Changes in approach from publishers during Lockdown 2: The Broken Spine

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During a recent feature on the Sunday Tribune, I chatted to independent poetry press Fly on the Wall who had been in business for some time before the virus struck and how they reacted to the virus as a press. This was a particularly interesting feature how about companies adjust to situations like this.

It also asked other questions afterwards in particular when I then got asked afterwards how about other independent presses and then what about other presses who are much newer and how would they deal with the outbreak.

One such press I have been in discussion with over this since the original article is new Southport based press ‘The Broken Spine’. Founded in 2019 by Alan Parry and Paul Robert Mullen – two school friends reunited after twenty years through a mutual love of poetry. ‘We set out to just to do a our artist collective journal biannually’ They advise me to begin with ‘Then we realised we had an opportunity to grow into an exciting Indie press and we jumped on that’

‘Initially, it was purely pragmatic. We hope each publication will help finance the next.” They carry on explaining on “We feel that chapbooks and maybe other texts beyond that will help us achieve this but also, our passions were not sated by the Artist collective. We love the editorial process and working closely with our resident designer in the creation of the publications”

“Perhaps most importantly, we want to provide a safe space for new and established voices from any background and circumstances to publish high quality and uniquely banded books”

Their debut collection by Alan Parry came due out on 18 June 2020 called Neon Ghosts and they advised me ‘Alan’s collection is a collection of vignettes of a distant and unattainable America – ‘that Stuart Davis knew’ – shot through a distinctly British lens.’

Launching their debut collection in during lockdown is a brave move as a fellow writer myself, I must admit but as they explain why they decided they couldn’t really hold back “We thought about pushing the date back, but decided be indefinite and rather than wait, we wanted to make use of the technology that surround us. We also have another two publications due to come out this year”

In the case of Alan’s debut publication, this was done as a Zoom based book launch on 19 June 2020 and Alan himself advises here “It was lovely to have an audience of writers I truly admire, and also to be able to give some insight into my work. A peep behind the curtain as it were”

“We also gave the audience the opportunity to read and to hear so many voices and styles was heartwarming” The Broken Spine guys carry on “Alan will carry on reading at events online and we will try to make the video available on youtube while sorting out our next release”

More information about the Broken Spine can be found at: https://thebrokenspine.co.uk/

Andy N is the author of four full length poetry collections - the most recent being the Streets were all we could see. He is also the host / creator of 'Spoken Label' - a author / writer chat series and does ambient music under the name of Ocean in a Bottle. His official blog is onewriterandhisplc.blogspot.com