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Worple Press was founded in 1997 and is co-directed by Peter and Amanda Carpenter. We publish collections of poetry, and arts titles. We like to showcase new writing and we welcome diversity of format and approach. Above all, we look for excellence. Read more »

Latest News

Reviews of Beyond the Gate

Congratulations to Clare Best, whose new collection Beyond the Gate has received rave reviews in London Grip and The Friday Poem.


In London Grip, Alex Josephy finds it a “warmly intelligent, questioning collection’ with ‘luminosity and moments of playful beauty.”

“Best has united a wide range of poems with care and tact, in a way that seems to me in itself musical, so that the whole collection plays out its themes across the five inter-connected parts.”

“Throughout the collection, Best is in conversation with nature. Country life, its people and history are present in almost all the poems. There are moments of pure delight.”

Read the full review here.

In The Friday Poem Charlotte Gann writes “Throughout this rich collection the poet walks the line between physical and spiritual.”

“Part of what makes Clare Best’s poetry evocative is the observational precision she brings to bear – whether to her old, familiar, chalkland Sussex landscape or her newer adopted flatlands of Suffolk. She writes great ‘nature’ poetry. And something pronouncedly different.”

“Her unifying themes – of nature and love and loss and consolation – reverberate throughout the book as we walk for a spell with this keenly-observant and deeply-informed poet.”

Read the full review here.

James Aitchison 1938-2023

Worple Press is greatly saddened to learn of the death of James Aitchison on June 16th, 2023. We were immensely proud to publish ‘Foraging: New and Selected Poems’ in 2009, a weighty and invaluable gathering of James’ poetry from the mid 1970s onwards.

James became a friend and a regular correspondent; we exchanged letters and cards that revealed both his generosity of spirit and his critical acumen. The latter was unsurprising given the range and depth of his knowledge as revealed in his work on Edwin Muir, David Jones and contributions to journals such as ‘The Dark Horse’ and ‘Agenda’.

His work was favourably reviewed by luminaries such as Elizabeth Jennings, Edna Longley and Robert Nye, but it is Richard Price’s observation for ‘PN Review’ that best captures both man and poet: ‘with James Aitchison, there is always a sense of an intelligent and kindly interlocutor’.

The cover of ‘Foraging’ featured an image of rock cress by one of our favourite artists and architects, Charles Rennie Mackintosh: ‘Aubretia, Walberswick 1914’. Its close attention to the natural world and distinctive control of line and form characterised James’ poetry. Here are the last two lines from his sonnet ‘Stars’:

And when a star  burns out it shines for years,

Light years, before its starlight disappears.


We send on our condolences to Norma, Nick, Cara and the rest of his family.

Peter and Amanda Carpenter