It just so happens that my pile of things to read has reached a seam of Nine Arches Press publications. Recently I've read -
and not long ago I read
Publishers nowadays have to wear many hats. Jane Commane, who runs the press, is active in social media and is involved with festivals, shows, the magazine Under the Radar, mentoring, and running workshops. The hope is that these activities cross-fertilise, producing more readers and writers, all the time raising the profile of the press. Collaborative activities include
- Leicester Shindig, a bi-monthly spoken word event organised with The Centre for New Writing & Crystal Clear Creators
- A mentoring scheme Primers with the Poetry School
Keeping all this going is hard work. Jane was in "Best British Poetry 2011" but I guess writing takes a backseat nowadays, and she's not doing a part-time non-publishing job any more. It would have been fun to try to interview her, but Roy Marshall has done a good job there already.
When one assesses success of a publisher, longevity is a factor (it started in 2008) as is impact ("The Midlands" was reviewed in The Guardian), but in the end the quality of the books is the deciding factor. Buy a few and see what you think. Go to their stall at Free Verse: The Poetry Book Fair at Conway Hall, London on Saturday 26th September or have a look online.