The World of Poetry Publishing
The language of poetry publishers, with Carcanet's Michael Schmidt, Peter Sansom from The Poetry Business, Nell Nelson of Happenstance Press and Wasafiri editor Malachi McIntosh.
A must for those who submit poetry and fiction to presses and magazines - the Verb takes a deep dive into the language of the poetry publishing world. It's a vibrant landscape, with publishers like Carcanet celebrating 50 years in business, and a whole host of smaller presses and magazine publishers thriving both online and in print. Many of the people behind the scenes are poets and writers themselves, including our guests. They explore the 'poetry' words that inexplicably appear in submissions, the balance between writing and editing, and how to write book blurbs without using the word 'exciting'.
Ian is joined by Michael Schmidt, Peter Sansom, Malachi McIntosh, and Nell Nelson.
Presenter: Ian McMillan
Producer: Faith Lawrence
Nell Nelson is the publisher behind Fife-based Happenstance Press which specialises in publishing poetry pamphlets. Nell is also a poet - and some of her poems are inspired by her work as a publisher. She reads her poem ‘What not to write on the back jacket of your debut collection’, explains some of the problems behind the language of hype, and why she finds the word ‘exciting’ exactly the opposite. She also shares her ‘Wrapper Rhyme’ challenge - inspired by Ted Hughes’ poem written on the back of a confectionery wrapper.
Peter Sansom is a poet, and since the 1980s, alongside Ann Sansom, he has reflected and nurtured the poetry scene in the North of England (and beyond) through the periodical ‘The North’ and the press Smith|Doorstop. The first issue of ‘The North’ presented the work of two future poet laureates – Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage. Peter reads his poem ‘The Caddy’ which draws on the experience of being a poetry teacher.
Michael Schmidt is a poet, scholar, critic and translator, as well as the Managing Director of the Manchester based poetry publisher Carcarnet, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Michael’s life in poetry editing began when he was an undergraduate – and he’s since been responsible for spotting many award-winning poets, including those who have gone on to win the T.S. Eliot prize and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. A new book ‘Fifty Fifty – Carcanet’s Jubilee in Letters’ (edited by Robyn Marsack) reveals some of the correspondence he has exchanged with iconic poets like Elizabeth Bishop and W.S.Graham. Carcanet has not only nurtured new voices – especially within the pages of what Michael calls his ‘dragnet’, the periodical ‘PN Review’, it has also recovered voices that have been unjustly neglected.
Malachi McIntosh is the editor of Wasafiri, a magazine that has been publishing international contemporary writing for 35 years ( founded by Professor Susheila Nasta). He tells us about the challenges of balancing the content in a publication with a global remit and why for him being an editor begins with being a reader. Malachi reads a piece specially commissioned by The Verb on the difficulties faced by editors in finding the correct language to respond to submissions - ‘Letters From The Editor’.