Smokestack Books

Smokestack Lightning launches

A series of readings to launch Smokestack Lightning, Smokestack’s 200th book, which contains one poem from every book published by Smokestack since 2004, including poems by John Berger, Victor Jara, Vladimir Mayakovsky and Sylvia Pankhurst, as well as anthologies from the Soviet Union, Algeria, France, Siberia, the US, Greece, Palestine and Cuba. A reminder that there is more to poetry than the values of show business, big business, celebrity and careerism that currently colonise so much of the British poetry scene.

Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Monday 18 July, 7pm

Includes readings by Rob Francis, Roy McFarlane, David Duncombe, Emma Jones, John Lucas, Deborah Tyler-Bennett and Mike Wilson. Plus the launch of Neil Fulwood’s Mad Parade.

Details of launch readings in Edinburgh and London still to be confirmed.

Short-listed for the British Book Awards Small Press of the Year 2019, 2020 and 2022.

Smokestack aims to keep open a space for what is left of the English radical poetic tradition in the twenty-first century. Smokestack champions poets who are unfashionable, radical, left-field and working a long way from the metropolitan centres of cultural authority. Smokestack is interested in the World as well as the Word; believes that poetry is a part of and not apart from society; argues that if poetry does not belong to everyone it is not poetry.

Smokestack's list includes books by John Berger, Linda France, Michael Rosen, Katrina Porteous, Ian McMillan, Kate Fox, Martin Rowson, Pnina Shinebourne, Sebastian Barker, Gerda Stevenson, Martin Hayes and Steve Ely. Smokestack's international list includes books by Vladimir Mayakovsky (Soviet Union), Bertolt Brecht (Germany), Gustavo Pereira (Venezuela), Francis Combes (France), Rocco Scotellaro (Italy), Heinrich Heine (Germany), Nikola Vaptsarov (Bulgaria), Andras Mezei (Hungary), Justyna Bargielska (Poland), Paul van Ostaijen (Belgium), Louis Aragon (France), Guus Luijters (Netherlands), Roque Dalton (El Salvador), Yiannis Ritsos (Greece), Victor Jara (Chile) and Laura Fusco (Italy).

Coming Soon

Coming soon from Smokestack are books by Martin Rowson, Tawfiq Zayyad, İlhan Çomak, Volker Braun, Clive Branson, Montagu Slater and Fred Voss

'Smokestack are to be congratulated on recognising and maintaining such a wide and varied portfolio of excellent poets. Long may it continue.'

The North

'a welcome addition to the poetry world.'

Critical Survey

'one of the most courageous little presses in Britain.'

Penniless Press

'Smokestack has a well-deserved reputation as a pioneer in publishing progressive poetry from around the globe.'

Morning Star

'Smokestack has a great squad of radical poets lined up for its first season. I predict that the team will roll like thunder, strike like lightning and electrify British poetry.'

Adrian Mitchell

'a press with formidable integrity and international reach.'

Other Poetry

'robustly resistant to the easy and the fashionable.'


'Smokestack have created a virtual place where you know you will find a certain signal and where you can play out a certain role. They have enriched the cultural offer.'

tears in the fence

'Smokestack have been quietly putting out a roster of writers for some time now which can easily face those of more well-known poetry publishers... Smokestack Books deserve our interest and support.'

Manchester Review of Books

'Where there’s Smokestack, there’s fire... unflinchingly committed to providing a platform for some of the most thought-provoking nonconformist voices in twenty-first century verse.'

Socialist History