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This interview is taken from PN Review 201, Volume 38 Number 1, September - October 2011.

Small Presses, Large Ambitions
a conversation between John Killick and Peter Sansom
John Killick
JK: You published a sort of poem in The North 7 by Geoff Hattersley called 'Acknowledgements'. It begins:

are due to the following magazines/ periodicals
where some of these poems first appeared:
Ambidextrous Testicles; The Bleeding Heart's
Journal; Colonel Colonel; The Dog's Dinner;
Excuse me, I Have a Contagious Disease; The
Frozen Foreskin; Melville's Dark Anus US)

[laughter]. And I thought, looking at that, does it not tell us something about the small press scene?

PS: Oh yes, it's lovely - so inventive and ludicrous.Writing Men as opposed to Writing Women, of course. And there's Ambit in Ambidextrous...

JK: Yes, there are puns, lots of ridiculous plays on words. But it's not just the funniness of it, it's a portrait of a lunatic fringe to the poetry scene. And it's rather charming, very wayward... and it's never going to get us anywhere, is it?

PS: The Wide Skirt took its name from the opening of Günter Grass's novel The Tin Drum - so the name has a kind of hidden seriousness - like many of the poets it published in fact. It was influential, wasn't it, it was a completely new place to see and be seen - the poets it published were often working-class and/or American-influenced, most of them new to the game or sidelined. There was an explosion of small presses and magazines around that time, the early eighties, that gave poets ...

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