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Fifty Fifty

Carcanet's Jubilee in Letters

Edited by Robyn Marsack

Foreword by Michael Schmidt

Cover of Fifty Fifty edited by Robyn Marsack
10% off eBook (EPUB)
Categories: 21st Century, British, Memoirs
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Dec 2019)
9781784108793
£11.99 £10.79
Paperback (464 pages)
(Pub. Dec 2019)
9781784108786
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  • Description
  • Editor
  • Reviews
  • A Book of the Year 2019 in The Morning Star

    This is a rare glimpse into the inner workings of a small, ambitious press over a period of radical transformation in publishing. Each of Carcanet's fifty years is marked by an exchange of letters - handwritten, typed, and now emailed - between an author and the editor.

    Beginning in 1969 with the response to an invitation to subscribe to Carcanet for two guineas, the book traces Carcanet's progress and offers insight into the nature of literary editing. At its heart is the personal relationship of author and editor/publisher, the conflicts, friendships and vicissitudes that occur at the nexus between the work, its creator, publisher and reader. Poets are central, but fiction writers, translators, biographers and critics also contribute to the Carcanet ferment and firmament. Fifty Fifty celebrates the writers', readers' and editor's risks, passions and pleasures.

    Robyn Marsack began her long association with Carcanet Press by editing the first edition of Edmund Blunden’s Selected Poems in 1982, and worked as a publishers’ editor until she became Director of the Scottish Poetry Library 2000–2016. She was a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of Glasgow 2016–2018. ... read more
    'Readers will be drawn to this book for the poets' letters, but what really dominates is the personality of Schmidt; at the end we are left with a prevailing sense of his editorial vision and an appreciation of his influence and accomplishment in the world of contemporary poetry publishing and criticism... Fifty Fifty is full of energy and play, and not a few crossed swords.'

    Kevin Gardner, Wild Court

     'A window into the award-winning world of Carcanet'
    Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph
    'In celebration of the Manchester-based press' 50th anniversary, a fascinating collection of letters... tracing the eventful history of this small, ambitious and excellent press.'
    The Bookseller
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