The Night Shift came together out of a wealth of writing - English, American and in translation French and Hungarian. Anthologists are de facto judges in a competition where the winner is the reader in the bookshop. We were after the lively, the readable, the provoking - mingling the well known (Coleridge, Wordsworth, Arnold, Auden, de la Mare, Duffy) with the not so well or unknown - (Espada, Kelly, Routh, Rawling, Hadari, Wardle).
More than fifty poets were joyous, celebratory, despairing and metaphysical. The empty spaces of the night were not vacant; they teemed with noise and happenings. Over time , the north-bound steam engine climbed the gradient; a carriage rattled over Westminster Bridge; watchmen drank tea; and a poet slept in an orchard a few days before his execution. Many songs and many darknesses came together in a place the three editors knew was worth experiencing. Simon Armitage in ‘Night Shift' reminded us of "...this space we have worked for and paid for / we have found ourselves, but lost each other."
Only temporarily - as we pursued our separate tastes to put them together in this three-part anthology.