Publisher of the Month September 2018
- What was your pathway into publishing?
Pathway? It's been off-road all the way. I started Penned in the Margins in 2006 with no formal training in publishing, though I had an English literature degree under my belt and 18 months' experience working in an arts consultancy. Penned is an odd creation - part indie publisher, part performing arts company - and I've always felt we exist right at the edge of the conventional publishing scene.
- Where is Penned in the Margins based?
Our office is in the East End of London, but our books and touring productions have a national (and international) reach.
- What gets you creatively inspired?
I love working closely with writers and artists and sharing in their creative obsessions, whether that's discovering Britain's weirdest theatres (Twenty Theatres to See You Before You Die by Amber Massie-Blomfield, May 25th), using glitch drumming to access memories (How to Keep Time: A Drum Solo for Dementia by Antosh Wojcik, Edinburgh Fringe) or exploring the marshy landscape of Essex (Low Country by Tom Bolton, October 30th).
- Which exciting titles are on the horizon?
Raymond Antrobus's first full collection The Perseverance (October 1st) is generating a lot of pre-publication buzz, and has just been announced as the Poetry Book Society's Choice. Quite rightly: Raymond is a really significant new poet of British-Jamaican heritage who explores hybrid/mixed identities with great subtlety and flair. He is also deaf and many of the poems speak movingly about memory, loss and the complexities of language from a deaf perspective. I think it's going to be one of the major poetry debuts of the decade.
- If you had to sum up Penned in the Margins in three words, which would you pick?
Curious, risk-taking, driven. (The hyphen is this editor's prerogative.)
- What are the staff currently reading?
Tom is reading OK, Mr Field by Katharine Kilalea. Lily is reading The Idiot by Elif Batuman and a book of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, by Hanif Abdurraqib.