We return to The London Book Fair to see the launch of yet another ground-breaking initiative by the Oxford International Centre for Publishing. It’s a book on wartime poetry, analysed from a global perspective. And apart from getting reacquainted with old friends, we also discover new ones at the 2023 event.

World War One: A global perspective

After three years, Story Of Books returned to The London Book Fair 2023. The Oxford International Centre for Publishing (OICP) invited us to attend their reception on 19 April 2023. There, we got to witness the launch of a new book, A History of World War One Poetry.

The book, published by Cambridge University Press in January 2023, was edited by Dr Jane Potter. She is the Reader (Arts) and Postgraduate Research Tutor for Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. She was there to cut the cake and give a speech after a brief introduction by Prof Angus Phillips, the host of the reception and also the Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing.

Dr Potter told us the book goes beyond the World War One poetry that we’re familiar with – meaning the ‘British soldier-poet canon’. The book includes poems from countries such as Russia, Serbia, Belgium, Italy, Turkey, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

She showed us a few poems and articles from the book. Pretty much, it’s about how the contributors – and the poets they cite – try to make sense of the catastrophe that took place between 1914 and 1918.

No phenomenon exists in isolation. That applies to wartime poetry, too. The book’s website says: “Wartime poetry was not only a literary phenomenon, but also one that was shaped by commercial and political forces”.

We think that goes for horror fiction, too.

About the book

More on Oxford International Centre for Publishing

TikTok enters the scene

So the rumours about TikTok entering the publishing space were true after all. TikTok was one of the exhibitors at The London Book Fair 2023.

Countries’ presence still felt at the show

We were pleased to stumble upon an exhibitor from Malaysia, Vivar Printing. Vivar specialises in file handling, offset and digital printing, finishing and embellishments, local and export delivery, as well as fulfilment. They’re looking to connect with the British and European businesses. Apparently, there was no Market Focus this year. We’re sure that will return eventually. We remembered the days when Indonesia and Latvia did their massive showcases. It was so great to see many creatives from outside the UK here in London.

Vivar Printing comes all the way from Malaysia to meet new prospects and current clients at The London Book Fair 2023. Image: ©Story Of Books

Kindle and sustainability in the limelight

It was hard to ignore Kindle Direct Publishing although its exhibition space was far less glamorous than those of the traditional mainstream publishers at the event.  The 2023 Kindle Storyteller Award, highlighted at the book fair, is now open for entries until 31st August 2023. A prize of £20,000 will be awarded to the winner who publishes their work through Kindle Direct Publishing.

Sustainability is, of course, a selling point at The London Book Fair. Like the speakers said at The Publishing Show in March 2023, sustainability will be mandatory for businesses, like GDPR. The effect of an upcoming ruling will no doubt change the way publishing practices up and down the book supply chain.

More on The London Book Fair