Publisher Spotlight – Candlestick Press
It was the run up to Christmas 2014 and I was looking for a Christmas card but something unique and different from the normal Christmas cards that we buy. I was in Waterstones bookstore in Exeter and came across The Christmas Wren a small pamphlet size booklet and is written by Gillian Clarke in response to Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales a beautiful look back at a Welsh Christmas through the eyes of a child. Magical time of year on wonder, snow and baubles. Published by Candlestick Press. This was just what I was looking for. The response was one of real joy. Every Christmas since I have bought a number of these and sent them either on their own or along with a card. The beauty of these pamphlets is that they come complete with their own matching bookmark and envelope.
Just recently I was delighted to receive in the post a package from Candlestick Press containing some of their recent releases and they are just magical. Poetry and short stories that will be cherished for many years. The idea of sending one in the post to a loved one for any occasion will be a delight to anyone who receives one. So just who are Candlestick Press?
Candlestick Press are a small independent publisher based in Nottingham and were founded in 2008. The team consists of four dedicated people in Di Slaney (Publisher), Kathy Towers (Assistant Editor) and two admin assistants. Their aim is simple to spread the joy of poetry to adults and children alike who love poetry and or may be just beginning their journey in to enjoying poetry. These small pamphlets are just ideal for bedtime reading or like I have been doing and that is enjoying them on journeys.
They have published so many of these beautiful pamphlets on a wide range of topics from Christmas to Cricket, from Dogs to Sheep and even Clouds. With the festive period now upon us this is an ideal time to think of sending cards to loved ones and friends. But there is something a little different from Christmas Cards and that is one from Candlestick Press.
Christmas Garland – Ten Evergreen Poems
Ten new poems by contemporary poets celebrating the natural world and how it enriches the idea of Christmas. One the darkest day of the year, the ancient tradition of ‘bringing in the greens’ is a sign that Christmas is close.
Christmas Stocking – Five Festive Poems for Children – Selected by George Szirtes.
We all enjoyed opening our Christmas Stockings on Christmas morning. This is a wonderful and delightful way of bringing the excitement of Christmas to your children as the big day approaches. Perfect to read before bedtime.
Christmas Crackers – Ten Poems to Surprise and Delight
From busy Christmas malls to the bah humbugs this specially commissioned collection is to be enjoyed and will bring the festive period closer. These poems are just wonderful.
Fourteen Festive Sonnets – Selected and Introduced by James Nash
From a department store’s reluctant Father Christmas to a herd of ponies that break loose from their hobbles to gallop to freedom. A lonely house waiting for snow and the quiet company of a Christmas tree. A wondrous collection with Christmas at its very heart.
Holly and Ivy by Sean O’Brien
We all have sung The Holly and the Ivy at Christmas some of us still do. But here is a contemporary and original take on the old tale. A distant father, a vodka-fuelled stepmother, a fall of snow and some carol singers who are not quite what they seem. Get comfortable and to be enjoyed with a cup of your favourite drink. Log fire is optional. This I loved and will love every Christmas from here on.
Candlestick Press have poetry and short story pamphlets to cover almost everything. Among some of my favourites are:
The Wood in Winter by John Lewis-Stempel
From the Waintwright Prize Winner writer, comes a beautiful piece of nature writing focused on a wood through the bleak midwinter. Looking at traditions of times gone by and his close encounters of the wildlife that inhabit the wood through this time of year. With illustrations by the wonderful Angela Harding. This is a little book that will be treasured by anyone who loves nature writing at its very best.
Ten Poems about Birds
Ten beautiful poems about birds. Those remarkable of creatures that brighten our everyday world. From The Tawny Owl to the Snipe and then the Swallow. With contributions from John Clare, Emily Dickenson, Beautiful poems and words to treasure. A donation will be made to The Owls Trust.
Ten Poems about Sheep – Introduced by Alison O’Neill
We tend to take Sheep for granted, they grace our landscape but how many of us actually much about Sheep and the vital contribution they make to the countryside. These poems reflect just that and the hardships that it takes to looking after Sheep. Introduced by Shepherdess and textile designer Alison O’Neill who can be found on Twitter ( @woolismybread ) posting the most remarkable photos of her life as a shepherdess in the beautiful Lakeland fells.
These are just a small selection of the poetry pamphlets available to buy direct. Your local bookshop may even have some in stock. Alternatively have a look at their website: Candlestick Press Each of the pamphlets cost under £5.00 and they are more than a worthy gift, they will be treasured. I have already bought a selection ready to send to friends and loved ones this Christmas and I am looking forward to seeing more releases through 2018.