in the Scots: the English versions are there to help the non-Scots speaker. It has been my aim to make poems in Scots: if you expect to find dictionary definitions of Chinese words in my translations, you will be disappointed. That sort of drably mechanical ‘accuracy’ does not make poetry, and a poem that doesn’t move the reader is like a joke that isn’t funny. In the translation of poetry, there are many, many more ways of being wrong than of being right, and I do not claim that my versions are in any way definitive or better than anyone else’s: I do, however, want to say to the reader, “Deek whit the Mither Tongue can dae: gin it can dae this, whit’ll it no can dae?” (Look what our mother tongue can do: if it can do this, what will it not do?), and I would urge readers inclined toward translation to do it for themselves, whatever their mother tongue might be.” —Brian Holton
Cover of Brian Holton - Staunin Ma Lane
 
Jeremy Hooker  Ancestral Lines

Published October 2016. Paperback, 74pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848615083 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Ancestral Lines is a sequence of poems about ‘the river of desire’ that flows through the lives of a family. In these poems Jeremy Hooker recalls his parents and grandparents, and an elusive great grandfather. He both honours the mystery of personal identity, and celebrates the oneness of life through the ‘lines’ of generations. The sequence conveys a strong sense of places in the south of England, but in a special sense: it is grounded upon experience of ‘the places that live in people’, places that are a ‘medium of sharing’. A concern with both the gifts and limits of ‘seeing’ in the sequence takes its bearings from his father’s landscape paintings. [...] The figures that appear in the poems are not ghosts; the poet evokes them as real, loved and loving people. According to his way of seeing, each integral being is only partially knowable, yet also flesh of his flesh.
Cover of Ancestral Lines by Jeremy Hooker
 
Jeremy Hooker  Diary of a Stroke

Published September 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
 
David Jaffin  Untouched Silences
Published July 2016. Paperback, 408pp, A5 format, £15 / $23
ISBN 9781848613751 
 
The world's most prolific poet? Retirement agrees with David Jaffin, as he presents another volume of his trademark short lyrics. Published in association with Edition Wortschatz, Germany.
Cover of David Jaffin - Untouched Silences
 
David Jaffin  Soundless Impressions
Published November 2016. Paperback, 392pp, A5 format, £15 / $23
ISBN 9781848614000 
 
David Jaffin's second bulky collection for 2016.
Published in association with Edition Wortschatz, Germany.
Cover of David Jaffin - Soundless Impressions
 
Norman Jope, Paul Scott Derrick & Catherine E. Byfield (eds.)  The Companion to Richard Berengarten

Published November 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
 
Kenny Knight  A Long Weekend on the Sofa

Published November 2016. Paperback, 108pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848615014 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Kenny Knight’s second collection offers more explorations of his Plymouth childhood and the absurdities, as well as the joys, of his adult years. He is still amazed by the fact that Lobsang Rampa was a plumber from Plympton, by the roster of bands he saw at the fabled Van Dike Club, and by the vibrancy of the more recent local literary scene. The author’s keen eye and gentle, deadpan sense of humour make these poems as memorable as those in The Honicknowle Book of the Dead.
 
Cover of A Long Weekend on the Sofa by Kenny Knight
 
John Matthias  Complayntes for Doctor Neuro and other poems

Published September 2016. Paperback, 106pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848615182 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Complayntes for Dr. Neuro is John Matthias’s first volume of poetry since Shearsman’s publication of his three volumes of collected poems in 2011, 2012, and 2013. The present book, ending with the title sequence about being forced to confront some of the very neurological problems in fact which have in many earlier poems been something of a theoretical pre- occupation, also represents the more experimental side of his work that has tended to preoccupy the critics who have written on him over the past three decades, along  with translation-based work (Virgil, the Chinese Shijing, Rimbaud), a run of austere shorter poems, many of an elegiac cast, and some graffiti-like riffs. Matthias has always written in several styles, and those are once again on display in this volume. The notes include an important gloss on the title poem, 'A Poetics of Parkinson’s.'

Cover of Complayntes for Doctor Neuro by John Matthias
 
John Matthias  At Large

Published November 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
 
Erica McAlpine  The Country Gambler

Published April 2016. Paperback, 82pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £8.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848614819 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In this accomplished first collection, Erica McAlpine draws truths from the everyday, meditating over contingency and luck and the often-vexed relationship we have to these things. The casual register of her verse belies its formal complexity. Many of the poems are crafted in tight syntactical units of just one or two sentences; others are composed in rhyming sapphics, a meter favoured by the poet Horace, whose guiding voice recurs throughout the collection. Humorous and serious in turn, these quietly virtuosic poems achieve lofty aims: to teach, to advise, to warn — to show, in the manner of a close friend, what the world has to offer, what it sometimes takes away, and what can and should matter most.
Cover of Erica McAlpine - The Country Gambler
 
Eduardo Milán  Selected Essays

Edited by Antonio Ochoa. Translated from Spanish by Leslie Harkema, Ruth Hemus, Antonio Ochoa & David Nielsen. Introduced by William Rowe. 

Published June 2016. Paperback, 112pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848614741 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

A companion volume to our 2013 edition of Milán’s Selected Poems, also edited by Antonio Ochoa. Uruguayan by birth, Eduardo Milán has long been resident in Mexico, and his essays cover the whole gamut of modern Latin American poetry.

Cover of Eduardo Milán - Selected Essays
 
Agi Mishol  Less Like a Dove

Translated from Hebrew by Joanna Chen
Published April 2016. Paperback, 94pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $18

ISBN 9781848614765 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"Agi Mishol, one of the most popular poets of Israel, captures the imagination and the heart of Israeli readers by observing common daily realities through a contemplative, sometimes meditative, perspective, negotiating the space between the mundane and the spiritual with a lively sense of humor. Having overcome such dissociations of sensibility, Mishol’s poems are flushed with a flow of vitality and freshness. With no undue emphasis, eschewing declarative pronouncements, the poet points to the important truths looming behind the veil of the trivial. Avoiding opacity and heaviness of any kind her carefully chosen words, semantically loaded to the brim, also throb with reined-in musicality and elan. The current selection of Mishol’s poems represents the latest phase in the development of the poet’s work in full ripeness."
—Prof. Dan Miron, Columbia University
Cover of Agi Mishol - Less Like a Dove
 
Peter Oswald  Sonnets of various sizes

Published September 2016. Paperback, 76pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614925 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Poet and dramatist Peter Oswald has been writing sonnets alongside his other work for the best part of thirty years. This volume brings a substantial selection of them together for the first time.

 

 
Cover of Peter Oswald - Sonnets of various sizes
 
John Peck  Cantilena

Published March 2016. Paperback, 364pp, 9 x 6ins, £14.95 / $24
ISBN 9781848614734 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Thematically, Cantilena appropriates subjects familiar to the Modernist long poem: recent European and American history, art making, political corruption and the question of individual complicity, and the bearing of classical and religious heritages on the present. Cantilena is also one of our only major long poems so far to consistently engage climate change. Yet, for this reader at least, the work’s chief power comes not from the positions it stakes out on these topics, but rather from its performance of a kind of imaginative magic — what Peck calls ‘undersensing.’ This ‘undersensing’ is carried out in three distinct arenas: historical vignettes, personal remembrances, and synchronicities snatched from a lifetime of reading. It is no exaggeration to say that the poem treats the dead, in Henry Vaughan’s words, as ‘alive and busie.’ These stand-offs with ghosts inform the flux in the speaker’s self, often caught between curiosity and terror: ‘Though they only stand there, they came many miles, / and though you wait, you’ll be the first to move.’  —Nate Klug, ‘Falling In: A Foreword’ 
Cover of John Peck - Cantilena
 
Jeremy Reed  I Heard It Through the Grapevine: Asa Benveniste and Trigram Press

Published February 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
 
John Riley  Selected Poetry & Prose

Edited by Ian Brinton
Published November 2016. Paperback, 128pp, 9 x 6ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848614888 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

John Riley (1937-1978) was known as one of the members of the so-called Cambridge School of poetry, and was co-editor, with Tim Longville, of the seminal Grosseteste Review and its associated press. His poetry, as with many others associated with the magazine, shows the influence of Pound and Olson, but it also reveals his interest in the Russian tradition — exemplified by his fine translations of Mandelstam, and by his long poem, 'Czargrad', the latter a glimpse of Byzantium under its Russian name.
 
Cover of Selected Poetry and Prose by John Riley
 
Anthony Rudolf (ed.)  Jerzyk

Translated, in part, from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones 
Published May 2016. Paperback, 166pp, 9 x 6ins, £10.95 / $18.50 
ISBN 9781848613690 [Download a PDF of the introduction to this book here.]

On 13 November 1943, Jerzy Feliks Urman (known as Jerzyk) killed himself, thinking the Gestapo had arrived. He was eleven and a half. He and his family were in hiding in Drohobycz, during the German occupation of East Galicia, now western Ukraine. A year earlier the family had quit Stanisławów in the wake of brutal round-ups and deportations of Jews.
     The boy’s parents, uncle, and grandmother survived the war. He kept a diary and jottings during the two months before he died. Anthony Rudolf, Jerzyk’s second cousin once removed, published these texts in 1991 in a translation made from a family typescript of the original.
     The recent discovery of the diary of Sophie Urman, Jerzyk’s mother, led Rudolf to commission a translation by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. She has also revised the earlier translation of Jerzyk’s own diary after comparing the typescript and the original manuscript, which is now in Rudolf’s possession.
Cover of Anthony Rudolf - Jerzyk
 
Lesley Saunders  Periplous — The Twelve Voyages of Pytheas

Published June 2016. Chapbook, 32pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £6.50 / $9.95
ISBN 9781848614871 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

A Greek merchant-explorer Pytheas – whose home port was the Greek colony of Massalia (Marseille) – is said to be the first person to have circumnavigated the British Isles, in 325 BCE, thereby fixing the islands in the historical imagination as archipelagic, maritime, aloof.  His own account of the voyage is lost. Lesley Saunder fills in the gaps.

Cover of Lesley Saunders - Periplous
 
Ian Seed  Identity Papers

Published February 2016. Paperback, 90pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614703 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The prose poems in Identity Papers seek to construct a living bridge between the self and its shadow, between the self and other, and between present and past. They do so with a vulnerable faith, working with Heidegger’s dictum that all things must be allowed their time in darkness. Along the way, their narrators meet a series of disturbing, irresistible strangers. Identity Papers follows on from Makers of Empty Dreams (Shearsman, 2014). It is the second volume in a trilogy of prose poem collections.

Cover of Ian Seed - Identity Papers
 
Simon Smith  More Flowers Than You Could Possibly Carry — Selected Poems 1989-2012

Edited by Barry Schwabsky
Published September 2016. Paperback, 176pp, 9 x 6ins, £12.95 / $20

ISBN 9781848615106 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This selection of Smith's work features generous selections from Fifteen Exits, Reverdy Road, Mercury and London Bridge, alongside unavailable early work, and previously unpublished poetry from the sequences, More Ammo and Content. On first receiving Reverdy Road Schwabsky recalls: ‘It was a revelation: resembling nothing I was familiar with in American poetry despite name-checking Jack Spicer and clear affinities with the New York School’s love of speed, wit, and variousness of tone, it had a music I could tune right into, something very much its own though it has also helped me, I think, hear my way into the work of some of Smith’s British contemporaries’.

Cover of More Flowers Than You Could Possibly Imagine — Selected Poems by Simon Smith
 
Mary Austin Speaker  The Bridge
Published January 2016. Paperback, 88pp, 8 x 5.25ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848614673

"Transit becomes an act of transcendence in Mary Austin Speaker’s The Bridge. I love how each section of the book ends almost where it begins, how the world comes as it goes, flash after flash — and just when things begin to blur we “awake to astonishing / geometry,” to an awareness that “ascent is only a way / toward another opening.”
       The Bridge limns with unmatched grace the internal and external process of daily passage." —Joseph Massey
Cover of Mary Austin Speaker - The Bridge
 
Will Stone  The Sleepwalkers

Published March 2016. Paperback, 82pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £8.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614727 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

A new collection from award-winning poet Will Stone, whose poems have been described as haunting, beautiful, savage, lyric and visionary, inventive, searing yet poignant, mesmerising and original.
 
Like its predecessor Drawing in Ash, Sleepwalkers ranges across Britain and continental Europe, past, present and future, conjuring extraordinary visions of beauty and despair, joy and horror, revelation and nostalgia. From delicate insight to apocalyptic rage, the glory and savagery of human achievement and destruction is set against the majestic power and fragility of nature. 
Cover of Will Stone - The Sleepwalkers
 
Em Strang  Bird-Woman

Shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry's First Collection Prize, 2017
Published October 2016. Paperback, 80pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17

ISBN 9781848614949 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"Em Strang's poems are shamanic, in that they restore to us abandoned mythologies.  Nothing is stable in this very real world, where houses can become birds, where the animal lies shallowly below the surface of the human, where poems are haunted with what is unsaid. An 'old throat from the other side', full of bewilderment, concern, passion and beauty."  —Jen Hadfield

 
Harriet Tarlo  Field

Published October 2016. Paperback, 72pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848615113 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Field is a collection of poems based on the close observation of a single field, glimpsed from a railway line near Penistone (South Yorkshire), which has been edited down to 60 short lyrical poems tracing seasonal and ecological changes as well as the relationship of people to place.

Cover of Field by Harriet Tarlo
 
Jon Thompson  Strange Country

Published September 2016. Paperback, 92pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848614826 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Fascinated by strangeness that’s made in the U.S.A.—its beliefs and organization, its affinity for violence and its elusive relationship with the past—Strange Country lyrically addresses itself to defining American landscapes/dreamscapes, and to their unaccountable beauty.

"In Strange Country Jon Thompson addresses the voices, amongst others, of ‘the traffic of fear’, and bids their speakers join the living. It is also an invitation to the reader to enter a specifically American poetry of the here-and-now. The accomplishment of Strange Country begins with the exact measure of its line and its discovered idiom in the face of what may well be termed the present contradictions of a strange country.  What sustains that accomplishment is a poet’s attention to a ‘wide-open polyphony’ equal to the multiple realities of its subject." — Kelvin Corcoran
Cover of Strange Country by Jon Thompson
 
Robert Vas Dias & Julia Farrer  Black Book

Published October 2016. Paperback, 64pp, 9.21 x 6.14ins, £12.95
ISBN 9781848614895

Black Book: An Assemblage of the Fragmentary is the first major collaboration between a poet and artist reacting to the worst humanitarian crisis since the second world war. In hard-hitting texts by Robert Vas Dias and vivid abstract images by Julia Farrer, Black Book takes as its point of departure the worldwide intolerance suffered by ‘the Other,’ reflecting their belief that “art is an individual commitment to the times we live in”. Robert Hampson writes: “Black Book is an ethical response to a range of contemporary atrocities and acts of inhumanity… [confronting] us with what has become our common world since the initiation of the ‘war on terror’.” The book is experimental, exhibiting a variety of poetic and visual approaches, including  texts composed by chance procedures, all illustrative of the state of fragmentation: what is left after bombardment, desecration, drownings, broken families. 
Cover of Robert Vas Dias and Julia Farrer - Black Book
 
Orhan Veli  The Complete Poems

Translated from Turkish by George Messo
Published November 2016. Paperback, 208pp, 9 x 6ins, £12.95 / $21
ISBN 9781848614376 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Orhan Veli Kanık (1914-1950), more commonly known as Orhan Veli, was a pioneering Turkish poet and one of the founding members of the Garip (Strange) movement. His innovative poetics wore a unique signature of austerity and accessibility. With arresting insight and playful irreverence, Veli’s poems transformed the Turkish literary world.
     Now, at last, this edition of The Complete Poems makes the full breadth of his achievement available in English for the first time. It brings together poems from the five collections published during the author’s lifetime, as well as uncollected material from newspapers and magazines, and poems only published posthumously.
Cover of Orhan Veli - The Complete Poems
 
Ron Winkler  Fragmented Waters

Translated from German by Jake Schneider 
Published September 2016. Paperback, 84pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848615045 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Born in 1973, Ron Winkler is one of the leading poets of his generation in Germany.
 
“In his poetry he demonstrates in a sometimes hilarious, sometimes unsettling way how an ever greater part of what in the previous century we used to call ‘reality’ for the sake of convenience, has been expanded and shrunk to a virtual universe in which the tactile and audible are constantly zapped, sampled, filtered and twittered. The consequence is that “on a word level, our thought collapses into fragmented, labyrinthine and ridiculously large-scale concepts”.  —Ard Posthuma
Cover of Fragmented Waters by Ron Winkler