The original idea behind Philistine Press was to publish original ebooks alongside rereleases of books no longer available in print. This hasn’t quite happened yet, although we’ve published one rereleased collection of poetry: Andy Hopkins’ excellent Dark Horse Pictures, originally published by Selkirk Lapwing Press in 2007. It was their biggest-selling title, and achieved the impressive feat of selling out completely in the first day of release. By making it available online, we’ve been able to introduce the collection to a new audience, and I’d like to continue to do this with more rereleases.
There are thousands of books out there that aren’t being read, not because they don’t deserve to be read, but because they’re no longer available. There’s no reason why they can’t be made available on the internet.
Similar projects to the one I’m proposing include The Poetry Archive, which features many audio recordings of poets from the 19th Century onwards reading their own work. Another great poetry archive is www.poetrymagazines.co.uk, which contains thousands of out of print poetry magazines from the last twenty years.
Project Gutenberg has achieved great things by reintroducing out-of-copyright books to an online audience, but as far as I’m aware there is no equivalent for full-length books that are still in copyright. I don’t intend for Philistine Press to serve as a massive archive for old books, but if I’m able to track them down I’d like to reintroduce a few more out of print titles of the same calibre as Dark Horse Pictures.
A sample poem from Dark Horse Pictures:
evil has no underground lair.
evil is not agoraphobic. evil likes
crowds and makes no sudden moves. evil likes.
evil has no colour preference,
does not prefer men to women.
evil practices equal opportunities.
evil thinks evil is fair. evil thinks.
evil thinks straight.
evil is good with figures.
evil has an eye for numbers.
evil uses semicolons.
You have passed evil in the street
and not noticed. evil does not
mind. evil does not
evil says evil is ethical. evil says.
evil rationalises. evil can paint. evil has skills.
evil condones. evil sends condolences.
evil can wear a party hat.
evil can stand at the cenotaph.
evil knows merlot from muscadet.
evil is not the opposite of good,
but evil knows what naïvity is
and where to look for it. evil commits
no crimes of passion. evil has no passion. evil
is mundane. evil blends in, but
evil desires; evil desires.
evil was not a problem child.
evil has friends, evil has.
The friends that evil has are not evil.
evil knows the difference
between right and wrong.
evil does not start things. It wasn’t evil. It is never evil.
evil causes no controversy.
evil is lawful. evil is unequivocal.
evil is not special.
evil never stands out.
evil does not do anything.
evil is neither vulture or hyena.
evil is a clean beast
and does no dirty work. After all, evil does nothing.
evil does for those that do
the work that evil wants done.
evil enjoys itself.
evil knows itself.
evil exists for itself.
And evil knows. evil
Read Andy Hopkins’ Dark Horse Pictures here.