All entries for Friday 02 February 2007

February 02, 2007

The Heaventree Press in Poetry Wales

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See below this extract from Kathryn Gray on poetry and its publishers. Note that the David/Jonathan Morley confusion strikes once again.

“Not all poetry publishers want to tussle with the big boys or even make any money out of their enterprise. Coventry is the home of the Heaventree Press, a community publishing house headed my David Morley, Director of the Warwick Writing Programme at Warwick University and which includes Wales’ own Zoe Brigley as an associate editor. Heaventree clearly has an eye for talent; they published a sample of Jen Hadfield’s work in Heaventree New Poets 2 back in 2004. Hadfield is a highly respected young poet who has since brought out a first collection with Bloodaxe, Almanacs . There’s ever the danger that talents will move on to ever more ‘visible’ presses – it’s a problem which effects smaller and larger independents, as proven achievers are snapped up by others who may or may not eb able to promise them more.

“Nothing wrong with this is in principle; it’s all part and parcel of poetry’s ecosystem, is healthy and, above all, ensures a feel of creative continuity in the poetry world. It’s self-eveident, however, that it must be difficult to watch your new talent grow into their genius under the auspices of another. But, when you are free of these issues – being ‘not for profit’ and posessing clear creative’ aims’ rather than ‘personalities’ to justofy your existence – you can bring on important work that doesn’t tick teh boxes of fashion or, necessarily, easy accessibility. The press has recently published collectiosn by Jamaican Kei Miller and the young experimental poet Malgorzata Kitowski which come complete with endorsement from leading names.

“More crucially for their ‘visibility’, they’ve achieved something of a coup by getting established names Mario Petrucci and David Dabydeen on board too, offering ‘limited edition’ pamphlets of their work. With Arts Council funding secured, as well as a generous community publishing award, I’ll be watching with interest to see how their mission statement develops over the next few years.”


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