Upright open view of Dark Angels: Three Contemporary Poets Book One.

Dark Angels and Paekakariki Press launch new series of books



Contemporary poetry meets traditional letterpress printing — Dark Angels and Paekakariki Press to launch new series of beautiful books on World Poetry Day 2023


International writers’ group Dark Angels and London letterpress workshop and publisher Paekakariki Press have partnered to create the first in a new series of poetry books. To be formally launched on World Poetry Day – 21st March 2023 – each book in the series will feature work by contemporary poets, presented using expertly crafted letterpress design and printing. At a time when words are often read online, the series aims to inspire readers with the power of great writing in a beautiful handmade form. The cover of the first book was designed by David Carroll of David Carroll & Co.


‘Dark Angels: Three Contemporary Poets — Book One’ features the work of poets Thérèse Kieran, Tim Rich and John Simmons (biographies included here). All are members of Dark Angels and noted writers in their fields. Available to buy from 24th February 2023 at £13.50 plus p&p, the book can be ordered here: paekakarikipress.com/publications


Dark Angels has welcomed hundreds of people to its workshops and events over 20 years. In this, it is guided by a simple mantra: we stand for the power of words and writing, and for personal connection, kindness and fellowship. In keeping with this spirit of collaboration, the three poets featured in ‘Dark Angels: Three Contemporary Poets — Book One’ shared their work with one another and helped their fellow poets with the process of shaping texts for publication. They will also select and support the poets to be featured in Book Two, who, in turn, will support the next three.


John Simmons: “It was a life-enhancing approach, with each of us bringing a positive, constructive spirit, built on mutual respect. As we pored over one another’s poetry, the appreciation of the work grew. Along the way, we have learnt so much about writing and friendship.”


Matt McKenzie, founder of Paekakariki Press, commented: “It’s a delight to share poetry with people in the form of these beautiful, handmade, affordable objects.” The book is typeset in Monotype 12pt Garamond 156 and printed on 120gsm Neptune Soft White from Fenner Paper. Working in his Walthamstow, London, studio, Matt uses a Monotype Composition Caster, a Ludlow line caster and a 1959 Heidelberg KS Cylinder press. ‘Dark Angels: Three Contemporary Poets — Book One’ becomes the 51st book in Paekakariki Press’s poetry imprint, which was launched in 2010.


Why Dark Angels?

Dark Angels takes its name from the book of the same title by John Simmons, with its nod to Milton’s Paradise Lost. John writes that as Dark Angels, we are neither those who have fallen, nor those who have ascended. Neither all evil nor all perfect, we occupy the fertile, broken ground in between. In other words, we are all at our most creative when we bring our unique, imperfect selves to our writing. Put simply, we write best when we are Dark Angels.


Media enquiries/interview requests:

John Simmons: john@dark-angels.org.uk

Tim Rich: tim@timrich.com

Thérèse Kieran: tkni2016@gmail.com


darkangelswriters.com    paekakarikipress.com


Author biographies:


THÉRÈSE KIERAN is a Belfast based poet and visual artist. Her poems have appeared in Poetry NI, CAP, Imagine Belfast, Between Light and the Half Light, Washing Windows?, Paper Clip, Northwest Words, Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast, The Blue Nib, Tales of the Forest, and Poetry Jukebox.


JOHN SIMMONS is the co-founder of two influential writing organisations—Dark Angels and 26. His book Dark Angels inspired writers at work to take a more creative approach to writing, developing into an international programme of workshops. His published novels are Leaves, Spanish Crossings and The Good Messenger.


TIM RICH is a writer, poet and lo-fi photographer. His writing and images have appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including Oscillations, Random Spectacular and arterial. His piece Landfall, a poem and four photographs, was exhibited at the 2022 Bloomsbury Festival. A co-founder of writers’ group 26, Tim lives in Hastings, England.


Sample pages of Dark Angels: Three Contemporary Poets — Book One are available to download here.