As publishers become more corporate, global and boring, IRON Press champions new quality writing as it has done since 1973. IRON runs events and launches; it also thinks literature is both serious and fun.
Following the roaring success of the 2013 IRON AGE Festival, which won Best Event Tyneside Award in The Journal Culture Awards 2014 and was described by writer David Almond as "the best festival I've ever read at" (and he's read at a lot globally), IRON Press decided to do it again. Eclectic IRON - a Festival of Words, Music & Odditiestook place at six different venues facing onto the beautiful Cullercoats Bay from Thursday June 4 to Sunday June 7, 2015 and once again there was heady mix of the famous, the grass-roots, the curious and the downright bizarre.
Peter Mortimer reports: "As all tired souls concerned with the festival prepare to sleep for a week, we can drift away with the memory of a brilliant four days with almost every event full. Vivid in our memories is the unrivalled poetry of Tony Harrison, the Seaton Sluice Yukelelee Band, two new brilliant poets from IRON Press, launching first collections at the RNLI to the accompaniement of local yoofs chucking shoes at the window (chased off by Dylan Mortimer), writers Joan Johnston and Sandy Chadwin first suffering then blooming (and occasionally peeing) when perched on their Cullercoats rock, singers Jack Arthurs and The Creels performing their Cullercoats songs to a backdrop of Cullercoats breaking waves, the strange experience of the body on the Watch House snooker table, many pints of the special festival beer, music wafting round the harbour from the vibrant Festival fringe, sixteen poets on bikes battling strong winds, a packed Crescent Club for Fracking in Cullercoats, a bevy of Buskers playing late into the night - and much more.
"A huge thanks to everyone who was a part of it."
And if you want to know what you missed, you' ll find the full the programme here!
Writers who undertook our Baiku journey with poet David Bateman during the ECLECTIC IRON festival are reminded that we are keen to see any haiku that result from the journey and from the workshop that followed. If enough quality stuff results, we shall consider doing a small collection.
Please email the haiku to us at or send via surface mail to our postal address with a SAE.
New Poetry for the Festival
IRON launched two first poetry collections at an Eclectic IRON Festival event at Cullercoats RNLI on Sunday June 7th.
Lisa Rodgers is a coast-based writer and The She Chronicles is inspired by the courageous, pioneering and indomitable spirit of some remarkable women through history. The poems give a distinctive voice to the likes of Dido Belle, Aphra Benn, Anne Bonney, Mary Shelley and Fanny Burney, women who are often lost to the modern consciousness and were indeed often vilified in their own time.
Vicky Arthurs is a writer, editor and performer based in Newcastle, and Limehaven is her debut full poetry collection. Limehaven was the home of her grandparents and these vivid poems are inspired by her childhood memories of the place and its people; life's small detail captured with a true poet's eye. Vicky was published in the IRON Press poetry pamphlet anthology, Pieces from Eight.
Millie and Bird
short stories by Avril Joy
Iron Press celebrated the publication of Millie and Bird, short stories by Avril Joy (winner of the 2012 Costa Short Story prize), with a launch party at Teiku University of Japan, Durham, on March 20th 2015. More than 50 people attended.
Submissions - No unsolicited submissions please. We are a small press. We do not publish novels. Our range is poetry, (including haiku), collections of short stories, and anthologies of verse and prose. If you think you have something that might interest us, firstly email us with brief details. Thanks!
Photo of the IRON gate © 2015 Dylan Mortimer; IRON gate made by John Charlton, from the original logo design by Geoff Laws.