Mariscat Press was founded in Glasgow in 1982 by Hamish Whyte and Kevin McCarra, initially to publish David Neilson’s Glaswegian versions of Catullus, but the bug bit and the press has gone on to publish over 60 poetry books and pamphlets over the past 35 years by writers including:
Edwin Morgan, Gael Turnbull, Fiona Pitt-Kethley, Brian McCabe, Graham Fulton, Brian Whittingham, Alison Prince, Janice Galloway, A.L. Kennedy, Gerry Loose, Gerrie Fellows, Douglas Lipton, Christopher Salvesen, James McGonigal, Donny O’Rourke, Richard Price, Anna Crowe, Valerie Thornton, Diana Hendry, Tom Pow, Ian McDonough, Stewart Conn, Angela McSeveney, Lesley Harrison, Susie Maguire, Jane McKie, Jackie Kay, Michele Roberts, Frank Ormsby and Douglas Dunn.
McCarra left in 1997 since when Whyte has concentrated on pamphlets, moving to Edinburgh in 2004. Mariscat has been short-listed for the Callum McDonald poetry pamphlet award nearly every year since it began in 2001 and runner-up twice. In 2011 it won this prestigious award with Anne Crowe’s pamphlet of elegies for her sister, A Figure in the Landscape, which has also been a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice for Spring 2010. In 2011, too, James MacGonagall won the £5,000 Michael Marks Award for a poetry pamphlet with his Cloud Pibroch, also published by Mariscat—which was shortlisted for the publisher’s category in the same year. 2015 was, however, Mariscat’s year; in May it not only won the Callum McDonald poetry pamphlet award for Jim Carruth’s pamphlet, Prodigal, but was also runner-up. In November it also won the £5,000 Michael Marks Pamphlet publisher of the Year Award, the foremost UK-wide award for poetry pamphlets, administered by the British Library in Association with the Wordsworth Trust.
The aim has always been to publish poetry in affordable editions, with attention paid to presentation. Gerry Cambridge is the in-house typesetter and designer.
2017 marks Mariscat’s 35th anniversary. A celebratory catalogue is forthcoming later this year. The Mariscat story is not over yet.