Smokestack is very sorry to report the death of the poet, essayist and editor Sebastian Barker, at the age of 68. Sebastian was a wonderful lyrical poet. He wrote with such an enviable light, musical grace. Smokestack is extremely proud to have published Sebastian's The Erotics of God. He was the real thing.
Congratulations to Steve Ely, whose first book, Oswald's Book of Hours has just been short-listed for this year's Ted Hughes Award, an annual prize established by Carol Anne Duffy and given to a living UK poet for new work in poetry. Oswald's Book of Hours was also on last year's Forward Prize shortlist for the Best First Collection.
Smokestack aims to keep open a space for what is left of the English radical poetic tradition in the twenty-first century. Smokestack champions poets who are unfashionable, radical, left-field and working a long way from the metropolitan centres of cultural authority. Smokestack is interested in the World as well as the Word; believes that poetry is a part of and not apart from society; argues that if poetry does not belong to everyone it is not poetry.
Smokestack's list includes books by Katrina Porteous, Ian McMillan, Kate Fox, Martin Rowson, Alison Fell, Sebastian Barker, Gerda Stevenson and Steve Ely. Smokestack's growing international list includes books by Gustavo Pereira (Venezuela), Heinrich Heine (Germany), Rocco Scotellaro (Italy), Nicola Vaptsarov (Bulgaria), Francis Combes (France), Andras Mezei (Hungary) and Victor Jara (Chile).
May sees the publication of two books of Greek poetry. Crisis is a bilingual anthology about the economic, political and social crisis in Greece. Edited by Dinos Siotis, Crisis features thirty Greek poets including Dimitris Angelis, Elsa Korneti, Νektarios Lambropoulos and Kiki Dimoula, as they try to address the crisis in their country. 'Crisis has crept everywhere. Her hair flutters against our faces. Her perfume, the scent of a brothel, pervades us...'
Romiosini, an epic by the Greek poet Yiannis Ritsos, is also out in May, a hymn to the Greek Partisans of EAM/ELAS in the Second World War.
In June Smokestack is publishing Survivors: Hungarian Jewish Poets of the Holocaust. Edited by Thomas Ország-Land, the book brings together for the first time in English, poems by Dán Dalmát, Tamás Emőd, György Faludy, Eszter Forrai, Ágnes Gergely, Frigyes Karinthy, Éva Láng, András Mezei, Thomas Ország-Land, Miklós Radnóti, Magda Székely and György Timár.
Graham Fulton's hilariously grim One Day in the Life of Jimmy Denisovitch is out in June. So is primitive cartography, a book about learning to live under strange stars by the Northumbrian poet Paul Summers, now living in Australia.
September sees the publication of a new collection of poems by Jeremy Robson, a big selection of poems by the Anglo-Australian Communist writer Jack Lindsay, Digressions by Ian Duhig and Philippa Troutman, and the Collected Poems of novelist and art-historian John Berger.
Finally, in November Smokestack is bringing out the fourth volume of Martin Rowson's The Limerickiad, and another book-length epic poem by Yiannis Ritsos, Epitaphios.
Coming soon from Smokestack are books by Martin Hayes, Jo Colley, Sheree Mack, Jan Carew (Guyana), Goran Simic (Serbia), Larry Beckett (USA), Paolo Pasolini (Italy), Otto Rene Castillo (Guatemala) and Roque Dalton (El Salvador).
'Smokestack are to be congratulated on recognising and maintaining such a wide and varied portfolio of excellent poets. Long may it continue.'
'a welcome addition to the poetry world.'
'one of the most courageous little presses in Britain.'
'Smokestack has a well-deserved reputation as a pioneer in publishing progressive poetry from around the globe.'
'Smokestack has a great squad of radical poets lined up for its first season. I predict that the team will roll like thunder, strike like lightning and electrify British poetry.'
'a press with formidable integrity and international reach.'
Partners and Funding
Smokestack Books is a member of Inpress and is supported by Middlesbrough Borough Council.