VLOED, by Lucia Dove

We have just sent our latest book, VLOED by Lucia Dove to the printer. It will be released on 22 May 2021.

VLOED author, Lucia Dove.

Lucia Dove is a writer from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, living in the Netherlands. Her book VLOED is a work of creative nonfiction. Comprising historical analysis, poetry and photography, the book explores the shared cultural memory and landscape between Essex and the Netherlands in relation to the North Sea Flood of 1953. 

We have been working with Lucia on this since she first approached Dunlin Press in August 20219. In January 2020, we visited Lucia in Southend during her residency at Metal, walking from Southend to Old Leigh, and holding a creative kick-off during which we discussed initial concepts for the cover.

It’s always an interesting process to develop a book’s artwork, and it was great to discuss ideas with the author. The previous summer, Lucia had been to the Into The Great Wide Open festival. At the festival there was an activity known as ‘Vliebanieren’ – stencil painting on fabric. Lucia thought this would be a great starting point as a cover idea.

It was a great idea.

Once we set about creating the artwork, the shapes on fabric lent themselves as a means to explore the sense of shifting land and water – perfect for the book’s subject matter.

We painted shapes onto sail cloth using acrylic paint and pure pigment. The paint shapes bled onto the sail cloth and in some cases produced a raised effect – creating depth, texture and a more organic feeling to the work. The contrasting shapes felt as though they were floating and also conveyed a sense of collision, interruption and movement while feeling strangely connected.

When we scanned the pieces at high resolution the texture of the cloth itself become part of the piece, giving the artwork another dimension and tactile quality. It felt as visceral and physical as the events and feelings Lucia was describing.

All of the vliebanieren pieces we created had this tactile, physical feel. It was interesting not only how the different coloured shapes related to one another but also the contrast in texture on the painted and non-painted areas. In fact, we created black and white versions of the images and incorporated them into the inner pages of the book – but you’ll have to see those later. What we can show you now is the final cover.


VLOED is out on 22 May and can be pre-ordered from our shop.

Lucia Dove reading at Poetry in Aldeburgh

This weekend it’s Poetry in Aldeburgh. And yes, it’s going to be quite different this year – which means virtual chips on the virtual beach for us.

But we will be THERE and supporting the amazing @luciadove – whose work on the east coast floods of 1953 we’ll be publishing next year. You can get a preview of it at midday on Sunday, via Zoom, via the Poetry in Aldeburgh website. Lucia is reading as one of four poets at a 12pm Sunday session titled Place and Memory.

From the Poetry in Aldeburgh site: Place and Memory

How much of a place do we carry with us into the future? And how does the memory of place ripple down across generations?

Lucia Dove has been working on a project that explores the relationship between Essex and the Netherlands through their geographical landscape and shared cultural memory of the North Sea flood of 1953 which devastated both places on the same night. Her debut pamphlet Say cucumber leads you into a world that slips between the familiar and unfamiliar.

In her mid-20s, Heidi Williamson was part of a Scottish community that suffered an inconceivable tragedy – the Dunblane Primary School shooting. Those years living in the town form the focus of Return by Minor Road. Through rivers, rain, wildlife and landscape, she revisits where ‘the occasional endures’.

Psychotherapist Alan Buckley’s Touched is a debut collection that understands the value of subtlety and restraint, exploring personal trauma and the “fragile, desperate weight” of our lives through poems that speak elegantly of hard-won insight’ (Ben Wilkinson, The Guardian). “The sea, the sea, always recommencing” wrote the great French poet Paul Valéry. 

Jennifer Edgecombe’s debut pamphlet The Grief of The Sea is an exploration of loss and its relationship with the ocean, the two eternally bound together. These poems showcase her exceptional ability to evoke taste, touch, sound, and most of all, depth of feeling.

Pomes Flixus launches with a Flix-Fest


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:


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


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:


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


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


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.



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.



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.


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


“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


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


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.

Snape gallery_2Web

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.


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.