Hilda Sheehan on her path to a first collection; in praise of indie publishing

May 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments

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We are rather chuffed with a piece on poet Kim Moore’s blog where Hilda Sheehan talks  about her path to publishing her debut collection The Night My Sister Went to Hollywood. Both Hilda and Kim have great things to say about Cultured Llama, and the value of independent presses. Here is an extract from Hilda’s piece, with some interesting comments on the accepted ‘career path’ for poets:

There’s also a path the poets must follow, a bit like engagement, marriage, house, baby. In poetry it is: poems in small magazines, poems in bigger better magazines, pamphlet, collection. It’s a career path towards professional poetdom and I got onto this rat-track of trying to fit. The trouble is, for a poet like me with young twins plus three other young people to care about, I had limited time and an even more limited budget to send poems out to where they needed to be going. Result was that I rarely sent poems out but over the past ten years had been putting the hours into becoming a better poet, and writing the kind of poems I wanted to write and not necessarily writing to please British editors. I found that my more work-shopped, less interesting poems were successful in finding the ‘right kind of home’ and those more lively, strange and misbehaving examples did not. I have realised that this is about confidence, my own belief that what I write is how I want to write and that they are OK and work in the way I want them to. Reading American poetry was such a revelation and early modernists such as Mina Loy and Gertrude Stein. This was like having poetry orgasms (and I really think there is such a thing) that made me gasp yes, yes, YES!

You can read the full article by clicking here.

Kim Moore’s comments in the blog post on supporting independent poetry publishing come in a week when one of the larger indies has announced that it will not longer be publishing poetry collections by single authors, concentrating only on an annual anthology. Poetry fans could be forgiven for thinking that poetry publishing is in decline, but Cultured Llama’s presence on a panel of indie publishers at the University of Kent on 21 May proved otherwise. It is heartening that small presses continue to fly the flag for quality literary publishing, bringing exciting new voices into print – like our own Bethany W Pope, Richard Thomas and Hilda Sheehan –  as well as more established writers like Maggie Harris and Philip Kane.

Please go to the Books page for details of all our titles and to buy copies. Post and packaging is free when you buy two or more books. Click here.

Our next publication is Rose Cook’s poetry collection Notes From a Bright Field – more information soon, expected publication in June 2013.

We are also pleased to be working with Gordon Meade on his poetry collection Sounds of the Real World, which is due for publication in September 2013. Expect also Stephe Morris’s book on the history of the Medway Music Scene later this year, and  a new collection of short stories from Maggie Harris in 2014: In Margate by Lunchtime.


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