A group of indie poetry publishers have joined forces to support bookshops by offering specially curated lists of poetry titles at exclusive discounts to independent stores.
Co-ordinated by Out-Spoken Press, Inpress and the Poetry Book Society, the Indies x Indies initiative will support bookshops with an initial bundle of 10 titles to coincide with Independent Bookshop Week (IBW),.
The promotion will build towards National Poetry Day in October, through further concept-linked bundles highlighting a range of contemporary poetry. The 13 participating indie publishers are Carcanet, Boiler House Press, Pavilion Poetry, Makina Books, Verve, Penned in the Margins, Ignition Press, The Poetry Business, Prototype, Peepal Tree, Burning Eye Books, Seren and Out-Spoken Press.
The introductory bundle, selected by T S Eliot Prize shortlisted poet and publisher Anthony Anaxagorou, founder of Out-Spoken Press, includes titles by Inua Ellams, Nat Raha, Alice Miller and Jason Allen-Paisant.
Commenting on the selection, Anaxagorou said: “I’ve loved these books for their ability to make a case not only for social reform but for pathos and humanism. The focus is very much on collaboration and building connections — between titles, publishers, booksellers and readers. “Ultimately, we want poetry to find readers and for readers to find work they love — there is something out there for everyone.
“Independent booksellers — their expertise, energy, and connection to their customers — are such a vital part of that process and after this last, difficult year, it feels all the more important to all do what we can to co-operate. The UK poetry scene is vibrant and independent publishers in particular are contributing to that vibrancy through platforming a wealth of exciting talent — we hope this programme can offer booksellers and readers an opportunity to reach through an open window into the variety and depth of contemporary UK poetries.”
Inpress m.d. Sophie O’Neill said: “We are thrilled to be part of this project that celebrates the vital relationship between independent bookshops and independent publishers. The support of small presses by passionate booksellers keeps the publishing landscape fresh and exciting and we hope that by supporting their work we can get more poetry books into the hands of readers.”
Jo Heygate, manager of independent London bookshop Pages of Hackney, added: “We believe the relationship between indie bookshops and poetry presses is crucial so it's great to see this formally recognised for IBW 2021. We're big fans of Anthony and to have a list curated by him is an absolute treat!”