Staple is a magazine of poetry, short fiction, articles, reviews and images published three times each year. It is edited by Wayne Burrows and is now based in Nottingham.
The first issue of Staple, edited by Don Measham and Tony Rees, was funded from the proceeds of a Writers’ Conference held at Matlock College in 1982 and was published in the Spring of the following year. At the conference, the poet Roy Fisher had referred to the kind of publication that the editors had in mind as being characterized by poems typed about a central staple. That image, with all its associations, provided the magazine’s name.
Staple continued under the editorship of Don Measham and Bob Windsor until 2000, during which time they transformed the magazine into a high quality, perfect bound publication. They also ran competitions and readings, and published a series of first collections of poetry and short fiction under the imprint Staple First Editions.
Staple passed into the joint editorship of Elizabeth Barrett and Ann Atkinson in 2000, though both already had strong connections with the magazine: Elizabeth had won the Staple First Editions Award in 1998 with her collection of poetry Walking on Tiptoe while Ann’s involvement went back to the early days of Staple Writers’ conferences, where the likes of Barry Hines, Roy Fisher and Fleur Adcock had run workshops and given readings. Elizabeth Barrett left the magazine in 2005, and after a short period under Ann Atkinson’s sole editorship, Wayne Burrows took over in 2007.
Staple has always published an eclectic range of work. In any given issue, experimenters can be found side by side with traditionalists, verse which is free or formal, narrative or experimental, lyric or dissonant all exists – hopefully harmoniously, or at least in a creative tension - within the same pages.
Although best known for its poetry, Staple is also committed to publishing short fiction, essays, reviews and interviews, and the only rule is that we are constantly looking for fresh approaches to writing: above all, the work we publish should always be clear about its reasons for making demands of the reader, and reward the time and focus that the reader puts in.
Staple will continue to be a place where the often opposing camps in the literary world – mainstream and small press, avant garde and traditionalist, local and international – can all find space. For 2007/8, we have already published the first collection from the poet James Caruth, A Stone’s Throw, and Staple 66/7, a spring/summer double issue including work by Peter Porter, Andrea Roe, Douglas Houston, Clare Crossman and many more.
Our recent change of address was reflected in Staple 68, which draws on the wealth of writing talent currently reaching critical mass in Nottingham and the East Midlands, with Clare Brown, Derrick Buttress, Martin Stannard, Roberta Dewa and John Lucas among the contributors. Both issues are still available at £5 per copy (P&P free) from our usual address.
Following a hiatus since that issue’s appearance in Spring 2008, we now have the next few years’ funding secured, and can finally release the latest issue, a look at publishing guest-edited by Rebecca Swift of the UK’s leading manuscript appraisal and writers’ mentoring organisation, The Literary Consultancy. Opinions, insights and comments from agents, editors and literary workers take their place beside the varied perspectives of published and unpublished authors alike, and poems, fiction and memoirs by Marsha Rowe, Nick Taussig, Terry Darlington and David Belbin.
For Spring 2009, meanwhile, we are publishing a special issue on the links between writing and the visual arts, with material from writers Cherry Smyth, Peter Porter and Fawzia Kane, artists Mik Godley and Simon Withers, and an interview with Cornelia Parker, whose last UK exhibition featured work inspired by the Bronte sisters, Naom Chomsky and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. Contributions are still sought for this issue, with a provisional deadline of mid-December 2008.
With Summer and Autumn 2009 scheduled for an examination of literature and music – including a feature on the neglected prehistory of spoken word in recordings by many leading poets on labels like Argo and Caedmon, often with inventive sonic accompaniment – and future issues on the connections between poetry and cinema, new writing in translation and writing that is very much its own justification in the planning stages, we hope readers will bookmark this website for further information on our activities, or contact us with orders, comments and submissions at:
Subscriptions and orders should be sent to:
114 – 116 St Stephen’s Road
Nottingham NG2 4JS