Holy Mackerel Press


fish shell

At the moment Holy Mackerel Press exists more as a whimsical idea rather than a functioning publishing venture. It reflects my dream of self-publishing beautiful, simple, small-run, very personal books with lots of heart and perhaps even a hand-made feel. Done perhaps in collaboration with others and probably on the smell of an oily rag. (Or maybe more of a khus, rose or heena smelling rag.) Anyway, you get the picture. I am hoping that some of my poems may see the light of day through the intervention of the Holy Mackerel. Especially the ones that have emerged from slipping into stillness through the gap between day and night.

I’m hoping they may find an artist with a kindred spirit to accompany them and become one of the first HM productions. Who knows?

The illustrations that you see on my website were created by my friends, Jane Prideaux and Stuart Billington. They have captured the whimsy perfectly—I love them. The name Holy Mackerel and the fish character owe their existence to a dream I had of a beautiful and magical fish (a mackerel) finding its way to the open ocean. Later I found out that the fish is an ancient symbol of creativity. Now I can’t help but notice both simple and elaborate fish images everywhere—in tiles, in paintings, in mosaics, in sculptures, in stained glass windows. Many of them make my heart start pounding.

So, while Holy Mackerel Press has not yet published a single thing (and is NOT seeking manuscript submissions) it is definitely a dream that delights and sustains me after many, many years of working as an editor out there in publishing land. Thanks for listening to the story so far. Stay tuned—and more importantly than that—I hope you have a dream of your own.



For Karen's main site, and to find out about her upcoming book - The Uses of Sadness, please visit: