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

In 2024 Smokestack Books is publishing 13 new titles, including books by Michael Rosen, Kate Fox, W.N. Herbert and Martin Rowson, a selection of poems by Ilya Ehrenburg, an anthology of Kurdish women poets and a selection by Palestinian poets about the war in Gaza.

Members of Smokestack’s book-club enjoy big discounts on all Smokestack’s new titles. Just choose the books you want from this year’s catalogue (or from Smokestack’s extensive back-list), e-mail your choices to 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.
£70 annual UK subscription: you receive 12 books a year.

£50 overseas subscription: you receive 6 books a year.
£90 overseas subscription: you receive 12 books a year.

To join Smokestack's book-club contact:
tel: 0785 4370423
Smokestack Books, School Farm, Nether Silton, Thirsk, North Yorkshire YO7 2JZ

Smokestack Book Club Titles 2024

Mark Robinson, The Infinite Town

What happens when the news gets into your dreams and unravels the work of the day? When you feel homesick, especially when you are at home? What happens when the future tracks you down and corners you? Who blinks first? The Infinite Town is a painful – and playful – mapping of public spaces and private places under assault. Exploring history, home, hurt, Robinson’s search for the infinite possibilities of the everyday, of empathy and solidarity, leads to his most intricately structured and musical collection yet.

1 February. £7.99. ISBN: 9781739473402

W.N. Herbert, Unselected Poems

A selection of the best of Bill Herbert’s ‘unselected’ poems, including On Your Nerve: A Wake for Frank O’Hara; the libretto, Little Instruments of Apprehension; the mock-epic, Don Juan’s Pilgrimage; and his award-winning pamphlet, Murder Bear. An invitation to consider the less-travelled tracks we might have taken and could yet follow. Let’s go, omnes – pursue that bear!

1 February. £7.99. ISBN: 9781739173081

Atef Alshaer and Alan Morrison (ed), Out of Gaza: New Palestinian Poetry

Out of Gaza brings together responses to the Israeli invasion of Gaza by a dozen Palestinian poets – Naomi Shihab Nye, Farid Bitar, Deema Shehabi, Hala Alyan, Ali Abukhattab, Marwan Makhoul, Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Mohammed Mousa, Dareen Tatour, Samah Sabawi and Sara Saleh. These are poems of rubble and resilience, death and resistance; they speak about displacement, occupation, exile and bombardment. Angry with the world’s silence in the face of such tragedy, these poems bear witness to catastrophe and to the powerful determination to survive it. A percentage of the sales of this book go to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

1 March. £9.99. ISBN: 9781739473457

Ilya Ehrenburg, Babi Yar and Other Poems

Soviet writer Ilya Ehrenburg (1891-1967) wrote nearly a hundred books, including The Extraordinary Adventures of Julio Jurenito and his Disciples, The Fall of Paris and The Storm. He served as a war-correspondent during the First World War, the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War. He and Vasily Grossman edited The Black Book of Soviet Jewry, documenting the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Soviet territory. His 1954 novel The Thaw gave its name to the Khrushchev years in the Soviet Union. Babi Yar and Other Poems makes a representative selection of his poetry available in English for the first time. Edited and translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya.

1 April. £9.99. ISBN 9781739473419

Maram al-Masri (ed), Love and War: Contemporary Kurdish women poets

‘A revolution incapable of liberating women is not a revolution,’ according to the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. Love and War brings together in English the work of forty-five contemporary Kurdish women poets, including Bejan Matur, Sara Aktas, Fadwa Kilani and Sîmîn Caycî. Some of these poets write in the Kurdish languages of Kurmandji and Sorani, others in Arabic, Turkish, Farsi or French. Five are Yazidis. Each has experienced persecution and war. Several have been imprisoned. Many now live in exile, others in Iraq, Turkey, Iran or Rojava. Feminist, radical and internationalist, all write about the need to live in freedom and the right to live in peace. Translated by Alan Dent.

1 April. £9.99. ISBN 9781739473426

Kate Fox, Bigger on the Inside

Bigger on the Inside is a neuroqueer imaginary of Timelords, psychologists, octopuses, sparkly things and mushrooms. Stand-up poet, spoken word artist and broadcaster Kate Fox travels through time and space in search of solutions to the Double Empathy Problem. Along the way she encounters monotropists, labels, stigmas and people with differently wired brains. In this poetic exploration of neurodiversity, terms like Autism and ADHD can be bestowed, refused, fought for, resisted, queered or overturned. As the Doctor once said, ‘a straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting…’

1 June. £7.99. ISBN 9781739473433

Michael Rosen, Pebbles

A collection of some of Michael Rosen’s most recent poetry-tweets, musings, daily observations and lifelong preoccupations – pitted prunes, anteaters, Sisyphus, the sound of rain stopping, garlic pickle, blocked sinks, lost suitcases, legs, bagels, Sats tests, grief, saggy jumpers, chicken soup, Eurovision, COVID, labyrinthitis, kookaburras, fringe-magnets, cucumber raita, sneezing, shamans, raisins, armpits, pest-control, the after-life, the icing on the cake, antisemitism, Gaza. These are the everyday reports of an ‘optimistic nihilist' – someone who doesn’t believe there is any point to existence, but thinks that this is a good reason to make the most of this life while we can.

1 June. £8.99. ISBN 9781739473440

Marilyn Longstaff, Being Gemini

Born under the star sign Gemini, thrust into an adult secular world from an unquestioning faith background, Marilyn Longstaff lives somewhere between the miraculous, the magical and the mundane. A book about the two sides of everything – lockdowns, ageing, deafness, bereavement – and learning to be ‘neither one thing nor the other.’

1 August. £7.99. ISBN 9781739473464

J.S. Litherland, Marginal Future

Drought. Flood. Storms. Every year Jackie Litherland wonders if she will survive the winter to see the spring. The weather can no longer be trusted. The damage has already been done. Childhood trauma and the planet under siege; the collapse of the Durham coalfield and the USSR. The Pandemic comes as a reckoning of ills and what is illuminated: the past and the not yet written future.

1 August. £7.99. ISBN 9781739473471

Stephen Sawyer, Carrying a Tree on the Bus to Low Edges

Writing in northern time through lockdowns and into the meta-crises since, Stephen Sawyer asks what it is that makes us human in the face of so many threats to life and what sustains it. A forest of stories and voices, a portrait of the uprooted, unheard, locked in and locked out of place and time, a soulful, luminous meditation to reaffirm bonds and identities that cross borders and epochs, now more than ever under siege. 

1 October. £7.99. ISBN 9781739473488

Sheree Mack, Darkling

Sheree Mack returns to poetry to explore surviving and thriving. Written from within a Black women's body, Mack reconnects with nature, learning how to be within the landscape and the sea, in order to be reconnect with others and herself. Darkling is a collection about ecology and memory, bodies and grief, nature and healing. 

1 October. £7.99. ISBN 9781739473495

Martin Hayes, Machine Poems

Martin Hayes’ new collection confronts head-on the colonisation of human life by machines – the way we work, the way we play, how we interact with each other, the language we use, the way we treat the planet, and how much we have already lost. Is it too late to switch off the machines? I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that…

1 December. £7.99. ISBN 9781738515417

Martin Rowson, The Cuntsiad

Award-winning cartoonist Martin Rowson reboots Alexander Pope’s The Dunciad for the twenty-first century. A mock-heroic epic Who’s Who of all the greedy mountebanks, liars, knaves, fools and cunts who have brought us to this pass.

1 December. £7.99. ISBN 9781738515400

Smokestack titles can be ordered from all good bookshops or directly from Smokestack Books, School Farm, Nether Silton, Thirsk, North Yorkshire YO7 2JZ. 0785 4370423