Red Flags in the Smokestacks: Smokestack’s book-club

In 2021 Smokestack Books is publishing 20 new titles, including books by Sylvia Pankhurst, Chawki Abdelamir, Martin Rowson, Marcos Ana, Paul Mills, Farid Bitar, Ruth Valentine, Richard Skinner, Anna Robinson and Martin Hayes.

Members of Smokestack’s Book Club for well-red poetry readers enjoy big discounts on all Smokestack’s new titles. Just choose the books you want from this year’s catalogue and they will be sent to you post-free as soon as they are published.

£40 annual UK subscription: you receive 6 books a year.
£60 annual UK subscription: you receive 12 books a year.

£50 overseas subscription: you receive 6 books a year.
£70 overseas subscription: you receive 12 books a year.

To join Smokestack's book-club contact:
tel: 01765 658917
1 Lake Terrace, Grewelthorpe, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4

Smokestack Book Club Titles 2021

Sylvia Pankhurst, Writ on Cold Slate

Sylvia Pankhurst’s only book of poems, first published in 1921. Written in Holloway Prison where she was on hunger-strike and deprived of pen and paper. With photographs by her friend and fellow Suffragist Norah Smythe. 1 February. £7.99.

Chawki Abdelamir, Attempts on Death

The first English publication of poems by the Iraqi poet and diplomat Chawki Abdelamir. The author of over 30 books, he has translated Gullevic into Arabic, Adonis into French, and is currently Iraq’s representative on UNESCO. Translated by Alan Dent. French and English. 1 February. £8.99.

Martin Edwards, The Out-Islands

The Out-Islands are a long way out, just over the horizon. Columbus made landfall here. Atlantis is said to lie beneath the waves. A book about Paradise and its discontents, about homesickness and utopian longing, surfers, swimmers and drowned sailors. 1 February. £7.99.

Martin Rowson, Plague Songs

A cycle of furious, bleakly comic and frankly offensive poems about COVID-19, recording in manic verse the long lockdown Summer of 2020 – coughs and sneezes, funerals and furloughs, hangovers and hauntings, track and trace. What rhymes with COVID except bovid? Is Matt Hancock the Tory Party’s answer to Fred West? Does every shroud have a silver lining? 1 April. £9.99.

Marcos Ana, Poems from Prison and Life

The first English publication of poems by the Spanish Communist Marcos Ana (1920-2016). Captured at the end of the Civil War, he spent the next 23 years in Franco’s prisons, often in solitary confinement. He was eventually released in 1961, following an international campaign led by Picasso, Neruda, Alberti and Sartre. Spanish and English. Translated by David Duncombe. 1 April. £8.99.

Paul Mills, Nomad

A book about Time – geological, mythic, historical and familial. Following the long journey from a pre-human world to the Gates of Grief, Paul Mills’ new collection tells a story of antler-bone spears, virgin forests, stone-tools, hand-prints on rock, ancestors and grand-children. It’s about the collective imagination, the importance of art, and learning to use technology to survive the natural world without destroying it. 1 April. £7.99.

Farid Bitar, Screaming Olives

Since 1967 almost a million ancient olive trees have been cut down by Israeli authorities and settlers in an attempt to ruin the Palestinian economy and to uproot Palestinian culture. Screaming Olives is a book about occupation, resistance and resilience, and a demand for the right of return for the 5 million Palestinians who presently live in exile. 1 June. £8.99.

Richard Skinner, Invisible Sun

Richard Skinner’s fourth collection confirms his reputation as a poet of playful misplacement and misdirection. It’s a book about windows, clouds and the invisible sun – the bright source of all life but also our daily measure of time and loss – illuminating ‘the distant glitter of other people’s lives’. 1 June. £7.99.

Michael Crowley, The Battle of Heptonstall

The story of a small, bloody battle in the English Civil War, when Heptonstall was occupied by Parliamentary forces and then sacked by the Royalists. It’s a book about ideology, class and Englishness, from the Putney Debates to Brexit; about propaganda and division, authority and dissent, reaction and resistance, then and now. 1 June. £7.99.

E.E. Jones, The Incident

A book about History, Fascism and the violence we allow to be done to others – refugees, dissidents, asylum-seekers, benefit-claimants. Includes a series of portraits of remarkable women who tried to resist, like Sylvia Pankhurst, Rosa Parks, Sophie Scholl, Anne Frank and Jo Cox. 1 July. £7.99.

Ruth Valentine, If You Want Thunder

Ruth Valentine's new collection encompasses the tragedies of the public world and our private griefs, the morality of politics and the mortality of us all. At the heart of the book is an extraordinary alphabetical sequence about the Grenfell dead and the society that allowed them to die. 1 July. £7.99.

Selina Rodrigues, Ferocious

Selina Rodrigues’ first collection takes a long look at the invisible ecology of contemporary work – call-centres, computer screens, night-shift cleaners, and the competing structures of time and money, labour and desire. 1 August. £7.99.

Anna Robinson, Whatsname Street

Anna Robinson’s third collection is a study of working-class life in London SE1 – south of the river, behind the South Bank, beyond Waterloo station, below the radar. A celebration of work, street-life, bits and bobs, loose change, and the poetry of class. 1 August. £7.99.

Fiona Sinclair, Greedy Cow

A sequel to Fiona Sinclair’s Slow Burner, it’s a book about love and desire in middle-age, love dropping like an Autumn windfall, exchanging a single life for a double bed, and riding pillion down to Margate for chips and ice-cream. 1 August. £7.99.

Andy Willoughby, Black River Sonnets

Inspired by Trout Fishing in America and the Finnish Leminkainen myth, Willoughby crosses the river Tees and the black river of the underworld in search of the literary form that can make sense of death. A comic post-Beat, mock epic, high-octane journey to Hell and back. 1 September. £7.99.

Nick Moss, Swear Down

Nick Moss began writing these Koestler Award-winning poems at the start of a two-year prison sentence. A bluntly eloquent account of violent men and a violent system, hauntings, ghosts, skeleton choirs, and the ‘rose-tinted plexiglass of the SERCO bus to Belmarsh’. 1 September. £7.99.

Stephen Wade, Stretch

Novelist and True Crime writer Stephen Wade reflects on life in some of the prisons where he has worked – on the landings, in the gym and down the Block, librarians and Listeners, seductive dreams, wrong decisions, heroin and sadness, resignation and regret. 1 September. £7.99.

Ishaq Imruh Bakari, The Madman in this House

Beginning with the body of an African man stuffed on display in a museum, film-maker Imruh Bakari’s fourth collection explores colonialism, conquest and resistance in the twenty-first century, from Planet of the Apes to Desert Storm and beyond. 1 November. £7.99.

Martin Hayes, Underneath

Martin Hayes’ third Smokestack collection is a hymn to the invisible workers who hold up the sky – the couriers working 15-hours a day to distribute PPE and test kits around the country. A brutally funny collection about work, comradeship and community. 1 November. £7.99.

Smokestack Lightning

The two-hundredth book published by Smokestack, containing one poem from each of the previous 199. Includes poems by John Berger, Michael Rosen, Kate Fox, Alexandr Tvardovsky, Ian McMillan, Martin Rowson, Judith Kazantzis, Nikola Vaptsarov, Gerda Stevenson, Rocco Scotellaro, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Winétt de Rokha, Steve Ely, Kristina Dimitrova, Louis Aragon, Roque Dalton, Linda France, Martín Espada, Justyna Bargielska, Peter Blackman, Katrina Porteous, Yiannis Ritsos and Victor Jara. 1 December. £9.99.