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Commonplace Book

Edited by Michael Schmidt

Cover Picture of Commonplace Book
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • On Saturday, 15 June 1996, a bomb unmade Carcanet, along with the comfortable,
    en pantoufles old Manchester it inhabited. Since then, Carcanet and the city have taken a different shape.

    Conceived in 1969 in modest under-graduate digs in South Hinksey, Oxford, Carcanet was born in 1970 as an inventive, quixotic and resourceful publishing house. It is now thirty years old and to mark the occasion, a number of writers, book-sellers, agents and others were invited to contribute poems or prose to a little celebratory book. Contributors include James Atlas, Paul Bailey, Louis de Bernières, William Boyd, Matthew Evans, Elizabeth Jennings, Frank Kermode, Harold Pinter, Frederic Raphael, Gillian Reynolds, Alan Ross, Charles Simic and Auberon Waugh, as well as several Carcanet authors.

    Matthew Evans calls Carcanet 'Manchester's third most famous team,' and from the outset an office team of between two and seven players has been fielded. The current complement of five (three full-time, two part-time) produces between fifty and seventy new titles and reprints a year and the magazine PN Review. The support of the Arts Council of England over a quarter of a century has been instrumental in Carcanet's survival. Instrumental, too, has been the commitment of our proprietor since 1983, Bob Gavron, and of Kate Gavron, our Chairman for the last decade.
    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 )
    Praise for Michael Schmidt '...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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