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:-


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!


Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Rack Poets Reading in Camden 21 January

Rack Poets William Palmer, Nicholas Murray, Michèle Roberts and Róisín Tierney are reading on 21st January 
as part of Ruth O’Callaghan’s  Lumen poetry series in Camden. 

This will be the first event of Rack’s 15th anniversary year and throughout the year we will be celebrating – with readings and events – the milestone of achieving fifteen years of publication and 50 poets published.

Join us on 
Tuesday 21st January 2020 
(doors open 6.30 for 7p.m.

88 Tavistock Place 


Please leave the poem you read to be considered for the next anthology. Please note this is the final session before the poems for the anthology are selected.

Wine will be available to purchase on the night but can you please bring your own bottled water as there is no drinking water available at the venue.
All money raised goes towards cold weather shelters for the homeless

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Four New Titles Launched 21 October 2019

We are delighted to announce four new titles published on 21 October: If You Love Something, a début pamphlet by Kate Quigley, Not Funny Any More by Christopher Reid – a characteristically witty and skilful poem about A Certain World Leader – Michael Marks winner, Róisín Tierney’s new collection Mock-Orange and the rich Swimming Through a Painting by Bonnard by poet and novelist Michèle Roberts.
Christopher Reid, Róisín Tierney, Michèle Roberts and
Kate Quigley at the London launch of the new pamphlets

It’s a lovely quartet and you can order each title now at £5 post free in UK but if you are ordering from outside the UK please note the “overseas add” in the drop-down menu.

You can order the set of 4 each individually signed and numbered by the author for only £15.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Open Again to Submissions...But

Rack Press 2005-2018
We are now open again to submissions BUT PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS VERY CAREFULLY as failure to follow them will result in your submission being rejected automatically.

For most of our fourteen year life we have been open to submissions and some of our best ‘discoveries’ have come unsolicited from poets we didn’t know. But from time to time the sheer pressure of submissions has meant we have had to close to give ourselves a breathing space. This is not a submission window but an open-ended period and we can’t guarantee that we will not close our doors again for periods in the future.


  • It is important that anyone thinking of submitting a pamphlet collection follows the guidelines below. 
  • Any submission which ignores the following guidelines will be deleted automatically.
  • If you would like to submit work please obtain a copy of one of the pamphlets and study it carefully so that what you are submitting suits the format and style of Rack Press. You can buy pamphlets from our website (www.rackpress.blogspot.com). We urge you to do so.
  • Rack pamphlets consist of 12 (A5) pages which means 10 pages of poems. Any submission that exceeds this length will be rejected automatically.
  • Submit by email only to rackpress@nicholasmurray.co.uk with the text as a PDF attachment and a short covering note if you like. Blanket submissions will be deleted automatically.
  • Rack Press has always tried to publish a range of different styles and voices so there is no such thing as ‘a Rack poem’ but we do want to see intelligent, well-crafted, articulate poems that have the vital spark that will give pleasure to our readers.
  • Rack has no funding or grants or paid staff so we very much regret that we cannot provide any feedback on submissions or enter into discussion about your work prior to acceptance. You will receive just a simple yes or no within five weeks of submitting. 
  • Because we publish only three or four pamphlets a year the harsh reality is that, given the volume of submissions we receive, the overwhelming majority of submissions will be rejected. Don’t be discouraged by this. We are well aware that necessity forces us often to turn down excellent work.
  • The decision on what to publish is complex and isn’t necessarily a question of ranking submissions in order of assumed merit like a civil service examination list; a publisher will want to think about the nature of each submission, how it relates to others being planned for that year, and how it fits in with other ideas and commissioning plans we might have in order to maintain a rich and varied list. Another reason why you shouldn’t take rejection to heart.
  • Thank you for your interest in Rack Press.

The Poetry Bookshop 100 years ago advising
poets on how to submit

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Rack Poets Live at Lampeter

Dawn Morgan reading at the London launch of
Blood and Other Elements
Catch up with four Rack Press poets live at the Lampeter Book Festival on Sunday 12 May at 14.00.

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, Kathy Miles,  Dawn Morgan and Ros Hudis will be reading with Gillian Clarke and if you are unable to make it you can order their recent pamphlets here (post free).

Kathy Miles in her pamphlet Inside the Animal House explores an anthropomorphic world where the lines are blurred. From a female praying mantis with a conscience, to a pig reflecting on its own execution, the sequence presents different viewpoints relating to the human/animal experience.

In Blood And Other Elements, Dawn Morgan finds poetry in the viscera of human life – and in particular its rich, audible contrasts: from gluttony to hunger, love to grief, fire to ash, and from the gurgling sound of plenty to the hollow knocking that remains when life and abundance fade away.

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch’s poetry collections have been shortlisted for Wales Book of The Year (Not in These Shoes, Picador 2008), The Roland Mathias Prize (Banjo, Picador 2012) and The Michael Marks Award (Lime & Winter, Rack Press 2014). Her latest Rack pamphlet is Ling Di Long (Rack Press, 2018) and she also contributed to the recent Rack Press pamphlet Speaking Again: poems for International Women’s Day alongside Michèle Roberts, Martina Evans and Denise Saul.

Ros Hudis’ pamphlet Terra Ignota explores the shifts in perceptual boundaries when
we are swung away from a known and comfortable reality into one that is darker and unmapped. Such 'ruptures’ or dislocations are themselves metaphors for the way poetry can shock us into unexpected re-imaginings of our interior and exterior terrains.

Friday, 8 March 2019

A New Poetry Film for International Women’s Day

Our latest publication is a specially commissioned anthology of new poems from four poets all of whom have published Rack pamphlets in the past, Speaking Again: Poems for International Women’s Day. This is a really attractive selection of poems and it can be ordered here post free, same day dispatch.

In addition, the launch reading earlier this month was filmed by Doorway Films and you can see the poets reading by following this link:

Tuesday, 29 January 2019