Sunday, 30 January 2011

Self-publishing ups and downs

A friend of mine, Roy Bainton, sent me his new book Crazy Horse and the Coalman, which he has self-published. Roy is not someone to rush into self-publishing out of desperation to see his name in print. He is a jobbing writer who has made a precarious full time living for decades, writing sleeve notes, programmes - you name it - as well as books for mainstream publishers like Mainstream, Crowood and Constable & Robinson. But it's tough out there and he has dipped his toes into self-publishing from time to time. Those who know me will be aware of my general disregard for self-publishing, and Roy (who I hope will still be a friend after this posting) is aware of the pitfalls, particularly over being your own editor. This book in one volume shows the upside and downside of self-publishing. Firstly a description of the book. This is an autobiography of Roy's early years, his childhood up to the start of the rock'n'roll period and his joining the Merchant Navy. If categorised beyond autobiography it falls into the genre of "we was poor but we was miserable". His family struggled to survive economically in the roughest parts of Hull, adversity made worse by some daft decisions of his father who blew his war-wound compo on a smallholding that could never be made to work. Ere long the family were trawling round relatives to find anyone who had a spare room, however insanitary. Running alongside the direct narrative is the author's early obsession with the Native American, Crazy Horse, whose life he wished to emulate. The upside is that the book exists. Roy can write well, and wittily, but since the demise of the "people's autobiography" movement it is hard to see any publisher taking a punt on this story. Yet he tells so much about post-war life for the people at the scrag-end and the way his family did, just, survive adversity. Some parts are laugh out loud funny - such as when he was stopped by the police cycling home at midnight on Christmas Eve with some freshly-slaughtered ducks for the family Christmas dinner. Only afterwards did he discover which particular public pond was a couple of ducks short on Christmas Day. (It was funny the way Roy told it.) The downside is the book cries out for an editor and the author's continued use of the Crazy Horse storyline becomes increasingly forced as the author moves into early adulthood. And of course poor Roy has to sell the bloomin' books, which will hardly be reviewed and not stocked by bookshops. That's a downside. I wish there had been a Hull community publisher to take this book up, bash it around a bit and sell it throughout the City. Even so, anybody who knows Hessle Road should get a copy, available from lulu on

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Half a loaf is better than no bread

After some effort, by many people and groups including Five Leaves, our local County Council has reduced some of their cuts in library services. We organised 100 East Midlands writers in sending a letter of protest about the cuts - clearly a good letter as Councillor John Cottee is still mulling over his reply... The cuts have been changed from catastrophic to simply really bad. For example the book fund will now only be cut by 50%, not 75%. That is still really bad, but the protests have had £400,000 returned to the book fund. For example 22 of the 28 smaller libraries whose opening hours were being reduced by 75% will have their hours reduced by 50%. That is still really bad but £70,000 has been returned to library staffing, which will keep some low paid part-time women workers in jobs and allow just enough opening time for those libraries to survive and dispense with some of the stupidity of them being run by volunteers. Philip Pullman tackles this issue well in his essay on
We should not stop campaigning - here, or in Doncaster or in Oxford or anywhere else libraries are under threat. Phillip Pullman has his own personal library story, mentioned in his article. Here's mine:
My home town library opened in 1904. There is a wonderful photograph of people thronging the streets, as far as the eye can see, to welcome this new library. My grandfather borrowed books from that library. He loved Westerns and pulp crime fiction. He usually asked my mother to go and collect his books - and, family legend has it, she was always late home as she became the leading eight year old expert on Westerns and pulp crime. Like her father she did not stay on at school, leaving for factory work aged fourteen, but she had a love of reading. Many years after I left home I discovered she was still using library tickets, renewed annually, in my name, in the name of her late mother and in the name of a woman I'd had time to marry and divorce. Only when that library changed to allow readers to borrow more than three books did she lay her mother to rest, admit my marriage had failed and stop pretending that I was still living at home in my 30s. Her proudest day had been when I started work in that same library, my first job, which led me to a life as a qualified librarian, a bookseller and publisher. And the last time my home town library was under threat I was pleased to find that my mother was one of hundreds of people attending a protest meeting and one of the leading hecklers of the Councillors. We all have library stories and they are not all of some Hovis-and-butcher-boy-on-a-bicycle past. Two or three years ago I helped edit a short video on library use locally, which included an interview with some witty female teenagers who were in a Manga reading group, an interview with a single parent who'd used her local library as an office and training centre - developing her computer skills until she found work. Her library had also been done up resulting in a big increase in issues. Libraries can be, should be and in many places are as relevant now as they were in 1904.
So I welcome this partial change of heart shown by Nottinghamshire County Library. It is half a loaf, better than none. But we still want the whole bloody bakery.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Flying Goose migration

The Shoestring Press readings at the Flying Goose in Beeston, Nottingham will finally draw to a close in March. This series of mostly, but not exclusively, poetry readings has been running for about seven or eight seasons. John Lucas, the organiser (and a Five Leaves' writer), has not kept the programmes, nor have I. Perhaps someone has. You may not have heard of the series - not surprising as a balance always had to be made between getting enough people along and too many since the venue holds 36 people. There was a famous occasion when 64 turned up, though when people breathed out at the half time break some attendees were propelled through the front door. Over the years the Goose has become a fixture on the small press scene - many, perhaps most, of those attending have been writers, publishers, teachers or organisers of literature, but new people have always been welcome. Most of the Five Leaves' writers from the region, and some from outside the region, have read there. The two last events in the current format are on Tuesday 15 February and 15th March at 7.30pm, the first with Five Leaves/Tindall Street writer David Belbin reading with fellow novelist Thomas Legendre, the series ending with readings by poets Ann Atkinson, a former editor of Staple, and Alan Baker, the founder/publisher of Leafe Press.
The Flying Goose readings will, however, continue in the hands of the poet Sarah Jackson (pictured), a Flying Goose regular since moving to Nottingham, but not under the Shoestring Press banner.
Thanks to John Lucas, and to all the writers who've produced some great nights over the years.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Creme de la Crime moves on

Fellow regional publisher Creme de la Crime will shortly be closing, but re-appearing as the crime imprint of Severn House which has bought the name. I'm sorry to lose Lynne Patrick from the local publishing scene as we would meet up regularly at festivals and book fairs. She will be doing some editorial work at Severn House but I'm sure she will be glad to shed the long hours she has put in at Creme de la Crime as publisher. She certainly worked hard and had a loyal stable of writers always willing to turn out for library and festival events. Some of her writers are going over to Severn House, some not. Her backlist is still available on but we'll have to wait to see what Severn House does with their new list as their website is under reconstruction.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Return of the Slow Mirror

I mentioned a short film by Richard Zimler a posting or two back, being shown at Jewish Book Week... Back in 1996 Sonja Lyndon and Sylvia Paskin were editing a book of "New Fiction by Jewish Writers" for Five Leaves. Most of the short stories came in following a note round writers we knew, and the grapevine did the rest. Out of the blue though came a short story called "The Slow Mirror" by a writer none of us had heard of; Richard Zimler, an American living in Portugal. Immediately that became the title story of the collection. It was very good. Curious, we wrote to Richard asking who he was, what had he done... it did not feel like the work of a complete novice. He said he was, essentially, an unpublished writer and he had this novel which his ex-agent had failed to place... and he sent The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, which could be described as a kind of Jewish Name of the Rose. At Five Leaves towers we loved it... but what to do? If we had published it at the time we'd have printed 750 copies, sold 500 and had a review in a Jewish paper or two. And this was too good. At the time we knew someone in a fairly big indie publishing house in America and asked them to read it. They loved it, bought it, sold UK rights to Arcadia who sold 75,000 copies of the trade ie posh edition, followed by a mass market edition. It sold to many languages and Richard has never looked back. We were thrilled. Five Leaves could not have done that, nor could we now.
But what a collection that was... it contained a story by Zvi Jagendorf which was later turned into a Booker longlist title and one by Tamar Yellin that also became a novel. Contributors Jonathan Wilson and Shaun Levin joined our list with later books, and we published a "classic" by Frederic Raphael. Michelene Wandor has appeared in several parts of our list. One decade soon we'll finally publish a Jewish lesbian anthology edited by another contributor, our friend Ellen Galford who we see from time to time at the Edinburgh Jewish Literary Society.
Now Richard Zimler has made a short film. It will be at Jewish Book Week on February 28, at the New North London Synagogue on February 26 and won the Best Dram Award at the New York Downtown Short Film Festival. Richard will also be speaking about his latest book The Warsaw Anagrams at Keats House in London on March 17 in an event organised by Daunt's.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Gradgrinds of County Hall

Last night in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, a very articulate child received a sad political lesson. She was one of 100 people attending a protest/organising meeting about library cuts in her area. When she heard that the County Council book fund was to be cut by 75% she asked whether that included books for children. Sadly yes, and because the Library service is now told to stretch the life of a book from 5 years to 21 children's books will be even more at risk because children are more robust with their books than adults, so the books have to go out of commission earlier. Can't see her joining the Young Conservatives. The speakers' list comprised Mike Scott from UNISON, Gail Cooke from the UNISON group of library workers (there were many library workers there) and me, presumably to provide the odd literary reference. The outcome is a read-in at Beeston Library at 11.00am on Feb 5th, part of the national day of action on library cuts. Bring your library card. The meeting was organised by "Nottingham Save Our Services".

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Five Leaves' review coverage

This has been a good month for reviews of Five Leaves' books so far. Here's a summary: PN Review for Feb includes a long review of Three Men on the Metro by Andy Croft, Bill Herbert and Paul Summers, drawing attention to a collective poetry venture being truly collective in its writing. Hackney citizens can find a wonderful two page feature on our Roland Camberton novels in the January Hackney Citizen (, the only pity being they did not mention the publisher or price. Jewish Renaissance also features both books, concentrating on Rain on the Pavements. Ken Worpole has a big feature on our other current New London Editions writer, Alexander Baron, in the current New Statesman (, though the Morning Star was not big on his Rosie Hogarth. Carousel for spring will include reviews on Alan James Brown's Tolpuddle Boy (also covered in the RMT journal) and Dan Tunstall's Big and Clever, while Teen Titles likes Follow a Shadow by Robert Swindells. The current Leicestershire Chronicle lifts a couple of pages from Ray Gosling's Personal Copy. Southwell Folio features Next Year Will Be Better by John Lucas and Fae Nation goes for The Rose Fyleman Fairy Book. Evergreen gives review coverage to Colin Ward and Dennis Hardy's Goodnight Campers. The only international coverage we've had in the last month has been for Jazz Jews, picked up by the San Diego Jewish World, Shalom Life and the jazz programme on the Canadian station CKCU, though that is really piggy-backing on coverage of Mike Gerber's now regular jazz Jews programme on UK Jazz Radio, which is available on their play it again, Sam, scheme. Now then, does review coverage lead to sales... a bit. But not as many as you would think and in some cases not at all. The big test will come for some forthcoming Scottish books where we expect a lot of coverage in that small nation.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Jewish Book Week 2011

No sessions on Five Leaves' books at this year's Jewish Book Week. Mustn't grumble. But there is a short film by Richard Zimler, The Slow Mirror, based on the title story by him in our collection The Slow Mirror and other stories: new fiction by Jewish writers. Here's a trailer for the film: The Slow Mirror is still available through our website.
Several of the contributors to our more recently anthology of short fiction by (mostly) Jewish writers, The Sea of Azov, appear in their own right - Nicole Krauss from America, Eskhol Nevo from Israel and Tania Hershman from Bristol, while Shaun Levin (who was in The Slow Mirror as well as being the author of our A Year of Two Summers) runs a writing workshop. Similarly Joanne Limburg and Ruth Fainlight, from our Passionate Renewal book of Jewish poets are appearing - Ruth reading from her "New and Selected" from Bloodaxe, Joanne is taking part in a Bookniks salon. Michael Rosen, also in Passionate Renewal and author of several Five Leaves' books appears with John Hegley and Jackie Kay, who we have anthologised a few times.
The full programme appears at

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

How poetry can be written after Auschwitz, by Billy Mills

Back in November, Guardian books blog readers were asked to name their favourite book of 2010. For me, the answer was, and is, an easy one; it has to be Holocaust by Charles Reznikoff. Now, I'm pretty sure most of you have never heard of either this book or its author, and that would hardly be surprising given that Holocaust has long been out of print and that Reznikoff has never been a fashionable writer. Now, thanks to Five Leaves Publications, you can get your hands on a very nice paperback edition, complete with an introduction by George Szirtes, and judge yourself whether or not I'm wrong.
Reznikoff was born in Brooklyn in 1894, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, and studied law at New York University, although he never actually worked as a lawyer. New York, Jewishness and the law were, one way or another, to dominate his poetry and his fiction. In fact his Complete Poems 1918-1975, sadly still out of print, consists mainly of observations of life in his native city and verse reworkings of episodes from the Old Testament and Talmud.
Reznikoff is on record as saying that his legal studies led him to the insight that poetry should be like the evidence given by a witness in a criminal trial; "not a statement of what he felt, but of what he saw or heard". It was this approach that made him a kind of patron and model for the Objectivists in the 1930s, and its full flowering was to come in his late 500+ page long poem sequence Testimony: the United States (1885-1915) Recitative, the first volume of which was published in 1965.
Testimony draws on the records of hundreds of court cases to present a portrait of society in ferment; the society, incidentally, into which the poet was born. It is, indeed, a picture of things seen and heard, with, ironically given the material, very little by way of judgemental interpretation. The original manuscripts are arranged and lightly edited as, essentially, found poetry. For most of the cases used, we don't even get to read the verdict or sentence handed down.
Published just a year before his death in 1976, Holocaust was Reznikoff's last book. It, too, drew on court records, this time The Trials of the Major War Criminals at Nuremberg and the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem. The literal, matter-of-fact style that Reznikoff uses in the poem is not accidental; it is a conscious technical choice. The horrors of the death camps are placed starkly before us in the words of the survivors, and the poets selection process denies the reader the opportunity to look away. It also deprives us of any sense of catharsis; these things happened and no good came of them. There is no redemption, and no place for the reader to hide in the flat surface of the writing:
The woman begged for their lives:
they were young, they were ready to work.
They were ordered to rise and run
and the SS men drew their revolvers and shot all five;
and then kept pushing their bodies with their feet
to see if they were still alive
and to make sure they were dead
shot them again.
And for me it is this matter of technique, the unblinking gaze of the invisible poet that makes Holocaust such a vital book. It's as if Reznikoff took up the challenge implicit in Adorno's much misunderstood "Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben ist barbarisch" ("It is barbaric to write poetry after Auschwitz"). If Adorno's question is "how can anyone write poetry that can comprehend the barbarity of the Holocaust", Reznikoff's response is "by doing what the artist has always done and finding the appropriate technical means". The result is, in my opinion, one of the very great long poems in English to be written in the last century.
And so, there you have it. Not fashionable, not even a novel, but Holocaust is certainly the best book I read last year. And like any January drunk in a pub, my intention is to grab you by the collar and insist that you must read it, too. I'm not going to say you'll like it; that wouldn't be the point. But if you are interested in what poetry can do in the face of the world, then Holocaust is a must.
This article appeared first in the Guardian book blog and is republished with permission

Friday, 7 January 2011

In praise of Menard Press (again)

Here we are in 2011 and the Menard Press anniversary catalogue/keepsake published in 2010 to cover the 40 years ending in 2009 has just arrived. Anthony Rudolf, the publisher, has, perhaps, a problem with timing exampled by the catalogue including The Notebooks of Pierre Menard number one, published in 1969, numbers 2-7 not published but "don't ask" and the last and eighth appearing in 1970. Series too are not the Press's strongpoint with the Menard Essays in Art Criticism series running to one issue, a similar number reached by the Menard/Mesdames erotica series. Compared to Menard, Five Leaves is an oasis of order. Yet despite this Menard has produced 160 books, with sales of between 50 and 14,000 and a stream of poetry postcards. As the Press limps towards the finishing line (Rudolf's words) I'm pleased to again honour the little press that published Primo Levi's poetry for the first time outside of Italy, published Paul Auster for the first time in the UK and whose roster of poets includes Octavio Paz and memoirists Nadezha Mandelshtam. The press also, famously, turned exclusively from literature to publishing against the nuclear threat for a period, with writers including Sir Martin Ryle and Oliver Postgate and the seminal 1982 essay Four Minutes to Midnight by Nicholas Humphrey.
Anyone who collects material related to small presses should immediately order the keepsake from and dig in to fine some some treasures still listed as being available. Presses like Menard are unlikely ever to appear again.
And the origins of the name Menard? Rudolf was and is a fan of the Argentinian writer Borges (pictured), Pierre Menard being one of Borges' short stories.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Penguin at 75

Allan Lane invented the paperback in 1935, as he saw the need for good books, published in paperback to reach a wide audience. Ere long you could buy Penguins for 6d in Woollies. Except the paperback book started the previous century. Nor was Penguin the first to sell serious paperbacks to a mass audience. I have a 1902 paperback of Britain for the British (which then meant something different from the current meaning) by Robert Blatchford. I don’t know how many copies that book sold but his Merrie England sold two million. The publisher was Clarion, a socialist movement which sold books off vans and at propaganda visits to small towns (the Flashmobs of a century ago). Among the paperbacks listed inside are The Art of Happiness by Robert’s brother Montague (under the attractive pen name Mont Blong) and the essential Does Municipal Management Pay? I suspect that hundreds of copies of the latter are still under someone's bed. But Penguin did bring serious paperbacks to a mass audience - colour coded books for different audiences. Many’s the home that still has a shelf of orange (fiction) and green (crime). Other related imprints developed - Puffin, Penguin Classics, Pelican.
Penguin took part in one of the most important trials of the last century related to censorship. DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover was the focus of the trial that heralded the changes of the 1960s, the prosecutors being shown to be out of date by asking if this was a book “you would want your want your wife or servants to read”. When I became a grown-up book buyer around 1970, Penguin had a reputation as being radical (ironically at around the same time it lost its independence) and what would now be called cool though my Penguin copy of The Kon-Tiki Expedition is only a few inches away from my Penguin Obsolete Communism: the left wing alternative by Danny Cohn-Bendit. Around that time Penguin, always good on design, was famed for the “Marber Grid”, the cover design thought up by Romek Marber. Five Leaves recently published Marber’s Holocaust memoir, No Return, under our Richard Hollis imprint. Hollis himself was a designer at Penguin, his books including Ways of Seeing by John Berger. The Cohn-Bendit book mentioned before was a Penguin Special as was Protest and Survive by EP Thompson (1980), perhaps the last book to have a symbiotic relationship with a mass movement.

In 1983 Penguin shocked the book trade by paying a million pounds for the sleepy old family firm of Frederick Warne, publishers of a lovely series of hardback Beatrix Potter books. But by then the Penguin Group was part of a conglomerate which owned Royal Doulton China as well as the Financial Times and it was the merchandising that interested them. Meantime there were other publishers moving into Penguin territory. Picador had Ian McEwan and a host of high quality fiction for the literati, with King Penguin struggling to keep up. On the other hand, Penguin published Satanic Verses, which brought the firm many problems, including an attempt to set fire to the then Penguin bookshop in Nottingham.

The bookshop chain has gone, but Penguin is still with us, with a good list and a better backlist, though without its former cachet. There are times when a publisher catches the moment - Victor Gollancz did with his Left Book Club in the 30s and the 40s; City Lights with the Beat Poets and Virago with its feminist writers. All, interestingly, had immediately identifiable livery. But moments, like movements, pass and Penguin’s current best selling books include yet more Fry and Oliver. Whatever my current concerns, I’m grateful to Penguin editors for publishing so many of the books on my shelves. AS Neill’s Summerhill, Ronald Blythe’s Akenfield, Lawrence’s The Rainbow, those old green Dashiell Hammetts…

Monday, 3 January 2011

Five Leaves - the year ahead

Ted Hughes and Translation by Daniel Weissbort (Richard Hollis, £12) - Daniel worked with TH on Modern Poetry in Translation. This book covers all of TH's work on translation. Available.
The Essential Self: Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath by Lucas Myers (Richard Hollis, £10) - a memoir of the Cambridge days. Available.
The Liberation of Celia Kahn (available) and The Credit Draper (available soon) by J. David Simons (£8.99 each) - novel set the ferment of Glasgow working class and Jewish life during and after WW1 and its prequel, set within Celia Khan's family.
The One That Got Away by Zoe Wicomb (available, £8.99) - short fiction set within Glasgow and the author's native South Africa.
Trueta by Angels Aymar, trans. Montserrat Roser i Puig (available, £8.99) - Catalan and English playscript on the life of Josep Trueta, Catalan surgeon during and after the Spanish Civil War.
Where the Rivers Meet: Jesus Moncada ed. by Kathryn Crameri - the first book in English on this major Catalan writer (available, £8.99)
Penny Lace by Hilda Lewis, a novel (Bromley House Editions, £12.99)
March 19 - States of Independence II - a day event for and from the East Midlands' independent presses
California by Ray Banks, Graven Image by Charlie Williams, Claws by Stephen Booth and Not Safe by Danuta Reah - all Crime Express, £4.99 each
Roman Nottinghamshire by Mark Patterson (£9.99)
Out of Towners by Dan Tunstall - three lads on the lash, what could go wrong? Young adult fiction, £5.99
Closer by Maxine Linnell - when a dad gets closer than he should. Young adult fiction, £5.99
Secret Gardens by David Belbin - a novel about refugee children on the run, suitable for Reluctant Readers. Young adult fiction, £5.99
Through the Looking Glass by Anita Klein - art, £24.99
June 18-25, the twelfth Lowdham Book Festival
Maps - the first Five Leaves' annual themed journal - contributors being Iain Sinclair, Chris Arnot, David McKie, David Belbin, Ian Park, Andy Croft, Richard Dennis, Gillian Darley, Roberta Dewa, John Lucas, Deirdre O'Byrne, John Payne, Mark Patterson, Andrew Whitehead, Paul Barker, Ross Bradshaw, Sara Jane Palmer, Robert Macfarlane and Ian Clayton - all on maps, people, places £9.99.
Five books for Cable Street 75th anniversary: The Battle of Cable Street, 1936 by The Cable Street Group (£5); October Day, a novel by Frank Griffin, introduced by Andy Croft (New London Editions, £9.99); Street of Tall People, young adult fiction by Alan Gibbons (£5.99); Battle for the East End: Jewish responses to fascism in the 1930s by David Rosenberg (£8.99); Everything Happens in Cable Street, everything apart from the battle, by Roger Mills.
First weekend in October - 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, Wilton Street Music Hall and elsewhere in London
"Beats, bums, bohemians" - Adrift in Soho by Colin Wilson (our first film tie-in!), The Furnished Room by Laura Del-Rivo and Baron's Court, All Change by Terry Taylor (all New London Editions, c. £8.99)
This Bed Thy Centre by Pamela Hansford Johnson, introduced by Zoe Fairbairns (New London Editions, £9.99
Our website, will be updated shortly to include those titles where we already have book covers. This is Five Leaves' bigget publishing year so far, and will not be replicated next year!
In addition we are publishing a memorial pamphlet about Colin Ward, comprising the speeches at his funeral and his memorial meeting, edited by Ken Worpole and Harriet Ward. More details of that soon.

Poetry never sells, apart from when it does

Reading through the winter 2010 issue of Poetry News, the newsletter of the Poetry Society (content not on-line), I find a grim interview with Chris Hamilton-Emery of Salt Publishing ( Chris reports that Salt's sales are down in 2010 by 42% to bookshops but 60% overall. He posits that the traditional business model for selling poetry (and other literary material) has crumbled due to limited stocking by bookshops, major store closures and the shift to accessing poetry on-line. And then there is the recession. Chris is not completely downhearted, looking at different business models. That Salt exists still is only due to their "Just One Book" campaign which encouraged people to save Salt one book at a time. He remarks that there is a "disjunction between people wanting their tax to be spent on a business [though the Arts Council or university patronage] but not their disposable income." Yikes. Time to row for the shore.
But three pages further on there is an interview with Jenny Swann, once of Five Leaves but sailing under her own steam since 2008 (the last of the sailing metaphors) with Candlestick Press. The review indicates that poetry can sell, without Arts Council support, in pamphlet form. Jenny certainly does have a different business model, by selling beautiful pamphlets "instead of a card". On a recent trip to London I saw her pamphlets in racks in bookshops including the London Review Bookshop, the British Library and a Waterstone's or three. You can find out about Candlestick at She has the advantage of Carol Ann Duffy editing two Christmas collections, with eight more planned over her laureateship. That will have made a huge difference, but I have no doubt Candlestick would still be doing well without that bonus.