Pomes Flixus launches with a Flix-Fest

FlixFest

This Bank Holiday Monday, 25 May, we will be celebrating the launch of Pomes Flixus by MW Bewick with a short series of mini-movies.

Uploaded to our social media channels throughout the afternoon and early evening, the short DIY movies reflect some of the inspiration behind the poetry collection, and capture some of its various moods.

The running order for the films is:

FLIX-FEST

2.00pm At the Private View
2.30pm Hats
3.00pm A Lime Hawk-Moth, Briefly Considered
3.30pm The Other Humanities
4.00pm Some Comments on Fred Frith
4.30pm Interview
5.00pm Like an Overcoat
5.30pm Open Fields
6.00pm Unsaid
6.30pm Itiner-y of a Pilgrimage
7.00pm At the Customs Check

The films will be uploaded to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and will be able to be viewed at our Dunlin Press YouTube channel. You can buy Pomes Flixus now via our shop.

 

Pomes Flixus: new poetry from MW Bewick

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Pomes Flixus, a new collection of poetry from MW Bewick, will be published by Dunlin Press on 25 May. The book is available to pre-order at our shop.

We’ll be trailing the poems over the coming weeks, and there will be some online launch activity over the bank holiday launch weekend at the end of May – so do keep a check of our social channels as we’ll be posting on our Facebook page, and on Instagram and Twitter. Here’s a little blurb about the collection:

The poems in Pomes Flixus are a collision of constantly shifting perspectives and descriptive transitions that transport the mind to unexpected places, undercut preconceptions and arrive, often poignantly, in non-culminations. Found phrases, pop and classical references, the avant-garde, below-the-line commentary, the vocabulary of finance and marketing, all co-exist alongside depictions of the natural world and the suburban everyday. The impressionistic vignettes, whether seeing a leaf on a path, waiting at a station, remembering absent friends, or watching the rain, never seek to define. Instead, they celebrate ambiguity and the subjectivity of thought that underpins our temporal experience of the world. Beneath the heteroglossia and aleatory effects, is a series of sometimes startling evocations of life in the modern world, sharp with considerations of culture, class and the use of language itself.

And here’s a poem from the collection:

Fluxus

In the smog of alarms ferried to sleep
with the entitled crow and toothpaste brand
it’s tough to alphabet an eye
as the copy is leaked from content labs,
the danger mediated into noise,
the music swept behind the OOH
at the roundabout in its amplified mime,
the zephyr of cars and shabby revelry
haptic and fenced in its chosen attire,
the reasoned thought unravelled by the dream
that change can be made a tool for change
when change is small and easy to pocket
and then, stalling like a stone, the standings
of broom and dust, so upright, the fading scars
meaning nothing but the bets of years to come,
the safeguard bargains, oh, something
clammy in the hands with the drizzle and coffee,
not what was expected and thoroughly unprepared,
the bins overflowing, the taxis at rest
and this, the encounter first and last,
like the thought of us when young and coltish,
the chance meet made antithetical, unleavened, said.

In a recent blog post, MW Bewick (or Martin, as you might know him) said of writing the collection:

“I wanted to bear witness to uncertainty and ambiguity, to the augmentations, transpositions, diminutions, inversions. I wanted words that didn’t claim what wasn’t theirs to claim. I wanted something almost involuntary. Found words, words from differing lexicons/vocabularies. Heteroglossia. Dialogisms. The whole multieffingfariousness of it all.”

Indeed, the ‘source material’ for the poems includes influences as diverse as Derrida, Greater Anglia train routes across East Anglia and the A14, James Kelman, Egremont’s Crab Fair, economic models of counterperformativity, Fred Frith, Nathalie Sarraute and Kanye West, the Golden Record of the Voyage Spacecraft, Steve Reich and Pauline Oliveros, and a holiday in Vence, France.

Of course, if you want to see how that all comes together, you’ll need to order the book – especially as we (for obvious reasons) have no ‘live and in person’ events at which we can meet and greet you and share a glass of wine or two.

Which leads us to that link again – here’s our shop.

More soon!

 

Locked down but looking out

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A moment of reflection before we push on towards the publication of our next book(s).

Since we set up Dunlin Press a handful of years ago, almost 80 writers have contributed words to our books. Poems, memoir, psychogeography, journalism, local histories and more have all been part of the broad range of content we’ve published – and we’ve been delighted to include contributions from both established and up-and-coming writers.

The biographies printed in our anthologies show just what a wide pool of experience the stories and poems are drawn from. And while we know that most writers have ‘other jobs’ that might inform or support their work, we’ve always been keen to include words from people who might not ordinarily see themselves as writers.

We publish books here at Dunlin Press, but really those printed pages are only an output – a consequence – of a creative investigation into a specific area of interest. We see each book as an art project, and a background in magazine journalism also brings insight and experience into how each part of that project locks together to make the whole.

To mention but a few names, across our titles we’ve been pleased to feature words from: Romanian artist Matei Bejenaru; artist and writer Tessa Berring; writer and publisher Gary Budden; wild writing lecturer James Canton; Forward prize-winning poet Vahni Capildeo; nature photographer and writer Richard Carter; archaeologist Philip Crummy; poet Tim Cunningham; theatre director Ivan Cutting; artists Tinsel Edwards and Luke Elwes; BTO ecologist Samantha Franks; lecturer and writer David Gange; gallerist CA Halpin; RSPB conservationist Martin Harper; legendary Suffolk bookshop owner and artist Robert Jackson; artist Calum F Kerr; filmmaker Gary Liggett; journalist and editor Chris Maillard; folk musician and writer Adrian May; the Refugee Council’s Rebecca Moore; poet Wendy Mulford; musician and poet Martin Newell (Cleaners from Venus); nature writer Kerri ní Dochartaigh; writer Dr Golnoosh Nour; artist Harry Pye; film director and novelist Chris Petit; criminologist Anna Sergi; Hookland historian David Southwell; journalist Vicky Spratt; Wildlife Trust ecologist Darren Tansley; architect Bryan Thomas; poet Alex Toms; artist Twinkle Troughton; and Guardian Country Diarist Colin Williams…

Okay, so that’s to mention quite a few, but certainly not all, and we’d like to offer a sincere ‘thank you’ to everyone whose contributions have made our books what they are.

Very soon we’ll have news of our next book, a collection of poetry from our own MW Bewick. It’s out (lockdown permitting) in late spring/early summer. We’re also excited to say that a second book for 2020, from writer Lucia Dove, will follow in the autumn. Fingers crossed that by then we can all meet in person for a fantastic launch (or two, or three).

More soon.

Ella and Martin

Poetry in Aldeburgh: Port book launch

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Aldeburgh in Suffolk was the setting for the East Anglia launch of Port, our new anthology of ‘words from the edge of land’.

We were delighted to be invited to launch the book at the Poetry in Aldeburgh festival, and to share our launch event with Coast to Coast to Coast, whose special Aldeburgh edition also launched at the festival.

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The launch was held at a brimful Peter Pears Gallery and was followed by the festival’s official launch party. After an introduction from Port’s editors, readings from the anthology came from contributing poets Caroline Gill, Rosemary Appleton and Julie Hogg.

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The second half of the event saw 18 contributors from Coast to Coast to Coast perform their poetry, introduced by Maria Isakova Bennett.

Together, the readings took the audience to ports, harbours and coastal locations all around the UK and beyond, with Aldeburgh itself – looking out onto the North Sea – making a perfect backdrop for some beautiful and thought-provoking words.

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Thanks to our readers, Caroline, Rosemary and Julie, and to Maria and her readers, and to everyone who came to this first launch event for Port.

Port is available from our online shop, or to order from your local independent bookshop.

Port – new book launch

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“A port is never over … A harbour is where voices call back”

Port, the new anthology of writing from Dunlin Press, launches in November at the Poetry in Aldeburgh festival in Suffolk and at the Small Publishers Fair in London.

The 274-page book includes specially commissioned poetry and prose from 38 contributors, and features 20 photographs and illustrations. Geographically, the anthology reaches all corners of the UK and beyond – from giant container ports to small fishing villages, while the breadth of writing and experience in the volume is as diverse as the ports themselves.

In Port, we find a picture of pre-fame John Lennon on a Harwich quay, which leads to a story of wartime Kindertransport. We hear of the “echoing hum of machinery” and the legacy of Irish famine, and find out how port landscapes can be described as sites of “exclosure”.

We discover the port as an ‘instrument of enterprise, symbol of siege’, and trace the trafficking of illicit cargoes that shadows the routes of legal trade. We find the links between UK ports and places of personal departure, and survey the maritime maps to see how the ships that come to our ports from “the Arabian Gulf sit it out / till the price of oil rises or falls”.

We hear about Romanian refugees “sneaking into and finding air pockets in shipping containers”, and learn about ‘The Block’ – the solitary confinement units in immigration detention centres. We hear stories of hardship, of the twists and turns of history – but we also see how people, and nature, weather life’s storms, and how ports become places of possibility and potential, where people “eradicate the barriers of distance and time”.

Many thanks to all our contributors:

Nick Allen, Rosemary Appleton, Matei Bejenaru, Tessa Berring, MW Bewick, Michael Brown, Alison Campbell, Vahni Capildeo, Sarah-Clare Conlon, Tim Cooke, Seth Crook, Moira Garland, Rebecca Gethin, Caroline Gill, Jason Gould, Fee Griffin, Janet Hatherley, Julie Hogg, Sarah Jasmon, RG Jodah, Ella Johnston, Charlie Lambert, Gary Liggett, Chris Maillard, Jessica Mayhew, Beth McDonough, Petra McQueen, Martin Newell, Kerri ní  Dochartaigh, Golnoosh Nour, Mark Ranger, Elizabeth Lee Reynolds, Anna Sergi, Bryan Thomas, Alex Toms, Lydia Unsworth, Rob Walton, David Williams.

Port‘s first launch will be at the Poetry in Aldeburgh festival, on Friday 8 November at 4.45pm in the Peter Pears Gallery. We’re sharing the event with our good friends Coast to Coast to Coast – so the book’s sub-title of ‘Words from the edge of land’ will be fitting. The event is FREE, but booking is advised. Details here.

We have a second launch event a week later, as we’ll be present with a stand at the Small Publishers Fair, held at the Conway Hall, London, on 15 and 16 November. On Friday 15, we’ll have a short set of readings from Port at 4pm in the Green Room.

In December, we are also set to have a launch in Colchester, Essex, and readings from Port contributors in Manchester. More details to follow.

Port is available to pre-order via our online shop, and can be ordered through your favourite independent bookseller from 8 November.

New handmade book: ‘Out-siders/’

Outsiders Dunlin Press handmade chapbook

‘pioneers / as plants
/ even to relate /
memory as resist-
ance / points the
compass / cease /
human-initiated /
currents /’

Out-siders/, a handmade chapbook, is the latest work to be published by Dunlin Press. The limited edition concertina-format pamphlet, printed on textured gesso and archival papers, is a continued exploration of the liminal spaces, waste ground, brownfield and edgeland flora that we surveyed in last year’s book, The Orphaned Spaces.

The A7 concertina format is, in effect, reversible, and its full title is Out-siders/ Hybrid / Province.

Reverse of Outsiders, handmade chapbook from Dunlin Press

With words and images from Ella Johnston and MW Bewick, Out-siders features remnant text, as well as landscape and ikebana-inspired photography, from the places and flora that we encountered through our continued research into orphaned spaces. Outsiders is in some ways a seasonal update, or perhaps an overspill or a further iteration of an original impulse. 

Words and images by Ella Johnston and MW Bewick

Let’s take a brief step back. That initial impulse for The Orphaned Spaces was to create a small, handmade and deconstructed work of words and images. As the ‘waste ground’ project grew, however, so did the size of that book. The Orphaned Spaces was published in summer 2018 as a paperback and as a limited edition, made-to-order box set. We still, however, had words and images left over, and were continuing to collect more. Out-siders/ is a small, creative, and experimental outlet for those ruderal gatherings.

Words and images by Ella Johnston and MW Bewick

This summer, while we work through our next large project, Port, for an autumn publication, it has been wonderful to be able to return to the craft of making pamphlets by hand.

Words and images by Ella Johnston and MW Bewick

As Out-siders/ is intended as an interstitial project, a limited number of only 20 chapbooks are available.

Words and images by Ella Johnston and MW Bewick

Each has been been printed and made by hand here at the Dunlin Press studio.

Words and images by MW Bewick and Ella Johnston

Out-siders/ can be purchased exclusively from the Dunlin Press shop.

Words and photography by Ella Johnston and MW Bewick

Port: an update, and a thank you

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Thank you to everyone who has sent in submissions for our upcoming book, Port. We’re in the thick of reading through them all and can honestly say that the response has been fantastic. We will be able to let you know whether we’ve accepted your writing very soon.

The selection process for a book like Port can be a tricky, but always fascinating, process. It’s here that the book becomes the book – it’s where it takes shape, where its inner logic and poetry are revealed.

We know from our first book Est: Collected Reports from East Anglia, that creating such an anthology isn’t only about choosing the best writing, or about choosing a selection of writing where each piece complements and adds to the others. It’s both of those things, of course, but it’s also about achieving geographical range.

Here we are in the silver mud of estuarine East Anglia, but how many pieces did we receive from Scotland or Wales? Are the southwest and northeast represented? Did anyone write about London and the Thames? Who brought us postcards from further afield?

The process of turning a book into a ‘Dunlin Press book’ also means we work hard to fill any potential gaps, wearing our editorial and journalistic hats and hauling in any other work we think might add to the whole.

And then we turn to the design. We never hand over our manuscripts in Word to a typesetter who prepares it for print. Each Dunlin Press book is carefully crafted in our own little studio, with typeface, artwork and illustration, layout and format created uniquely for each title.

Hopefully all this is evident in the finished publication.

Which is a way of saying that making a Dunlin Press book takes time, so thanks for bearing with us. Though we say it ourselves, Port is going to be brilliant.

Ella and Martin

Exhibition: Off the Rails, Wivenhoe

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Dunlin Press has created an exhibition of artworks that are currently on view at the train station in Wivenhoe, Essex. The project is part of the town’s ongoing Off the Rail project, which sees a continuing series of artworks being displayed at the station. Railways have often featured in Dunlin Press’s books and, of course, Wivenhoe is our home town, too – so it’s a fitting place to be.

The exhibition is untitled and is part of an ongoing investigation into liminal spaces, edgelands, brownfield, and sites of altered use, which informed our recent book The Orphaned Spaces, and other work.

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On Platform 2 you can see five posters developed from artwork in our books The Orphaned Spaces and Est: Collected Reports from East Anglia. In the station building there are a further two images, adapted from work in Alex Toms’s Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher.

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There are also a limited number of A4 sheets illustrated with A Dunlin Press Guide to the Railways of East Anglia, as well as some Dunlin Press postcards.

If you’re heading into Wivenhoe (and who wouldn’t want to do that?!) do take a look.

The artworks are on view until 6 April.

And thanks to Off the Rails and Matthew Linley for inviting us.

 

Writing from East Anglia: the box set

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Take a closer look at our Tales from the East box set, which celebrates writing from East Anglia.

Since the launch of our first book, Est, Collected Reports from East Anglia, in 2015, Dunlin Press has been a champion of writing from East Anglia.  Our commitment to publishing fresh and original writing from the region has continued over the years with the publication of two books by East Anglian-based poets, MW Bewick in 2017 and Alex Toms in October this year.

We’ve created a special edition curated box set containing all three books. We’ve also added some extra surprises that will only be revealed when you buy the box set.

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In Est: Collected Reports from East Anglia, contributors including filmmaker and novelist Chris Petit, ‘Hookland’ author David Southwell, poets Wendy Mulford and Martin Newell, and a host of other writers, create a kaleidoscopic vision of an East Anglia.

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Est is a unique collection of prose, poetry and reportage that spans the Wash to the Thames and the Fens to the German Sea. The texts merge psychogeography, social history, personal memoir and travel writing with discourses on local fable, art, archaeology and conservation. The collection explores the salt marshes and creeks, the sand and shingle beaches, the remains of Roman and Anglo-Saxon dwellings, the giant skies, interior geographies and, perhaps most of all, human histories, to paint an enigmatic picture of East Anglia today – while referencing more than 260 places in the region.

EST: COLLECTED REPORTS FROM EAST ANGLIA £9.99 DUNLIN PRESSThe book has received critical acclaim. Here’s just some of the kind words people have said about the publication…

‘Strange, reflective, memorable and odd as the region itself’
Libby Purves, Country Life

‘Books like Est must be able to be written again by the next generation’
Caught By The River

‘Uniformly excellent… well-edited, well designed, and unbreakable’
Ken Worpole, author of The New English Landscape

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Scarecrow is the debut poetry collection of poet and Dunlin Press co-founder MW Bewick. The poems transfigure contemporary landscapes of the city and the countryside in an unsettling flux of fractured narrative time and atomised human agency. Here, a panorama of gleaming towers and blood-red cranes mirrors another of overgrown flora and shorelines collapsing into the sea.

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At the book’s heart is the figure of the scarecrow – a monad, feet cemented, ragged legs flailing, unable – or unwilling – to act as the world rushes by.  At turns wistful, angry, and touched with remorse, this inventive and thought-provoking volume brings together registers of folk, baroque and the surreal to confront a 21st-century sense of existential crisis.

MW Bewick is a writer of poetry and fiction. He works, and is widely published, as a journalist. He lives in Wivenhoe, Essex.

SCARECROW, MW BEWICK, DUNLIN PRESS

Writing contemporaries have been enthusiastic in their praise for Scarecrow. Here are some choice snippets…

‘A seriously good poet – fierce, political, able to capture industrial and post industrial landscapes with precise and sometimes painful imagery, tender about the natural world – love it!’  Kate Foley, poet

‘If I ever write anything half as good as Scarecrow or have something that lovely looking published, I’ll be bloody happy’  David Southwell, author Hookland Guide

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Our final book is the latest release from Dunlin Press, Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher by Alex Toms.

In her debut collection of poetry, Alex Toms introduces us to a troupe of curious characters to explore themes of love, womanhood and sex. At the centre of this collection is the eel catcher, a shadowy figure who lives on the fringes of everyday experience. The eel catcher weaves willow traps, and tales of folklore and magic, evoking an East Anglia inhabited by poachers, witches and ghosts.

Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher, Alex Toms

In her poems, Toms skilfully summons the uncanny, and out of it draws a slithering sense with which we are all familiar. Here are all the snares of life, and also perhaps, a spell that could set us free.

These wonderfully evocative poems are accompanied by specially commissioned individual paper-cut illustrations and bespoke photography.

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As this book is so new, it’s currently out for reviews. However the Alex’s collection has already impressed fellow writers, with poet Martin Newell commenting, “These poems are not just clever, they have depth and originality. I hope it’s a big success”.

Alex Toms is a repeat winner in national poetry competitions and in 2015 was Manchester Cathedral Poet of the Year. She is widely published in magazines, journals and anthologies.

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You can buy the box set at our Dunlin Press shop.

New book! Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher

Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher, Alex Toms. Published by Dunlin Press
Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher, Alex Toms. Published by Dunlin Press

Dunlin Press are delighted to launch Alex Toms’ debut poetry collection, Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher, at The Wivenhoe Bookshop on Thursday 11th October 2018.

In this stunning, otherworldly collection of poetry, Alex Toms introduces us to a troupe of curious characters to explore themes of love, womanhood and sex. At the centre of this collection is the eel catcher, a shadowy figure who lives on the fringes of everyday experience. The eel catcher weaves willow traps, and tales of folklore and magic, evoking an East Anglia inhabited by poachers, witches and ghosts.

In her poems, Toms skilfully summons the uncanny, and out of it draws a slithering sense with which we are all familiar. Here are all the snares of life, and also perhaps, a spell that could set us free.

 Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher, Alex Toms. Published by Dunlin Press
Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher, Alex Toms. Published by Dunlin Press

The poems are accompanied by specially commissioned individual paper-cut illustrations and bespoke photography.

Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher, Alex Toms. Published by Dunlin Press
Lessons for an Apprentice Eel Catcher, Alex Toms. Published by Dunlin Press

Alex Toms is a repeat winner in national poetry competitions and in 2015 was Manchester Cathedral Poet of the Year. She is widely published in magazines, journals and anthologies. Find out more about the launch here.