Tag Archive: Flambard Press

Whaleship Charles W. Morgan at the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, where I spent many summers, and graduated from the Munson Institute for Maritime Studies in 2007.

Exactly one week ago, I received an email from Cinnamon Press offering publication on my second collection of poetry, Atlantic. The book is on the list to be published in May 2014.

I’m absolutely delighted by the news. I’m indebted to my Greenwich-based ‘Nevada Street Poets,’ the group of writers I’ve been sharing wine and critiques with over the past…goodness, I think it’s almost four years now. The six of us are poets Mick Delap, Lorraine Mariner, Sarah Westcott, Malene Engelund, and Dominic McLaughlin. They’ve become close friends and confidantes, and they are what every poet dreams of: trustworthy critics who will challenge and encourage. Most of the poems in Atlantic have been through the wringer with Nevada Street (named after the street where we first held our workshops,) and I’m certain that our meetings, plus an added filter of invaluable critiques from friend, poet and writer Richard Barnett, helped me send a convincing manuscript to Cinnamon Press.

If you’re familiar with my blog, you’ll know that my first book of poetry, Darwin’s Microscope, was published in 2009 by Flambard Press, and re-printed in 2010. You’ll know how wonderfully supportive Flambard was for me as a new poet, and how, despite their interest in my other work, I had to seek a new home for my poetry when the Arts Council cruelly cut Flambard along with other small presses last year. After 20 years of successful publishing, Flambard had to close. I’ll be forever grateful to Peter, Margaret, and Will at Flambard for including me in their list, and for giving a freshly-planted New Englander the credibility to establish herself in the UK poetry scene.

Atlantic explores the ebb and flow of contrasts. Shifting between Old England and New England, death and life, grief and lust, it reflects the eddies of emotion I’ve experienced over the past few years, working to establish myself in London while spending a great deal of time in Rhode Island, helping my grandparents at the end of their lives. Atlantic considers my heritage, questions of travel, and questions of home. I’m most pleased that it will be published by an international press: Cinnamon Press.

Farewell, Flambard

I am terribly sad to share the news that Flambard Press, that wonderful small publisher in the North which has been the champion of new and established poets (and novelists) for twenty years, will close in 2012. The Arts Council cuts are the reason: Flambard did not receive funding to carry on. *

I realised that until now, I’d taken for granted the governmental funding of the Arts. When I moved to London in August 2007, I simply thought, well hurrah! the government puts money into the arts. And I do think this is a good thing. We are now seeing the ‘bad’ side of it: publishers who don’t have, haven’t garnered, or perhaps don’t know how to cultivate other forms of support (rich benefactors, perhaps). Or, as I understand to be the case, don’t have much of an option for that: I’ve heard London’s a better spot for ‘rich benefactors’ than Newcastle. Fair point. *

My complaint, the part I don’t understand, is why the ACE has appeared to take funds from many small presses and give more money to bigger presses. To me, the point of a small press is that it. is. small. It specializes in something: poetry, say, or discovering and fostering new talent. Or focusing on publishing local writers. Things big presses don’t tend to do. The niche presses can do wonderfully creative things that bigger presses might not. It’s like biodiversity. The Arts Council is killing the biodiversity of the publishing world! And I can speak from personal experience that us writing types can do a heck of a lot with a little bit of funding. Would it have done any better to cut everyone’s funds somewhat but not entirely? Would it have fostered more collaborations and fewer, but still excellent, publications? Or would everyone have whinged about that, too?*

My experience as a Flambard Press author has been an enormous pleasure. Peter, Margaret, and Will have been supportive and encouraging: indeed, I feel it was their decision to publish Darwin’s Microscope that made me an author: it legitimized me; gave me credibility to be published by a small, established, reputable press. It gave me the footing to say, I am a published poet. This is not a point of snobbery, but rather some of the formative moments of my development as an author. Flambard Press made me believe that I could do this writing thing. That I should do it. And I love them for that, and I feel a fierce loyalty to the press, and it is a shame to see them go. However, I do know that they will produce excellent books in this last year, just as they have done for 20 years.*

Forgive the re-blogging, but this is a must read: Carol Ann Duffy’s poem about the cuts.

Flambard Press turns 20 this year, and was championed last night by a reading at the Troubadour by eight of its poets: Wanda Barford, Nancy Mattson, SJ Litherland, Anna McKerrow, Cynthia Fuller, Rebecca Goss, Ellen Phethean, and me.

Yes, that’s an all-female line-up, which was by chance, but helps illustrate how supportive Flambard Press is of female writers.

The lovely Anne-Marie Fyfe, coffee-house poetry organizer, generously introduced Flambard, and then our delightful Managing Editor Will Mackie introduced the poets. I was lucky to get my anxiety over with early on, as I was first to read, and then relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the poets, none of whom I’d had the pleasure to hear before.

And an excellent, varied evening it was — a real demonstration of the breadth of Flambard’s creative talent. From science to sex, seasides to ice fishing, lust, love, and loss — from history to health, home, hearts, and husbands. It was a delight to be part of celebrating Flambard Press, and a delight to read at the famous Troubadour.  Thank you to everyone who came out to support the event. Please do check out Flambard Press and buy a book — particularly by any of the eight poets above  — in celebration of 20  years of excellent publishing!

Flambard Press launch

Launched this month.

Last week at Daunt Books, Fulham Road, Flambard Press launched Richard Aronowitz’s second novel, It’s Just the Beating of My Heart, to a sizable crowd of enthusiastic supporters.

Poor Richard had lost his voice the day before, so he asked his brother-in-law, an actor, to read the brief excerpt from the novel on his behalf, and the reading was very entertaining indeed.

Here is a brief clip about the novel from the FP site:

‘Waking each morning alone, John Stack finds solace in long, alcohol-fuelled walks through the unchanging landscape of a Gloucestershire valley. Linda, his wife, has left him and his once golden reputation as an art dealer has faded. The only glimmer of light for John comes through the weekend visits of his twelve-year-old daughter Bryony. An encounter with a beautiful and enigmatic neighbour may offer the chance of a new beginning for John, if only he can quieten his suspicions about the death of her husband. Told in sparkling poetic language, It’s Just the Beating of My Heart is a story of loss, heartbreak and hope in a world peopled by ghosts.’

Best of luck to Richard on his second novel!

Wordsworth Trust event

Dove Cottage at the Wordsworth Trust.

The Wordsworth Trust and Inpress Books are hosting a series of events, ‘resolution and independence,’ about independent publishing.

Flambard Press books are distributed under the Inpress Books banner.

So I’m heading up to the Lake District, and on Saturday my Editor Will Mackie will speak about Flambard Press, and I will read from Darwin’s Microscope.

Then, Tony Ward of Arc Publications will present Brian Johnstone, who will read from his new collection, The Book of Belongings.

It’s an honour to be invited to read at this event, and a pleasure to head up to Dove Cottage for the first time.


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