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This poem is taken from PN Review 56, Volume 13 Number 6, July - August 1987.

Ask any Poetry Editor in any general publishing house what he or she wants on their list, and the chances are that the answer will be: the best - the best from all schools of contemporary poetic thought; the best from this country and overseas, and all of it published as cheaply and beautifully as possible.

This is more or less the answer I would have given four years ago, when I first took over the Chatto and Windus poetry list, and it is more or less the answer I would give now. (I appreciate that I could be accused of vagueness, but anything more prescriptive runs the risk of closing the door in the face of new and unpredictable talents.) I feel (and felt) that because it is easy to see that we live in a pluralist literary culture, it is essential to reflect that plurality in the books we take on. The conviction was well illustrated in the first year of the re-vamped Chatto poetry list, during which we published an anthology of West Indian-British poetry, News for Babylon (edited by James Berry); a first collection by Selima Hill, Saying Hello at the Station; and a Selected Poems by the distinguished American poet Frederick Seidel, Men and Woman.

Subsequently, we have continued to produce books which represent a wide range of voices, but which are linked by a common concern to speak accessibly and urgently, as well as intelligently and movingly: Carol Rumens's post-feminist anthology Making for the Open; an anthology edited by the radical collective Angels of Fire; first books by Blake Morrison (Dark Glasses), Fred D'Aguiar (Mama Dot); a new collection by Carol Rumens (Direct Dialling); and a Selected Poems (Anzac Sonata) by Jon Stallworthy.

Late in 1986 we launched a new venture: New Chatto Poets, the first of a regular series which will introduce young and previously uncollected writers, several of whom we hope will go on to publish full-length collections. We will, for instance, be publishing a first collection by Lachlan Mackinnon, Monterey Cypress, whose work in New Chatto Poets was picked out for special praise by several reviewers.

In 1987, to coincide with the Poetry Live promotion, we shall be consolidating the strengths developed over the last few years - with new books by Blake Morrison (The Ballad of the Yorkshire Ripper, to be published in May), a Selected Poems by Carol Rumens, to be published in March, and a second collection by Fiona Pitt-Kethley, Private Parts, to be published in June. We shall also be publishing, in February, a new and selected poems by P.J. Kavanagh, Presences, and a new collection of my own poems, Natural Causes, in September.

Chatto is enthusiastically committed to supporting the Poetry Live promotion, since its purpose endorses many of the attitudes which have helped to shape our list, and which are evident in the work of the poets we publish. It is a crucial part of our publishing programme to allow poetry to speak directly and accessibly to the largest possible audience, and to make itself part of familiar life.
Walking against the Wind

'Roast chestnuts, a shilling
a bag.
' Shilling and bag
change hands by brazier light.
And there they stand shelling
plump kernels to plug
each other's mouth as tight

as with a kiss. She wears

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