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Sussex staff and alumni numbered among Lewes poets in new anthology

Jeremy Page with previous publications from Frogmore Press featuring cover designs by Neil Gower

The Lewes-inspired anthology Poems From The Old Hill, featuring work by Sussex staff and alumni

Could Lewes in East Sussex be the poetry capital of the UK?

It’s a possibility that literary publishers the Frogmore Press are celebrating with the launch of a new anthology of lyrical works written by the resident poets of the historic East Sussex town (pop. 16,000).

Poems FromThe Old Hill (the title of which refers to an old downland nickname for Lewes), an anthology, published by the Frogmore Press on September 28, features the work of no less than 20 published and prizewinning Lewes poets.

A number of alumni, students and staff of the neighbouring University of Sussex are featured poets (Liz Bahs, Charlotte Gann, Julia O’Brien, Jeremy Page, Robin Houghton, Patrick Bond, Judith Kazantzis, Rachel Playforth, Clare Best and Catherine Smith), which might in part account for the high proportion of writers, alongside the town’s inspirational setting in the beautiful South Downs.

Contributors can also lay claim to no fewer than three Cholmondeley Awards (Grace Nichols, Judith Kazantzis, John Agard), a Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Grace Nichols), a Paul Hamlyn Award (John Agard), and nominee for the Forward Prize (Catherine Smith), Seamus Heaney Centre Prize 2012 (Clare Best) and Michael Marks Award 2012 (Charlotte Gann) and a Next Generation poet (Catherine Smith). 

Jeremy Page, co-founder of the Frogmore Press, which celebrates its 30th birthday this year, is also Deputy Director of the Sussex Centre for Language Studies at the University of Sussex.  He explains the idea behind the Lewes-inspired anthology, which he has edited: “I was struck by the concentration of poets in Lewes and felt their work deserved to be collected between the covers of an anthology that would take the town’s poetic pulse.”

Poems from the Old Hill will be launched at a special event on National Poetry Day (4 October 2012) at the Old Needlemakers in Lewes. The event will start at 7.45 p.m. (doors 7 p.m.). Admission £5. Readers will be Kay Syrad, Joe Sheerin, Julia O’Brien, Robin Houghton, Marek Urbanowicz and Patrick Bond.

Notes for Editors

Copies of Poems From the Old Hill available at £5 (post free) from the Frogmore Press or through good bookshops.

The Frogmore Press was founded by Andre Evans and Jeremy Page at the Frogmore tea-rooms in Folkestone in 1983. Since then, the Press has published hundreds of writers in its now bi-annual magazine The Frogmore Papers and also in individual collections and anthologies.

The Frogmore Press has featured early work by numerous writers including Sophie Hannah, Tobias Hill, Elizabeth Garrett, Katherine Pierpoint, Linda France, Tamar Yoseloff alongside work by established writers such as Brian Aldiss, James Brockway, John Mole, Carole Satyamurti and Pauline Stainer and unknown and emerging writers.

The Frogmore Press receives no grant aid and welcomes subscriptions to The Frogmore Papers and purchases from the back catalogue.

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune and Jacqui Bealing. Tel: 01273 678 888. Email:

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Photo of anthology cover and University home page image by Neil Gower, a regular cover artist for Frogmore Press.

Last updated: Tuesday, 2 October 2012