The High Window Press is an independent small press that publishes anthologies and chapbooks of up and coming talent alongside collections from more established poets whose work deserves a wider audience. It was established in 2015 with the publication of A Slow Blues, New and Selected Poems by David Cooke.
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NEW TITLES FOR 2018
The High Window Press has a bumper crop of new titles in the pipeline for 2018, the scheduling of which we are still working on. However with our Spring issue we are launching Bare Bones, a new collection of poems by Lincoln-based poet Norton Hodges and Wounded Light by the wonderfully exuberant James Russell. This was followed in by Bone Antler Stone by Tim Miller, Wardrobe Blues for a Japanese Lady by London poet Alan Price and Trodden Before by Patricia McCarthy, all of which were published in the summer. We decided to have a break in the autumn but are publishing two further collections in December to round off the year: Janky Tuk Tuks by Wendy Holborow and Cradle of Bones by Frances Sackett.
March 2018: Bare Bones by Norton Hodges
Norton Hodges was born in Gravesend, Kent, in 1948. He studied French and German at the University College of Swansea and taught Modern Languages for 22 years. Distinguished by their clarity and wry wisdom, the poems of Bare Bones explore the aspirations of the men who returned from the Second World War and their determination to build a brighter future for their children. In poems that are accessible, eloquent and unfailingly authentic, Hodges evokes the consequences for his generation of better education and wider opportunities, aware that losing sight of one’s roots can become self-destructive and that, in the end, what will help to pick up the pieces are love, dancing, silence, simplicity, the small contentments in accepting ‘the way the river writes’.
‘Norton Hodges’s phrase ‘the integrity of life’ underpins this knowing, poignant and entertaining collection. He writes authentic poems about memories, relationships and other life events with the kind of simple accuracy that belies the industry and skill in their making.’ Robert Etty
‘In these sparse, beautiful poems Norton Hodges conjures tender portraits, love stories and wry, edgy comment on life’s challenges, joys and ironies. A delightful collection full of wisdom and honesty.’ Marilyn Ricci
March 2018: Wounded Light by James Russell
James Russell was born in Bristol in 1948. In 2015 he retired from his post as Professor of Cognitive Development at Cambridge University; and now lives in London. He has previously published three collections and two chapbooks. His novella-with-poems Craigie’s Clevedon Poems appeared in 2013 and was praised by J.H.Prynne for its ‘antic dispositions’. He is Fellow Emeritus of Queens’ College Cambridge.
‘Strong, compulsive, often brilliant, never less than buoyantly intelligent … Most contemporary poetry is dull and preachy by comparison.’
John Kerrigan on Arnos Grove
‘His eye for vivid telling details mark James Russell as a true story-teller, and a true poet.’
Lee Harwood on A True Dream Run
‘What Russell has hit upon is a pleasing blend of the imagination working with the stuff of the real world … Coming through virtually every line there is a poet’s delight and sometimes bemusement in and with the pains and pleasures of ordinary life. My God, it’s a breath of fresh air.’
Martin Stannard on Properly Nuanced
‘Shelley once observed that “Poets, the best of them –– are a very
chameleonic race”: here is the final truth of it.’
Ian Patterson on Craigie’s Clevedon Poems
May 2018: Bone Antler Stone by Tim Miller
Tim Miller is a widely published American poet and writer of fiction. Bone Antler Stone is his first UK publication. It brings together a distinguished and wide-ranging collection of poems inspired by the myths and archaeology of Europe in the Dark Ages. Further details will be announced in the new year.
‘Tim Miller’s collection kindles a fire that we have forgotten; a fire that flickers on cave walls and builds a bridge between humankind and the pulse of the wild world beating beneath it. The poems are full to the brim with life, reimagining and rebirthing the lost years our own prehistory, dug from the earth like lost truths. An endlessly fascinating and beautifully written collection.’
Wendy Pratt, author of Gifts the Mole Gave Me
‘Our prehistory now has its poet laureate. Tim Miller makes old stones and artefacts sing with new life.’
Barry Cunliffe, Emeritus Professor of European Archaeology, University of Oxford
‘Tim Miller’s evocative words touch many places in the past of Europe and call out to each of us regarding the uniqueness and importance of time and place. Tim’s thoughts offer a charm and intimacy with that past that I found enchanting.’
T. Douglas Price, Weinstein Professor of European Prehistory, Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison
‘From Stone Age landscapes and burials to Iron Age bog bodies, Bone Antler Stone evokes not only the mystery but also the humanity of the ancient world.’
Peter Bogucki, Princeton University, and editor of Ancient Europe, 8000 BC – AD 1000: Encyclopedia of the Barbarian World
May 2018: Wardrobe Blues for a Japanese Lady by Alan Price.
Alan Price was born in Liverpool and now lives in Camden, London. He is an ex-librarian, poet, scriptwriter, short story writer and film critic. His stories have been broadcast on Radio 3 and his TV film A Box of Swan was broadcast on BBC2 in 1990. He has scripted five short films. The last one Pack of Pain (2010) won four international film festival awards. Alan’s debut collection of poetry Outfoxing Hyenas was published by Indigo Dreams in 2012. His pamphlet of prose poems Angels at the Edge (Tuba Press) appeared in 2016. And the chapbook, Mahler’s Hut was published in 2017.
‘Alan Price’s alert eye for ordinary, sometimes everyday and recognisable, sights is unerring. The poems in this highly promising debut volume combine immediate appeal with technical resource and intelligence, offering something for every serious reader of contemporary poetry.’
Alan Brownjohn on Outfoxing Hyenas
‘Price’s poetry is erudite, but he wears his research lightly. His technical skills, which are impressive, only augment the humanity at the core of his search for truth.’
Claire Booker on Angels at the Edge
‘A very high standard of poetic writing … destined to become a treasure to those
who love poetry and the music of Mahler…”
David Troman in Carillon
‘… a remarkably distinctive, assured and impressive voice in British poetry.’
Adam Feinstein, poet, translator and author of Pablo Neruda: A Passion for Life
May 2018: Trodden Before by Patricia McCarthy.
Patricia McCarthy is the editor of the international poetry journal, Agenda and was the winner of The Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition in 2013. She has published five collections of her poetry and, in collaboration with Christine McNeill, has translated Rainer Maria Rilke’s Book of Hours. Shot Silks is due from Waterloo Press in 2018, as well as another collection, Rockabye from Worple Press. Her work has appeared in many journals and she has been widely anthologised. In 2012 she was elected a Fellow of the English Association.
‘Trodden Before merges family and cultural concerns in a narrative which bridges the centuries, melding east and west in the manner of Gertrude Bell, Charles Doughty and Basil Bunting, but in a contemporary and urgent manner. Gaelic traditions rub shoulders with, and sometimes oppose, English and Oriental customs in a unique and compelling story. Fact and fiction weave seamlessly together as in McCarthy’s earlier sequences, Letters to Akhmatova and Rodin’s Shadow, demonstrating that the long poem can still flourish in an age almost wholly give over to prose.’ W.S. Milne
Patricia McCarthy is a serious poet and a seriously good one. Trodden Before touches deeply on a wide-ranging history, adding the author’s own special imaginative warmth to the strange and challenging story of Colonel McCarthy. The result is a subtly musical and enchanting mix of fact and fiction.’ John F Deane, founder of Poetry Ireland
December 2018: Janky Tuk Tuks by Wendy Holborow.
Wendy Holborow is a prize-winning poet, playwright and story writer. Though born in South Wales, she lived in Greece for fourteen years where she founded and co-edited Poetry Greece. Poetry Salzburg published her collection After the Silent Phone Call (2015). This was followed by Work’s Forward Motion (2016) and An Italian Afternoon (Indigo Dreams, 2017), which was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice for Winter 2017. Her most recent collection, Ghosts before Breakfast, is inspired by the classics of European cinema.
‘Wendy Holborow has done it once again with a splendid new collection, her most ambitious yet, based on her recent visits to India and Africa. It contains a ‘fabulous rabble’ of rattling good poems, and a chilling short fiction, ‘Ngozi’, which has a twist guaranteed to shake us out of our habitual complacency about the endemic refugee crises not only in Africa, but around the world.’ Professor John Goodby.
I am always a bit hesitant when someone from a different background attempts to grasp a very ‘foreign’ subject matter, but Holborow’s poems are open and true and have simply connected. Not many people have an intuitive understanding of the culture, yet Holborow’s poetry has an instinctive grasp of the intrinsic in the face of the sometimes absurd. This collection is brilliantly portrayed and entertaining. Sarada Thompson
December 2018: Cradle of Bones by Frances Sackett
Frances Sackett was born and grew up in North Wales. She spent some time working in London before moving to Shropshire where her two daughters were born. She has now lived in the North West of England for over thirty years. Jobs have included working in a bank, a bookshop and after completing a degree in Literature at Manchester University she tutored Creative Writing and Poetry Courses for Manchester University.
‘Sensuous, painterly and compassionate, with a good ear and an uncommon lightness of touch, she handles the language with sureness, and a relish for the subtle reverberations of sound and sense.’ New Welsh Review
‘The imagination that informs this varied collection is both dramatic and painterly, the poetry that of a cultivated mind and sensibility, which reveals the unexpected from differing angles of vision.’ Jill Farringdon in Poetry Wales
‘I find Sackett’s poetry very focused and powerful. Above all I prize her sense of observation.’ New Hope International Review
‘Frances Sackett’s poems combine a piercing precision with a sumptuous warmth. Their subject matter varies from poignant elegies and reflections on her father’s wartime experience in the Middle East to a set of loving reflections on artworks. There are also wonderful poems on the natural world. In all of her poetry, there is profound empathy with her subjects, a deep engagement which is reflected in her wonderful phrasemaking and technical exactness.’ Ian Pople
Titles Published in 2017
The following titles were published in 2017 and are still available: From Inside, a new collection of poems by the much admired UK poet, Anthony Howell (March); The Edge of Seeing by Scottish Poet John Duffy (June). End Phrase, a specially commissioned UK edition of selected poems by the internationally renowned Croatian poet, Mario Susko (September); and Bloody, proud and murderous men, adulterers and enemies of God, a new collection of poetry and prose from the Yorkshire poet Steve Ely.
Titles Published in 2016
The following were published in 2016 and are still available: Angles & Visions, a collection of film poems by Anthony Costello (March); The Emigrant’s Farewell, a chapbook by James W. Wood (June); Four American Poets, an anthology edited by Anthony Costello (September); and Dust, a chapbook by Bethany W. Pope (December).
March 2017: From Inside by Anthony Howell
Anthony Howell is a virtuoso poet who, since his debut, Inside the Castle, in 1969, has published numerous highly acclaimed collections of his work. In 1973 he was invited to participate in the International Writers Program at The University of Iowa and in 1997 he was short-listed for a Paul Hamlyn Award. He is also a distinguished translator whose versions of Fawzi Karim were a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for 2011. He was the founder of The Theatre of Mistakes and editor of Grey Suit: Video for Art and Literature. His most recent book of poems is Silent Highway, Anvil 2014. Writing in Poetry Review, John Greening sums up:’So much good poetry that one is astonished that Howell’s name is not better known.’
‘As always Anthony Howell’s poems are cool, intelligent, entertaining and simply different from anything else being written.’
Robert Nye, The Times
‘Howell has style to spare and is happily unclassifiable.’
Peter Porter, The Observer
‘It is possible to overstress the similarities between one writer and another. Howell, however, courts such an approach – not because he is an emulator, rather that he is an eclectic original.’
Peter Reading, The Times Literary Supplement
John Ashbery, The PN Review
You will find more information about Anthony and his latest collection here: #https://anthonyhowelljournal.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/from-inside-my-new-book-of-poems/
Forthcoming in June 2017: The Edge of Seeing by John Duffy
John Duffy is a Glaswegian long settled in Huddersfield, where he helped to found the Albert Poets just over 25 years ago. A former social and community worker, he became a bibliotherapist, using the enjoyment of reading as a mental health tool. He has now retired, and still runs writing workshops in Huddersfield.
‘John Duffy’s The Edge of Seeing is a collection full of a deep-rooted love, one that finds its anchor in the sheer reliable physicality of the world and the universe it turns in. The poems range widely through Celtic legend, through revolutionary France and the schoolrooms and parlours of a Glasgow childhood. They move easily from the lyrical to the heft and swagger of Glasgow demotic speech. They are crowded with voices, and the felt observation of the natural world, its birds and its animals. They are, as he memorably writes of a new born fawn, “as tough as mice / or daisies”. The Edge of Seeing is a delight from beginning to end.’ John Foggin
‘From its opening Keatsian homage to its final hymn to metaphor, John Duffy places minutely observed moments of life within evolutionary time and space, each snapshot so sharply focused and composed it enlarges in the mind’s eye. The effect is dizzying, consolatory and moving. We want to make them dance for us, he says, these things whose rhythms slide and sway beyond our senses. And he does.’ Julia Deakin
‘I have been reading John Duffy’s poetry for over a quarter of a century now and am familiar with his gleeful use of language, his musical lyricism, his compassion and humour, and yet his poems still have the ability to surprise and captivate me. This collection reflects the poet’s delight in discovery; new words, stories and observations gleaned from an infinite and acute curiosity. Above all, to use his own words, it demonstrates his determination to keep looking / when there’s nothing / much to see. There is magic at work here.’ Stephanie Bowgett
‘We glimpse here a sensibility that seems to insist on breadth and balance, a poet equally committed to the outward looking perspectives of community and humanity.’ Carola Luther
September 2017: End Phrase by Mario Susko
Mario Susko is a witness and survivor of the war in Bosnia who has spent much of his adult life in The United States, where he now he teaches in the English Department at SUNY Nassau Community College, New York. He is a prolific poet in English and a translator of international repute. End Phrase, Selected Poems 2006 – 2017, is a generous sampling of his work drawn from his three most recent US collections.
‘Mario Susko is a poet of rare seriousness. His wide-ranging, philosophical and metaphorical verse is highly sophisticated; yet it returns us over and over to the great questions of life. This is poetry of witness become a poetry of compassion, intelligence and great spirit. It is essential reading.’
‘Susko is a metaphysical time keeper, a philosophical detective sifting through the
desolate inconclusive evidence left by war and human desolation… He is a
cinematographer of language.’
‘Susko’s poems are not light reading; they are important reading. No lover of poetry will be disappointed.’
‘Mario Susko’s poems make no false promises, but instead offer authentic experiences and, yes, pleasures.’
‘The most intelligent and passionate poet alive today.’
Alan Corkish, editor of erbacce-press
Forthcoming in December 2017: Bloody, proud and murderous men, adulterers and enemies of God by Steve Ely
Steve Ely lives and was raised in the Osgoldcross wapentake in the West Riding of Yorkshire. His previous books of poetry include Oswald’s Book of Hours ( (nominated for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and for the Ted Hughes Award), Englaland , Werewolf, and Incendium Amoris.
‘In Steve Ely the North has found its voice in work that echoes Ted Hughes, Basil Bunting, Geoffrey Hill, the bloke in the corner shop, the Yorkshire breeze and autodidacts and pub philosophers across the region and beyond.’
‘Steve Ely takes the archaeologist’s spade to the idea of England. There’s a passion to the the language, a radical fire reminiscent of Geoffrey Hill’s Mercian Hymns and Basil Bunting’s Briggflatts’
‘Ely’s poetry is passionately political, positively partisan.’
‘I found more power, energy, conviction and sheer verbal exuberance in Oswald’s Book of Hours than in any other first collection I’ve read this year.’
The following titles were published in 2016 and are still available: Angles & Visions, a collection of film poems by Anthony Costello (March); The Emigrant’s Farewell, a chapbook by James W. Wood (June); Four American Poets, an anthology edited by Anthony Costello (September); and Dust, a chapbook by Bethany W. Pope (December).
A Slow Blues, New and Selected Poems by David Cooke.
A Slow Blues contains work from three previous collections by David Cooke, one of The High Window‘s two founding editors, alongside A Virtual Tour, a sequence of more recent poems:
‘David Cooke is a fine poet. Out of the diverse cultures and histories explored in Work Horses, he draws his civilized pattern.’
William Bedford, The London Magazine
‘Multi-layered, and laced through with heart and humanity, this is a collection to be admired initially and re-visited.’
Wendy Klein, The North
‘Cooke’s sensibility is European in a way unusual for an English language poet. There is a fine sensuousness in the language … a book of unexpected, quiet pleasures.’
Catriona O Reilly, Poetry Salzburg Review
‘Cooke’s lyrical insight and precision make the personal universal.’
Poetry Book Society Bulletin
‘… a welcome lack of showiness.’
John Greening, Times Literary Supplement
March 2016: Angles & Visions by Anthony Costello.
The poems in Angles & Visions have all been inspired by cinema. A life-long cineaste, Anthony Costello has been compelled, often in haunting and obsessive ways, to construct his own personal filmography and place it in the poetic present.
‘Angles and Visions is a collection of elegant poems, playfully structured around the discourse of film history, and ideas of watching, pretense, performance and the often lonely gaps between art and reality.
In the poems, Anthony Costello evokes cinematic atmospheres and references that have become embedded in Western culture His writing is clear and subtle. He uses imagery sparely and often to strong effect. Many of his poems display a really dextrous patterning of sound (How the stairwells resemble / film noir: Brighton Rock / or Hangover Square).
Anthony Costello feels like a man who has travelled. Both the sensibility and formal principles of the collection seem more cosmopolitan than specifically British. I found this refreshing. Woven into the poems are fleeting glimpses of personal story or preoccupation, but this is not a confessional collection; there is layer, irony and humour here, as well as deadly seriousness: we have film noir, illustration, ancient myth, horror, painting, world literature, soft porn, soundtrack, thriller, theatre, mask, cinematic process, and cultural stereotype.
While Costello’s writing has a light touch, there is finally a sense of melancholy in the central voice. This is perhaps, intrinsic to the theme. The collection focuses on ideas of representation, and sometimes, alienation. The effect is to give the collection a concern with separation and a lingering undertone of sadness.’
June 2016: The Emigrant’s Farewell by James W. Wood.
The Emigrant’s Farewell tells of the migrant Scots who made Canada their home. Updating the traditional Scots ballad, the poem weaves together stories of imaginary immigrants from the nineteenth, twentieth and early twenty-first centuries to ask questions about how immigrants change and are changed by the cultures they inhabit. As Canada grows, the poem asks us to remember those “whose names have died/yet live on in the streets and cities of this place” – the Scots, whose pioneering activities gave birth to so many of Canada’s institutions but who are now broadly forgotten.
‘James W. Wood’s far-reaching poem explores notions of emigration, both past and present. The Emigrant’s Farewell is a powerful epic written in a tense, muscular style, the language pulsing and echoing the faded history of ship-building and lost industry in his native land.’
Noel Duffy, author of In The Library of Lost Objects and On Light and Carbon
‘James W. Wood’s poetry couples a finely tuned ear with a remarkable mix of passion, idealism and down-to-earth good sense.’
Andrew Philip, author of The Ambulance Box
‘James W. Wood is a talent to be reckoned with: both lyrical and humane, he has a technical ability with language that shines through every poem and a versatility that enables him to range effortlessly from elegy to satire.’
Jane McKie, founding editor, Knucker Press
‘James W. Wood is fired by an intense love of the art, informed by extensive study and a keen ear for cadence and phrase.’
Helena Nelson, founding editor, HappenStance Press
‘James W Wood’s The Theory of Everything is an exceptional first volume of verse.’
Professor Emeritus Brian Cox
Available now: Four American Poets edited by by Anthony Costello.
In this groundbreaking new anthology Anthony Costello has presented a selection of work from Philip Fried, Nicole Callihan, Jay Passer and Michalle Gould. The American edition has already been received enthusiastically by, amongst others, award-winning US poet Thomas Lux:
‘I don’t believe I’ve met my fellow countrymen and – women represented here, but I am familiar, to one degree or another, with their work. I love Philip Fried’s elegant quarrels with the cruelty and ignorance of the world or, more precisely, its inhabitants. Nicole Callihan’s poems are edgy—serrated edgy—smart, jazzy, and entirely her own. I am very moved by Jay Passer‘s hyper-energy, his playfulness, his irreverence, his anger, and his huge heart. Michalle Gould is another original. Her poems are fearless, skilfull, and her range is wide. May the ocean that separates our poetries find more bridges like this anthology!
‘Philip Fried’s thrillingly crafted poetry hauls in language itself for interrogation.’
Carol Rumens, The Guardian, January, 2015
‘Nicole Callihan’s writing is so unpretentious and alive and interesting.’
Jean Valentine, New York State Poet Laureate (2008–2010)
‘As Louis Aragon’s surrealist take on the streets of Paris illuminates
Paysan de Paris, so Jay Passer’s sublime vision of the gritty streets of San
Francisco elevates both his poetry and prose.’
Lawrence R. Smith, founder and editor of Caliban and Caliban online.
‘Michalle Gould writes poems of an almost exquisite refinement, illuminated by the taut glow of sensuous prosody and imagery.’
Michelle Detorie, poetry editor of Entropy
Forthcoming in December 2016: Dust by Bethany W. Pope.
In her most recent collections Bethany W. Pope has given ample testimony to her skill in composing complex sequences of acrostic sonnets, while at the same time maintaining passion and intensity. In Dust, a chapbook containing twelve engrossing new poems, she returns to the freer, more open-ended forms she used to such effect in A Radiance, her impressive debut.
‘Like a seed that lodges in the brain and slowly germinates, the deeper meanings emerge gradually long after the final sonnet has been read.’ Jonathan Doyle, New Welsh Review
Undisturbed Circles is an impressive achievement, and it is remarkable that an almost OCD fixation upon the conceptual possibilities of strictly regulated form should produce a work that feels utterly unbound in its creative scope.’ Steve Nash, Sabotage Reviews
Pope’s writing has an intensely visual quality. Her use of imagery is strong – often unflinchingly so.’ Neil Fulwood, Stride
‘In Bethany W Pope’s A Radiance darkness and light play before the eyes with extraordinary and often disturbing effect.’ Sarah Cole, New Welsh Review