We had been looking to create a poetry pamphlet division for some time, as it’s a format we enjoy. As a self-funding indie company we had to be certain the time was right and last year we made our entry to this market. We wanted our pamphlets to show the same production values we give to their big brothers, be perfect bound and have identity branding.
We like poetry pamphlets for many reasons. Among them is the thread that runs through many poetry pamphlets, a general theme that, although sometimes less obvious than others, unifies under one title. There may be insufficient numbers of such poems to fill a full-length collection, so they would be a section of the whole. Here they can be the entirety.
A glance through some of the pamphlets we have published to date show themes as different as the people of a village in Italy, the natural world, the human body, the various guises of ‘gods’, railways – even a correlation between poetry and poultry! Those yet to be published have themes as varied as the Solway Firth, the theatre, a relationship with a grandson…we love the diversity!
They are affordable (or more affordable) and can easily be read in one sitting, should the reader choose to do so. They no longer serve as an introduction to new poets, but are now an established and respected form in their own right. And pamphlets do of course have their own awards and prizes, like the Michael Marks and Callum MacDonald, Templar, Poetry Book Society, Cinnamon and, shortly, Indigo Pamphlets.
Indigo Dreams has a very strong commitment to poetry, (and we were delighted to receive the Ted Slade Award for Services to Poetry this year) and will continue to combine new poets with the more established. One example of a first publication success was Brett Evans pamphlet, The Devil’s Tattoo. It can only help a newly published poet to not only be runner-up in its category in the recent Saboteur Awards, but also to read comments like ‘these poems cut like rust’, ‘a deeply divine read’, ‘displays both vulnerability and wit’, ‘eye-opening soul baring magic’. Greg Freeman’s ‘Trainspotters’ was read by Brian Patten who wrote to Greg saying his pamphlet has “more going for it than many a fatter collection. The poems are snapshots of gone and going worlds, more evocative than any photo.” That quickly made it to the back cover!
This year we will publish almost twenty pamphlets, some new voices with a track record in magazines but no previous publication, some by established poets including Bernard Kops, William Oxley and –don’t edit this out! – Abegail Morley. Your own pamphlet, Abegail, is a perfect example of how a pamphlet fills a void – a short series of poems based on the ruins at Scotney Castle, too small for a large collection, but perfect for a pamphlet.
Its popularity among poets is proven by the number of enquiries and submissions we receive each month. Along with our three magazines, collections and anthologies, our pamphlet division is here to stay. The amount we publish will, as ever, be determined by what we enjoy, our physical capacity and the quality of submissions we receive.
Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn Bauling