Bloodaxe Books is Britain's premier publisher of contemporary poetry, with an international reputation for quality in literature and excellence in book design. Based in Northumberland's Tarset valley beside Highgreen Manor (see picture), with a sales office in North Wales, Bloodaxe celebrates its 25th birthday this year.
With its bold and diverse stable of new and established British, Irish, American, European and Commonwealth writers, Bloodaxe has revolutionised poetry publishing in Britain. Its authors and books have won virtually every major literary award given to poetry, from the Pulitzer to the Nobel Prize, and anthologies like Staying Alive have broken new ground by opening up contemporary poetry to many thousands of new readers.
Bloodaxe has been a pioneering publisher of poetry in translation, and has built its reputation on publishing numerous new poets alongside some of the most important figures in modern poetry.
PROPOSAL FOR A SURVEY
by Fleur Adcock
Another poem about a Norfolk church,
a neolithic circle, Hadrian's Wall?
Histories and prehistories: indexes
and bibliographies can't list them all.
A map of Poets' England from the air
could show not only who and when but where.
Aerial photogrammetry's the thing,
using some form of infra-red technique.
Stones that have been so fervently described
surely retain some heat. They needn't speak:
the cunning camera ranging in its flight
will chart their higher temperatures as light.
We'll see the favoured regions all lit up -
the Thames a řery vein, Cornwall a glow,
Tintagel like an incandescent stud,
most of East Anglia sparkling like Heathrow;
and Shropshire luminous among the best,
with Offa's Dyke in diamonds to the west.
The Lake District will be itself a lake
of patchy brilliance poured along the vales,
with somewhat lesser splashes to the east
across Northumbria and the Yorkshire dales.
Cities and churches, villages and lanes,
will gleam in sparks and streaks and radiant stains.
The lens, of course, will not discriminate
between the venerable and the new;
Stonehenge and Avebury may catch the eye
but Liverpool will have its aura too.
As well as Canterbury there'll be Leeds
and Hull criss-crossed with nets of glittering beads.
Nor will the cool machine be influenced
by literary fashion to reject
any on grounds of quality or taste:
intensity is all it will detect,
mapping in light, for better or for worse,
whatever has been written of in verse.
The dreariness of eighteenth-century odes
will not disqualify a crag, a park,
a country residence; nor will the rant
of satirists leave London in the dark.
All will shine forth. But limits there must be:
borders will not be crossed, nor will the sea.
Let Scotland, Wales and Ireland chart themselves,
as they'd prefer. For us, there's just one doubt:
that medieval England may be dimmed
by age, and all that's earlier blotted out.
X-rays might help. But surely ardent rhyme
will, as it's always claimed, outshine mere time?
By its own power the influence will rise
from sites and settlements deep underground
of those who sang about them while they stood.
Pale phosphorescent glimmers will be found
of epics chanted to pre-Roman tunes
and poems in, instead of about, runes.
from POEMS 1960-2000 by Fleur Adcock
(Bloodaxe Books, 2000)
name: Alison Davis
phone: 01678 521550