Wrecking Ball Press books

This is our complete catalogue in chronological order all the way back to 1997 and issue 1 of The Reater.

Since 1997

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Sharp Street - Robert J. Bell, 2012

They say that you die twice. Once when you cease to breathe and then, when people stop talking about you. These poems keep the talk going.

Read about Sharp Street by Robert J. Bell

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You're so vain, you probably think this book is about you - Peter Knaggs, 2012

...As the author, it would be completely wrong of me to tell you the subtext or underlying themes of this book, which are of course a virulent and rational hatred of Margaret Thatcher and a new blast in the re-emerging class war. So since my last book Cowboy Hat, I've pulled together all the poems about the toad and here they are... (P.Knaggs)

Read about You're so vain, you probably think this book is about you by Peter Knaggs

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Vagabond - A.P. Wolf, 2012

'I am sitting on the twenty-fourth storey of a hotel in Singapore. I am having a very serious nervous breakdown...'

Read about Vagabond by A.P. Wolf

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Surferboy - Kevin McAleer, TBC

"Perhaps the saying is true - that happiness makes you stupid. Maybe surfers are so happy that they should first start writing about surfing after they've stopped. Kevin McAleer, who grew up in California and now lives in Berlin, has given us an autobiographical novel well worth reading." Mare

"Surferboy is both a superb novel about growing up and a cultural history of surfing rendered with atmospheric precision." Tide

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Doing Time - Peter Carr, 2008

"At the multi-laned intersection to the M20 I listened to Alanis singing her heart out about the pain of isolation and loss and I burst into tears in an Oxford Green Jaguar X Series 3 litre car."

Read about Doing Time by Peter Carr

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Digging The Vein - Tony O'Neill, 2006

On a relentless Los Angeles summer day, you walk barefoot over broken glass and melting tarmac to meet your connection, praying that he will extend your line of credit to one more bag of heroin. You are alone, penniless, and wracked by violent withdrawals. Last night you robbed a psychotic crack dealer named Shakespeare, and had to abandon your apartment for fear of reprisals...

Read about Digging The Vein by Tony O'Neill

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The Reater, Issue 5, 2006

"The streetwise slab-sized Reater is streets ahead of any other magazine in giving the reader a working report on the buzzy special relationship between British and American poetry. The new writers it generously showcases in each chunky issue are often as startlingly original as the more familiar names. All are in touch with our times as well as with our selves." - Neil Astley

Read about The Reater, Issue 5

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Daniel - Richard Adams, 2006

"By what Name are we to call Thee, Master, to worship Thy Divinity?" "I AM THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE." "O Master, those are Thy flames roaring through ransacked villages. Thy foolish mothers bereft, Thy silly, defenceless victims screaming. Thy whips striking home." "I AM ULTIMATE EVIL. FALL DOWN BEFORE ME. THERE IS NO CRUELTY GREATER THAN MINE."

Read about Daniel by Richard Adams

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An Indian Rug Surprised By Snow - Adam Strickson, 2005

This book is about people today Focussing on the poet's surprising and life-changing encounters in the North-West, Yorkshire and Bangladesh, this collection is a careful listening and a gentle plea for a more shared humanity. Adam Strickson writes about Kurdish refugees, Pakistani women, Van Gogh, Sidney Bechet and the inventor of hydraulics with equal love and attention.

Read about An Indian Rug Surprised By Snow by Adam Strickson

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The Hail Mary Pass - Fiona Curran, 2005

The Hail Mary pass is an American football term. It is used when a ball is thrown blind in the vague hope a receiver will make the catch and deliver a last minute victory.

Read about The Hail Mary Pass by Fiona Curran

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The Scene Of My Former Triumph - Matthew Caley, 2005

"From the first page to the last the book crackles with linguistic inventiveness - an attempt to capture the fractured, disorientating quality of 21st century life. Again and again as I devoured The Scene of My Former Triumph I found myself scratching my head and wondering why such an assured and inventive writer is not better known - hilarious and heartbreaking." Mark Guinness, Magma

Read about The Scene Of My Former Triumph by Matthew Caley

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The Bat Detector - Elizabeth Barrett, 2005

"This poet reassures us of her ability - her quality - as a writer, the minute we begin to read. The language is natural and easy. We are listening to a friend confiding in us, enthralling us, over a cup of coffee. All our concerns, all our common, but individual experiences of contemporary living are mirrored here in these well wrought verse-tales. After reading these poems you will feel that you are Elizabeth Barrett's most intimate friend..." Kevin Bailey, HQ Magazine

Read about The Bat Detector by Elizabeth Barrett

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Corksucker - Dan Fante, 2005

"A running commentary on the truth behind Los Angeles' gleaming façade - a life of brief encounters, desperation addiction and the chasm-sized distance between people - Corksucker digs into the dark landscape of the real America. In eight brutally-honest short stories Dan Fante takes the traditional cab driver 'knowledge' to a deeper place fuelled by raw emotion, wine guzzling existentialism and fleetingly hopeful poetic epiphanies. Here, the City of Angels' halo has definitely slipped..." Ben Myers

Read about Corksucker by Dan Fante

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Travels with Chinaski - Daithidh MacEochaidh, 2005

"Daithidh MacEochaidh's words are delightfully wordy, swimming in the deep end of the language baths... I'm rereading Kerouac for 'The Big Read', and it seems to me that MacEochaidh shares some of his linguistic exuberance. More power to him!" Ian McMillan

Read about Travels with Chinaski by Daithidh MacEochaidh

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Nappy Rash - Mark Kotting, 2005

"Think Harry Potter with no magical powers, or friends, living in south london, doing a job he hates, stressed, paranoid and lonely. I loved Mark Kottings bleak, funny and poetic tale of a london cab driver..." Sean Lock

Read about Nappy Rash by Mark Kotting

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The Book of Fuck - Ben Myers, 2004

"The Book Of Fuck is an entertaining and brave voyage into the realms of 'gonzo' literature. Fast-paced, witty and full of surprises, this book goes a long way to fill the void between British and US styles of writing. Influenced heavily by the late-great writers of a depressed America, Myers has captured a certain style and uniquely made it his own. Highly recommended." J.N. Smith (Amazon)

Read about The Book of Fuck by Ben Myers

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Caminante - Milner Place, 2003

Milner Place was born in Thirsk, North Yorkshire in 1930. He has led a varied and vagabond career, including 11 years as captain of sailing vessels and yachts, and living and working in many lands. His first poems were written in Spanish

"If you're a fan of listening to poetry, then don't miss out on one the truly great voices of English poetry." Andrew Oldham

Read about Caminante by Milner Place

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Harmonica - Geoff Hattersley, 2003

"I can't think of many other contemporary poets who can represent the rhythms and tensions of our times as successfully as Geoff Hattersley." Jim Burns (Scratch)

Read about Harmonica by Geoff Hattersley

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Contact Print - Tim Cumming, 2002

"Cumming seems to operate somewhere between Stannard and the Armitage/Sansom axis whilst avoiding the wildly surreal distortions of the one and the lapses into whimsy and inconsequentiality of the other. Cumming has a lot to say about England and his most satisfying work focuses on the last decade to produce a kind of homegrown political magic realism." Verse

Read about Contact Print by Tim Cumming

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One Two II - Eva Salzman, 2002

"Daring, funny, fierce and musical, Eva Salzman has in her new collection managed to combine a robust yet never unsubtle take on modern life and love. Addressing itself primarily to the muse and the blues, this 'songbook' is woven through with references to history and myth so that the personal is always balanced by an awareness of community to which she sings... Refreshing, dangerous, ironic, always surprising, this is Salzman at her most Salzmannesque." Poetry Book Society Special Commendation Spring 2003

Read about One Two II by Eva Salzman

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A Gin Pissing, Raw Meat, Dual Carburettor V-8 - Dan Fante, 2001

Dan Fante was born and raised in Los Angeles. At twenty, he quit school and hit the road, eventually ending up as a New York City resident for twelve years. Fante has worked at dozens of crummy jobs including: door to door salesman, taxi driver, window washer, telemarketer, private investigator, night hotel manager, chauffeur, mailroom clerk, deck hand, dishwasher, carnival barker, envelope stuffer, dating service counselor, furniture salesman, and parking attendant. Fante is married and has a two year old son named Michaelangelo Giovanni Fante. He hopes eventually to learn to play the harmonica.

Read about A Gin Pissing, Raw Meat, Dual Carburettor V-8 by Dan Fante

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Roddy Lumsden is Dead - Roddy Lumsden, 2001

"In poem after poem, one is aware that no-one, not even Lumsden himself, has written anything like this before... (He is) one of the very few poets whom one can plausibly compare with Auden... (He) has a temperamental affinity with Auden in that he understands instinctively that writing a poem is, first and foremost, a performance..." Laurie Smith (Magma)

Read about Roddy Lumsden is Dead by Roddy Lumsden

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Stranger In The House - Brendan Cleary, 2001

Brendan Cleary's poems have never been for the squeamish or faint hearted. They smack of the streets around us. His often manic personas confront their demons, lay bare their hearts and reveal the anguish of their personal disorder in the city's terrain. "Stranger in the House" sees Cleary in the realm of the urban epiphany. Tragic, sad, but darkly comic, his poems speak for the dispossessed, the bedsit dwellers, the losers in love.

Read about Stranger In The House by Brendan Cleary

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"Art, Survival & So Forth": The Poetry of Charles Bukowski - Jules Smith, 2001

"This culmination of twenty years of loving labor on the work of Charles Bukowski by Jules Smith represents a critical breakthrough, a shift in perspective, and an elevation of Bukowski Studies to a new plane of serious technical analysis and informed historical positioning... All who value the achievements of Charles Bukowski will rejoice that he is at last enjoying the high level of scholarly attention and prestige signalled by the publication of this landmark study." Gerald Locklin

Read about "Art, Survival & So Forth": The Poetry of Charles Bukowski by Jules Smith

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The Reater, Issue 4, 2000

The most exciting magazine of international new writing in the U.K. continues, with a special Millennium issue. A free 40 track CD, featuring live readings by various poets is included. The reater brings together known and unknown talents in a high-quality format, with striking illustrations. From the East Coast of Britain to the West Coast of the States, from Simon Armitage to Fred Voss, featuring poetry, prose, artwork and interviews, and reviews, this challenging book-sized magazine takes the game into the next century.

Read about The Reater, Issue 4

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The Case Of The Missing Blue Volkswagen - Gerald Locklin, 1999

"I like Gerald Locklin. I like his stuff. He swings from the heels, pukes from the bathroom... he's open and he calls the shots." Charles Bukowski

Read about The Case Of The Missing Blue Volkswagen by Gerald Locklin

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The Reater, Issue 3, 1999

Issue 3 contains poetry by Brendan Cleary, Geoff Hattersley, Roddy Lumsden, Labbi Siffre, Joan Jobe Smith, Fred Voss, Gerald Locklin, Greta Stoddart, Simon Armitage. This issue also includes the first ever published interview with Charles Bukowski entitled 'Charles Bukowski Speaks Out' by Arnold L. Kaye.

Read about The Reater, Issue 3

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The Reater, Issue 2, 1998

The shadow of the moth flicks the page I'm reading. I look up to the white blindness of a tired yellow bulb hanging heavy with temporary heat. My eyes recoil, staining the page with silvefish jizz. After blinking a couple of times, I push the button, raise the knib and I'm back to this...

Read about The Reater, Issue 2

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The Reater, Issue 1, 1997

This was the first issue of The Reater. Started in winter 1997 it brought together challenging new British writing with the best of Southern California. Produced in a high quality paperback format, it features established names alongside excellent newcomers. Interleaved among the poetry and prose are interviews, reviews, and striking illustrations.

Read about The Reater, Issue 1

Your poems and stories

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