Saboteur Awards 2017: Spotlight on the Best Anthology Category

This month we are putting the focus on each category in the Saboteur Awards so voters can get a taster of the works they are not familiar with. Do dive in, and remember to vote before 30th April!

Half Moon: Poems about Pubs (OWF Press)

Having our book, Half Moon: poems about pubs on the shortlist for the Saboteur Awards is a wonderful thing, not only for our small publishing enterprise but for all the poets who contributed, both in the book and on the poetry beermats we distributed. – Peter White

“Care for a glass of cider that’s been used to scrub a pig? Or perhaps you’ll be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with a long draught from the West Coast of Ireland? You can do either of these with this collection of poems from some of the best poets writing today.

These poems will make you laugh. They’ll make you cry. They’ll make you thirsty. And at least one of them will teach you words for being drunk you’ve never heard before. Real poetry for real pub lovers!”

Why voters think it should win:

  • Great poems, amazing variety of responses, beautifully produced book. Something for everyone and one for the problem uncle at Christmas!
  • Poems and pubs go together like ale and pies

The Chronicles of Eve (Paper Swans Press)

To have two of our books shortlisted is such a huge thing for a small press. We are thrilled and motivated to make poetry happen. – Sarah Miles

The Chronicles of Eve is an anthology about different aspects of women — their bodies, lives, history and struggles. It is a collection of 73 poems from men and women all over the world — a truly international book, uniting poets and poetry in homage to ‘Woman’.

Why voters think it should win:

  • One of the best depictions of the role of women, both now and throughout history. Poems surprise with their insight and revelations – honest, striking, exciting, and a voyage of discovery into the lives of women. I haven’t read anything which compares to this.
  • A very strong collection showing fearless breadth. A powerful, vital, and very contemporary anthology.

The End: Fifteen Endings to Fifteen Paintings (Unthank)

It’s an amazing experience to have been shortlisted again for an anthology, but it’s doubly special because The End was such a labour of love for all involved. – Ashley Stokes

“The End is a collaborative project that explores the nature of ‘endings’. Fifteen paintings, depicting ‘the end’, by Nicolas Ruston provoke fifteen short fictions by fifteen writers. The anthology is edited by Ashley Stokes, editor of the Unthology series and author of The Syllabus Of Errors. The artist Nicolas Ruston is most recognised for his silicone and mixed media works that explore the notion of artificial manipulation. He has exhibited internationally and his works are represented in numerous private and corporate collections.”

Why voters think it should win:

  • This is an excellent concept for an anthology of what turned out to be varied and interesting work
  • Ekphrastic story telling is a unique twist more often used with poems. Great anthology theme, executed well with the stories chosen.

Remembering Oluwale, ed. SJ Bradley (Valley Press)

The Remembering Oluwale team have worked hard to keep David’s story in the public consciousness, and we’re overjoyed that a book in his name has made such a prestigious shortlist. – SJ Bradley

‘The passion and moral urgency informing these new voices gives one hope for the future of both imaginative writing and our society’s health.’
— Caryl Phillips, writer, Guggenheim Fellow, winner of the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, and author of The Lost Child (2015)

David Oluwale was hounded to his death in the River Aire in 1969. The 1971 trial in Leeds, UK, of the two policemen accused of his manslaughter generated newspaper and magazine report by Ron Phillips, a BBC radio play by Jeremy Sandford and poetry by Linton Kwesi Johnson. Then David was forgotten. But the issues that David embodied of hostility to migration, racism, mental ill-health, homelessness, police malpractice and destitution continue to scar British society to this day.

The result of the Remember Oluwale Writing Prize, launched in late 2015, this exciting anthology features 26 new poems and short stories, alongside the work of famous writers, responding to the story of David Oluwale. Including prize-winning pieces by Char March, Ian Harker, Dominic Grace and Anietie Isong, as well as the full longlist, it is a collection of thoughtful and poignant responses to David Oluwale’s story.

Why voters think it should win:

  • This is an important anthology about social exclusion and racism, which has important resonances with today’s society. David’s story is one that needs to keep being told, especially with the recent rise in racism and jingoism.
  • Great writing. Important to the history of race relations and the many stories of immigrants to the UK.

An Unreliable Guide to London (Influx Press)*

I’m delighted that an Unreliable Guide to London has made the shortlist. All the authors involved are double plus good and the book itself represents a London we know exists but is rarely written about in literature. It has found a passionate readership which is very rewarding to witness. -Kit Caless

An Unreliable Guide brings together 23 stories about the lesser known parts of a world renowned city. Stories that stretch the reader’s definition of the truth and question reality. It is the perfect read for city dwellers up and down the country. With a list of contributors reflecting the multi-layered, complex social structures of the city it shows you everything that you never knew existed. Featuring writers such as M John Harrison, Chloe Aridjis, Yvvette Edwards, Courttia Newland, Will Wiles, Noo Saro-Wiwa, Nikesh Shukla, Juliet Jacques, Salena Godden, Irenosen Okojie, Sunny Singh, Aki Schilz, Koye Oyedeji and Eley Williams.

Why voters think it should win:

  • Diverse and tender appreciations of a city
  • Love Influx, loved this book — amazing range of voices and contributors.