Jenny Swann, co-owner of Nottingham-based independent Candlestick Press, will be stepping down from the business leaving fellow co-owner Di Slaney the sole owner. The press is also launching two new titles, both "ideal" for Father's Day.
Candlestick Press was founded by Swann in 2008 and since 2010, Swann and Slaney – who is also an award-winning poet – have been equal joint owners. For personal reasons, Swann will be stepping down in June 2016 and "handing the reins" over to Slaney.
Candlestick Press publishes "beautifully produced" and "thoughtfully edited" poetry pamphlets designed to be sent instead of greetings cards. Compiled and introduced by "high profile" names including Sophie Dahl, Carol Ann Duffy, Jenni Murray and Nigel Slater, and praised by critics including Robert McCrum and Erica Wagner, the press sold 61,000 pamphlets in 2015 – 60% into the book trade and 40% into the gift trade. From 2008 to the end of 2015, it sold more than 260,000 pamphlets, the publisher said.
Swann and Slaney said: “We feel enormous pride at what we have achieved together. We have taken poetry to new places and new people and, we hope, thereby given pleasure to many. Moreover we have had great fun and learnt a lot along the way - about poetry, about publishing, about each other. We both feel enriched by our partnership and we go our separate ways with great respect and affection and appreciation of what each has given the other.”
Swann added: “I am so glad to be able to secure the future of the press in the safe hands of someone who already knows and loves it - and I am looking forward with pleasure to seeing the direction Di decides for the press in future."
June 2016 will see the launch of two new Candlestick titles: Ten Poems about Cricket, edited by John Lucas, priced at £4.95 and Ten War Poems, edited by former Laureate Andrew Motion also priced at £4.95, a "moving" and "innovative" selection that will be launched with a national publicity campaign tying into the hundred year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.