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This report is taken from PN Review 224, Volume 41 Number 6, July - August 2015.

Mica Press Leslie Bell
‘Publishing poetry and writing of interest to imaginative readers’ says, casting a broad net. Mica Press is a very small publisher with a little history, books in print, and a future of more poetry.

After bringing out John Muckle and Ian Davidson’s It Is Now As It Was Then for Actual Size Press, Leslie Bell set up Mica Press in 1984. A striking miner and a lorry driver carried the second-hand offset-litho, which was to be used to print Theatre Underground’s Contradictory Theatres, into his Wivenhoe living room. On a loaned mahogany sideboard too big for the room Les Bell set type (mostly Bembo) for an Adana Horizontal Flatbed Quarto printing press, making broadsheets: the first edition of Clive Wilmer’s poem Amores, and Orengo, a poem by Nicholas Orengo about his father’s death from cancer. Nothing more till 2012. Then, the offset-litho long gone, the letterpress that had been mothballed under the stairs for years went happily to Shed Press Publications, and using desktop publishing software and POD, Mica Press redivivus publications began with Archipelagos: poems by Leslie Bell (2012), followed by the intriguing Graphologies (2014), poems and prose by Phil Cohen ‘in conversation with’ reproductions of paintings by Jean McNeil and other images. In 2015 came Plain Text, new work by a notable and distinctive poet with a number of books already to his name: Michael Vince, winner of an Eric Gregory Award in 1977, who is overdue for rediscovery. Forthcoming: The Death of Galahad, by Domenico Iannaco.

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