Derry-based writer Sam Burnside plans to publish a special selection of old and new poems in anticipation of the city’s Culture year using the age-old tradition of subscription publishing, known as a ‘partnership between author and reader’.
Mr Burnside, who received an MBE for Services to the Arts in 2012, explains that this was a generally accepted method of publication during the seventeenth century when it was popular in Ireland. It was in essence, he says, a partnership between author and reader, with the ‘middlemen’ (publishers and booksellers) having little or no role. As a way of acknowledging the subscribers’ support, authors included printed lists of subscribers in their books. Important works of literature were published in this manner, among them the first illustrated edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost, published in 1688, with a subscriber list of more than five hundred prominent individuals.
Sam Burnside’s new volume will contain a similar list of subscribers who have supported its publication.
To support Mr Burnside’s experiment, see: www.samburnside.co.uk/shop.html.