To all FoA friends and followers:
We send you our very best wishes at this very difficult time.
May the power of books keep us safe!
Friends of Alice (FoA) Publishing
is an independent publishing venture
based in West London.
FoA books are sold on Amazon, both as paperbacks and in Kindle format.
Friends of Alice Publishing is all about:
experimental writing… new voices… multilingualism and multiculturalism... interdisciplinary arts… inclusiveness and diversity… genre-bending…
critical thinking... transforming knowledge… groundbreaking projects… promoting creativity… advocating bibliodiversity… gender-neutrality… commitment to the environment…
…and last but certainly not least, FoA is about being curiouser and curiouser…
FRIENDS OF ALICE PUBLISHING is a Registered Trademark
Note: Please do not send unsolicited manuscripts; publishing at FoA is by invitation only.
Friends of Alice Publishing aims:
to publish pioneering literature
to publish texts in translation
to publish authors unknown, bereft, diverse, distinctive, unclassifiable
to serve the most outstanding poetry and prose
to serve our multicultural and multilingual world
to serve the imagination
Back in the 1970s my father Emilio, an incurable anglophile and dedicated children's writer, founded a new and exciting publishing company in Spain. It was called “Editorial Amigos de Alicia”, given that from a very young age he had greatly admired the works of Lewis Carroll. As an expert translator and specialist in children’s literature, he had translated both “Alice in Wonderland” and “Alice through the Looking Glass” into Spanish. But there were more intangible reasons for his admiration for Carroll, as he was himself convinced that the world was a wondrous and miraculous place. Whatever life sent his way, his approach to all things was dreamlike, surreal, amusing. He would often say that the pursuit of anything exciting, like a white rabbit perhaps, might take you to a new and exhilarating realm, and that even upheavals and ill-fated events, like falling through a rabbit-hole, could well be an awakening into the land of your dreams.
Emilio had been a highly accomplished artist as a youngster, winning national competitions from his tiny town in Northern Spain. Sadly, when the image of a déshabillé woman appeared on the church wall, he was publicly blamed and shamed since he was the only known artist in the locality. Who else but him could have drawn that little masterpiece, with intimate minutiae, a desirable pose, a suggestive countenance? His father was none other than the Secretary of the Town Hall (we are talking about the 1930s in Spain), and in a terrible rage, he took away all of Emilio’s drawing implements, crayons and oil paints, easels and canvases, and had everything destroyed forever in a show of public humiliation. My father’s career as an artist regrettably ended there and then. But most probably that tragic episode spelled the end of his trust in others, convincing him that the world of make-believe was the only true world for him. His love of Art was thus replaced by a passion for books and writing that would last a lifetime.
His life, like all other lives, was interspersed with events and circumstances of every kind, some more heartbreaking than others, including a civil war, deaths of close family members (including his wife -my mother- at an early age), injustice, prejudice, and even a fascist dictatorship. The constant in his life was, of course, writing of the most imaginative kind, and that is why children's literature appealed to him above all other genres. And as he had always taken refuge in his inventiveness and humour, those loyal friends would be with him until the very end. Ultimately, what saved him was his sense of fantasy, that indispensable ingredient for a writer.
Four decades later, and on the 150th anniversary of the first publication of “Alice in Wonderland” in 1865, my father’s publishing company is back with a sting. If the original company was mostly a publishing enterprise for children’s books, today Friends of Alice is set to publish both poetry and fiction along the lines of what Lewis Carroll advocated: intriguing, playful and unique writing.
And because Emilio was both a writer and an artist, all poetry books published by FoA include original artwork.
We hope you enjoy and come to love our books!
Isabel del Rio
co-founder, Friends of Alice Publishing
The new 'Vo(i)ces' book is now out! A joint publication by Friends of Alice Publishing and the prestigious Victorina Press, the book includes the winning and shortlisted entries of the Victorina Press Poetry Award 2018, Voices-Voces. Edited by Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes and Isabel del Rio, the book includes translations by Isabel and a most beautiful cover by artist and musician, Valentina Montoya Martinez.
A poet reminisces about the city of her birth, with stories and memories brought to life from both her past and the city’s past: a city at war; a declaration ending hostilities; the demise of the city’s magnificent art collection; forbidden books and student demonstrations; a breech birth and a funeral cortège; sex as it was, but also as it is not; memorable films and favourite pets; the fear of hell and the promise of heaven; an outdated and ill-fated way of life; words looking to be set to music, or scripted as prose, or moulded into poetry, or adapted to the demands of the times, with idiomatic speech taming our wildest dreams. Thus, a retelling of the past becomes the foretelling of the future.
A book in memory of the 80th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War.
With silvertone photography by the author
'Caught Light' by David Russomano is a far-reaching collection of poetry with one toe in the foreign, another in the familiar, and an impossible third dipped way out into the mythical and surreal. Both lyrical and experimental in turn, this diverse work delivers everything from the honest revelations of youth and fatherhood to subtle invocations of environmentalism and revolution. Running through it all, a strong thread of fresh concrete imagery holds it together.
With artwork by the author.
'Fifty Ruba'iyat' by Rumi includes versions of the poems by Wlodek Fenrych, based on translations from Farsi by Ziba Karbassi and Bashir Sarkhavaz. They say that one can get drunk on Rumi. Its sufi imagery (with plenty of wine in it) and its reggae-like rhythm have an intoxicating effect. Does one need to be a Persian-speaker to experience it? Here is a taster for English-speakers.
With original calligraphy by Morteza Salehi.
‘Are You Alive Now?’ Find out in Michael Wyndham’s debut poetry collection. Discover a cast of characters, such as medieval ‘bad boy’ poet Francois Villon, celebrity rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun or the ghosts of famous Le Palais dancehall haunting 21st century Hammersmith, London.
With colour illustrations by Sally Wyndham.
'Ataraxy' by Isabel del Rio is a collection of sonnets on love, death and other fixations. Some are written in despair, others in hope. Some might make you want to get out and fight, others to throw in the towel. For we are also made of moments, maniacal and euphoric, or dejected and disheartened. We are all things; and as such, we write about all things.
With silvertone photography by the author.
'The Moon at the End of my Street' by Isabel del Rio is a collection of factual and fictional performance poetry. From the non-existent seas covering the Moon to the landmark events of the future Lunar Republic, from the Spring Moon to the Moon's dark side, from the chrysanthemum Moon to the Moon of horses, from the milk Moon to the moon of awakening, from moonrise to moonset...
With B&W photography by the author.
Could it be a novel written like a film-script? Or is it a film-script written like a novel? In 10 parts and 77 takes, ‘Dissent’ is the first book of the space opera series 'Planet in Peril', for young adults and adults alike. The book's heroine is an Alice of the future, but her Wonderland is no place to dream. Her journey of discovery takes her across a bleak dystopian ecosystem, making her challenge what she is and question everything she so desperately wants.
Twenty-four stories on Paradise and Hell. The inadequacies of Paradise. The anxieties in Hell. From android love stories, to dissections of historical events, from a life lived far too mindfully to the dilemmas posed by working in Hell itself. If you are lucky, you can get to choose between Hell and Paradise. But because they have co-existed for so long, you may not be able to distinguish between the two of them anymore...