Friday, 22 May 2009

Please buy a Salt book

You know Salt of course -- a poetry press with an innovative approach to being 'small', i.e.: Burgeon! Salt has a shameless gusto for all the dirty bits of publishing i.e. marketing hype, e-commerce, ratings, bottom lines etc., alongside a genuine informed enthusiasm for experimental writing and determination to bring it to a wide audience. I have always had a few reservations about the enterprise, its scale and its commercial approach, but really huge admiration for both its mission and its apparent success. It has certainly published at least a couple of dozen books I love by superb poets. I wouldn't want to see it fold. However Salt is in need of support, due to the recession and the funding situation, and an appeal is being circulated widely to BUY A SALT BOOK NOW. Don't wait, they need to be able to show an upturn in sales pronto.

FWIW here are a few personal recommendations, most of which I own already:

Tim Atkins, Folklore (scary Malvern proses -- beautiful hardback)

Sean Bonney, Blade Pitch Control Unit (angry urban anarchist poems)

Andrea Brady, Vacation of a Lifetime (fierce political American difficult poems)

Andrew Duncan, The Failure of Conservatism in Modern British Poetry (omniscient, intelligent, infuriating critical / literary history)

Allen Fisher, Gravity, or, Leans (Fisher's is one of the really major oeuvres of our time)

Giles Goodland, Capital (impressive procedural collage of the last quarter of the 20th century)

Bill Griffiths, Mud Fort (enormously talented and learned writer, entirely without pretension or obscurity, towering over this reader's head ...)

Alan Halsey, Not Everything Remotely (possibly the fullest literary sensibility in the biz, extending the sense of 'literature' to the whole code of book; it comes out as some of the most original -- and, yes, obscure, work I know)

Peter Larkin, Terrain Seed Scarcity (profoundly philosophical, and beautiful, work, usually prose poems concerning trees ...)

Tony Lopez, False Memory (dunno, I only have other books of his but it'll be good value, trust me)

Geraldine Monk, Ghost and Other Sonnets (one of my favourite poets, and this is a beautiful white book ...)

Frances Presley, Paravane (Includes our collaboration 'Neither the One Nor the Other' ...)

Ron Silliman, Tjanting (Monolithic, absorbing prose)

The books I have tonight ordered are: Brian Kim Stefans's critical essays, and Robert Sheppard's Twentieth Century Blues.