Founder-editor Gerry Cambridge’s account of the first twenty years of The Dark Horse is full of wry and, at times, contrarian asides on the nature of the contemporary poetry scene. His anecdotes and ‘divagations’ invoke such names as Wendy Cope, Dana Gioia, Anne Stevenson, Seamus Heaney, Kay Ryan and Douglas Dunn, to name but few.
To open this handsome 184-page volume (250mm x 165mm) is to enter the world of the ‘little magazine’—that distinguished genre which, as Cambridge writes, ‘has the charm of all hopeless enterprises undertaken against the odds.’
Illustrations include photographs and letters, as well as 52 full colour plates showing changes in jacket design over two decades.
Gerry Cambridge is a Scottish poet, essayist, and editor with substantial interest in print design and typography.
‘If you can crest the wave of exposure to all this submitted work, to arrive at what is good and bad in it, it can make you more discerning in your own poetry. Practically, too, managing a poetic life as an editor—I hesitate to say ‘career’ where poetry is concerned, unless one is using it as a verb as well as a noun—takes a judicious degree of balancing. You have to make sure the poet-identity is not subsumed by the editor-identity, and that neither you nor the journal is compromised by poetry-politicking with the aim of using connections. It would possible to do a good deal of that if you were so-minded ...’
We also have a special limited edition of twenty-six copies, lettered A to Z and signed by the author on the colophon.
Copies I-Z (select from drop-down menu above) come with a draft copy of the front cover of issue 2 of The Dark Horse, with handwritten suggestions on layout by Dana Gioia (the book’s dedicatee) tipped in. Originally to have been included in the standard edition, it was omitted for reasons of space. Per copy £25.00
Copies A to H of these special editions also include a facsimile offcut of Gerry Cambridge’s new long poem, ‘The Visitor’, signed by the author, which appears in the summer, 2016, issue of New York literary journal The Hudson Review—one of the early influences on The Dark Horse. These seven copies are available for £35.00 per copy.