Sam Smith Original Plus books & The Journal (once 'of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry')

Sam Smith books plus Original Plus publications and The Journal

Sam Smith books: poetry: collections & chapbooks currently available

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in the hand     Local Colour    Speculations & Changes      pieces      A New Acmeism        Rooms        Dark Tales       canoe       apostrophe combe        Skin&Bones      John the Explorer        An Atheist's Alphabetical Approach to Death     Mirror, Mirror: in the geography of the head    


Local Colour

"This is some of the finest poetry I have read for some time, spare, sinewy and precise, each image created with deft touches of smell, sound or colour to draw the reader in. Smith uses each poem to sketch a character, or a scene, psychologically acute, often reaching into the person’s past to explain the painful dilemma of their present...."  Eve Kimber, Pulsar 2018


for a signed copy click here - 
Or if the button doesn't work (as is often the case) email and PayPal me here -
Or you can send me cheque (payable to Sam Smith) with a note saying you'd like a signed copy of local colour to me here - 38 Pwllcarn Terrace, Blaengarw, Bridgend, South Wales, CF32 8AS

A New Acmeism

A New Acmeism : erbacce-press

a chapbook by Sam Smith

The introduction asserts… ‘At about the same time, early 1900s, that Imagism - espoused by the likes of Hilda Doolittle, Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams - arose in the West, over in the East Acmeism was growing out of an almost identical reaction against Symbolism. Nikolai Gumilev, Anna Andreevna Akhmatova and Osip Emilyevich Mandelshtam set out to rid poetry of mysticism and Symbolism’s excessive allusiveness. Anna Akhmatova defined Acmeism as “...a return to the poetic principles of clarity, concision and the precise expression of emotional experience.” /  As they sought, over a century ago, to restore ‘concreteness’ and ‘immediacy’ to poetic language so too now has come the time to slough off our latterday accretion of unnecessary verbiage and to try again….

ISBN 978-1-907878-74-9   £3.99  from the author — price (applies to UK only) includes postage: please make cheques payable to ‘Sam Smith’   17 High Street, Maryport, CA15 6BQ )

or via PayPal -  

 Or if the button doesn't work (as is often the case) email and PayPal me here -

Or you can send me cheque (payable to Sam Smith) with a note saying you'd like a signed copy of A New Acmeism to me here - 38 Pwllcarn Terrace, Blaengarw, Bridgend, South Wales, CF32 8AS


An Atheist's Alphabetical Approach to Death

An Atheist’s Alphabetical Approach to Death

erbacce press

This chapbook is a result of 'An Atheist's Alphabetical Approach to Death' ending up in the final 4 (out of 1,200 entries) of the Erbacce 2009 Competition.

‘....irreverent, intelligent, provocative and unpretentious he provokes me to smile, to debate and to appreciate his stubborn honesty.... words for Smith are a functional yet beautiful vehicle, sort of Rolls Royce convertibles with ladders and bags of cement strapped across the gold-plated body work....’ Alan Corkish

ISBN 978-1-906588-51-9 £4.00 (UK postal area only)

for a signed copy click here

Or if the button doesn't work (as is often the case) email and PayPal me here -
Or you can send me cheque (payable to Sam Smith) with a note saying you'd like a signed copy of An Atheist's Alphabetical Approach to Death to me here - 38 Pwllcarn Terrace, Blaengarw, Bridgend, South Wales, CF32 8AS



 canoe: an erbacce press chapbook £4.00

"As a collection it links a cohesive storyline: the rain - the lure of the circus - the flood - the elephant. Each poem is a drop into waters that run deep.  / An unassuming treasure. A bargain. Recommended." Carol Thistlethwaite: Carillon Magazine 

ISBN 978-1-906588-13-7         £4.00

For a signed copy click here  

 (price for UK only)

Or if the button doesn't work (as is often the case) email and PayPal me here -
Or you can send me cheque (payable to Sam Smith) with a note saying you'd like a signed copy of Canoe to me here - 38 Pwllcarn Terrace, Blaengarw, Bridgend, South Wales, CF32 8AS

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John the Explorer

John the Explorer: Gecko Press  £6.00  with drawings by Shelley C Smith    To view pages from this collection click here   

'...told in relentless, muscular language... Sam Smith has not written an easy book, but it's unusual and one that contains some fine writing.' Michael Bangerter: NHI

'...gathers together elements of a contemplation... the protagonist... goes on a series of meanderings... all 'making strange' the everyday. The writing is complimented by line drawings by Shelley C Smith which mirror the intriguing, often disturbing, text. Although the earthy is apparent here... it is presented with such graphic dexterity that because it is so intimate its crudity is readily forgivable... Smith presents ideas and images, symbols and lyrical tropes in ways which many other contemporary poets could benefit from considering.'  Niall McGrath: Poetry Quarterly Review 

' Don't be put off by past encounter with Berryman, Smith is much better with his single-name character. John has to explore, taste ivy berries once, face the elements, encounter animals, encounter encounters. John is a middle-aged baby that needs to find the world... Well illustrated by Shelley C Smith.'    Geoff Stevens: Purple Patch

 (price for UK only)

Or if the button doesn't work (as is often the case) email and PayPal me here -
Or you can send me cheque (payable to Sam Smith) with a note saying you'd like a signed copy of John the Explorer to me here - 38 Pwllcarn Terrace, Blaengarw, Bridgend, South Wales, CF32 8AS

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pieces : k.t.publications  

' of the best books to have appeared in [the] UK so far this century...’ Fire #19  

...a captivating exploration of love, grief, and especially hope in a prisoner of war camp... But Pieces is also about violence, and therein lies something fascinating and even beautiful ... The lines are musical, lulling ... creates an enchanted, awful place where people are dying, where we don’t want them to stop dying, so we can keep reading...’ Donna Biffar: Orbis #121  

' ...The descriptive density and personal revelation of the experience give these ‘pieces’ poetic weight .... Smith has a winning style...’ The Black Mountain Review #6 

'...Smith's language has an abstract and untethered feel, but his descriptions of the natural cycle of life continuing beyond and without reference to the prisoners are compellingly precise...' L. Kiew NHI Online Review                              '

...prose-poetry items which stand alone, or as a landscape of observations... This is a new approach; you need to read it yourself.' Geoff Stevens Purple Patch


   (price for UK only) 

And available as an e-book, the complete pieces, here -


Speculations & Changes

Speculations began as Speculations on Contemporary Art; subsections include Speculations on Uses of Text Within Other Media, perceptions of, the practising of, variously numbered, et cetera.

Changes began as Changes to Your Terms & Conditions, and changed…

'My favourite Sam Smith moments [in SPECULATIONS & CHANGES] are those when he is at his most withering: joyfully accosting other 'poets' and 'artists' for crimes of pretentiousness, vanity, facile accomplishments, false spontaneity, lack of hair (!) etc. No matter the insult, I always feel that Sam Smith's attacks are justified, as they are drawn from experiences that I recognize. The 'art world' he decries is the one we know and stomach, the one filled with creatures overflowing with pomposity and snobbery. It is a pleasure to see these poisonous creatures taken down a peg.' Charlie Baylis : Stride

ISBN 978-1-909-44384-6                         £10.00

Available here -

And here - 


Dark Tales

Dark Tales (£3.50) is a self-published chapbook of poems, with paintings by Shelley C Smith, the poems written to be performed at the Nunney Jazz Cafe               

'....This is Stephen King in verse form....'   Helena Nelson: Sphinx                        

'....this, of course, is precisely where poetry must take its readers — to the brink....'   Patricia Prime: NHI Online Review 


 (price for UK only)

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Skin&Bones: Odyssey Press 

with illustrations by Lynn Sutterby 


 (price for UK only)

"...He is a distinctive and important poet, ever sensitive to, even obsessed by, the fluidity and transience of surfaces: impressed yet shocked by the dead weight and rigidity of solid centres. His poetry evokes a cosmos structured through those elements... Sam Smith is a keen and accurate observer of the particulars of nature... The engravings, themselves made on wood, which is one of the poet's prime integuments, are not mimetic of his imagery; but are embodiments in form and design of perceptions which seem to rise from the deep subconscious; whereas the poet's images are the impress on a heightened consciousness of a close observation and appreciation of nature's structural materials. Thus, there is a true complementarity between word and art..." K V Bailey: Zene #14                  

"Sam Smith is a poet who uses imagery, more than other poetic techniques, to good effect and uses it... to illuminate the harsh, livid beauty of places where humanity literally scratches the earth to live. Other poems are mental landscapes of equal harshness but they are not barren of emotion. The poems are well amplified by Lyn Sutterby's woodcuts reminiscent of Eskimo and other native carvings on slivers of whalebone and wood.... These poems are mirrors in which some readers will not like the reflected truth of what we really are by instinct... Sam Smith is a much more interesting social poet than many others in this respect..." Martin Holroyd: Poetry Monthly #20

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Rooms Wordcatcher Publishing £8.99 


 '...As they stand, the verse sections of the various rooms convey the coherent and rewarding variety of a very visual patchwork. However, the accompanying "notes for reading" have a dynamic and entirely different effect on the reader... a lot of the "notes for reading" are amusing, underlining writers' pomposity and loss of a sense of irony... As the "dialogues" develop, they embrace an enormous range of subjects, but the continuum is a philosophical one, where Smith, in a more liquid style, explores an extraordinary wealth of ideas, with no shortage of irony... Rooms is a remarkable achievement, where two bold conceits are explored in an assured, accessible and expansive manner. Each "room" asks its own question; each "dialogue" nurtures its own idea. Risks are taken and rewarded. The beauty of the book is its ability to make the reader think...'  Will Daunt: Envoi  

click here for video of some of Sarah Ward's paintings based on the Room poems

‘For me this book is by far the best thing that Sam Smith has done. In Rooms  he seems to have found the perfect medium for his particular mix of caring humanism and bitter observation. The Rooms poems have a concrete presence while yet being enigmatic — they have a sense of absurd ritual. Perhaps the aim is more satirical than ironic but I have a hunch that this work has almost achieved an effect in excess of its author's intention — might be wrong.‘ Tim Allen: Terrible Work

Signed copies available from me here - 

Or if the button doesn't work (as is often the case) email and PayPal me here -
Or you can send me cheque (payable to Sam Smith) with a note saying you'd like a signed copy of Rooms to me here - 38 Pwllcarn Terrace, Blaengarw, Bridgend, South Wales, CF32 8AS

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apostrophe combe

apostrophe combe  (£7.99) Originally published by  boho/bluechrome press 

text by Sam Smith with photos by Neil Carter & Gemma Dart 

"...a most attractively produced book of poems and prose... interleaved with fine and original photographs by Gemma Dart and Neil Carter... text and the photographs together successfully "...create a sense of place and time", the place being North Devon, round Ilfracombe. Those who like Clare's poetry will find much to enjoy in this high quality work." Peter Cox: The John Clare Society Newsletter #83                  

"...unassailable talent..."  North Devon Journal  

in the hand

in the hand

is the result of a collaboration between Mal Earl and Sam Smith

Or put it this way, I provided the poems and Mal's exceptional artwork took them to a whole new level.

Copies available for £3.50 each, including postage, which only applies to those living in the UK. If living elsewhere and wanting a copy I'm happy to negotiate the extra postage.


If the button should fail to work (they sometimes do) you can email me - - and using that email address paypal me.

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Or the button here not working you can send me a cheque, payable to 'Sam Smith' at 38 Pwllcarn Terrace, Blaengarw, Bridgend, CF32 8AS


Mirror, Mirror: in the geography of the head

Mirror, Mirror: In the Geography of the Head   erbacce-press

'This is a substantial book, giving a clear, unsentimental insight into what it is like to suffer mental illness or to care for those who suffer. As I wrote at the beginning of this review, Mirror,Mirror is not for the faint-hearted; but I would nevertheless encourage you to take the bull by the horns and read this moving collection. Apart from introducing you to some robust and perceptive poetry, it may change your attitude to mental illness and make you grateful for what health you enjoy.' Alwyn Marriage:

'...These poems, which tell directly, honestly and with unsentimental compassion, of the daily lives of the patients and those whose task it is to care for them, are very powerful... This is an impressive collection of poetry, skilful, often quiet, sometimes shocking and well worth getting to grips with.' steve spence SCENE

"...the language is clear. He manages to demystify psychiatry, its processes and management, and invoke strong emotional responses. ...what strikes is the poet's genuine compassion for the plight of those stripped of dignity, of belonging..." Poetry Quarterly Review

"... brings together the threads of the psychiatric system, only to pull them apart again. Everyone is potentially vulnerable; everyone is potential victim or antagonist. By representing individuals as 'cases' throughout the collection Smith highlights the way the system can reduce the living being to a list of characteristics; their histories and futures being as inevitable as numbers on a page. These poems are full with disenchantment and irony concerning the paradox of care. And whilst Smith seems a polemicist he leaves us with no answers and no final judgement but for the evident fact that these systems are not working. Though scathing these poems are also eloquently written, providing a moving insight into the despair which devastates lives. Other subjects receive the same treatment. I would highly recommend this compilation of poems to anyone who wants to unpick these problems as well as to those who appreciate proficiently crafted poetry." Jo Whittle

"...poetry that is shockingly analytical but always compassionate, even with touches of fully-justified dark humour. Sometimes it is lyrical, with images so arresting that they constantly force the reading eye/I to stop and think. Above all the book is powerfully sceptical, and is a work of great political subversiveness. I'd put it at the top of the reading list for all ministers and civil servants at the Department of Health." Andrew Belsey

ISBN 978-1-912455-30-0 £12.95 (+ £2.00 UK postage)

Available on here -