Rack Press ever impresses – Poetry Review
The consistently reliable Rack Press - Times Literary Supplement

Sunday, 8 November 2015

A Discussion About the State of Poetry

You are most welcome to join us at the Poetry Cafe in London on 18th November (18.30; free admission) for a panel discussion based on Jeremy Noel-Tod's new book from Rack Press Editions: The Whitsun Wedding Video: a journey into British poetry. Jeremy will be joined by poets Emily Berry and Amy Key and the panel will be chaired by Nicholas Murray publisher of Rack Press.  A lively debate will take place we hope.

If you can't make the 18th November it is possible to order now from this site now using Paypal (see adjacent panel) or from any good bookseller.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Whitsun Wedding Video: A Journey into British Poetry

We are pleased to announce the publication on 30th October of the latest Rack Press Edition by Jeremy Noel-Tod: The Whitsun Wedding Video: a journey into British poetry.

A hundred years after the publication of T S Eliot’s ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’ one of Britain’s brightest and sharpest poetry critics, Jeremy Noel-Tod, takes contemporary British poetry to task for its failure to match the ambition of the great modernists such as Eliot. This witty and incisive book ‘about how reputations have been made in modern British poetry and may be remade’ challenges received opinion about contemporary verse. ‘Rumours persist that excellent poetry is being written by poets who are not venerable names rehearsing old themes,’ the author reports in an essay certain to create controversy in the world of poetry.

Jeremy Noel-Tod lives in Norwich where he teaches Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Since 2000 he has reviewed poetry for a wide range of national publications, including the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the New Statesman, and The Sunday Times. He is the editor of R.F. Langley’s Complete Poems (Carcanet, 2015) and was the revising editor of the Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry (2013), previously published as the Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry (1994), ed. Ian Hamilton.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Poetry in Presteigne: Less than a fortnight to go

A few of our East Radnor neighbours
The brand new Welsh poetry festival, Poetry in Presteigne, opens on Friday 16th October in the lovely town of Presteigne, Powys, already famous for its annual music festival.  There is a rich programme of readings, events, performances, music and art so book now at www.poetryinpresteigne.com.  Today the autumn weather is glorious in East Radnor, the part of Powys where Presteigne is located, so as well as the poetry there is excellent walking and scenery to make a weekend stay a break to remember.  The full programme is on the website.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Poetry Book Fair 2015

The Conway Hall around mid-afternoon and heaving
Rack would like to thank all the people who came to Saturday's Poetry Book Fair in London's Conway Hall and who stopped by our stall for a chat or a purchase.  It was a huge turnout and we are pleased to have sold so many pamphlets. If you weren't able to be there and want to order any Rack Press titles you can do so here.

Rack publisher Nicholas Murray

Friday, 4 September 2015

A New Poetry Festival: Poetry in Presteigne 16-18 October

Rack Press is looking forward to taking part in the brand new Welsh poetry festival, Poetry in Presteigne over the weekend of 16-18 October. This new festival in Mid Wales is now open for booking and events include "Tango in Stanzas", poet Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch's collaboration with Tango dancer Peter Baldock; an evening with National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke; a reading by Paul Henry; poetry and blues with Hollow Log; and readings from poets published by Flarestack, Cinnamon, and Rack Press; and much else.  Roger Garfitt, Edward Storey, Jan Fortune, Steve Griffiths, Ros Hudis, Jacqui Rowe, Meredith Andrea, Fiona Owen, Susan Richardson, and John Barnie are some of the poets appearing across the weekend

Rack will be fielding poets Nicky Arscott and Anna Lewis whose new pamphlets appeared this summer (and which can be purchased online here) and Rack publisher Nicholas Murray will be talking about animal poetry with readings.

Book now!

The Radnor Forest, near Presteigne, Powys

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Poem of the Week: Nicky Arscott

This week's poem is taken from Nicky Arscott's Rack pamphlet, Soft Mutation, which can be ordered here.

Cheap Flights to Goa

The Israeli on her bodyboard again.
Alan licks his lips – fixed on the back and forth –
then misses his mouth with his straw.
Deeply embedded in cocktail hour
my toes clench sand – Alan’s horny old toes
attach too, like to the lining of a womb –
there are two types of person in this world: 
them who can, and them who couldn’t 
get a hard-on in a brothel, says Alan
sucking loudly. The Israeli girl is hiding 
from the army. But which one are you. 
The willing suspension of virility. 
The Arabian Sea is heaven. 
In a minute, a coconut will fall on Alan’s head –
killing him outright – and I will be unhappy
not to have got this sorted. The girl comes onto 
land, her lovely cheek still resting on the board. 
But which one are you, I say again – it is difficult 
to peel away our eyes: her hair it spreads out
blackly on the sand. The waiter brings another round, this time 
without umbrellas. A thwacking through the palms. 

The skinny boys are pulling in their nets.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Poem of the Week: Anna Lewis

This week's poem taken from a recent collection is from Anna Lewis's pamphlet published in July, The Blue Cell, a sequence of poems exploring the lives of a number of early medieval Welsh saints.  Melangell, who fled from Ireland to Powys to escape an unwanted marriage here shelters a hare from hunters.  Hares are a rarer sight than they were but they are still seen occasionally, and we sometimes see them near to the home of Rack Press in Powys.

The Blue Cell can be ordered here for immediate dispatch, £5 post-free.


Its heart was quick against her thigh,
then slowed.  She felt the hitching rhythm
of its ribs subside, kept her own breath 

as she heard the dogs pant close, 
their narrow bodies slit the bracken.  
Birds swung up from the slope

and marked the line of their approach;
the saplings shook, then from the trees 
poured horses, men in red and gold.  

And it was the same as the day 
she first stepped onto the sea,
handed herself to the waves 

and to the will of God: brash sunlight 
thrown back, the green earth 
tipping under her feet.  Not so much 

bravery, not so much faith 
as a small, dull light that scratched 
into life in her chest, then grew

until she could not see around its edge.  
Beyond, there was quiet.  The hare
dropped its head to its paws, and slept.