GeneralPoetry, painting, publishing, not necessarily in that order
BooksToo many and too few
HeroesAll my authors at Salt Publishing, and Charles Darwin, Francis Bacon (the 20th C one), Anselm Kiefer, Robert Nozick, Copernicus, Raymond Carver, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Stephen Knight, David Harsent, Don Paterson, Peter Manson, Michael Hoffman, Lavinia Greelaw, Jo Shapcott, Keston Sutherland, Alice Oswald, Gunky Jappa, Elijah Hofield
About me:.... ..
I grew up in Manchester and went to a convent-run primary school in New Moston before attending grammar school in Prestwich. (This was back in the bleeding dark ages.) Then went to a convent-run sixth form college (a theme emerges) in Moss Side. It was following this that I began to study sculpture, painting and printmaking. I continued at Manchester School of Art before taking a degree at what was then Leeds Polytechnic, graduating in (prehistoric) 1986. I very nearly became a studio assistant to Georg Baselitz in Schloss Derneburg (good anecdote, eh?). I subsequently destroyed all my art work, and began to focus upon my writing. I sometimes wonder if that was a mistake.
After a brief attempt to train as an art teacher in Didsbury, I began work in a variety of crappy jobs: insurance clerk, an administrator in a haematology department, a data manager in an oncology department, an information designer in public transport, and then moved in to design.
I was living in Barlow Moor Road in a room about 4 foot square. My neighbour was a transvestite photographer on the club scene and used to dye the shared bathroom red when he did his hair. Our other neighbour bought lots of meat and stored it in his Belling Cooker, which was broken, and kept it till it rotted and stank the fourth floor out. It was so damp in my room I grew mushrooms in my wardrobe. I met Jen, now my wife, who dusted me down and made me go and get some real work, and we ended up living here in Andy's flat. Then we bought a flat here in Egerton Road.
I worked as Design Manager for the British Council for a couple of years, and sat on the Council of the Chartered Society of Designers before embarking (irrevocably it seems) on a publishing career, we left Manchester and I (eventually) ended up as Press Production Director at Cambridge University Press. I left to concentrate on writing and literary publishing in 2002.
My poetry began appearing in journals throughout the 1990s including The Age, Jacket, Magma, Poetry London, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, PN Review, Quid and The Rialto. I was anthologised in New Writing 8 in 1999. A pamphlet, The Cutting Room, was published by Barque Press in 2000. A first full-length poetry collection, Dr. Mephisto, was published by Arc Publications in 2002. I've travelled to perform my work in the USA and Australia.
My poetry has been (wait for it) characterised by a “dystopian vision of the world, the use of varied personae, an exuberant vocabulary, black humour and dramatic changes in register and tone.” Some say my work can shift between mainstream poetics and wild experimentation, often combining both within a single volume. My central themes have been the incongruousness of moral experience within modern society (often looking at our experience of violence), the collapse or eradication of identity, and non-spiritual or secular redemption.
I think my new work is now taking a drastically different direction, and I want to develop a new audience with writing which is more transparent, open and playful in its use of language, but hopefully more subversive in its art. You'll have to let me know if I succeed.
I'm also the author of a writers’ guide on publishing and marketing poetry, 101 Ways to Make Poems Sell.
Working as Chris Hamilton-Emery, I'm now a Director of Salt Publishing an independent literary press based in Cambridge, England. I was awarded an American Book Award in 2006 for services to American literature. I live in Great Wilbraham with my wife, Jen, and three children (Callum, Kirsty and Cameron), three guinea pigs, a hamster, and a big lazy dog.
I'm working on two new poetry collections, Boy's Town and Speaking Rooms and a little children's book, currently called The Storm Wolf. I'll be posting some work in progress on my blog, so do check it out!
As well as working with Salt, I run two other businesses, a publishing consultancy, imaginatively called Chris Hamilton-Emery Publishing Services, and a trade-focused cover design business called The Cover Factory.
I sit on the Board of the Independent Publishers Guild and have just gone on to the Board of Planet Poetry, an organisation dedicated to supporting and developing Apples & Snakes, The Poetry Book Society, The Poetry School, and The Poetry Society.
Who I'd like to meet:Flannery O'Connor, Ed Dorn, Sylvia Plath, Ben Brierley, Mina Loy, Georg Baselitz, Mae West, Anselm Kiefer, Elizabeth Bishop, Julian Schnabel, Rachel Whiteread, Raymond Carver, Jo Shapcott, Paul Auster, Simone de Beauvoir, Francesco Clemente, Diane Arbus, Sebastião Salgado, PJ Harvey, Weegee, Naguib Mahfouz.
- Status: Married
- Here for: Networking, Friends
- Hometown: Manchester
- Orientation: Straight
- Body type: 6' 2" / Some extra baggage
- Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
- Religion: Atheist
- Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
- Children: Proud parent
- Smoke / Drink: No / Yes
- Education: Grad / professional school
- Occupation: Poet and Publisher
- Cambridge, Cambridgeshire UK
Cambridge University Press
- Cambridge, Cambridgeshire UK
- Press Production Director