Rack Press ever impresses – Poetry Review
The consistently reliable Rack PressTimes Literary Supplement
I have come to hope that a Rack Press pamphlet may be a tiny gift-box of unusually good poems – Alison Brackenbury, PN Review
Rack Press has the courage to be brief and elegant – The Rialto

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Happy Birthday to Us





















From a recent Press Release:-

RACK PRESS CELEBRATES 15 YEARS OF
INDEPENDENT POETRY PUBLISHING

The award-winning Welsh poetry pamphlet press, Rack Press, is celebrating in 2020 its 15th year of independent publishing by releasing in March its 50th poet and its first bilingual Welsh/English pamphlet. A series of readings and events are planned throughout the year culminating in a public celebration in words and music at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre on 15th October.

Rack Press launched its first pamphlets in January 2005 and the latest quartet of pamphlets for 2020 are shortly to be announced.

Rack Press was founded by Nicholas and Susan Murray and is based in the small Welsh village of Kinnerton in Powys in the Welsh Marches. It won the 2014 Michael Marks Award for poetry pamphlet publishing (an award for which it has been shortlisted four times) and in 2012 Róisín Tierney’s Dream Endings won the Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlet of the Year, an award for which Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch’s Lime & Winter was shortlisted in 2014.

Rack Press has always pursued an independent policy of publishing good poetry by a range of poets, some with leading reputations, some unknown to the wider poetry-reading public at the time of publication. Début collections and pamphlets by experienced hands have been published together and Welsh, Irish, and Scottish poets have been well-represented. An equal number of male and female poets have been published.

Rack Press has never received any public grant or subsidy but is indebted to the Michael Marks Foundation for the 2014 award that has underpinned its publishing programme for the past six years. Central Books is a valuable distributor of its publications.

Critical praise for Rack has come from many quarters:-

Rack Press ever impresses – Poetry Review
The consistently reliable Rack Press – Times Literary Supplement
I have come to hope that a Rack Press pamphlet may be a tiny gift-box of unusually good poems – Alison Brackenbury, PN Review
Rack Press has the courage to be brief and elegant – The Rialto

Rack pamphlets have been wide-ranging in style and content with poetic quality the only publishing criterion but over the years poetry that engages boldly with the contemporary world (including lively political satire) has won most favour. Rack is also known for providing opportunities for late-emerging poets as well as young voices.

In addition to the characteristic finely-produced pamphlets – on laid paper in its trademark grey card covers – Rack has published full-length books of poetry such as William Palmer’s The Water Steps and in 2015 launched a series of small polemical prose books, Rack Press Editions, which included

Silly Lady Novelists? by Michèle Roberts, a lively and polemical response to George Eliot’s famous Westminster Review essay of 1856 “Silly Novels by Lady Novelists”, in which she offered a challenging examination of current debates around fiction and sex.
Bloomsbury and the Poets by Nicholas Murray, a brief tour of the literary associations of the Bloomsbury district of London described by The Spectator as ‘a delight’
The Whitsun Wedding Video by Jeremy Noel-Tod, an essay on the state of British poetry, described as ‘a suavely witty and wise collection of essays’  by David Wheatley of The Poetry Foundation.

Small poetry pamphlet publishers, though seldom in receipt of grants or subsidies, boycotted by Amazon, and generally without significant sales and marketing resources, continue to thrive as part of the current poetry scene and Rack Press looks forward to another 15 years!


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