Books by A. C. H. Smith, Author of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal



Selected with a foreword by Tom Stoppard, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9560222-3-3

Book cover of Poems by ACH Smith

From my memoir:
In 2009 Stoppard rang me to say a small press had invited him to choose a few poems which they would publish as a pamphlet representing his editorial taste. He said he would like the poems to be mine, and asked me to send him some. I sent him 15, of which he chose 11, and I could see the reasons for his choice. Then he said, "The earliest of these poems is dated 1959. It would be nice to have one dated 2009. Have you got one in you?" It is an odd thing to be asked. Poems find you, not you them. I looked through a thick file of things I had started and abandoned, and came across a fragment, just a line and a half, which began to sprout in my mind. I worked it through to 17 lines and sent it to him. He rang me to say thanks, and he was glad to have provoked it, and he would add it to the pamphlet. "I've got just one or two quibbles," he said, and went on to quibble with six details. I accepted five of them at once, dug my heels in over the sixth. It is a better poem thanks to his quibbling. When I put the 'phone down I thought, the world knows what talent he has in writing plays, but this, to read a new poem and spot flaws, is supposed to be a job for a specialist, yet he can do that too. Tony Astbury of the Greville Press launched the pamphlet at my daughter's gallery in Hampstead, with readings by Stoppard and me.

This little pamphlet has just enough poems in it. You could read it for a long long time and dispense with much else.
— Happenstancepress. See full review here:

Available directly from the publisher:
Tony Astbury, Greville Press, 6 Mellors Court, The Butts, Warwick, CV34 4ST, UK.
Tel 01926 492086 (from outside UK +44 1926 492086).
Cost (including postage): UK £8 / Europe €10 / USA $15. Cheques made out to Greville Press.

Buy from Amazon | Back to top