Programme 2017

We're delighted to announce the programme of readings and events at this year's Poetry Book Fair! It's only a small selection of the exhibitors attending the fair, but we hope it offers a juicy selection of just some of the exciting developments in UK poetry this year!

The fair itself is free to enter and is open to the public from 11am - 6pm, with an Evening Do from 7pm onwards, at Conway Hall (25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL). 

Please click here to read and download our PDF brochure showing readers from the most recent Poetry Book Fair. Or else just scroll down this page for full details...

All readings and discussions are free entry - first come, first served!


11.00    Discussion: Meet the Editors!
Find out what editors really want! Let them tell you what they excites them most, find out what to avoid, and get the chance to ask them some questions. With Seren, Burning Eye and Sidekick Books.

11.30    Valley Press
Yorkshire Anthology Poets

Join Valley Press for a celebration of our latest anthology, which finds poets from the UK and beyond sharing stories, legends and memories from VP’s home county – dodging the ‘flat caps and whippets’ to showcase Yorkshire’s modern, diverse landscapes and communities. Featuring Carole Bromley, Patrick Lodge, Janet Dean, Ian Harrow, Hannah Stone, Michael Shann, Fokkina McDonnell and Fiona Ritchie Walker.

12.00    Henningham Family Press
David Henningham and Sophie Herxheimer

Henningham Family Press present a survey of their innovative concertina books from the last ten years, including a British Council commission printed live in Moscow. Renowned artist-poet Sophie Herxheimer reads from her 30m long The Listening Forest, and her dazzling new homage to Emily Dickinson: Your Candle Accompanies The Sun. Find out how this simple binding could help you disseminate poetry.

12.30    The Emma Press
Rakhshan Rizwan and Julia Bird

Award-winning publisher the Emma Press is pleased to present the two newest Emma Press pamphlet poets: Julia Bird, reading from Now You Can Look, her poetic biography of a 1930s artist, and Rakhshan Rizwan reading from Paisley, her debut pamphlet of poems which examine class and cultural identity in the context of Pakistan and South Asia.

13.00    Gatehouse
Omikemi Natacha Bryan and Peter Daniels

Norwich based Gatehouse Press showcase two outstanding writers: Complete Works III poet and Lighthouse pamphleteer Omikemi Natacha Bryan and award-winning poet Peter Daniels.

13.30    William Cornelius Harris Publishing
Amy Deakin, Nick Eisen, George Harris, Rick Dove and Susan Evans

London-based publishing house, started by William Cornelius Harris, presents the work of five exciting, funny and political poets whose first collections have been published in 2017.

14.00    The Poetry Translation Centre
Jen Hadfield and Bejan Matur

Acclaimed Kurdish poet Bejan Matur presents If this is a lament, her new PTC chapbook, with English translations by Jen Hadfield. Join us for an electrifying performance of poetry in Kurdish, Turkish and English, by a pair of poets whose work explores the language of landscape and of home.

14.30    The Poetry Book Society
Pascale Petit and Karen McCarthy Woolf

The Poetry Book Society, founded by T S Eliot, presents two of their finest recent PBS Selections. Pascale Petit has published six collections and is the recipient of numerous prizes including a Cholmondeley Award. Her latest collection Mama Amazonica, published by Bloodaxe, was selected as a PBS Choice for Autumn 2017. Karen McCarthy Woolf has published two Carcanet collections, the latest of which, Seasonal Disturbances, was chosen as a PBS Summer 2017 Recommendation.

15.00    Discussion: Making a Living as a Poet!
Sarah Hesketh, Richard O’Brien and Rachel Long

Practical advice on earning money while working in poetry from Rachel Long (leader of the poetry collective Octavia) and Richard O’Brien (2017 Eric Gregory Award winner), in conversation with Sarah Hesketh. Questions from the audience will be welcomed.

16.00    Rack Press
Chris Kinsey and Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch

Welsh poetry pamphlet publisher Rack Press presents Chris Kinsey whose Muddy Fox was published this year and Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, author of Lime & Winter (shortlisted for a Michael Marks Award).

16.30    Live New Departures
John Hegley, Adam Horovitz, Michael Horovitz and Vanessa Vie

Live New Departures presents a quartet of performance poetry maestros, alternating individually and conjoined in wordsounds unlimited, with excerpts from Vanessa and Michael’s joint CD and book Lyrical Soulmates, John’s mash-ups from Peace, Love and Potatoes, and New and Selected Potatoes, as well as Adam’s Little Metropolis and 1000 Laurie Lees, and Michael’s Poetry Olympics Marathon.


11.00    Yew Tree Press
Colin Honnor

Independent poetry and illustrated poetry publisher Yew Tree Press, established in the heart of the Cotswolds since 1997, celebrates two decades of publishing with books from its 2017-18 list of collections and pamphlets. Colin Honnor presents and reads poems from books published in the last year.

11.30    Mother’s Milk Books
Ruth Stacey and Katy Morris

Nottingham-based independent publisher Mother’s Milk Books showcase poets Ruth Stacey and Katy Wareham Morris, the authors of Inheritance, the most recent pamphlet from the press’s popular series of poetry ‘duets’, which focusses on narratives around womanhood and being a mother.

12.00    Silhouette Press
Jamie Thrasivoulou and Andrea Mbarushimana

Silhouette Press published Andrea Mbarushimana and Jamie Thrasivoulou's debut collections this year. In The Africa in My House, Andrea explores themes of conflict and resolution in post-Genocide Rwanda, while Jamie talks about his journey of working-class struggle in his native Derby in The Best of a Bad Situation.


15.00    V. Press 
Stephen Daniels & Nina Lewis

V. Press poets celebrate connection and disconnection, with Stephen Daniels reading from Tell Mistakes I Love Them, and Worcestershire poet laureate Nina Lewis from Fragile Houses.

15.30    Hearing Eye
Pauline Sewards, Peter Phillips and Hylda Sims

Pauline Sewards’s first collection This is the Band (published this autumn) reveals an individual lyric gift worthy of attention. Peter Phillips’s fourth publication with Hearing Eye, is Four Poems from Saying it with Flowers, which “wears [its] seriousness lightly”. Hylda Sims writes novels, poems, songs and hosts Fourth Friday at the Poetry Cafe. Her Hearing Eye books are Sayling the Babel and Reaching Peckham.

16.00    Green Bottle
Kelly E. Sullivan and Sheila Hamilton

Green Bottle Press, founded in London in 2014 and focussed primarily on first pamphlets and collections, presents Sheila Hamilton reading from her second full collection The Spirit Vaults, and New York-based Kelly E. Sullivan reading from her first pamphlet Fell Year.

16.30    Arachne Press
Jeremy Dixon, Lisa Kelly and Sarah James

Showcasing poets Arachne have published in our anthologies, The Other Side of Sleep, Liberty Tales and Shortest Day, Longest Night. Experience a flush of openness in San Francisco, a long day on a till, an even longer night in a hotel, and time shifting about the three occupants of a house.


19.00        Competition Winners – to be announced!
The winners of this year’s Poetry Book Fair competition will read their poems, as well as a few other poems of their own. Come and make them feel welcome!

19.25    Hercules
Ruth Valentine and Jaqui Saphra

Hercules Editions is an independent press combining poetry and prose with art and archival material to create beautiful small books. Publisher Tamar Yoseloff introduces a reading from the authors of two 2017 titles: Ruth Valentine’s Rubaiyat for the Martyrs of Two Wars and Jacqueline Saphra’s A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller.

20.00    Anathema London: Sad Press Poets
Sad Press Choir

Sad Press poets crammed into a perfect tessellated pattern. See if you can spot: Emilia Weber, author of Familiars (Sad 2017); Eley Williams, author of Frit (Sad 2017) and Attrib. & Other Stories (Influx 2017); Robert Kiely, author of How to Read (Crater 2017) and Killing the Cop in Your Head (Sad 2017); Lila Matsumoto, author of Soft Troika (If a Leaf Falls 2016) and Allegories from my Kitchen (Sad 2015); Wally; Jennifer Cooke, author of Apocalypse Dreams (Sad 2015) and editor of New Feminist Studies: 21st-Century Critical Interventions (Cambridge University Press 2018) ... and maybe even one or two more.

20.25    Nine Arches
Rishi Dastidar and Gregory Leadbetter

Nine Arches Press invite you to join us for two debut poets who travel the whole range of moods and themes, from the irrepressible dayglow pop-picking poetry of Rishi Dastidar to the spectral, supernatural and shifting shades of Gregor Leadbetter’s haunting poetry.

21.00    Out-Spoken
Anthony Anaxagorou and Raymond Antrobus

Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot award-winning poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. He has published nine volumes of poetry, a spoken-word EP and a collection of short stories. In 2012 he founded Out-Spoken and Out-Spoken Press, an independent publisher that aims to challenge the lack of diversity in British publishing. Raymond Antrobus is a British-Jamaican poet, performer, editor and educator, born and bred in East London, Hackney. He is one of the world’s first recipients of an MA in Spoken Word education from Goldsmiths University. In 2017 he was awarded 1 of 3 inaugural Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships. His debut poetry collection will be published by Penned In The Margins (2018).

21.25    Clinic
Kit Buchan and Denise Saul

Clinic press presents Kit Buchan and Denise Saul! Denise Saul’s White Narcissi (Flipped Eye Publishing), was Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice for Autumn 2007. Her House of Blue (Rack Press) was PBS Pamphlet Recommendation for Summer 2012. She is the winner of the 2011 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize. Denise is a Fellow of The Complete Works. Kit Buchan has been published in The White Review and Clinic 4. He was highly commended for the Poetry London competition 2015. He also writes musicals and for the Observer.

All readings and discussions are free entry – first come, first served!


with Michael Schmidt
at the Poetry Book Fair, 11.30am-2pm, £35

C.H. Sisson called translation “fishing in other men’s waters”. He translated from languages he knew. Contemporary poets often work from languages they hardly know, drawn by what they imagine a poem has to offer, the doors it might open. How do we get into poetry we cannot access on a primary level? What authority can such translations have? Michael Schmidt has translated ‘from the Aztec’ with only basic intuitions of Nahuatl; he wrote a tome on classical Greek poetry with hardly even rudimentary Greek, and is currently writing about the Gilgamesh Epic, most translated of ancient poems, translated by writers without knowledge of the original. What benefit do poets get from such oblique imaginings? We’ll work on creating our own oblique translations, taking the ‘original’ for a ride to see where we end up.

with Vahni Capildeo
at the Poetry Book Fair, 2.30pm-5pm, £35

The idea of ‘voice’ in poetry raises vexed and exciting questions. Today, poets may be watchful about developing, or betraying, their ‘identity’; reckless, or on guard against, ‘appropriating others’. However, something in any writer remains on watch; listening at the sentinel’s post; vulnerable, if not open, to familiar and strange visitants. This session lets you off being on guard, or having to declare yourself. In this workshop, you will be encouraged to find other voices within yourself. You will experiment with creating personæ who ask questions about some ‘other’ character. About someone whose responses are unpredictable; someone on your conscience, in your dreams – or nightmares. We shall work together on identifying your desired or feared, unknown or unknowable, subject.

Booking for these two workshops is essential! Email now!