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In 2013, Ink Sweat & Tears started print publishing, with the launch of our anthology TWELVE: Slanted Poems for Christmas. Since then we have taken over the publication of the winning pamphlets for the Café Writers Pamphlet Commission which expanded to the whole of the UK in 2014 and saw two very talented poets share the honours. One of the resulting pamphlets, Jay Bernard’s The Red and Yellow Nothing was shortlisted for the Poetry Society’s 2016 Ted Hughes Award.

In November 2019 we launched the resulting pamphlets from our 2017 Commission Competition winners, Firing Pins by Jo Young and Fothermather by Gail McConnell, at Café Writers in Norwich on the 11th following the appearance of both poets on a discussion panel at Poetry in Aldeburgh the previous weekend. 

On 26th November 2019 we published our Voices of London anthology, edited by Jerwood Poetry Fellow Yomi Ṣode and IS&T’s Kate Birch. This featured poems from the young people at OnSide Future Youth Zone in Barking & Dagenham following a poetry project that had been established there by Yomi under the umbrella of Poetry School. Five of the young people were featured at the Voices of London event on that evening at Mansion House in the City of London.


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Joint Winner of the 2017 IS&T/Café Writers Pamphlet Commission Competition

Shortlisted for the 2020 Saboteur Awards Best Pamphlet.

Firing Pins: Woman as soldier. As war poet.

‘the Sisterhood is a rip tide.
there are several ways to survive:
swimming hard is not one of them.’

– from ‘Aphorisms on a Nautical Theme’

This fine debut from Jo Young, who has served in the British Army, including tours in Afghanistan, and, latterly, the Army Reserve for over twenty years, is, as Carolyn Jess-Cooke writes, ‘a unique and timely perspective on 21st century combat. Steeped in conflict and alive with the tensions between womanhood and war, the poems here are unsettling and authoritative, bearing witness to the role of the female soldier.

Young writes about the histories and legacies of combat, finding richly meaningful parallels between ancient battlefields and those of the twenty-first century with the meticulousness of an archivist, and exposes the sacrifices and the confronting of moral complexities involved in serving one’s country.

Stripped of sentiment and linguistically muscular, this is a commanding witness of the soldier – her body, sisterhood, and sex – on and off the battlefield, with a level of craft that is rarely witnessed so early in a poet’s career… an essential contribution to the literature of war.’

Read additional reviews here.

UK delivery £7.50




Joint Winner of the 2017 IS&T/Café Writers Pamphlet Commission Competition

Fothermather is an exploration of parenthood beyond the categories of ‘mother’ and ‘father’, and a celebration of new life in new language.

‘What am I to you? Mother? Father? Neither?

Like cells, names split & double, unified.’

– from ‘Untitled / Villanelle’

With a playfully genderqueer title containing both ‘father’ and ‘mother’, Fothermather explores love, language and forms of attachment beyond biology. Bobbing in its sea, we find the seahorse: the curious queer creature who patterns the pages. Playful, political and inquisitive, these poems chart the experience of IVF, pregnancy and parenthood for a family taking shape in Northern Ireland, where same-sex marriage is illegal and NHS fertility treatment is withheld from same-sex couples.

Mixing prose poem, calligram, sonnet, erasure and anagram, Fothermather is a strikingly original book of sensitive and vulnerable exploration in conversation with Sigmund Freud, D.W. Winnicott, Virginia Woolf and other fothermathers. Vahni Capildeo calls it ‘a book of thoughtful welcome and letting-go, where language gives way to newness and wonder’. Donika Kelly writes that the poems ‘startle and astound with wit and the fulsomeness of love’.

Read reviews here.

UK delivery £7.50




Anthology of Poems written by the Young People of Future, the Onside Youth Zone in Barking & Dagenham.

In August 2019, Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow Yomi Ṣode began working on a pilot poetry project with the young people at Future, the OnSide Youth Zone in Barking & Dagenham: No week was the same. New young people joined me to write every week. I gave them new themes and at times I scrapped the idea I had and went with the vibe of Future: Whether it was a celebration of culture or raising awareness of period poverty. Some young people wrote amazing poems for the anthology but preferred to be anonymised and here, I am reminded of the power of writing / literature as an engagement tool. Speaking for the young person when the young person doesn’t feel as ready to speak.

Five of the OnSide young people joined Yomi, the poets Theresa Lola and Mona Arshi, the actors Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory, and Allie Esiri at Mansion House on the 26th November and took part in the Voices of London event organised by The Lord Mayor’s Appeal and under the auspices of the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, William and Hilary Russell. It was an incredible occasion with London Voices from across the centuries rounded out by those of these fine young people.

UK delivery £9.00




Joint Winner of the Café Writers Pamphlet Commission

Shortlisted for the 2016 Ted Hughes Award.

The Arthurian tale of Sir Morien is the story of a young knight described as being “black from head to toe”, who rides to Camelot to find his father.

But what happened before this story began? Jay Bernard’s The Red and Yellow Nothing is a prequel that asks this question, and in the process meditates on the black presence in European art and culture, long before the invention of the divisive racial categories that exist today.

Morien’s story moves across genders, landscapes and centuries with references as diverse as William Dunbar and Kendrick Lamar. Patience Agbabi calls the collection “a psychedelic trip of genre and gender, fizzing with 600 years of wordplay.”

Read the Reviews and Interviews with Jay, who was also shortlisted for, and won, the Ted Hughes Award in 2017 for ‘Surge: Side A’, a spoken word performance created with live literature group Speaking Volumes. They have since published Surge as a collection with Chatto & Windus, which has been shortlisted for the Forward Prizes Best First Collection, the Costa Book Awards: Poetry,  the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Dylan Thomas Prize.


UK Delivery £7.50



Joint Winner of the Café Writers Pamphlet Commission

Euclid’s Harmonics borrows its title from a mysterious lost manuscript by Philemon Holland, whose “rare Greeke character” is said to have been the template for John Baskerville’s famous typeface. Onto this ghostly text Jonathan Morley overlays a reckoning of his years in Coventry, manipulating register, form and language to create a dazzling, genre-defying collection. Baroque, sweeping, and with a scathing humour running throughout, Euclid’s Harmonics captures humanity in its many guises, presenting an unsettling vision of impermanence, decay, and regret. Chosen by Jeremy Noel-Tod as one of his Twitter #PoetryBooks2016.

Check out the Reviews!



UK Delivery £7.50





Our first IS&T Press publication!

Now let us present to you . . . contemporary scenes of domestic gothic; of family tenderness and detachment; of a green jelly tsunami engulfing a tinseled high street. It snows, bankers gorge on chocolate coins and the Salvation Army fights to play in time.This is not the advertised Christmas.

Twelve shiny new poems from Moniza Alvi, Carrie Etter, WN Herbert, Andrea Holland, Ira Lightman, Bobby Parker, Bethany W Pope, Penelope Shuttle, George Szirtes, Tim Turnbull, Julia Webb and Luke Wright.

TWELVE: Slanted Poems for Christmas, edited by IS&T’s Helen Ivory and Kate Birch.

Check out the Reviews!


UK Delivery £6.50


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