Announcing our 2020 poets

It’s been a busy few months for us at Against the Grain. We are poets as well as publishers and collectively we’ve been finishing writing projects, launching books and keeping roofs over our heads. We have also been spending long hours reading the hundreds of submissions that came to us this year. We each read all of them to create a short list. We were full of a glowy gratitude for every submission. We – as poets ourselves – know the pain and effort it takes to put a collection together and then wait with everything crossed to get the results. We were really pleased and impressed with the sheer volume and quality that came to us. We made our selections – some we agreed on and some we argued over and fought for. We can safely say that in some cases we were within a hair’s breath of selecting some only to be drawn again to the four we ultimately selected. There were a good many pamphlets sent to us that deserved publication and that we are in no doubt will be selected elsewhere. We wish all the submitters luck with their poetry and please send to us again next year. Well done again to all those shortlisted – we made the decision not to publish the short list but let the poets know they made it to the second cut.

It’s a mysterious process and after quiet deliberation, we all agreed on and selected our four 2020 poets. All four pamphlets stood out to us and all for different reasons, some because they were sharp and forensic, some because we kept thinking about them, and others for what we felt might be an interesting journey of collaboration from edit to publication.

Huge congratulations go to –

Denise Bundred – Litany of a Cardiologist

Ben Cusden – Join the Dots

Olga Dermott-Bond – apple, fallen

Natalie Shaw – Oh be quiet

In the next few weeks and months we will bring you more news of our new poets, sample poems and the pamphlets’ publication dates.

Abegail, Karen & Jess

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