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“… I must return to a near-romantic belief in the poem itself, not only as subject, but as the endurance of its fragility beyond physical bounds, its persistence, endeavour, the heroism and hedonism of its continuation. Lives built and lived to support it. How lyric can be sustained into old age.”

ISBN 978 1 910010 34 1
160pp, 234 x 142, black & white illustrations throughout, paperback with flaps
2023, £14.00


UK £2.50
Europe £6.00
World £9.00

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Reviews and articles

“Like its publisher Uniformbooks, The Small Press Model celebrates the local, the non-metropolitan, those who have a ‘resolve for a critical alternative to mainstream publishing’. It preaches self-reliance, an ethics and economics of scale, a scepticism towards waving a begging bowl at the Arts Council… It’s a model that stands for the dignity of production, the importance of collaboration, the need for alternative networks—and alternative publics. This is a book about publishing. More than that, it’s about refusing capitalist realism, about carving out and holding on to your own space, about how passion should never be a fashion.”
Sukhdev Sandhu, Caught by the River

“…the centre of Cutts’s attention is not on the artists’ book as a category or way of working, over the past 60 years he has in many ways shaped the identity of the artists’ book by consistently resisting and challenging that category from the beginning…”
Andrew Wilson, Art Monthly
467, June 2023

“…an invaluable document of a practice that has consistently prised open the boundaries between different modernist media. Its great interest lies in presenting the small-press model as a creative approach that, although rooted in independent literary publishing, is potentially applicable across a far wider field of contemporary art.”
Greg Thomas, Burlington Contemporary, 11 October 2023

Simon Cutts | The Small Press Model

Small Press activity arises from the need and resolve for a critical alternative to mainstream publishing. It is a search for its own methods of producing and making available. Often it begins with the idea of writing and leads from the ‘little magazine’ of poetry publishing to individual publications and books. Having discovered the means of production, it is possible to improvise and delight in the extensions of the new means of publication.

This collection of writings attempts to group together approaches to the physicality of the book, learned from its beginnings as small press activity. A reductive instinct formed from those earlier editorial principles of small press work can be applied to all products of the imagination, especially the plastic arts. A synthesis of attitudes, developed from the aesthetics and economics of invention and problem solving, informs the formal making of all things.

Simon Cutts and Coracle have been working this collaborative field since the mid-nineteen sixties, firstly with a literary magazine, Tarasque, and its associated publications as Tarasque Press, and then to the editing of more diverse spaces and formats as Coracle, print, books and galleries, and the questioning of wider ideas surrounding publishing and publication.

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Simon Cutts was born in 1944, and has been making poems and objects since the mid-nineteen sixties. These have evolved through their arrangement in the physical space of rooms and pages. The form of the book as a metaphorical structure for the poem has increasingly become the form of his work, together with the installation of their parts in other settings. His work is included in several collections and libraries, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Centre des Livres d’Artistes, Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, France; Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven; and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.