The Sailors of Ulm

The Sailors of Ulm

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The Sailors of Ulm is a book about flying and falling, sailing and drowning. Andy Croft puts out to sea with a faithful crew of ignoble comrades, including Paul Robeson, John Berger, Chris Hani, Lord Byron, Martín Espada, Squire Allworthy, Alexei Leonov, Harry Patch and Brian Clough. But the wind has turned, the ship of Progress is heading towards the rocks and the rats are cheering on the quayside. It’s a collection of fables and tall tales—about spiders, frogs and mice, a cockroach, a bear, a blue cat and some blooming flowers. Above all, it’s a book about writing and reading, art and society and the gnawing criticism of the mice. A user’s manual for swimming against the tide.


‘laugh-out-loud funny’ (The Guardian)
‘dreadfully old-fashioned’ (Tribune)
‘the Alexander Pope of the North’ (John Hartley-Williams)
‘puerile’ (TLS)
‘Swiftian vigour’ (Tears in the Fence)
‘wit, passion and verbal dexterity’ (Merryn Williams)


Andy Croft has written and edited many books, including Red Letter Days, Comrade Heart, A Weapon in the Struggle, Red Sky at Night (with Adrian Mitchell), Not Just a Game (with Sue Dymoke) and After the Party. His books of poetry include Ghost Writer, 1948 (with Martin Rowson), A Modern Don Juan (with NS Thompson) and Letters to Randall Swingler (also published by Shoestring). He curates the T-junction international poetry festival in Middlesbrough, runs the Ripon Poetry Festival and edits Smokestack Books.