• A glow to show the racing clouds

    Hello everyone,
    I hope you are doing OK out there during this tough time. I am aware that talking about books right now can be seen as trite. I’ve felt that too—but am so thankful to have this project to focus on right now and I have been really humbled by so many amazing initiatives to share books at this really difficult and strange time.
    I just answered a nice thing this morning with my local bookshop Pages of Hackney. They’ve been amazing at getting books out to people on bikes and it made me feel I should give a big push to our next title, which I have done below. We have pushed back the publishing date of A K Blakemore’s book, Shia LaBeouf to September but you can still pre-order that—it is simply amazing and well worth the wait! As for online orders, I’m still going to the Post Office once a week in gloves and a mask and if you are able to support us, am offering free UK postage on all our products.
    The main thing I wanted to write about is our next book, Night Blooms by Angus Carlyle. I made a short film which also acts as a talking poem for ‘The Undarks’, one of my favourites in the collection. I’m really enjoying audio at the moment and the short, I hope, gives a good introduction to Carlyle’s photographic experiments in the forest as well. I’ve known Angus for a long time now and its been such a joy editing this work with him. We re-worked the dummy for this a number of times and I couldn’t be happier with the end result.
    The book is 64 pages long and approximately half poetic prose and half photographic. Our friends, Frontwards did a beautiful design based on a running trail lit by a head torch. We are taking pre-orders of Night Blooms now, and are offering the book for £8 with free UK postage and 20% off the cover prince for the next week. We are also offering free UK postage on all our products.
    Angus Carlyle’s Night Blooms collects nocturnal explorations of an area of woodland close to his home on the South Coast of England. Poetic prose and photographic experiments document Carlyle’s chosen medium of running, an everyday act he has repeated across specific trails in solitude for years. In Night Blooms, public space becomes unrecognised – trespassed underfoot and collected.
    Lastly, here’s something to listen to during self isolation if you haven’t already; episode 2 of our podcast features Alanna McArdle, AK Blakemore, MIDDEX, Maike Hale-Jones, Eloise Hendy and Angus Carlyle. Click here to listen 🙂
    Thank you for reading
    Robin x
  • Introducing Night Blooms

    I am delighted to reveal the cover for Night Blooms, Angus Carlyle’s extraordinary new collection of poetry, landscape and photography. Night Blooms is a remarkable bookwork charting an exquisite series of South Coast nocturnal explorations—caught in motion over 64 full-colour pages. The book, designed by Frontwards Design, is a beautiful production and the third title in our ongoing series, New Words. Night Blooms is printed in a very limited run—don’t snooze on this! You can listen to Angus reading from the book on episode 2 of our podcast.

    ***Scroll down for full details***

    Angus Carlyle’s Night Blooms collects nocturnal explorations of an area of woodland close to his home on the South Coast of England. Poetic prose and photographic experiments document Carlyle’s chosen medium of running, an everyday act he has repeated across specific trails in solitude for years. In Night Blooms, public space becomes unrecognised – trespassed underfoot and collected.

    Pre-order the book

    We encounter the smells, noises, the presence of inhabitants; bats, a nightjar, laughter, concrete. A head torch provides a prism of vignetted light and acts as a portable studio, like a lantern to the understory of a secret yet shared space. Everyday objects take on a new status – shrine-like, sinister, glowing. The exhale of breath, bad weather, a deflated bouncy castle are seemingly snatched at pace from the air. If there is a constant character here, it is the blooms which remain more familiar, unwieldily and delicate. Night Blooms takes us up high – as territory, trails and terrain overlap and collide, re-assembled glimpses offer study caught in motion.

    Pre-order the book

    Night Blooms presents the exquisite traces of the night-runner as artist. Often an urgent poetry of action, yet with The delicate / Appearance of wreathes of smoke. Here is the runner’s pain of mantras drained empty, but also faith in the solidity of the world –
    — Mark Goodwin

    Angus Carlyle is interested in landscape and in other things besides. He works collaboratively and on his own. Publications include On Listening (co-edited with Cathy Lane), Autumn Leaves (as editor), In The Field and Rough Notes. His creative work frequently involves collaboration

    Night Blooms teaches us that it is only through meaningful dialogue with our surroundings that we truly come to know them. This is an intimate, kinetic document of the South Coast woodlands; while the rest of us are sleeping Night Blooms is off, sharing moments with the night.”
    — Isobel Anderson

    Pre-order the book

    Podcast Episode 2

    Here’s something to listen to during self isolation; episode 2 of our podcast features Alanna McArdle, AK Blakemore, MIDDEX, Maike Hale-Jones, Eloise Hendy and Angus Carlyle. Click here to listen 🙂

    Thank you

    OK thats it. I hope everyone is OK out there. Thank you for reading and thank you for supporting us; I know its a hard time for everyone right now. I’ve been so humbled by some of the amazing support I’ve seen for small press, booksellers and publishers in the last few weeks. There are too many people to mention but I want to particularly highlight 3 of Cups Press, Burning House Books and Pages of Hackney who have been doing such an amazing job during difficult times.

    We have some amazing titles lined up this year and next and I can’t wait to share them with you.

    Robin x

  • Sardonic, arresting and fiercely feminist: split ends/rooms and the blue room published today

     

     

     

    Last Thursday we kick started 2020 with a sold out reading event at Pages Cheshire Street to celebrate the first two New Words titles; the blue room by Eloise Hendy and split ends/rooms by Alanna McArdle. Two rising female voices in UK poetry, Naomi Morris and Karen Correa da Silva also delivered astonishing readings.

    >>> Order today w/ free postage<<<

    Upcoming titles include new works by a host of distinctive voices, including poets (A.K. Blakemore, Emily S Cooper, Angus Carlyle) writers, translators (Michelle Steinbeck, Jen Calleja, Maike-Hale Jones, Middex) and many others.

    Sometime last year I started a process to try and make a new shape of book that would be less standardised than our previous titles one that could house a new series, New Words. After a false start and many book dummy’s we ended up with something new and exciting an oversized, wider pamphlet that gave more space for text and bold design with a loop binding. The series has been printed on heavy-stock recycled paper and was beautifully designed by Frontwards Design who took my flimsy brief to draw inspiration from a 6×7 medium-format photo frame and made something really exciting. Anyway, I couldn’t be happier about this series and I hope you like it too. They are in the shops soon via Cornerhouse and on our site with free UK postage.

    **Scroll down for our 4 books for £20 flash sale.**

    Eloise Hendy: the blue room

    Eloise Hendy’s debut is a candid collection of poems that are sardonic, arresting and fiercely feminist. the blue room is dotted with sharp imagery—the heart rate of smashed glass, a dentist with stiff fingers, regurgitating confetti. Hendy’s brilliant voice seems to relish the role of both salvager and confidante of memory. Retold glimpses punctuate the narrative, from the unpredictability of cyclical relationships to the rhythm of the things we grasp.

    >>>Order today w/ free postage<<<

    Alanna McArdle: split ends

    The residue of trauma is ever present in Alanna McArdle’s stunningly-achieved debut poetry collection split ends. These are 12 confrontational poems that swell and contort perspective, conversing with and following one another. McArdle’s words are emotional, arresting, and obtrusive. She writes, “crepuscular, fetid, she sniffs like a fox / screams like a fox” and as the ripples retreat, she leaves readers to decide which way they view the conversation.

    >>>Order today w/ free postage<<<

    “Alanna McArdle’s poetics carves for itself a place between insouciant wit and the stingingly vulnerable. It claims agency and reclaims symbolic space over the terrible, the oppressive, by biting down hard on the articulate nerve of the thing. I’m excited by this pamphlet, and so so glad it exists.”
    —Wayne Holloway-Smith

    Eloise Hendy is a poet and writer living in London. Her work has appeared in Ambit, Frieze, The Tangerine, and The Stinging Fly, amongst others, and she was recently shortlisted for The White Review Poet’s Prize 2018

    Alanna McArdle is a writer from London. She has had poetry published in print and online in Shabby Doll House, Prelude Magazine, Poems in Which, For Every Year, and The Chapess, among others, and she was recently included in episode three of the podcast Poets In Bed. Her non-fiction and journalism has featured in Pitchfork, Crack Magazine, The NME, The Talkhouse, Noisey, and Broadly. Her short story ‘Butter’ was shortlisted for the 2018 Desperate Literature short fiction prize.

    Flash sale!

    Click the image below to get all four of our books for £20, UK postage paid

    Thank you for all your support last year
    Robin x

     

  • NEW WORDS!

    split ends and the blue room

    We are delighted to introduce two stunning debut poetry collections by Alanna McArdle and Eloise Hendy! Both titles are oversized full-colour pamphlets with loop binding designed by Patrick Fisher. These are the inaugural releases of our ambitious New Words series—celebrating independent voices in poetry, fiction and prose!

    ***Scroll down for full details and Pages Cheshire Street launch details***

    Eloise Hendy: the blue room

    Eloise Hendy’s debut is a candid collection of poems that are sardonic, arresting and fiercely feminist. the blue room is dotted with sharp imagery—the heart rate of smashed glass, a dentist with stiff fingers, regurgitating confetti. Hendy’s brilliant voice seems to relish the role of both salvager and confidante of memory. Retold glimpses punctuate the narrative, from the unpredictability of cyclical relationships to the rhythm of the things we grasp.

    Alanna McArdle: split ends

    The residue of trauma is ever present in Alanna McArdle’s stunningly-achieved debut poetry collection split ends. These are 12 confrontational poems that swell and contort perspective, conversing with and following one another. McArdle’s words are emotional, arresting, and obtrusive. She writes, “crepuscular, fetid, she sniffs like a fox / screams like a fox” and as the ripples retreat, she leaves readers to decide which way they view the conversation.

    “Alanna McArdle’s poetics carves for itself a place between insouciant wit and the stingingly vulnerable. It claims agency and reclaims symbolic space over the terrible, the oppressive, by biting down hard on the articulate nerve of the thing. I’m excited by this pamphlet, and so so glad it exists.”
    —Wayne Holloway-Smith

    Alanna McArdle is a writer from London. She has had poetry published in print and online in Shabby Doll House, Prelude Magazine, Poems in Which, For Every Year, and The Chapess, among others, and she was recently included in episode three of the podcast Poets In Bed. Her non-fiction and journalism has featured in Pitchfork, Crack Magazine, The NME, The Talkhouse, Noisey, and Broadly. Her short story ‘Butter’ was shortlisted for the 2018 Desperate Literature short fiction prize.

    Eloise Hendy is a poet and writer living in London. Her work has appeared in Ambit, The Tangerine, and The Stinging Fly, amongst others, and she was recently shortlisted for The White Review Poet’s Prize 2018


    NEW WORDS Launch at Pages Cheshire Street
    Makina Books invites you to the launch of the blue room, split ends and the New Words series at Pages Cheshire Street on Thursday 16 January from 7pm to 9pm. Readings from Eloise Hendy, Alanna McArdle + more TBA!

    The Lisa and John Slideshow at Martin Parr Foundation and in the BJP!


    I had a great time running a table at BOP Bristol 19′ Photobook Festival. Huge thanks to Jenni, Nathan and everyone at MPF and RPS for having me there. Copies of Lisa and John are now in good book shops (distributed by Cornerhouse) including Tate Modern and The Photographers’ Gallery—and with 20% off in our online shop—it makes a great gift! Marigold Warner wrote a nice piece about the project in the British Journal of Photography, you can read that here

     

    David was also a guest on Ben Smith’s excellent podcast, A Small Voice, which you can listen to here and on all podcast platforms.Lastly, I’ll be at the London Centre of Book Arts BOOK FAIR this Sunday 1 December, 11am–6pm, at the London Centre for Book Arts. Last year they welcomed more than a thousand visitors to their beautiful studio in east London to celebrate artist books and publications by independent publishers.

    Where: LONDON CENTRE FOR BOOK ARTS an artist-run print studio and bindery housed within one of the few remaining Victorian industrial buildings in Fish Island E3

    OK thats it. Thank you for reading! Robin x

  • It was always hectic, but in a nice way …Autumn news from Makina

     

     

    I’m typing this in Devon and where I just took the train along my favourite stretch of railway. The best part of the journey is between Exeter and Newton Abbot where you pass mud, fairground and sea over 18 minutes. Its been a really busy month working on Portrait of A London Road a new show I’ve curated that which was featured in the Evening Standard yesterday (thanks for making that happen, Jake May) and of course, launching David’s excellent book, The Lisa and John Slideshow at Calder Bookshop and Theatre. What an amazing night that was and such a powerful performance from Sarah Toogood and Alan Mosley. I enjoyed listening to Paul Graham discussing his new book, Mother at Foyles and Kharanni Barokka‘s excellent reading at Burley Fisher for The White Review. Lots of things are happening and I hope to be in touch soon with news of two new poetry titles. Do come and say hi if you are in Bristol this weekend and thanks for reading this ramble..

    BOP BRISTOL 19′
    David Moore and myself are taking part in BOP Bristol—a brand new photobook festival hosted by Martin Parr Foundation and The Royal Photographic Society, which will be based at Paintworks, Bristol. It’s all happening at the Martin Parr Foundation and Royal Photographic Society. David will be signing copies of Lisa and John at our table on Saturday from 3.30pm. Please come and say hi. The full programme of talks, signings and events is here.

    LISA AND JOHN IN THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY
    The British Journal of Photography have just published an excellent piece on The Lisa and John Slideshow here.

    A SMALL VOICE PODCAST
    David will be featured on the next episode of A Small Voice Podcast, released tomorrow (Wednesday). You can subscribe to that here

    Buy the Lisa and John Slideshow today for £12.00 (20% off)

     

    The Lisa and John Slideshow by David Moore with Essay by Val Williams • ISBN: 978-1-9160608-1-4 • Paperback • 210 x 148 mm • 64 pp • October 2019 • Munken Lynx, full-colour offset litho, section sewn binding

     

  • Front cover of the book, The Lisa and John Slideshow, a play about photography, by David Moore.

    The Lisa and John Slideshow | New Podcast

    Pre-order today for £12.00 (20% off)

    In 2012, photographer David Moore returned to the site of his celebrated 1980s colour documentary series Pictures from the Real World. Moore offered the full archive of the project to Lisa and John, two subjects of the original series and asked them to make their own selections. The outcome released many previously unseen photographs and became the acclaimed script and play The Lisa and John Slideshow – a contemporary piece of documentary theatre addressing family memory, loss and the everyday.

    The Lisa and John Slideshow (148 x 210mm, 64pp, full colour) is the first title in our new Makina Archive series, it’s out on 27 September and available to preorder online. It features an introduction from writer and curator Val Williams, the full script to The Lisa and John Slideshow play and more than 40 previously unpublished colour photographs. The book is unlike anything else and essential (in my opinion) for anyone interested in British colour photography, theatre and the documentary archive and family memory.

    £12.00, Scroll down for launch details



    Launch Party

    The book will be launched on September 26 at Calder Bookshop and Theatre—one of the most amazing shops and spaces in London. We’d love to see you there! There will be drinks and a reading from actors Sarah Toogood and Alan Mosley, who starred in the original production of The Lisa and John Slideshow at Format Festival. David and myself will introduce the book and signed copies will be available on the night. Please note that space is very limited so please RSVP via Eventbrite here if you’d like to join us so I can keep track.

    Praise for The Lisa and John Slideshow

    ‘Poised between one form of documentary and another, a pivotal place where social realism meets an altogether more provocative approach.’
    —Sean O’Hagan, The Guardian

    ‘A photographic documentary archive from it’s very insides, where content is redrawn with the subjects’ own words.’
    —Karen McQuaid, Senior Curator, The Photographers’ Gallery

    ‘The 80s were a great decade for British colour documentary photography. The Lisa and John Slideshow is unique as it brings to life photographs of the family first seen in Pictures from the Real World and as such is a valuable contribution to understanding this decade.’
    —Martin Parr, Photographer

    The Makina Books Podcast!

    After what feels like years of saying I would do one, I took the microphone I bought last year out its box and recorded the first episode of a podcast exploring narratives in publishing. Episode 1 is with David Moore, it’s 36 minutes long and you can click here to listen on Soundcloud.

     

    New Words

    We are busy working on the upcoming New Words series which we are launching later this year. New Words is a new affordable series of oversized pamphlets celebrating independent voices in poetry, fiction and prose. Patrick Fisher at Frontwards Design has created an oversized pamphlet, inspired by a 6×7 medium format photo frame. They look great and I can’t wait to start sharing them soon.

     

    Livia Franchini’s Shelf Life

    Congratulations to Livia Franchini on her incredible debut novel, Shelf Life which is published by Doubleday this month and is quite rightly picking up great reviews! Livia is part of an evening of Magic and Witchcraft with Rebecca Tamás at Storysmith Bookshop in Bristol on Thursday 22nd August. We still have a few copies of Livia’s stunning poetry collection, Our Available Magic available for £5.00—but you need to be quick!

     

     

    Strange Perfume and Now Reading

    I had an amazing time at the Strange Perfume Queer Culture Book Fair this year at South London Gallery. I’ve really enjoyed working on upcoming tiles with Angus Carlyle, Alanna McArdle, Maike Hale-Jones and Eloise Hendy recently and am looking forward to speaking to them on the podcast. I went to an excellent reading at Burley Fisher for Brixton Review of Books and particularly enjoyed listening to Jen Calleja and Thomas Bunstead. The new magazine, Photography For Whom? is really worth checking out as is Jessica Andrews’ novel Saltwater. I’m excited to read Bethany Rutter’s novel, No Big Deal. I was floored by Raymond Antrobus’ The Perseverance (also available as an excellent audiobook) Witch by Rebecca Tamás (both on Penned in the Margins), My Father Was a Man on Land and a Whale in the Water by Michelle Steinbeck, Translated by Jen Calleja and Jay Bernard’s groundbreaking work Surge.

     

    Thanks so much for reading and please support these amazing sellers: Books Peckham, Burley Fisher Books, Camden Arts Centre, Chener Books, Foyles, Good Press, Housmans, London Review Bookshop, Minnow Books, Pages of Hackney, Specialist Subject Records, Storysmith Books, Ti Pi Tin, Tome Records
  • Makina publishes Livia Franchini’s ‘Our Available Magic’


    We are so excited to announce Livia Franchini’s first poetry collection—and our twelth title—Our Available Magic. In Our Available Magic, poems and short poetic prose fold across 42 carefully observed pages that are insightful, fresh and craftily bold.

    In August the dust was deafening, all things dry. Small anxieties of high summer. Drops of water from your plastic bottle cutting circles like coins on the pavement. Eating a tomato from the hand in an empty apartment. Stand in the corridor, think of all the other flats stacked below you, the ones above you, all empty. When you hear her car pull in, cross the street running.
    —from Estate

    Livia Franchini is a writer and translator from Tuscany, Italy. She has translated Natalia Ginzburg, James Tiptree Jr. and Michael Donaghy among others. Her poetry has appeared in 3 a.m. magazine, Funhouse, LESTE, Spells: 21st Century Occult Poetry (Lingua Ignota, 2018), Wretched Strangers (Boiler House Press, 2018) among others. Her debut novel Shelf Life will be published in English by Doubleday in August 2019 and in Italian by Libri Mondadori in Spring 2020.

    THE LAUNCH
    The book will be launched with a reading from Livia and special guests on Tuesday 9 April at Pages of Hackney—one of the best independent bookshops in London. We’d love to see you there! Please note that while this event is free to attend, space is limited so please RSVP via Eventbrite here if you’d like to join us.

    PREORDER TODAY
    The first 50 preorders will ship with a 58mm badge and Makina bookmark. We also offer a Collect from Makina option via the website for local customers.

    OTHER THINGS

    I’ve been busy working on a number of projects this year including upcoming titles with David Moore, Maike Hale-Jones, Martha Orchard and Angus Carlyle.

    Good friends of Makina, Tome Records told me about an interesting collection currently being published online as the Dalston Rio Tape/Slide archive. The account is updated most days and is full of wonderful ’80s work by photographer Alan Denney—I am hooked! The photographs (which were recently discovered in the basement of the Rio Cinema) have so much joy and fun within them.

    I have been looking forward to Paul Reas’ monograph Fables of Faubus (GOST publishing) for what feels like years now. I first saw his documentary photographic work for the project I Can Help on a poster at work about 15 years ago and it felt electrifying. The book is very beautifully put together with several great essays and includes earlier projects by Reas in large colour reproductions that do so much justice to his works—much of them lit with bright flash in daylight on a medium format camera.

    The People on the Street is an interesting new bookwork by photographer Nigel Shafran that tackles homelessness in London but without showing a single homeless person in it. The book is bound in polystyrene and contains 52 images. You can buy a copy (all proceeds to homelessness charities) here.


    Richard Phoenix‘s DIY as Privilege (published by The Fringe and Underground Music Group at Goldsmiths) pamphlet is an essential 13 point read of what Phoenix has “learnt over the past 12 years being involved with supporting people with learning disabilities”. Buy this, share it widely and put it up at work  on the noticeboard.

    I just got a parcel from the essential Dostoyevsky Wannabe publishers (amazing project using print on demand models) and am currently reading the writer and critical theorist Isabel Waidner’s We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff and now I can’t wait to read Gaudy Bauble. Give Dostoyevsky Wannabe everything you have!

    Lastly, we are delighted that Patrick Doyle‘s book, Max was recently featured on It’s Nice That and obtained by The Whitney Museum of American Art. Thank you to all who supported the project—in particular Marion Herbain and Owen Myers who helped coordinate the book and also to Paul Sammut, Roxanne Clifford, Helen Skinner, Good Press and Monorail and The White Cubicle Gallery. Keep your eyes peeled for a reprint (again with proceeds to the LA LGBT Center). We love you Patrick.


    Thank you for reading

    Robin x

  • Thank you for coming out to the launch of MAX at White Cubicle Toilet Gallery! Special thanks to Patience and Helen Skinner for playing records and to Paul Sammut, Marion Herbian and Owen Myers for helping us organise such a special event.

  • Patrick Doyle: MAX

    Thanks to ‘It’s Nice That’ for covering our latest book, MAX by Patrick Doyle.

    We are honoured that Patrick’s book is now held in the library collection of Whitney Museum of Modern Art!

    We have sold out of copies but there are still some available from Good Press (Glasgow) and Printed Matter (NYC)—both sell online too. Thanks to all who bought one and to the staff and organisers at Monorail, Strange Perfume, White Cubicle Toilet Gallery, Marion Herbain, Owen Myers, Roxanne Clifford and Paul Sammut for all their help getting them out into the world.

     

     

  • Screaming Fatal Truths

    Happening at TOME Records! Exhibition! Book launch! Readings!

  • Robin Christian and Flo Brooks at Counter Plymouth Art Book Fair Outskirts, Edited by Flo Brooks at Counter Plymouth Art Book Fair

    Outskirts Exhibition and Talk at Counter!

    In the week leading up to, and during, the Counter Plymouth Art Book Fair Makina Books presented oversized pages from Flo Brooks’ ‘Outskirts’ publication in the Column Bakehouse cafe/gallery.

    Robin Silas Christian (Makina Books) and Flo Brooks discussed ‘Outskirts’ and Makina as an ongoing project and archive at Ocean Studios.

    Thanks to Vickie, Paul and Maddy for organising such a positive event.

     

  • Swimmer’s Club

    Who: Makina Books
    Where: London, United Kingdom
    What: Independent Press


    Can you tell us a bit about how your press got started

    I wanted to find a home for some photographs I’d taken of friends at DIY Space For London a cooperatively run social centre that opened in the Autumn of 2015. Inspired in part by Daniel Meadows’ The Shop on Graeme Street and Derek Ridgers’ club portraits, I had been running a free portrait studio there and documenting the building, but after moving away from London I didn’t know what to do with the pictures. Since becoming interested in photography I’ve been interested in its ability to ‘age well’ and using it with books as a way to make stories and document what people and places in my community look like. I’ve always liked editing and sequencing other people’s work, and I think books are the best medium for showing work, so I decided to make a small bookwork showing the first 11 months of the space. I called it A Lamp in a Window after a Truman Capote short story and the book enabled me to reconnect with friends and exchange letters. I sold them all and decided to do more with the ‘manifesto’ to be enthusiastic about friendship, accessibility and community and with the business goal of being as affordable as possible but attempting to make enough on each title to do another one. Since May 2016 I’ve been able to publish 8 books, a cassette and organised a touring exhibition with sound.

    How did the name come about

    The Plaubel Makina was a camera popular with a ‘second-wave’ of British colour documentary photographers (e.g., Paul Graham, Anna Fox, Paul Reas) in the 1980s and 1990s, especially those coming through the West Surrey College of Art. I love much of that work and in particular the way those photographers used photobooks and self-publishing as a medium to share their projects at a time when photography exhibitions were rare. In 2003 my Grandmother, Nell died and I wanted to buy something I could remember her by so I bought a Plaubel Makina with the money she left me.

    What types of publications do you put out

    I don’t have a type, but all the books must show something that isn’t being recorded elsewhere. To date, this has included a subtopian anti-map, with sound by MIDDEX, a study of paintings engaging with notions of disability by Richard Phoenix, photographic short stories by Martha Orchard and Oliver Fisher and an on-going portrait exchange focussed on liminality and gender non-conforming narratives called Outskirts which is edited by Flo Brooks. Outskirts is the biggest project to date and we launched it in collaboration with an exhibition at The White Cubicle Gallery. All of the output has been by friends of mine, but I have a list of people to approach. I make a set of badges with each book but this isn’t a set rule and I try to do all this without thinking about it too much—but I really care about each title and hope others will pick up on that enthusiasm!

    Can you tell us about the space where you run your whole operation from? Is it an office space, a kitchen-table/bedroom operation or just from inside a smart-phone or a laptop?

    I started Makina in my front room in Glasgow and then it travelled back to London with me when I moved back here. It’s now based in my bedroom / studio on an old table that was painted pink by my friend. The mailers and books live in the cupboard under the stairs and I work from my laptop. To the left of the desk is a Jane Bown photograph of Samuel Beckett; I worked with Jane on her photographic archive before she passed away in 2014 and it’s nice to have this picture and convene with her!

    Can you tell us a little bit about the city in which you are based and what influence, if any, it has on your press?

    I try to make Makina a project outside of London, but I do live in London! In recent years I’ve reconnected with the South-West where I am from, and I have friends all over through playing music, so Makina can go with me where I go. I don’t think London has an influence, other than it’s a challenge to get by here and the people I am surrounded by are doing amazing things in it.

    Do you see any commonality with the world of independent record labels and independent presses? I suppose we’re thinking about how the two things share an independent spirit, small run fanzines/photocopied magazines, merchandising etc?

    Absolutely! I was lucky enough to experience fanzine culture in my teens and still have friends that I made through this network. My first job had a photocopier and I’d spend hours using it to make things. Everything I do with Makina is a product of these early experiences making zines and writing letters to people, drawing on envelopes. Zines enabled me to find like minded and supportive people at home and further afield. I think now more than ever with so much visual information online it is important to make something real.

    These days every writer can get connected to their own social-media channels and promote and publish their own work, what do you see as the best role for the independent publisher now? Or don’t you think that much has changed?

    I don’t really know, but it is great that it is even easier to make something from beginning to end on your own and share it with others. I suppose a role is to support more interesting stories and work being shared, focusing on new as well as older material and these days there is less of a risk in doing so.

    Do you focus a lot on distinctive cover-design and take a lot of time over the interior of your books or is it just about getting the words out there in any form?

    I worked with Patrick Fisher who did the layout to Outskirts to develop a look for Makina. He based it on some old rainbow tape and a bunch of other things we like. The aesthetic is really important, from the look of the book to the oil pastel scrawls and rubber stamps on the envelopes.

    Finally, please tell us about a few of the next things that are due to come out?

    I developed an exhibition with Flo Brooks and Richard Phoenix called Outskirts•Astigmatism•Acutance and we borrowed a 1970s touring model from the Camerawork collective. They used to laminate exhibitions and send them out in the post to a network of places (shops, laundrettes, DIY spaces etc)—we are trying to do the same with a poster version of our show. The exhibition is work from three of the books I have published and each piece has been fully audio described by Caroline Dawson. It’s been shown in Plymouth and is on in Exeter now—then it is going to be at the LESS bar in Toronto next year. If you want to show it please get in touch! Our next book is a series of photographs and text called Screaming Fatal Truths by Joe Briggs; Joe goes to a lot of shows and all of the pictures were taken on film in the last six months at various punk shows. Flo Brooks has a solo show opening at Cubitt Gallery next month also.

    Cross posted from the wonderful: Swimmers Club

    www.all-new.swimmersclub.co.uk

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