Wednesday, 23 December 2009

All Systems Go at Sidekick Books

The second micro-anthology, Obakarama, is out, which means Dr Fulminare and Sidekick Books are steaming into the new decade with both produce and plans for the future. Just to recap, here is what the micro-anthologies look like:

That's Obakarama, and here's Coin Opera:

Both are £5 (plus p&p) and can be ordered from the Sidekick Books site. They're pocket-sized and between 40 and 50 pages each, packed with poetry and (in the case of Obakarama) full-colour illustrations. The contributors are a combination of poets we admire and have approached, poets who we have discovered purely through Fuselit and ones we have encountered through the thriving London poetry scene. Although there's a bias towards the capital, there are also contributors from India, Scotland, the US and Finland. We've got a nice gender balance too, with 12 female poets and illustrators to 13 male.

We're very pleased with these books - they may not be handmade in the same way Fuselit is but every bit as much love and attention has gone into making them. The print quality is excellent (thanks to the chaps at Good News Press) and everybody involved has been both enthusiastic and hard-working. I feel like this sort of approach to publishing poetry is genuinely different, taking the emphasis off the individual as demi-popstar and removing the need to slap over-the-top praise and commendation on every interesting new poet in order to get people to read their work. Instead, the focus is on poetry as a way of engaging in an entertaining way with our past and our future, with other cultures and our own. The common theme gives readers an entry point to an individual's work and also operates as a way of getting people outside the usual circles interested in what poets are doing.

At least, that's the theory! And on that basis, we're planning more collections in the new year, aiming for an even broader range of poets and still more fresh and exciting subject matter, as well as continuing the sort of collaborative formal experiments we started with Chimerium and Telemorphics. It will also, I hope, give us a little breathing space with Fuselit - that is, to continue in the tradition we've established of publishing a unique, lovingly put together literary magazine based on the connotations of a single word, but without the pressure to use it as a vehicle for all our new ideas. With any luck, that means we'll be able to settle into a more regular cycle, and our aim is to get three issues out in 2010, starting with Tilt in January, followed by Jack in May and then ... well, the next word will be announced soon - I've already got the CD design done for it, and a plan for the cover.

Anyway, what's left to say is Merry Christmas to everyone out there, and have a fantastic New Year, from all of us at Fuselit!

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