‘Poets are a lovely bunch’

After much deliberation of what to say/how to come across, it was the phrase ‘poets are a lovely bunch’ that led me to make the decision to just ‘say it like it is’ and hope that people will understand and bear with me.

Paper Swans, like most small presses, is run by one person with the help of guest editors. We have gone from strength to strength since we started in 2014 and as a press, we are at a point where we need funding to pay editors to help out. Brilliant, but not forthcoming and so, we are doing the best we can for our poets but this year has been difficult and I wanted to explain where we are.

Paper Swans is run by me, Sarah Miles. Fiercely keen, LOVE what I do and very determined to do the best for my poets and editors. However, I am also a single mum of three, work as a teacher (about to start a new job as Head of English), juggling marital-separation, house-moves and all that entails and my mum died in March which made all those April editorial plans etc. screech to a halt. So, I am a little behind as it coincided with the deadlines for four Pocket Poetry books, the impending publication of The Ward and the launch of our pamphlet prize.

I have done my best to get things done and had to prioritise. I’m afraid the Pocket Poetry subs got put on the back-burner and I apologise for not announcing this. I kept thinking I’d get them done but more things kept coming up. I AM pleased to say the Cricket replies are imminent and my lovely co-editor Annie (Schooldays, Anthology of Young Poets, Flash! I Love You!) has stepped in to help me out. Replies for Travel, Cats and Gardening will be coming in the next few weeks. I am sorry it has taken so long —  a result of a crappy year, but I acknowledge I should have been more forthcoming and I apologise.

On the plus side, our pamphlet prize winner, Michelle Penn’s Self-portrait as a diviner, failing will be published next month and Elisabeth Sennitt Clough’s new collection, At or Below Sea Level will be published in November. We also have Stephen Daniel’s pamphlet, £5 for this Love coming out this year, publication date tbc.

I can only add my thanks to all who support and submit to Paper Swans Press. One day, when I get time (!), I will apply for funding and hope to grow it further — we are certainly ready for expansion. Until then, rest assured, we are back on track and have lots of exciting plans for a poetic and forward-looking future.

Sarah x

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