Founded in 1968 by Peter Jay and now based in Greenwich, south-east London, Anvil Press is England’s longest-standing independent poetry publisher.
We specialize in contemporary English poets – with a leavening of Irish and American – and in a range of translated poetry, from ancient classics to modern and contemporary poets.
Our wonderful and irreplaceable designer Tamasin Cole died in June after a spirited battle with a recurring cancer. Since 1991 she had designed some 200 book covers for Anvil, which you will see throughout this website. She also designed an early website for us, and advised on the present one.
Her understanding of the need for a flexible approach to cover design, using a wide range and style of images while maintaining a clear identity in a non-corporate way, was key to her work for Anvil. And she produced some brilliantly original and beautiful covers. She could be relied on to come up with lively, arresting designs even in the absence of images.
She was a joy to work with and a true supporter of Anvil.
River, I have known your source:
sparkling water crocheting quickly through
rock’s rigid garment. Yes, I knew,
river, I have known your source.
With my palm I touched your coolness
and beyond, a splendor not to miss,
the new grass was waiting for your kiss.
With my palm I touched your coolness.
Black and red was rock’s eternal shape
sculpted by the wind, from head to bottom,
in harsh summers, winters, long forgotten.
Black and red was rock’s eternal shape.
And so, I would never leave the source.
Bathed and christened in, and bright
in its primordial, holy light,
No, no, I would never leave the source.
There’ll be a time, serene, a time for hymns.
I’ll underline the air with just one gesture,
and I will utter stainless words.
I will say “sky” and “brook” and I’ll say “sun”
and “tear” and “music” and “immunity”.
There’ll be a time, a time when memory
of massacres won’t reach me anymore,
turning instead into a distant breeze of poetry
as sometimes blood itself exhales.
From all that once had been promiscuous,
only the sacred will remain, and I will praise
the contrasts, reconciled, forgiven and forgiving.
So I’ll say “sky” and “sun” and “music”
and sky will be, and sun will be, and music
will be around me and around the world.
I’ll let the vowels all regain their halo.
And it will come, that bright, sonorous time,
a time solemn and pure, a time for hymns,
and it will come, that time. Indeed, it will!
From Continuum (2008) by Nina Cassian