Category Archives: News

Hercules Editions at the Poetry Book Fair

Hercules Editions are delighted to once again have a stall at Free Verse, the Poetry Book Fair, which takes place at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL on Saturday 30th September from 11am-6pm. You’ll be able to buy our books, or come and talk to us about the press and our forthcoming projects.

We’re also thrilled to say that publisher Tamar Yoseloff will introduce a reading in the main space in the evening from the authors of two of our 2017 titles: Ruth Valentine’s Rubaiyat for the Martyrs of Two Wars and Jacqueline Saphra’s A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller. Come and see us, have a chat, buy a book, hear some poems, share a drink.



A Bargain with the Light Launches

Last night saw the official launch of Jacqueline Saphra’s new book  A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller in the atmospheric surroundings of the Cinema Museum in Lambeth. A packed audience were treated to Jacqueline reading the entire heroic crown of sonnets sequence, whilst the pictures by Lee Miller were displayed behind her. The book has benefited from exclusive rights to use and reproduce the iconic photographs by the Lee Miller Archive.


Jacqueline will be doing a book signing on Saturday 23rd September at the Imperial War Museum between 2pm-4pm. The Imperial War Museum hosted a seminal retrospective of Miller’s work in 2015 and we’re thrilled to be holding an event there.

For more information and to buy the book visit the Hercules shop.


Hercules Winter Workshops announced

Hercules Editions are pleased to announce their winter workshops to tie in with the launch of recent titles – Rubaiyat for the Martyrs of Two Wars by Ruth Valentine and A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller by Jacqueline Saphra.

Saturday 21st October 2017
The rubai (rubaiyat is the plural) is a traditional Persian form, introduced (and adapted) into English by Edward Fitzgerald in the nineteenth century, and by other writers since. During this workshop, we’ll look at Persian (in translation) and English rubaiyat. We’ll consider what kind of subject matter may suit it, and practise some of the skills it needs. By the end, you’ll have at least one stand-alone rubai, and a short sequence: your own rubaiyat. If you want to start using traditional verse forms, or you just want to expand your repertoire, this workshop is for you.
10:30am – 4:30pm, The Poetry School 79-83 Lambeth Walk, London, SE11 6DX.
Please note The Poetry School is the venue only – bookings must be made in advance through Hercules Editions. Concessions are available for 60+, full time students and those in receipt of benefits. If booking a concessionary place please bring proof of status on the day.
Saturday 25th November 2017
The sonnet sequence is a beast of a thing:compulsive, addictive, thrilling, mind-bending, with a momentum all of its own. In this workshop you will face the beast head on, join forces with it, and begin to write a crown or heroic crown of sonnets. Is there a big theme you’d like to tackle in your writing? Here’s your chance to do it justice. Do you dread the blank page? With a sequence, one poem leads to another. Through looking at examples and writing exercises, this workshop will start you off on a journey that will keep your pen moving and your poetic mind inspired for a long, satisfying time.
10:30am – 4:30pm, The Poetry School 79-83 Lambeth Walk, London, SE11 6DX.
Please note The Poetry School is the venue only – bookings must be made in advance through Hercules Editions. Concessions are available for 60+, full time students and those in receipt of benefits. If booking a concessionary place please bring proof of status on the day.

Save £25 on the full price when you book for both workshops together.

A Bargain with the Light launch events

A Bargain with the Light is a tribute to one of the most extraordinary figures of the 20th century.

At its heart is a heroic crown of sonnets, accompanied by an introduction by the art historian Patricia Allmer, an essay by Jacqueline Saphra charting her journey through Miller’s story to the writing of the poems, and iconic photographs by and of Miller, courtesy of the Lee Miller Archives.

Monday 18th September

Join us for a very special launch event at the Cinema Museum, with a reading by the author, accompanied by images from the book.

6.30pm – 8.30pm

Readings at 7.15pm. Free drinks.



The Cinema Museum

2 Dugard Way (off Renfrew Road)



SE11 4TH




Saturday 23rd September

Join us for a book signing with author Jacqueline Saphra at the Imperial War Museum, where a major retrospective of Miller’s work was held in 2015.


The Imperial War Museum

Lambeth Road




Announcing ‘Hammersmith’ by Sean O’Brien, with introduction by Owen Hatherley

Hammersmith Bridge photographed by Sean O'Brien
Hammersmith Bridge as seen in the book

We are thrilled to announce that Hercules Editions will be publishing Hammersmith (buy it here), a new chapbook by the award-winning poet Sean O’Brien, in May 2016. We’ve been fans of Sean’s work for years, so this is a particularly exciting project for us. Hammersmith is focused around the first two cantos of a longer poem exploring the West London region, where his parents met just after the war. Sean’s poem is a meditation on place, memory and nostalgia, informed by the voices of John Snagge, Richard Widmark and the Irish immigrants who filled the pubs along the riverside. He is already known as a poet of urban landscapes, having chronicled his hometown of Hull and his adopted city of Newcastle. He is also a poet of water, those ‘blue contested spaces’, and of rivers in particular, from the real Humber to the mythical Styx.

The poem will be accompanied by photographs taken by Sean during his perambulations around the area, and an essay on his thoughts about the project. There will also be an introductory essay by the architectural critic Owen Hatherley, whose new book, The Ministry of Nostalgia, has just been published.

There is an Indiegogo campaign for the project, which will enable our sponsors to see their names in the book, and to receive special offers, including an extra poem not included in the book, and an exclusive limited-edition print, both signed by the author. You can view the campaign here:

There will be two events to celebrate the publication of the book. The first will be a reading at the Newcastle Poetry Festival (with Linda France and Colette Bryce) on Thursday 5th May (, the second will be a London launch at the Auriol Kensington Rowing Club, on the river at Lower Mall just next to Hammersmith Bridge, on Monday 16th May. Watch this space for more information on both.

And here’s a link to another poem from Sean’s recent Picador collection, which was a Guardian Poem of the Week:

Another Hammersmith photo by Sean O'Brien
Another Hammersmith photo by from the book

Poems from our Claire Crowther, Sue Rose and Hannah Lowe workshops now online

• Click here to see the poems resulting from Claire, Sue and Hannah’s workshop days.

Following on from the success of our walking / writing / street photography workshop in October, we held three more sessions led by our brilliant Hercules authors. The venue was the lovely Travelling Through Bookshop, one of our favourite places on Lower Marsh: an engaged and talented group of poets gathered in the downstairs café to exchange ideas and images.

To read the full story, and some of the great poems that resulted, visit our workshop showcase here.

And don’t forget that we will will celebrate the work created in these sessions on the 18th of March, when the participating poets and workshop leaders will gather again at Travelling Through for a public reading of their poems. The event begins at 6:30, and entry is £5, which includes a free drink. More details here:

Below is a slideshow of images from the workshops.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hercules Editions chapbooks – now in top bookshops!

We are absolutely delighted to have not one but two displays of Hercules Editions chapbooks currently on show in West End bookshops. We are Foyles’s small publisher of the month in the poetry section at the Charing Cross Road branch. And over at the London Review Bookshop, our publications greet customers as they go down the stairs. We were thrilled when LRB buyer John Clegg said it was ‘especially exciting’ to be stocking our books; he described the press as ‘super-lively’ on the LRB blog. We support the efforts of both shops to keep poetry on the shelves and to get poetry books into the hands of readers!

A 'shelfie' of the Hercules display in Foyles
A ‘shelfie’ of the Hercules display in Foyles …
... and keeping good company in the LRB bookshop.
… and keeping good company in the LRB bookshop.