New and Necessary

This is an auspicious period for the development of a new high-profile literary press firmly rooted in Belfast and Ireland. With the recent closure or contraction of several Northern presses, Irish Pages Ltd (the non-profit publisher of Irish Pages and The Irish Pages Press, and the organiser of Crossways Festival) is uniquely qualified for this important cultural endeavour, after 17 years of publishing Ireland’s premier literary journal. It possesses the literary experience, distribution networks and financial health sufficient to launch a book publishing programme of the highest quality, comparable to any in these islands.

Though Irish Pages as a journal published four previous titles – Unfinished Ireland: Essays on Hubert Butler (2003), New Voices: Contemporary Poetry from the United States (2008), The Other Tongues: An Introduction to Writing in Irish, Scots Gaelic and Scots in Ulster and Scotland (2016), and Balkan Essays by Hubert Butler (2016)– late 2018 saw the launch of the Press in the sense of an annual programme of major book-publishing, under its new bilingual imprint, The Irish Pages Press/Cló An Mhíl Bhuí.

Currently, the Press is limited to poetry, essays, memoir and other forms of non-fiction (including the graphic novel form), in both English and Irish.

Three opening poetry titles were published in late 2018:  the magisterial Crann na Teanga/The Language Tree by Cathal Ó Searcaigh, drawn from 16 previous collections, and translated by Paddy Bushe; an outstanding first collection of poems by Ciarán O’Rourke, The Buried Breath; and a long-awaited fourth collection of poems by Chris Agee, Blue Sandbar Moon, following his previous celebrated volume, Next to Nothing (Salt, 2009).

Our forthcoming publishing programme for the first half of 2021 is the following:

January 2021:

  • Kilclief & Other Essays, by Patricia Craig (non-fiction)
  • Old Istanbul & Other Essays, by Gerard McCarthy (non-fiction)
  • Trump Rant, by Chris Agee (poetry/non-fiction/literature and politics)
  • Ben Dorain: a conversation with a mountain, by Garry MacKenzie (poetry, with introductions by Editors Kathleen Jamie and Meg Bateman)

March 2021:

  • The Divil Knows What: The Portable Mac Intyre (a posthumous selected retrospective of his fiction, poetry, drama).

Our further four titles to be published in 2021 will be announced this summer.

The Irish Pages Press will always be characterized two essential and necessary components, flowing from the outstanding standards of the journal in an age of media noise and publishing hyperbole: literary content of exceptional quality, and production values (mainly hardback) unsurpassed by any in these islands. Apart from issues of finance, the sole criteria for publication by the Press will be the distinction of the writing and the integrity and independence of the individual voice.

Unsolicited manuscripts are equally welcome from new, emergent and established writers, especially those resident (regardless of background) in Ireland and Scotland. No electronic submissions will be accepted: submissions should be sent by post (for our full address, see the “Contact” section of this website). In the interim, however, established authors (currently with or without past publishers) are encouraged to contact the Editors to discuss manuscripts that are fully completed.