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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 Paperback
Categories: 21st Century, British, Memoirs
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (464 pages)
(Pub. Dec 2019)
9781784108786
£14.99 £13.49
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Dec 2019)
9781784108793
£11.99
eBook (Kindle)
(Pub. Dec 2019)
9781784108809
£11.99
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  • Description
  • Editors
  • Awards
  • 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
    Michael Schmidt FRSL, poet, scholar, critic and translator, was born in Mexico in 1947; he studied at Harvard and at Wadham College, Oxford, before settling in England. Among his many publications are several collections of poems and a novel, The Colonist (1981), about a boy’s childhood in Mexico. He is general ... read more
    Awards won by Michael Schmidt Winner, 2016 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem - Sasha Dugdale's 'Joy', published in PN Review 227  (PN Review 227 )
    '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
    Praise for Michael Schmidt 'Its pleasures are longer term ones: as you return to it and re-read its substantial selections, you come to appreciate how and what each contributor is working on.'

    Jane Routh, The North 66

    '...this is the joy of New Poetries VIII: time and again you discover refreshing and compelling new styles and subjects'

    Jake Morris-Campbell, The Poetry School

    '...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
    John Ashbery
     'The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK's poetry magazines.'
    Simon Armitage
    'It has attempted to take poetry out of the backwaters of intellectual life and to find in it again the crucial index of cultural health.'
    Cairns Craig, Times Literary Supplement
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