Waterloo Press


Editorially, there's a strong team effort and input, often from previously published Waterloo poets who act as consultants and recommend new poets to the rest of us. Other volumes come from out of the grey-blue of the Brighton post. Each volume is submitted and meetings with the poet take place to help shape the best possible volume, from cover design to the order of play, down to micro-editing of the poems themselves. It's all done in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere. Many of the poets who have or will appear have been persuaded to become editors afterwards. The list is long, and includes many from QueenSpark's Club '94, like Pauline Suett-Barbieri, famous for 'Are you happy with this?' Answering that has made us, and unmade us, what we are.

Sonja Ctvrtecka handed on the strategic guidance of Waterloo to Judy Anderson, and both still take a very close interest in the Press's fortunes. Sonja maintains a vigilant focus on Waterloo's ethos - 'a supremely elegant unstuffiness, a seagull perched on a Porsche' - and its publishing profile. Judy's uncanny knack for identifying areas of growth and fund-raising potential has kept the House trim and mobile - on stilts, as she puts it. Both have provided inspirational guidance at crucial moments, not least in grabbing the attention of those who can help. Some still bear the marks, though sportingly.

At this stage, presiding guest editors were David Kendall and Andrew Duncan; both are still on hand and Duncan's work needs little introduction. In February, 2002, Dr David Pollard and Alan Morrison arrived within a week of each other, having read of Waterloo's successful London launches the previous year, masterminded by Alf Wiltshire and ASC Studios, and Andrew Duncan co-ordinating the London modernists. The editorial team already admired the newcomers' writing and had asked for books; so to have them work for nothing was a decidedly inspired piece of exploitation. Visit the blog to find out more.

Both have taken on strong editorial roles, particularly with Eratica, which Alan co-edits with Simon Jenner, and book design. Both have proved superb at this; without their input, Waterloo could not have continued. In June, 2003, yet another intake of breath arrived in the shape of Michael Fenton. Just as the production depends on David and Alan, the forward policy and fund-raising has depended on other talents.

Waterloo grows each year, but still maintains a familial, rather salty air. Several of the team are to be found walking a December coastline, distractedly feeding poets and talking to seagulls. As Sonja Ctvrtecka put it, seagulls look after themselves but need encouraging. Poets are the opposite, but still need a diet of raw editor.

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