My second book, also from the New Writers’ Press. Out of print.
This book, comprising seven poems, was never issued to the public. Its history is also somewhat peculiar. One day in 1969, while I was living in Barcelona, teaching English as a foreign language, ‘No Die Cast’ arrived in the post, completely unheralded. My memory is vague, but I can only assume that, following the publication of ‘Endsville’ in 1967 by the New Writers Press (see note below) I must have sent these seven pieces (and perhaps others) to Michael Smith.
As a surprise gift – at the time very welcome I must say – Michael had set them by hand (in 12 point Bodoni) and hand-printed the result on Alabaster Wove paper. The punning title is also his – there was no die cast. His note at the end of the book says ‘Seventy five copies only have been printed’, but he told me subsequently that the setting was so laborious nowhere near that number were bound and that the sheets were stored in his attic – for all I know they may still be there. In fact it’s possible that my copy is the only one in existence.
Two of the pieces, Clap-Hands and Another Morning Poem, have appeared in other collections, most recently, and greatly revised, in New and Renewed – Poems 1967–2004.
Brian Lynch & Paul Durcan
New Writers Press, 1967
My first book, shared with Paul Durcan, and the first book issued under the New Writers’ Press imprint.
Note: The title Endsville does not appear on the cover of the book. Instead, the name of the putative series, New Irish Poets, appears to be the title, and is described as such in some catalogues. To confuse the thing further, New Writers Press were only nominally the publishers. Paul Durcan and I, acting under our own steam, were engaged in having the book printed by the Museum Bookshop (on the corner of Kildare Street and Molesworth Street in Dublin). The proprietor was a man called Chichester-Clark, a relation of a subsequent Northern Ireland Prime Minister, James Chichester-Clark. When Michael Smith told me he was starting the NWP – the first publication on his list was Trevor Joyce’s ‘Sole Glum Trek’ – we agreed that it would be a good idea to use the imprint on ‘Endsville’. But that was the extent of the connection.
The sculptor John Behan did the cover, an ink drawing on a large sheet of paper, which is now lost.
As I remember it, Endsville cost £67 to print, a considerable sum in those days, which came out of my pocket. I can’t remember if it was ever placed on sale in bookshops. The Eblana bookshop in Grafton Street may have taken some copies. If it was sold I don’t think either of us got any money for it.
Paul Durcan and Brian Lynch, Barcelona, 1968
click images to enlarge
Poet, playwright, screenwriter, art critic and novelist