Pamphlet publishing

Last week the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award shortlist was announced, and today the Michael Marks shortlist was announced, both for poetry and for pamphlet publishers.

In case anyone missed it, here’s the CMMA shortlist:

The Flood, by Alistair McDonald, published in Dunoon by Classical Head Press
Sky Blue Notebook from the Pyrenees by Jayne Wilding, published in Dunbar by Calder Wood Press.
Slaughtering Beetroot, by Angela McSeveney, published in Edinburgh by Mariscat Press
Hinkum Clinkum, by Sheena Blackhall, published in Aberdeen by Malfranteaux Concepts.
Hope/Truth by Priscilla Chueng-Nainby, published in Edinburgh by Lemongrass Hut.
Ring O’Sangs by Mary Johnston, published in Bonnyrigg by Poetry Monthly.
Postcards from the Hedge by Hugh McMillan, published in Dumfries by Roncadora Press

and the Michael Marks lists:

Bone Song by Polly Atkin (Aussteiger Publications)
The Shortest Days by Elizabeth Burns (Galdragon Press)
That Water Speaks in Tongues by Siobhán Campbell (Templar Poetry)
Milk by Sarah Jackson (Pighog)
Whichever Music by Kate Potts (tall-lighthouse)
quot by seekers of lice (self-published)

And Publishers:
HappenStance Press
Oystercatcher Press
Templar Poetry

I’m impressed by both lists (notwithstanding my personal interest in the CMMA outcome, which features two Calder Wood Press authors and several friends). Taken together, however, they indicate to me that pamphlet publication is an increasingly strong vehicle for poetry publishing. More than that, as pressures (financial and submission volumes) on poetry magazines rises, pamphlet publication is becoming more important as a break-through vehicle for emerging poets. I picked up several tall-lighthouse pamphlets at the last StAnza, and I was much impressed by them. They’re an ideal sampler, and the best format for publishing short poem sequences.

Also, they mostly don’t require public subsidy. Costs are relatively small, and the financial risk to publishers is mostly bearable. Plus, and in my case it’s a big plus, each one is a creative and enjoyable challenge to the publisher. Let’s have more.


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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