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‘In Person: Bloodaxe Books, Neil Astley on Translation, interviewed by John Challis’

Challis, John ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0005-1898-6458 and Astley, Neil (2023) ‘In Person: Bloodaxe Books, Neil Astley on Translation, interviewed by John Challis’. Poetry Salzburg Review (40). pp. 98-107.

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Bloodaxe Books was founded by Neil Astley in 1978. Starting out to address an imbalance in UK poetry publishing, Astley began publishing working-class poets from the North of England who at the time were poorly represented by mainstream publishers. Since then and throughout its 45-year history, Bloodaxe has championed diversity, publishing women, black, Asian and minority ethnic poets, while gathering an international reputation as a publisher of poetry in translation. In 2021, the poet John Challis undertook research in the Bloodaxe Books Archive at The Philip Robinson Library at Newcastle University to inform a series of interviews with Astley as part of a project funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant (Principal Investigator: Professor Sinéad Morrissey). Recorded over summer 2021, these interviews explored and documented the history of Bloodaxe Books as well as Astley’s and Bloodaxe’s contribution to diversifying UK poetry publishing. This excerpt focusses on Bloodaxe’s work to publish poetry in translation, with a particular focus on process, censorship, and the story of Irina Ratushinskaya, whose publication by Bloodaxe contributed to her eventual freedom from a Soviet Labour camp in 1986. This interview between John Challis (JC) and Neil Astley (NA), took place on Tuesday 27 July 2021 at Bloodaxe’s offices in Hexham, Northumberland.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1010 Poetry
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/9599

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