Anvil Press was founded in 1968 by Peter Jay, who remained its director until his retirement from publishing in 2015. With a focus on modern poetry in English and poetry in translation from all periods, Jay built up a prestigious list of international significance, featuring work by writers as diverse as celebrated translator Michael Hamburger, Chinese dissident poet Bei Dao, Irish poet Dennis O’Driscoll, current Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and many others.
Although 2015 saw the end of Anvil Press as a distinct operation, it also marked a new beginning: Anvil’s list was taken on by Manchester-based Carcanet Press to form what has been hailed as a ‘Northern world-poetry powerhouse’. In 2016, the Library acquired the later part of the Anvil Archive – covering the last thirty years – and this now lives alongside the archive of Carcanet Press. The presses have overlapping histories, and this talk will provide an introduction to the Anvil Archive, which is in the process of being listed, and explore some of the synergies between this and the archive of Carcanet Press.
Organisation: University of Manchester Library
Biography: Fran Baker is an archivist at The University of Manchester Library, where she curates the literary and social & political history archives; she also leads on born-digital archives. She was a co-founder of GLAM (the Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts), and currently sits on the executive committee of the Mellon-funded Task Force on Technical Approaches to Email Archives
Dr Florence Impens
Role: Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
Organisation: John Rylands Research Institute
Biography: Florence Impens is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester. She is currently working on a project entitled ‘In Their Own Words: Poetry in Translation in the UK after 1962’, which makes extensive use of the Carcanet Press and Anvil Press Poetry archives of the John Rylands Library.