Fighting Cock Press has existed in its present form since 1996, when writers Mabel Ferrett and Pauline Kirk began collaborating to publish books of good literary quality, elegantly produced and within the price range of most people. Following Mabel's death, Pauline took over as sole editor. John Ferrett, Mabel's son, acts as Consultant.
Fighting Cock Press has always maintained a close relationship to the Pennine Poets, providing an outlet for poetry and artwork by members of the group.In 2006 an Arts Council England Award enabled it to publish two major anthologies o f poetry and original artwork (including much valuable archive material) to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Pennine Poets. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary in 2016, the Press published another anthology, Fifty:Fifty, in collaboration with Graft Poetry. This was launched during the York Literature Festival and featured at the Ilkley Literature Fringe Festival.
Fighting Cock Press has also published individual collections of poetry of a high standard by other northern poets, with a wide variety of styles and backgrounds - some previously unpublished, others already well known. All have shared one feature: a love of the craft of poetry.
In recent years, in collaboration with Stairwell Books. it has added prose memoirs and biographies to its list. Each has been of significant historical interest, as well as entertainingly written. (For further information see later)
Some past successes: We were delighted that Temporary Safety by Rose Drew was placed at number 9 by Purple Patch in their 2011 list of Top Twenty Best Individual Collections. The poem 'At St. David's' from Colin Speakman's collection Dune Fox and Other Poems 1981-2011 was listed by the Poetry Kit Awards 2011-12 as one of the best individual poems published by a small press during that year. Colin's second collection, People in a Landscape was featured in the Yorkshire Post, and reviewed most favourably. Rita Jerram’s Tales from a Prairie Journal was also given considerable exposure by the York Press.
Sorry but no unsolicited submissions can be accepted.
We are currently working on The Tallyman, the third and final memoir by well-known York writer, Rita Jerram. This focuses on Rita’s father and her own youth and is written in her characteristic lively and vivid style. Another joint publication with Stairwell Books, publication is planned for November/December of this year (2021) – just in time for Christmas presents.
Also at the preparation stage is another poetry collection by Rose Drew, Her first FCP collection Temporary Safety went into two editions and several reprints, and is currently sold out (though there are copies available from Stairwell Books.) Temporary Safety was greeted by critical acclaim, and included award winning poems dating from 1995 to 2011. A well-known figure at readings and Festivals both sides of the Atlantic, Rose has run the York ‘open mic’ with Alan Gillott for many years. We look forward to being able to publish more of her work. “The Visitor” is a tribute to her first child.
Rose says of this new collection, “I began writing poems about Sarah, out of the blue, about 6 yrs after she died. Then I wrote a clutch of poems about her, or the grief process, over a short period of time. Thereafter I seemed to write a poem on either her birthday, or her death day, every year. Some years I wrote on both days.
I gathered them and sent them to my then-anthropology mentor; one of her other students worked in a funeral home and asked for the booklet for parents. Then in 2000 I submitted it to ‘Gaining Your Voice Through The Art’s and the collection, as a scrap book, was displayed in an art gallery for a month.”
Some comments of Temporary Safety
“Really enjoyed Rose’s poems. She is a very talented poet and an excellent performer.” Marisa Koc from No Sleep ‘Till Bedtime.
“Rose Drew has developed her own powerful poetic style, mixing American and British influences.” Paul Sutherland, former editor of Dream Catcher.
“I loved it! I felt honoured to have been mentioned, and touched by images of the poet’s daughter.” Anne Tyler on ‘Morgan’s Daughters’ from The Machineries of Love.