We are delighted to report that at an event held at the British Library on Friday evening, and from a very strong shortlist, it was announced the £5000 Michael Marks Publishers Award was given to Smith/Doorstop.
Alan Jenkins, Chair of judges said of the Poetry Business In the twenty-five years since they gave the world a ‘joint pamphlet’ of poems by Clare Chapman and one by Simon Armitage, Smith/Doorstop have become a byword for excellence and consistency: arresting work from a wide range of highly talented poets both new and renowned, in a clean, elegant and immediately recognizable format. Their regular showings on the shortlist for the Michael Marks Pamphlet Award since its inception, and two shortlisted titles this year, tell their own story. May it go on for another twenty-five years at least.
Smith/Doorstop Press is the pamphlet imprint of the Poetry Business, which began life in 1986 on an enterprise allowance in Huddersfield and is now based at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield. A dynamic publisher and writer-development agency, it has remained a small, grass-roots business, while becoming 'one of the most vital and vitalising literature organisations in the country' (Andrew Motion). As well as recent pamphlets by Simon Armitage and Ian McMillan, Smith/Doorstop continue to ‘talent-spot brilliant new poets’ (The Independent), including Paul Bentley (with a tour de force about the Miner's Strike) and the Buddhist poet Maitreyabandhu, both of whom were themselves shortlisted for the Michael Marks Pamphlet award.
Pamphlets are a quite separate enterprise to our books – partly because we can take more risks but also because a pamphlet has its own shape and purpose – isn't just a stepping stone or part of a new book – and is a satisfying read and an attractive object in its own right.
Continually encouraged by the standard of work that comes to it through the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet competition and through submissions to The North magazine, we are immensely proud of our list and look forward to continuing to work with them while discovering still more writers whose work deserves to be read.