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Comment from the book world in February 2021

February 2021

'Poetry is definitely having a renaissance'

22 February 2021

‘Poetry is definitely having a renaissance.There's been a real sea-change in terms of how it's seen, especially in lockdown. Poetry is the perfectly transportable art form. Owning a book is all you need to experience it. Poetry doesn't necessarily give us the answers, but it does give us the tools to think with and helps us process issues.

Writing poetry might be a slow art - but publishing it well is an extremely slow art. The lifespan of a book can be much longer than in other genres and, if it hits the big-time, you can feel the benefits for many years. Even those that don't go stellar can sell gradually, but well, for a long time.

The best publishers work hard at becoming a lifelong home for their writers and at creating evergreen titles. Having a really strong backlist is vital, too, so you're publishing second, third and fourth collections, as well as debuts.'

Jane Commane, publisher of Nine Arches Press in Bookbrunch, behind the paywall



'The ring of truth'

8 February 2021

‘For people never say anything the same way twice; no two of them ever say it the same. The greatest imaginative writer that ever brooded in a lavender robe and a mellowed briar in his teeth, couldn't tell you, though he try for a lifetime, how the simplest strap-hanger will ask the conductor to be let off at the next stop...

It is all for the taking. All the manuals by frustrated fictioneers on how to write can't give you the first syllable of reality, at any cost, that any common conversation can. All the classics, read and re-read, can't help you catch the ring of truth as does the word heard first-hand.'

Nelson Algren, author of The Man with the Golden Arm and A Walk on the Wild Side.

'We're sitting in the darkness'

1 February 2021

‘So in that sense, I and my fellow horror writers are absorbing and defusing all your fears and anxieties and insecurities and taking them upon ourselves. We're sitting in the darkness beyond the flickering warmth of your fire, cackling into our caldrons and spitting out spider webs of words, all the time sucking the sickness from your minds and spewing it out into the night.'

Stephen King, whose scores of works include The Stand, Carrie, The Dark Tower and The Dead Zone