I recently ventured to the bookstore Waterstones to retrieve a present for our friend who was celebrating their birthday. They love poetry as much as I do so navigating myself over to the poetry aisle, I stumbled upon a collection of pamphlets between numerous poetry books and on the film cover it said “Instead of a card”. Pulling one of these pamphlets out for closer inspection I noticed it was a beautiful collection of Ten poems based on the subject of Friendship. There were others as well, such as ‘Ten Poems about Love’ and ‘Ten poems about Kindness’ but this particular one stood out (for obvious reasons). And I gasped excitedly “What a wonderful idea! Instead of wasting money on a card that will be thrown away the next day, I’ll get this!”. I also bought a Magnetic Poetry Kit as well, and I am happy to say my friend loved both gifts.
These Pamphlets are created by Candlestick Press,who are a small independent publishing company based in Nottingham and I believe this is a fantastic way of introducing poetry to a wider audience in the form of utilizing a zine or booklet as a greeting card. The pamphlets come with an envelope and a blank bookmark to doodle your happy birthday message on. These pamphlets by Candlestick Press work as both card and keepsake, or if it’s Christmas, they make wonderful stocking fillers.
The design and paper texture is exquisite and the content is well thought out. It also inspired me to make my own pamphlet or zine. I will be investing in more of these to add to my poetry collection and I definitely will be buying more for friends and family who would appreciate this sort of concept. Some of the poetry pamphlets have unusual subjects too, there is a booklet called “Ten Poems about Knitting” and another is called “Ten Poems about Chickens.” and my favorite (which will be my next purchase) is entitled “Ten Poems about Tea”. There appears to be something for everyone including poetry for Cricket fans, poetry about sheep, poems about Wales or London and pamphlets for your kiddos such as “Five Poems about Creepy Crawlies”, which in itself is a wonderfully creative idea of introducing poetry to your children.
The only criticism I do have is that they don’t offer unpublished poets the chance to submit their work, whilst I do understand this is because they commission researchers to find poems from well known poets and collections plus I am aware the average person is less likely to buy poetry from an unknown poet, however, to me it does make the whole project seem a little elitist. Candlestick Press would benefit hugely from opening their doors to fledgling poets who have fresh and contemporary ways of expressing their ideas and would love to be given the chance to prove their worth. But then I do understand the stress involved in having to sift through hundreds of submissions and I do like the idea of keeping things traditional, especially when there are now numerous poetry platforms with more of a contemporary edge. This is only a minor criticism and I have loved the poems they have selected so far.
Overall, Candlestick Press have created something truly unique and very lovely and I look forward to reading future pamphlets as well as watching them grow and expand as a company. I’d love to see their charming pamphlets being sold in supermarkets and shopping malls too, because they deserve the recognition.
Visit & shop at Candlestick Press to read more of their poetry pamphlets.
Have a friend or family member who is a poetry and literary geek? Check out this great website offering wonderful gifts: The Literary Gift Company
Also worth checking out:
Rialto Magazine The UK’s primary Poetry magazine.
Dancing Girl Press Is an indie press & design studio in the USA.
Popshot Magazine Is an illustrated literary Magazine.
Damselfly Press Online poetry platform for women’s voices.
decomP Online literary Magazine.
writebloody A small, independent poetry publisher in the USA.
Rebelle Society Literary space to write what you feel.
Poetry Space a UK based Poetry Platform.
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