Edinburgh publisher


Here I am . . . pictured . . . one night last week, trying to think of a name for a poetry imprint.

This imprint is simply for the poetry Leamington Books is publishing.

I was stuck, however.

I had as a shortlist, the following:









. . . but I was still feeling very little affection for any of these names.

I made a social media post, to emancipate the problem from my mind at least.

In the post, I asked my Facebook friends what they thought of these titles . . . and I asked if they had any of their own . . . and the response was terrific . . . enjoyable, validating even.

It was lovely to hear people talking about this, to be honest. There were over 70 comments on the first day, and I responded to them.

It was a genuine moment of social media good.

Social media goodness, I should say!

Nobody was going to unfriend any other person of this. Perhaps the discussion of the name of a small poetry imprint made a change from the more catclysmic upheavals of 2020, when everything is a fight, an eternal and incomparable fight.

If you want to picture Facebook in 2020 on even a good day . . . picture the civilised faces of your friends, wrenched and unsocketed from humanity, trying to navigate social media.




Lesley Storm was first to comment on the poetry imprint issue. Facebook does not let users employ the name 'Storm', even if it is their real name, and it is Lesley's real name. So she has to spell her name Størm on the platform. All the Storms must do. Storm is her real name, as I said, and she told me one time, that she was selling door-to-door in Dunfermline, when she came across another person with the same name as her, and the same middle initial 'T' also.

She wrote: "I like Sangschaw."

I reminded her then of that Sir Walter Scott joke, the name "KENNAQUAHAIR"

Which if you do not quite see it . . . trips off the page to something like "Ken-na-where" in its closest English iteration.




Patrick Jamieson, who is a fellow publisher, even lives in this area of Edinburgh I think  . . .  find Taproot Press here, he wrote:

"I like Sangschaw, Kist and Pierpont Press. Less keen on the others. At a push I'd go for Sangschaw, but for me it would also depend on the kind of poetry being published!"

I asked him what the process had been with Taproot, and I added that I felt it is a cool name.

Patrick's response was brilliant, I am going to quote him:

"It was actually a bit algorhythmic. I had attributes in mind of the name I wanted and then Jennie Renton typed them into Google. The first result that came up was a Google Books version of the Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Scottish Literature."

He went on to say that the featured part quoted Gavin Wallace, who had mentioned the 'taproot' of Scottish culture, and for them thereafter, it had been a straightforward choice.

Patrick added:

"Just realised I wrote 'algorhythmic'. That's a very cool typo."

I did the very same thereafter, and wrote back to Patrick:

"I am AMAZED at this process, forgive me my enthusiasm, but it is a great idea. Here is what I got:




 Peter Burnett