Tuesday, January 23, 2007

In an earlier post I mentioned pamphlet-publishing. Pamphlets have an immediacy and sense of intimacy which regular books don't. Owning a pamphlet by a poet you like gives you a feel of being in touch with their work, and, from my point of view, producing pamphlets has often felt like a collaborative effort, where the pamphlet is a constructed work combining craft, design and, of course poetry.

Pamphlets are also a way of getting poets' work out quickly and they are generally distributed to an in-crowd tuned in to small-press publishing, often via the web. If I shift 100 copies of a pamphlet I feel I've done OK, and my best-seller is Lee Harwood's 'Evening Star' (currently awaiting a re-print), just over 200. But a lot of those copies have gone to reviewers, publishers and editors, so the influence of a pamphlet is out of proportion to the numbers produced.

One pamphlet which hasn't been restricted to an in-crowd is Kelvin Corcoran's "Roger Hilton's Sugar". Kelvin has hooked up with the Hayward Gallery's touring exhibition of St. Ives painters, 'Spotlight on St. Ives', and given readings from "Roger Hilton's Sugar" at several of the galleries on the tour, including Swansea, Cheltenham and others. The next one's at Huddersfield Gallery on 8th Feb, if you're in the area. His readings have been well-received. It's a nice change to see poetry like Kelvin's getting exposure to other than the usual audience of other poets and poetry afficionados.

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