Rochford Press is one of the longest running, independent literary small presses in Australia. Initially established by Mark Roberts in 1983 as Rochford Street Press whilst living in Erskineville NSW, as a vehicle to publish the now-collectible, gestetner-printed, silkscreened early issues of P76 Magazine, it went on to publish the sole collection by poet Dipti Saravanamuttu Statistic for the New World and seven issues of P76.
Rochford Press is now based in Rochford Cottage in Leura in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Like any survivor, the press has evolved over time but its mission an unwavering commitment to Australian writing which pushes the boundaries and stands out from the mainstream and everyday to tell stories that would otherwise not be told.
Since 2019 publisher/editor Linda Adair has coordinated the production of four professionally designed and locally printed books have been produced in the upper Blue Mountains. These limited run books are by both established and emerging writers:
- Chimera by Jane Skelton
- The End of the Line by Rae Desmond Jones
- When I was Clandestine by Juan Garrido Salgado
- Open by Sarah St Vincent Welch
This second series of books built on the earlier series of print-on-demand, hand assembled, chapbooks by emerging writers which Mark Roberts produced between 2011 and 2018. Between 2011 to 2018 Rochford Street Press produced debut poetry books by the following poets:
Mohammad Ali Maleki’s Truth in the Cage
Robbie Coburn’s collection Before Bone & Viscera,
Stevi-Lee Alvers Cactus.
The Selected Your Friendly Fascist — a collection based on the cult poetry magazine established by Rae Desmond Jones and John Edwards in the 1970s.
The online journal Rochford Street Review https://rochfordstreetreview.com/ continues to be a cottage industry collaboration between Roberts and Adair. Issue 31 of the review will launch in March 2021 carrying on the important work of publishing poetry and short fiction, video poetry, launch speeches, creative and critical writing that has been championed by Mark Roberts for many years. RSR will continue to feature the work of visual artists each issue on its cover, to shine a light on the local pool of poets, writers and artists.
In the world prior to Covid, Rochford Press actively promoted the second series of books by arranging launches and readings around the country at a diverse range of venues and it is hoped that we can resume promotion of Chimera as the virus hopefully responds to vaccination program.
Rochford Street Review has partnered with creatives in the Blue Mountains to promote exhibitions by MAPBM and produced a website for the exhibition Resilience in Times of Adversity: Contemporary Responses to WW2 in the Blue Mountains 1939-1950 curated by Vivienne Dadour https://resilienceintimesofadversity.com/
The latest book by Rochford Press is Chimera by Jane Skelton a local writer who has published widely. The book features illustrations by renown Blue Mountains’ artist Louise Kerr. As vaccination controls the virus, we hope that to launch Chimera in a face-to-face launch in the Blue Mountains later this year.