Test Centre co-founder launches new indie for works 'outside mainstream'

Test Centre co-founder launches new indie for works 'outside mainstream'

Jess Chandler, co-founder of Test Centre and House Sparrow Press, has launched an independent publishing house Prototype for prose, poetry, anthologies as well as interdisciplinary projects.

Prototype has grown out of Test Centre Publications, which split at the end of last year, and will be continuing its aesthetic, while expanding into fiction and "taking a slightly more commercial stance in some areas" with Test Centre Books, run by Will Shutes. Test Centre was founded by Chandler and Shutes in 2011, and was a book dealing company focused on issues such as the British Poetry Revival as well as aspects of film and modern art.  

Prototype aims to continue and develop the work begun by Test Centre, working across genres and disciplines,“committed to discovering and sharing work that exists outside the mainstream”, Chandler said. “Each publication is unique in its form and presentation, and the aesthetic of each object is considered critical to its production. Through the discovery of high quality work across genres, Prototype strives to increase audiences for experimental writing, as the home for writers and artists whose work requires a creative vision not offered by mainstream literary publishers.”

In its current, evolving form, the press offers four strands of publications: poetry, prose, interdisciplinary projects and anthologies. Prototype is committed to “creating new possibilities in the publishing of fiction and poetry through a flexible, interdisciplinary approach and the production of unique and beautiful books”.

Forthcoming titles include Try To Be Better edited by Sam Buchan-Watts and Lavinia Singer, an anthology inspired and responding to the work of W S Graham as well as Caleb Klaces’ debut novel Fatherhood which combines prose and poetry, Plainspeak by Astrid Alben consists of a sequence of poems exploring gendered linguistic identity and the lyrical poetic voice. Finally alphabet poems: for kids! by Emily Critchley, Michael Kindellan & Alison Honey Woods offers a “surreal” collaboration and picture book of poetry.

Chandler's other venture, House Sparrow Press, is committed to publishing occasional  “creatively committed, collaborative” works.