We are thrilled to announce that Muscaliet Press has been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlet Publisher’s Award 2022! We’d like to sincerely thank all our poets, writers and supporters. Without such innovative, imaginative writing.
30th October 2021, 7pmManor House Library, 34 Old Road, London, SE135SYFree Entry - All Welcome! Join us for an evening of wine, snacks...
The latest from our new limited-run pamphlet series
Blazing Space is a long poem begun as an ‘atmospheric river’ hit the Pacific coast of Canada, causing floods and landslides from mountain soils already depleted by summer forest fires. The same week the storm arrived, in November 2021, poets Phyllis Webb, Etel Adnan, and Lee Maracle all passed away. Blazing Space is written in the wake of these disasters, from an office lined with books that had belonged to poet Robin Blaser, from whose marginalia the poem takes instruction.
The poet is itchy: there’s a nagging irritation that will not be satisfied no matter how much Neikirk writes it out. Through wandering trains of nightly thoughts, uncomfortable real-life situations, and the haunting words and philosophies of the Romantics, we are taken on a journey of hard truths and uneasy revelations; an unsteady reiteration of Neikirk’s own experience that stirs an itchiness in the reader. Could this simply require a change of washing detergent, or will the itch persist…?
Philip Terry’s Covids transports us to a time when we were under strict pandemic lockdown, when take aways were encouraged, exercise was one walk or run per day outdoors, and inept politicians made worsening judgement calls with deadly consequences. In this bewildering mix of confinement and collective responsibility, Terry’s poetry documents the daily inconveniences of lockdown set against the dangerous impotence of political leadership, the very real struggles of frontline workers, and the human tragedy of the lingering spectre of Covid deaths.
Shells of a Distant Sea was written in early 2021 and is based on a daily walk along a cold and windswept stretch of beach in Île de Ré. Shells is about the objects seen and found during those walks, the rock pools and seaweed clumps, the patterns left on the sand by the night waves. It is about the combination of those objects with thoughts, about the relationship between those thoughts and memory, about not being able to go forward and not being able to go back; about the mirroring of words and images, about walking along a beach and not understanding a thing.
Felicity Allen and Simon Smith
Simon Smith presents a new translation of Rimbaud’s ‘Le Bateau Ivre’ paired with details of Bowls, a series of watercolour images by Felicity Allen, following the turbulent and fantastical voyage of Rimbaud’s drunken boat as an escape—however briefly—from the very disturbing realities of Covid, ‘cyber-junk’, and armed insurrections. Source is a journey from sources: from river to sea, from source texts to translations, and from wildly intoxicating spaces to the very raw hangover of the next day.
Tomi Adegbayibi’s debut pamphlet takes us to a world where colours and tastes suffuse into one another, and where relationships and prejudices mingle with bitterness and sweetness. Through the contrast of the vibrant against the dull, this poetry questions our own judgements, which are often only half-formed and malleable. Profound poetry that is as rich as it is astringent.
For St Francis of Assisi, with sadness…
The Eschalator Canticles converse with St Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures, lamenting a planet that is on the verge of a climate catastrophe while laying bare man’s struggle with himself, and with the society he has has created.
Still Spring interleaves vulnerability, love and language through the first unsettling weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. At times tender, at times breathless, this poetry focuses on the power of words set against silence.
This sequence interleaves eleven short poems of place, with an equal number of treated photographs by the author, which have asemic qualities, in that they use lines and symbols that may look like writing, but which carry no intrinsic meaning in themselves. Each poem, in some way, references writing and/or reading; the accompanying images are intended not only as illustrations, but as images to be read in some way on their own terms.
Differentials offers a variety of content in subject, tone, form and intention, none necessarily more meaningful than another. But within the frame of difference, language seeks out the significant, the insignificant, and the infinitesimal.
A diverse selection of our most recent books, anthologies and poetry collections
The Dropping of Petals examines the relationship of land with language, working in the space between materiality and semiosis to explore the tension between ‘lore’ and ‘law’. The texts and images convey this in a merging of concrete and concept. They challenge whether lore — knowledge of the land, grown from our relationship with it — is less folk lore and myth, and more the ecological, muddy reality of it, than the black letter law of the land.
edited by Rosalchen Whitecross
In How Bleak is the Crow’s Nest, Rosalchen Whitecross anthologises the writing of 18 women prisoners at HMP Downview and HMP East Sutton Park in 2018; writing their own stories told in their own words. In doing so, this anthology writes into ‘the silence of the lived experiences’ of women prisoners, opening an important space for us to better understand prison life for women, and the treatment of women prisoners, in the UK’s criminal justice system. The women writers in this anthology use pseudonyms to protect their identities.
Sam, a brooding and reactionary academic, feels left behind by politics and culture in the internet age. As he travels through the New England woods to meet a dying relative, he starts composing an essay on popular horror.
Pursued by guilt and lured by nostalgia, he hopes to write his way to vindication in the face of real and imagined enemies. But the mind is treacherous, and the culture wars are all-encompassing, and the woods are full of traps…
The English Funerals is a collection of ten-line prose poems which embody an exploration of ‘epic’ verse and instantiate epic themes: the crossing of water, the consultation of oracles, descents into under– or otherworlds; the presence of miraculous beasts, and the immanence of death. Each short text allusively or explicitly contains three such themes and they are presented in a variety of voices – some old, some contemporary.
Some of our top picks from Muscaliet’s back catalogue – give them a go!
Bettbehandlung is a feminist re-visioning of historical and medical treatments of ‘hysterical’ female subjects and performative spaces of illness. It focuses on historical acts of diagnosis and the shifting of bodily propriety, alongside issues of dependency and witnessing.
Shelley Drowns is an account of the last three weeks of the life of the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Through a day- by-day recovery and detailed examination of the surviving evidence, John Worthen reaches an extraordinary conclusion: that the most likely cause of the poet’s death was suicide.
The probability that ‘Shelley drowns Shelley’ not only offers to correct all previous biographies (including his own, recently published major work) but to change perceptions of Shelley for ever.
Translated by Ian Brinton and Michael Grant
Comment by Michael Heller
A rich selection of Paul Valéry’s poetry from translators Brinton and Grant. From the bountiful imagery of ‘Palm Tree’ to the meditations of ‘The Mariners’ Graveyard’, the breadth of Valéry’s poetic talent is shown anew with precision and zeal.
This companion edition to Stéphane Mallarmé Poems is an unmissable contribution from his poetic successor.
What happens happens, whether it’s the political madness of 2016 when most of these poems were written, or the way the words fall (or fail to fall) on to the page. If anything, [Happenstance:] is a journal; if anything else, it’s a random mix of action and reflection. As Charles Bernstein puts it: “the poem said in any other way is not the poem.” So it is with [Happenstance:] in which, in the words of ‘Sit Crooked Think Straight’: “writing follows its own bloodied nose.”