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Luke Allan

Luke Allan - Editor

Manchester, United Kingdom

Expert editor, copy-editor and editorial consultant specialising in poetry, essays and anthologies, both classical and contemporary.

Overview

Reviews (1)

I am an experienced editor, copy-editor, proofreader, and production manager. I specialise in poetry – single-author works, selections and anthologies – and have worked as managing editor on over two hundred publications, ranging from classics to contemporary debuts. My contemporary authors include John Ashbery, Jorie Graham, Gillian Clarke, Les Murray, Sinéad Morrissey, Vahni Capildeo, Ian McMillan, Stanley Moss, Elaine Feinstein, Lorna Goodison, and Stephen Romer; modern authors include Mayakovsky, Cunard, Spark, Alain-Fournier, Bonnefoy, and Pound; classics include Homer, Catullus, and Dante. An anthology, Trinity Poets, featured poems by members of Trinity College, Cambridge, from the sixteenth century to the modern day, including George Herbert, Andrew Marvell, Lord Byron, the Tennysons, A. A. Milne, Vladimir Nabokov, Thom Gunn, Sophie Hannah, Sean Borodale, and Jacob Polley.

Books I have worked on have gone on to win the Forward Prize, the Ted Hughes Award, the Costa Prize, the Shine/Strong Award, and the Seamus Heaney Prize, and have been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize.

I am Managing Editor of Carcanet Press, Founding Director of the poetry press Sine Wave Peak, and Managing Editor of four literary magazines, including PN Review. I studied Literature & Creative Writing at the Universities of East Anglia (BA) and Oxford (MSt).

My work as an editor ranges over a number of disciplines: developmental editing, in which I help writers to refine style and structure; editorial commissioning of new books and husbandry of a backlist; commissioning and selecting work for magazine publication; and copy-editing collecteds, selecteds and anthologies, advising on scope, structure, apparatus, and contents.

I have a lot of experience in the administrative aspects of editing and publishing, from copyright management and image research to contract-writing, grant applications, and budget management. Every day I work with authors, designers, copyright agencies, publishers, artists, editors, and booksellers, moving between their different workflows and vocabularies.

I founded the poetry press Sine Wave Peak in 2012. Since then the press has published new poetry by an international stable of poets including Jerome Rothenberg, Aram Saroyan, Hannah Lowe, Thomas A Clark, Pam Rehm, and Lavinia Greenlaw.

I have guest-judged a number of literary competitions, including the 2015 Singapore Prize for Poetry. I regularly deliver talks and seminars for students and the public about my work as an editor and publisher, most recently for the Universities of Manchester, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, and at Ledbury Poetry Festival. I am myself a published poet. My work received a Northern Writers Award in 2011 and has appeared in The Rialto, Magma, and Oxford Poetry, among other journals. A pamphlet of poems, Minimum Soft Exchange, was published by MIEL in 2015.

Services
Languages
English (UK) English (US)
Fiction
Anthologies Classics Poetry Short Story
Non-Fiction
Art Biographies & Memoirs History Philosophy Psychology Publishing

Awards

  • New Writing North Award for Poetry (2011)
  • National Association for Literature Development 'Futures' Award 2012
  • London Book Fair Trailblazer Award 2017 (Shortlist)

Work experience

Managing Editor

Carcanet Press Ltd
December, 2014 – Present (about 3 years)

Editing, designing and managing the production of forty books a year, including classics (published under the Fyfield imprint) and contemporary works. The press specialises in English-language poetry, but publishes a handful of works in translation each year. I work directly with designers, typesetters, printers, and authors, and am jointly responsible for shaping the press's forward list. Books in my care have received the Forward Prize, the Ted Hughes Award, the Seamus Heaney Prize, and the Costa Prize.

Founding Director

Self-employed
August, 2012 – Present (over 5 years)

I founded Sine Wave Peak in 2012. A small, independent poetry press, we publish roughly ten books each year, specialising in new experimental writing in slim, tactile editions. SWP has been described by Aram Saroyan as 'one of the brightest literary presses operating today', and its books have been descrbed by Kathleen Jamie as 'beautiful, both light and deep'. As director I am responsible for the overall direction of the press, shaping the list and overseeing the work of the Manager.

Manager

Studio Alec Finlay Ltd
September, 2009 – December, 2014 (about 5 years)

Studio Alec Finlay is an international art studio and publishing house, incorporating the literary imprint Morning Star. I was appointed Studio Manager in 2009. My work there involved project management of large-scale public artworks, often text-based, with budgets ranging between £5,000 and £250,000. Clients included Tate Modern, the National Trust, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and the University of Warwick. Each project/artwork was accompanied by the publication of book, for which I oversaw the work of all contributing writers, designers and printers. I maintained budgets for each project and was responsible for communicating with clients, ensuring delivery on time and to spec.

Portfolio (100 selected works)

Commotion of the Birds

John Ashbery

as new unused

as new unused

On Bunyah

Les Murray

one small dent top causing a minor aesthetic defect AKA minor shelf ware

one small dent top causing a minor aesthetic defect AKA minor shelf ware

Waiting for the Past

Les Murray

The clearly-focussed lyrics of Les Murray's Waiting for the Past are rich in topographies and the languages peculiar to them - wonga vines, lyre birds, gum trees, shrike thrushes, tallow boughs, boab trees, the octopus in Wylies Baths killed by sterilising chlorine. With the erasures the modern world brings, words, landscapes and lives descend to the Esperanto of the modern. The poet, with a s... read more

The clearly-focussed lyrics of Les Murray's Waiting for the Past are rich in topographies and the languages peculiar to them - wonga vines, lyre birds, gum trees, shrike thrushes, tallow boughs, boab trees, the octopus in Wylies Baths killed by sterilising chlorine. With the erasures the modern world brings, words, landscapes and lives descend to the Esperanto of the modern. The poet, with a s... read more

The Observances

Kate Miller

Observances

Observances

Muddy River: Selected Poems

Sergey Stratanovsky

as new unused

as new unused

Farm by the Shore

Thomas A. Clark

as new unused

as new unused

Zoology

Gillian Clarke

Steep Tea

Jee Leong Koh

The poems in Jee Leong Koh's Steep Tea are rich in detail of the worlds he explores and invents as he follows his desire for an unknown other, moving tentatively, passionately, always uncertain of himself. His language is colloquial, musical, aware of the infusion of various traditions and histories. "You go where? / I'm going from the latterly to the litany, from writs to rites." The poems sh... read more

The poems in Jee Leong Koh's Steep Tea are rich in detail of the worlds he explores and invents as he follows his desire for an unknown other, moving tentatively, passionately, always uncertain of himself. His language is colloquial, musical, aware of the infusion of various traditions and histories. "You go where? / I'm going from the latterly to the litany, from writs to rites." The poems sh... read more

Almost Complete Poems

Stanley Moss

new unused very minor bump to corner

new unused very minor bump to corner

Fast

Jorie Graham

Collected Poems

Dennis O'Driscoll

Smoothie

Claudine Toutoungi

stack

James Davies

A Michael Hamburger Reader

Michael Hamburger

Mexico in My Heart

Willis Barnstone

Willis Barnstone is a literature in himself: poet, translator, interpreter, in one year he can range from Jesus to Sappho and Borges with calm authority and good humour. He re-translates the New Testament in a version Harold Bloom describes as ‘a superb act of restoration'. Borges himself declared, ‘Four of the best things in America are Whitman's Leaves, Melville's Whale, the sonnets of Barns... read more

Willis Barnstone is a literature in himself: poet, translator, interpreter, in one year he can range from Jesus to Sappho and Borges with calm authority and good humour. He re-translates the New Testament in a version Harold Bloom describes as ‘a superb act of restoration'. Borges himself declared, ‘Four of the best things in America are Whitman's Leaves, Melville's Whale, the sonnets of Barns... read more

Set Thy Love in Order: New & Selected Poems

Stephen Romer

Set Thy Love in Order: New & Selected Poems gathers the work of some thirty years, taken from Stephen Romer's four previous collections, along with a substantial selection of new poems. The title is a Dantesque imperative as old as the Trecento: Ordina questo amore, O tu che m ami set thy love in order, o thou who lovest me. Romer's central theme is encapsulated by these words, and his prolong... read more

Set Thy Love in Order: New & Selected Poems gathers the work of some thirty years, taken from Stephen Romer's four previous collections, along with a substantial selection of new poems. The title is a Dantesque imperative as old as the Trecento: Ordina questo amore, O tu che m ami set thy love in order, o thou who lovest me. Romer's central theme is encapsulated by these words, and his prolong... read more

Raking Light

Eric Langley

Measures of Expatriation

Vahni Capildeo

as new unused

as new unused

Poems

Yves Bonnefoy

as new unused

Diary of the Last Man

Robert Minhinnick

as new unused

as new unused

Collected Poems

Lorna Goodison

Sarajevo Roses

Rory Waterman

as new unused

Poems Without Irony

Alex Wong

as new unused

as new unused

Blotter

Oli Hazzard

Cavalcanty

Peter Hughes

Complete Poems

Muriel Spark

In her foreword to All The Poems (2003) Muriel Spark wrote, 'Although most of my life has been devoted to fiction, I have always thought of myself as a poet. I do not write "poetic" prose, but feel that my outlook on life and my perceptions of events are those of a poet.' Including previously uncollected work, this new edition demonstrates her ear for the rightness of a line and her eye for th... read more

In her foreword to All The Poems (2003) Muriel Spark wrote, 'Although most of my life has been devoted to fiction, I have always thought of myself as a poet. I do not write "poetic" prose, but feel that my outlook on life and my perceptions of events are those of a poet.' Including previously uncollected work, this new edition demonstrates her ear for the rightness of a line and her eye for th... read more

Seasonal Disturbances

Karen McCarthy Woolf

as new unused

as new unused

On Balance

Sinead Morrissey

Long Pass

Joey Connolly

Winter Migrants

Tom Pickard

Through

David Herd

as new unused

as new unused

Poems

Alain-Fournier

Moon for Sale

Richard Price

as new unused

as new unused

Chance of a Storm

Rod Mengham

as new unused

as new unused

The World Before Snow

Tim Liardet

World Before Snow

World Before Snow

Keats Lives

Moya Cannon

Moya Cannon's new collection reaches back into the long past, showing how traces left behind - textile fragments, buried thimbles, cave paintings - enable us to make imaginative connections with our distant ancestors, emphasising the commonalities of human lives lived many centuries apart. At the heart of the book is the vital importance of art, as the means by which we give permanence to the ... read more

Moya Cannon's new collection reaches back into the long past, showing how traces left behind - textile fragments, buried thimbles, cave paintings - enable us to make imaginative connections with our distant ancestors, emphasising the commonalities of human lives lived many centuries apart. At the heart of the book is the vital importance of art, as the means by which we give permanence to the ... read more

The Occupant

Jane Draycott

Pandemonium

Thomas McCarthy

as new unused

as new unused

The Number Poems

Matthew Welton

Playing the Octopus

Mary O'Malley

Muddy River: Selected Poems

Sergey Stratanovsky

as new unused

as new unused

Herne the Hunter

Peter McDonald

Herne the Hunter is the sixth collection from one of Ireland's most accomplished lyric poets. In this new body of work, Peter McDonald deepens his interest in myth and storytelling through the legend of Herne, a phantom huntsman of English folklore. In McDonald's poetic treatment of the legend, opposing forces are held in tension: body and soul, present and past, possession and desire, death a... read more

Herne the Hunter is the sixth collection from one of Ireland's most accomplished lyric poets. In this new body of work, Peter McDonald deepens his interest in myth and storytelling through the legend of Herne, a phantom huntsman of English folklore. In McDonald's poetic treatment of the legend, opposing forces are held in tension: body and soul, present and past, possession and desire, death a... read more

Skies

Alison Brackenbury

The beauty of the Goucestershire landscape and sky-scape are Alison Brackenbury's commanding theme, her landscapes are historied, the skies always in vivid motion, moving towards elegy. The two World Wars and their poets are present, but also the nearer histories of family, the intimate arrest of older poems. Brackenbury's work has been featured on BBC Radio and she was recently awarded a Chol... read more

The beauty of the Goucestershire landscape and sky-scape are Alison Brackenbury's commanding theme, her landscapes are historied, the skies always in vivid motion, moving towards elegy. The two World Wars and their poets are present, but also the nearer histories of family, the intimate arrest of older poems. Brackenbury's work has been featured on BBC Radio and she was recently awarded a Chol... read more

Spills

Angela Leighton

as new unused

as new unused

The Observances

Kate Miller

Observances

Observances

Marrying the Ugly Millionaire: New and Collected Poems

Sophie Hannah

Marrying the Ugly Millionaire

Marrying the Ugly Millionaire

Several Deer

Adam Crothers

Addressing themes of destruction, consumption, misogyny, gods, sex, form, failure and rock n roll, "Several Deer" is the debut collection by a Northern Irish writer as much indebted to Bob Dylan and Lana Del Rey as to Emily Dickinson and George Herbert. The poems many of them sonnets and doomed attempts at clear-eyed love poems are suspicious as to the legitimacy of the big beautiful transcend... read more

Addressing themes of destruction, consumption, misogyny, gods, sex, form, failure and rock n roll, "Several Deer" is the debut collection by a Northern Irish writer as much indebted to Bob Dylan and Lana Del Rey as to Emily Dickinson and George Herbert. The poems many of them sonnets and doomed attempts at clear-eyed love poems are suspicious as to the legitimacy of the big beautiful transcend... read more

New Selected Poems

Shuntaro Tanikawa

New Selected Poems

New Selected Poems

What Must Happen

Jeffrey Wainwright

as new unused

as new unused

A better tale to tell

Alec Finlay

A work of collaged contemporary history - this book-length poem is composed entirely from individuals submissions to the Smith Commission. The text brings out a range of ideas and issues in the guise of rhetorical, personal and quirky voices, juxtaposing contradictory statements.

A work of collaged contemporary history - this book-length poem is composed entirely from individuals submissions to the Smith Commission. The text brings out a range of ideas and issues in the guise of rhetorical, personal and quirky voices, juxtaposing contradictory statements.

the road north

Ken Cockburn, Alec Finlay

the road north is a word-map of Scotland, composed by Alec Finlay & Ken Cockburn as they travel through their homeland, guided by the Japanese poet Basho, whose Osu-no-Hosomichi (Narrow Road to the Deep North) is one of the masterpieces of travel literature. Ken and Alec left Edo (Edinburgh) on May 16, 2010 - the very same date that basho and his companion Sora departed in 1689 - and on their ... read more

the road north is a word-map of Scotland, composed by Alec Finlay & Ken Cockburn as they travel through their homeland, guided by the Japanese poet Basho, whose Osu-no-Hosomichi (Narrow Road to the Deep North) is one of the masterpieces of travel literature. Ken and Alec left Edo (Edinburgh) on May 16, 2010 - the very same date that basho and his companion Sora departed in 1689 - and on their ... read more

Taigh: a wilding garden

Alec Finlay

An account of the traditions, stories, and ideas that inspired the National Memorial for Organ and Tissue Donors, a wilding garden and drystane Taigh, constructed this year in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.

An account of the traditions, stories, and ideas that inspired the National Memorial for Organ and Tissue Donors, a wilding garden and drystane Taigh, constructed this year in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.

Global Oracle

Alec Finlay

A book-length illustrated poem interweaving the bee-cults of the ancient world, most famously the Melissai of the Delphic oracle, with the science of apiology, bee communication, and the predominant 'oracle' of our era, the Navstar satellite system.

A book-length illustrated poem interweaving the bee-cults of the ancient world, most famously the Melissai of the Delphic oracle, with the science of apiology, bee communication, and the predominant 'oracle' of our era, the Navstar satellite system.

there were our own there were the others

Alec Finlay, Ken Cockburn

A book documenting 23 silent walks in remembrance of the victims of conflict to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War, 17th June - 30th August, 2014

A book documenting 23 silent walks in remembrance of the victims of conflict to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War, 17th June - 30th August, 2014

a-ga: on mountains

Alec Finlay, Ken Cockburn

A new collection of pensée on mountains, walking and viewing, illustrated with photographs of word-mntn.

A new collection of pensée on mountains, walking and viewing, illustrated with photographs of word-mntn.

A Company of Mountains

Alec Finlay

14 conspectuses on the Isle of Skye for viewing hills and mountains. The book accompanies a blog featuring commentaries, photographs, word-mntn drawings, and illustrations.

14 conspectuses on the Isle of Skye for viewing hills and mountains. The book accompanies a blog featuring commentaries, photographs, word-mntn drawings, and illustrations.

some colour trends

Alec Finlay

A genealogy of place-names relating to colour in The Cabrach, the region of the Scottish uplands lying between the Cairngorms and Strathbogie. The area's history of settlement, transhumance and wayfaring is hinted at in its place-names, particularly those mentioning colours, which Finlay - aided by collaborators Ron Brander, Peter Drummond, and John Stuart-Murray - translates across Gaelic, Ga... read more

A genealogy of place-names relating to colour in The Cabrach, the region of the Scottish uplands lying between the Cairngorms and Strathbogie. The area's history of settlement, transhumance and wayfaring is hinted at in its place-names, particularly those mentioning colours, which Finlay - aided by collaborators Ron Brander, Peter Drummond, and John Stuart-Murray - translates across Gaelic, Ga... read more

today today today

Alec Finlay

Poems on illness and healing, gathered over the past few years, published by Animate Projects as an artwork composed with and for the patients and staff of Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Glasgow.

Poems on illness and healing, gathered over the past few years, published by Animate Projects as an artwork composed with and for the patients and staff of Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Glasgow.

Dirt

William Letford

Selected Poems (Fyfieldbooks)

Nancy Cunard

as new unused

as new unused

Posthumous Cantos (Fyfieldbooks)

Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound's Posthumous Cantos collects unpublished pages of his great poem, drawn from manuscripts held in the archive at Yale's Beinecke Library and elsewhere. They are assembled by Pound's Italian translator, the critic and scholar Massimo Bacigalupo, into a companion book to the Cantos, running from 1917 to 1972 and including the Cantos he wrote in Italian in 1944-5. An Italian edition was... read more

Ezra Pound's Posthumous Cantos collects unpublished pages of his great poem, drawn from manuscripts held in the archive at Yale's Beinecke Library and elsewhere. They are assembled by Pound's Italian translator, the critic and scholar Massimo Bacigalupo, into a companion book to the Cantos, running from 1917 to 1972 and including the Cantos he wrote in Italian in 1944-5. An Italian edition was... read more

Was and Is: Collected Poems

Neil Powell

as new unused

as new unused

Breezeway

John Ashbery

Breezeway

Breezeway

Visible Voices: Translating Verse into Script and Print 3000 BC - AD 2000

Nicolas Barker

new unused very minor shelf wear only

new unused very minor shelf wear only

Almost Complete Poems

Stanley Moss

new unused very minor bump to corner

new unused very minor bump to corner

It's About Time

Stanley Moss

as new unused

as new unused

as new unused

R. F. Langley Complete Poems

Jeremy Noel-Tod

R.F. Langley is known for his meticulous observation of the natural world and his highly original voice. This volume brings together his two previous Carcanet collections, Collected Poems (2000) and The Face of It (2007), along with his celebrated but uncollected late poems, including 'To a Nightingale', which won the 2011 Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem. The book includes a biographica... read more

R.F. Langley is known for his meticulous observation of the natural world and his highly original voice. This volume brings together his two previous Carcanet collections, Collected Poems (2000) and The Face of It (2007), along with his celebrated but uncollected late poems, including 'To a Nightingale', which won the 2011 Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem. The book includes a biographica... read more

Serengeti Songs

Chris McCully

as new unused

as new unused

Holy Toledo!

John Clegg

The Teller and the Tale: Essays on Literature & Culture (1995-2015)

Gabriel Josipovici

‘We seem to live, intellectually and emotionally, in sealed-off universes,’ writes Gabriel Josipovici in an essay on Hebrew poetry in medieval Spain, just one in a lively multiverse of writings gathered in The Teller and the Tale. The book draws on a quarter of a century’s worth of critical reflection on modern art and literature, Biblical culture, Jewish theology, European identity, the natur... read more

‘We seem to live, intellectually and emotionally, in sealed-off universes,’ writes Gabriel Josipovici in an essay on Hebrew poetry in medieval Spain, just one in a lively multiverse of writings gathered in The Teller and the Tale. The book draws on a quarter of a century’s worth of critical reflection on modern art and literature, Biblical culture, Jewish theology, European identity, the natur... read more

Haunted House

Pierre Reverdy

Haunted House

Haunted House

As When: A Selection

Tom Raworth

As When

As When

as new unused

A Doctor's Dictionary: Writings on Culture and Medicine

Iain Bamforth

In this pithy abecedarium, doctor and poet Iain Bamforth takes a close look at the conflict of values embodied in what we call medicine - never entirely a science and no longer quite the art it used to be. Bamforth brings his wide experience of medicine around the world, from the high-tech American Hospital of Paris to the community health centres of Papua, together with his engaging interest ... read more

In this pithy abecedarium, doctor and poet Iain Bamforth takes a close look at the conflict of values embodied in what we call medicine - never entirely a science and no longer quite the art it used to be. Bamforth brings his wide experience of medicine around the world, from the high-tech American Hospital of Paris to the community health centres of Papua, together with his engaging interest ... read more

The Season's Vagrant Light: New and Selected Poems

Sheri Benning

This book marks the UK debut of Canadian poet Sheri Benning, featuring new poems alongside work previously published in Canada. Benning's early work draws on her strongly felt connection to her native landscape, rural Saskatchewan. In poems that couple sinew and roots, blood and sap, skin and stone, Benning explores an ecology of affiliation between humans and the natural world. The poems are ... read more

This book marks the UK debut of Canadian poet Sheri Benning, featuring new poems alongside work previously published in Canada. Benning's early work draws on her strongly felt connection to her native landscape, rural Saskatchewan. In poems that couple sinew and roots, blood and sap, skin and stone, Benning explores an ecology of affiliation between humans and the natural world. The poems are ... read more

Herne the Hunter

Peter McDonald

Herne the Hunter is the sixth collection from one of Ireland's most accomplished lyric poets. In this new body of work, Peter McDonald deepens his interest in myth and storytelling through the legend of Herne, a phantom huntsman of English folklore. In McDonald's poetic treatment of the legend, opposing forces are held in tension: body and soul, present and past, possession and desire, death a... read more

Herne the Hunter is the sixth collection from one of Ireland's most accomplished lyric poets. In this new body of work, Peter McDonald deepens his interest in myth and storytelling through the legend of Herne, a phantom huntsman of English folklore. In McDonald's poetic treatment of the legend, opposing forces are held in tension: body and soul, present and past, possession and desire, death a... read more

Luke has 1 review

Professionalism
Quality
Value
Communication

Gary Graves

I had written my first ever book to be published, it was so near and dear to my heart, and I felt that it was a very important non-fiction work to be treated with extreme care and attention to detail. I was about as conscious and analytical about who would edit my work as one possibly could be. I searched the reedsy forum along with almost every editing house and editor I could find on google...

, November 2017

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Sally Osborn

Editor and proofreader with 25 years' experience offering freelance services to individual authors and publishers, both trade and academic.

Thiviers, France

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Joanna Pyke

I copy edit and proofread non-fiction and academic texts, from biographies to business, politics to parenting, self-help to sociology.

Oxford, United Kingdom

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