Longbarrow Press looks back on its seventeenth year of activity with a round-up of the essays, projects and publications of 2022:
#1 January. ‘An important aspect of creative collaboration is knowing which questions each partner needs to ask of the other, and how to ask them, which can only happen with trust, and an understanding of each other’s practices. The last thing that anyone wants is a book that falls short, for want of time, resourcefulness, or an honest conversation.’ We start the year with a new interview with Brian Lewis (conducted by Sufyan El-Harti for the now-defunct Shreem website), in which he discusses the ad hoc development of Longbarrow Press, the importance of recording on location, and the post-lockdown outlook. Click here to read ‘Zero-cost outlets’.
#2 March. Longbarrow Press participates in the first in-person States of Independence book fair since 2019; a welcome return for this established fixture of the East Midlands cultural calendar. Thanks to the organisers and volunteers, and to everyone who visited our stall.
#3 May. Multiple Exposures, a digital pamphlet originating in the Transreading with Longbarrow Press course led by Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese (for the Poetry School), appears online. The pamphlet (designed and edited by Brian Lewis) includes contributions from Nathaniel Chew, Carol Dalton, Hilary Dyer, Sylee Gore, Lydia Harris, Edwin Kelly, Anna Kisby, Agata Maslowska, Dani Salvadori, and Margaret Watson. Click here to read and download the Multiple Exposures PDF. In addition to the work included in the PDF, Sylee Gore and Dani Salvadori have created short film-poems, which can be viewed on this page.
An unrelenting wind, a surface that
you never thought or felt could be this flat;
a land where few horizons might look straighter,
home to Hume’s uniformity of nature…
The publication of Two Verse Essays by Alistair Noon, a pamphlet comprising two long poems that invite us to consider the role of emerging technologies in shaping our experience and understanding of the world (“Essay on Spam”) and the vocabulary with which we chart its coasts (“Glossary on a North Sea Landscape”).
#5 May. A rare performance of Wealden, a poetry/music collaboration by Nancy Gaffield and The Drift (published as a pamphlet and CD by Longbarrow Press in 2020), at the Church of St Augustine, Brookland, Kent. ‘I wanted to walk the work back into the landscape that it was made of and from and for. I wanted to walk towards the horizon of Wealden without ever quite arriving.‘ An account of the publisher’s journey to Kent unravelled in the wake of the performance, first as an 85-tweet thread, and then as an essay for the Longbarrow Blog. Click here to read ‘Direction of Travel’ by Brian Lewis.
#6 July. ‘I think it’s my best book. It’s the book I had to dig deepest to write. The book I should’ve written years ago, but didn’t have the resources to pull off.‘ In a wide-ranging interview, Matthew Clegg discusses confidence tricksters, populism, marketing, the Saint Lucian poet Derek Walcott, film noir, urban environments, and the methods employed in crafting his third collection, Cazique. Click here to read ‘The other side of the glass’.
#7 August. Steve Ely‘s book-length poem The European Eel is shortlisted for the 2022 Laurel Prize (in which it is eventually placed second). The book is featured on Radio 3’s The Verb in January (click here to listen to the relevant episode), gathers favourable notices throughout the year, and is mentioned in David Farrier’s survey of ‘oceanic poetry’ for The Guardian in December. Click here to read ‘The classic ocean poetry taking on troubling new meanings’.
#8 October. Longbarrow Press joins 60+ artists and publishers from the UK and around the world at the Conway Hall, London, for the first in-person Small Publishers Fair since 2019. Thanks to Helen Mitchell and her team, and to everyone who visited our stall.
#9 October. ‘There was an enrichment, not of wealth or status, an enrichment of time, the civic life. It was common ground on private land. It was sustained by public memory and it sustained public memory.‘ In a further extract from a work-in-progress that draws on an afternoon’s walk around Sheffield, Brian Lewis considers the legacies, and fates, of the city’s non-essential retail in the final days of the last English lockdown. Click here to read ‘One-Way Mirror’ on the Longbarrow Blog.
A malady is settled over the world
fording seas and people. We walk
or wake through a convalescence,
poorly healed and paranoid.
Four years after The Grail Roads appeared to wide acclaim, Longbarrow Press publishes Sapo, a new collection by Rob Hindle that turns on the sliding, unsettled or ‘slippery’ meanings and etymologies of its title. The book is launched with an in-person event at The Shakespeare, Sheffield, on the coldest night of the year.
‘An Otherworth’, a poetry / photography collaboration by Nikki Clayton and Mark Goodwin, appears on the Longbarrow Blog at the year’s end: click here to read it.
Our thanks to everyone who has supported the press over the last 12 months; we return in 2023 with a new series of projects, publications and events, including titles by Angelina D’Roza and Helen Tookey. Further details will be posted later in the year.
Photographs: Emma Bolland, J.R. Carpenter, Nikki Clayton, Brian Lewis.
A fantastic testimony to the commitment, kindness and perceptiveness of Brian Lewis and the marvellous Longbarrow Press