Sunday, 28 March 2010

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Best Submission Guidelines 2010

My favourite submission guidelines from a publisher's website has to be Snowbooks, by virtue of their brutal honesty. They say, for example, "Don't feel obliged to write a covering letter. We know how time-consuming they can be, and we'll ignore most of it anyway." It's a shame other publishers don't share this kind of no-nonsense approach.

But for sheer originality, the award for Best Submission Guidelines 2010 has to go to Artifice Magazine with their wishlist for upcoming submissions:

Monday, 22 March 2010

Annette Greenaway Interview

Annette Greenaway, in conversation with Frank Burton. Annette’s poetry collection, Big Fish Little Fish Cardboard Box, is available to read for free at

FB: How did you get into writing poetry?

AG: Well, I think I’ve been writing poetry on a subconscious level for years – arranging words into an attractive order, and blurting them out in conversation. Even when I started writing things down, it was partly a subconscious thing. I didn’t think, “I’m writing poetry now.” I began by composing these weird text messages. That’s where Some Notes on the Artistic Representation of the End of the World came from. That was originally a text message I’d written to freak my friends out.

Is that your intention? To freak people out?

Partly, but it’s mainly to challenge myself, and amuse myself – a lot of my poems aren’t really written for other people’s benefit. It’s a very personal thing.

How do you feel about having a collection out?

Strange – very strange. I’ve never been published before, so I’ve only really had feedback on my poems from people who know me. I had no idea how people who didn’t know me would react. The collection has been online for a couple of weeks, and so far all the comments have been positive. I’m really passionate about the whole internet publishing thing. I prefer it to producing a pamphlet, or something, which only a few people will get a chance to read.

Sometimes it's difficult to tell when you’re being funny and when you’re being serious. Am I right in thinking you use irony a lot?

To a certain extent, there’s irony in everything I write. Everything’s a joke and not a joke at the same time. But it depends on which poems you’re talking about. Accidental Acupuncture is just a funny poem – there’s no hidden agenda there. Whereas there’s a satirical element to something like Reading Dostoyevsky, which on one level is a bit of a laugh, and on another level it’s a poem about being an outsider.

I was thinking particularly about your “end of the world” poems. How serious are they?

Well, arguably the end of the world is the most serious subject you could possibly write about. I can’t think of anything more serious than the destruction of the planet – you can’t ignore the fact that whole species are being wiped out on a daily basis. I don’t believe the world is about to end, but I’m interested in the concept of the end of the world, and I’m interested in asking questions about it. I don’t have any answers, just questions.

Finally, who are your favourite poets?

I’m not sure what this says about me, but I’ve always preferred kids stuff – Lewis Carol, Hilaire Belloc. Dr Seuss is the greatest poet of all time.

Upcoming Books

So, we're planning on releasing two new books every month, as of April. We've confirmed the release of five books so far - two for April, two for May, and one for June. I'd like to be able to say more about them at this stage, but I'm not going to. All you need to know is that they are all incredible works of literature. No, really, they are.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Lemonade Kangaroo

I found this on My Space. The web address is

It's also available as a free download.

Find Gigs

Nice one, Mr Neruda

This is available on, alongside sixty-three other Pablo Neruda poems.

22 people have voted on the poem, and its average score is 6 and a half out of ten.

There is something mildly disturbing about that fact.


Among the market greens,
a bullet
from the ocean
a swimming
I saw you,

All around you
were lettuces,
sea foam
of the earth,
of the ocean
of the unknown,
of the
shadow, the
of the sea,
the abyss,
only you had survived,
a pitch-black, varnished
to deepest night.

Only you, well-aimed
dark bullet
from the abyss,
at one tip,
but constantly
at anchor in the current,
winged fins
in the swift
a mourning arrow,
dart of the sea,
olive, oily fish.
I saw you dead,
a deceased king
of my own ocean,
assault, silver
submarine fir,
of seaquakes,
only dead remains,
in all the market
was the only
purposeful form
the bewildering rout
of nature;
amid the fragile greens
you were
a solitary ship,
among the vegetables
fin and prow black and oiled,
as if you were still
the vessel of the wind,
the one and only
unflawed, navigating
the waters of death.

Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Free poetry stuff

In addition to having several books of fiction and poetry for sale, Colin Galbraith has three ebooks available to download for free on his website,

This is a poem called Water Trekkin' from his book "Selektion," which features a selection of poems from his other collections.


thirty women
sixty breasts
bounce in the water

splashing exercise
to the rhythmic beat of
Star Trekkin' Across The Universe

aqua aerobics
but not as we know it

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

This is what we want

Hey, new writers. If you're interested in submitting to Philistine Press, this is the sort of thing we're looking for - deep, existential poems about cartoon characters.

This is genius.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Symphony of Science

I heard this on Jarvis Cocker's radio show on the tragically-soon-to-be-no-more 6Music.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."


So ... here we are then ...

In weighing up the pros and cons of whether or not to write a blog attached to the Philistine Press website, I took a look at a wide range of other blogs to see how you're supposed to do it. This, in a way, was a pointless exercise, because blogs are such personalised things that there's no right or wrong method.

One thing I learned, however, was that there seem to be a lot of failed bloggers out there, whose one or two attempts at sharing their profound thoughts / artwork / photocopies of their arses with the world are still available to view several years after their last post. New Years Resolutions gone wrong.

Often more prolific bloggers will suddenly decide to quit, and it's kind of heartbreaking to stumble across some frustrated writer's final entry from 2006, which simply reads, "I'm getting really pissed off with all this." It makes you wonder what has become of these people. I would like to think they are still alive somewhere, living fulfilling lives away from their laptops.

I was reluctant to write a blog myself, having recently completed a novel featuring a failed blogger as one of its main characters. Life imitating art, and all that.

So, let's just see how it goes, shall we?

As publishers, we at Philistine Press intend to be around for a long, long time. We have some truly amazing work lined up for publication, which I'm really excited about. Our first release, Big Fish Little Fish Cardboard Box by Annette Greenaway is a stunning piece of work, and I wish I'd written it myself.

What I'd also like to do with this blog is share some links to other bits of fiction, poetry, art, music, film, and whatever else catches the collective eye of the Philistines - hence the name of this blog - "Philistine Friendly." Good name, eh?

Frank Burton