John Davies, the English writer and poet, founded Pighog as a small press in 2002. He says, “I had moved to Brighton in 1988, came out as a poet in 1990. Ten years later and very few Brighton-based poets were getting published. So I took the plunge, published Jackson, a pamphlet by Brendan Cleary, followed by Dancing to Motown, a pamphlet by Brighton poet Lorna Thorpe, which won a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Pighog was subsequently shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award for small presses.”
There followed many more pamphlets, collections and anthologies for British, Irish and European poets. With the Sussex series Pighog aimed to publish at least some of the most excellent poets in the country such as Tim Beech (who sadly died in 2022), James Brookes, Judith Cair, Hugh Dunkerley, Charlotte Gann and Maria Jastrzebska. There are many, many more and Sussex remains one of the most vibrant and exciting arenas for new poetry in the UK today.
And the name? “Pighog was a strange and wild beast in a dream,” says John.
John first met Kate and Mark from Red Hen when they came over to England and were invited to Brighton. Kate proved very popular with the Brighton audience and has made a number of return visits. Red Hen agreed to take over the Pighog list in 2014 when John needed to focus on other projects.
Red Hen published John’s New and Selected entitled Nest in 2018, available now on the Pighog website.
Current Pighog titles include: