Friday, May 22, 2009

Congratulations To HappenStance Press

Terrific news yesterday that HappenStance Press have been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Awards for the UK’s Best Pamphlet Publisher, 2009. It’s long overdue recognition for the great work Helena Nelson has been doing, work I have benefited from personally, both by having The Clown of Natural Sorrow published in 2005 and by Nell’s excellent editorial work on it. I am rooting for HappenStance all the way, although the other nominees (Templar, tall-lighthouse, and Oystercatcher) are very strong publishing houses too. They all deserve an award!

There is also a Best Pamphlet Award and the shortlist there is:

Bone Song by Polly Atkin (Aussteiger Publications)
The Shortest Days by Elizabeth Burns (Galdragon Press)
That Water Speaks in Tongues by Siobhán Campbell (Templar Poetry)
Milk by Sarah Jackson (Pighog)
whichever music by Kate Potts (tall-lighthouse)
quot by seekers of lice (self-published)

Again, looks like a very strong shortlist. I'm pleased to see Sarah Jackson's name in there. I interviewed her on the Magma blog not long ago and had enjoyed her work as featured poet in issue 42. To state the obvious, it’s interesting that all the nominees are women (I don’t know whether ‘seekers of lice’ is a man or woman, so women might have 5/6 places). What happened to the men? Try harder next year, gents! One Scottish writer (Elizabeth Burns), one Irish (Siobhán Campbell), and four English. A variety of ages and styles. It does show the range and quality present in pamphlet format these days.

1 comment:

David Floyd said...

I'm a big fan of both HappenStance and Tall Lighthouse so good to see both of them on the shortlist.

I admit I'd never heard of Oystercatcher before (although looking at their website, I know of quite a few of their poets) which illustrates the promotional value of these awards.

The only pamphlet on the shortlist that I've read is the Kate Potts one, which is really good. I'm looking forward to reading some of the others.

It's generally good to see the PBS getting involved in promoting pamphlets. It's a particularly useful function as it's even more difficult to get pamphlets into bookshops than books - and the margins on selling pamphlets through Amazon are vicious.