mervyn linford - poet - author - publisher


I run a small not-for-profit poetry press working on a cost/plus basis. I charge the poet the cost of printing plus a minimal amount for expenses and contingency. There are no contracts with the Littoral Press and the copyright remains 100% with the author. I only publish work that I consider to be of the highest quality. Unfortunately this means that there are far more rejections than acceptances, but don't let that stop you from submitting. For further details click on the About Us button.

Penn Fields is Littoral Press's latest poetry publication. It is the third collection of poems we have published for Neil Leadbeater:


Neil Leadbeater’s collection Penn Fields is a thing of beauty.  These are finely honed poems that celebrate the pathways, waterways, hills, valleys and green corridors of Britain.  There is a sense, or perhaps hope, in the geography explored that the natural world is strong enough to survive all that we throw at it.  These poems are Leadbeater’s blue remembered hills painted in a lemon-squash light, but equally, they are a cri de coeur to value and protect the natural history on our doorsteps. Highly Recommended.


-Emma Purshouse.



 Finding the River Horse - poems - Neil Leadbeater: Littoral Press - 75 pages £7.99


The Incomplete Dangler - Fifty years of Sea and Freshwater Fishing - Mervyn Linford:       

      Littoral Press 260 pages illustrated throughout with b/w photographs £9.99


Singing for Mr Bear - poems - Maggie Freeman: Littoral Press 65 pages £7.95


The Willow Pond - A 1950s Childhood in Southeast Essex - Mervyn Linford: Littoral Press 268 pages £11.99


Reflections -  Twelve months, twelve moods along the Chelmer/Blackwater Navigation - Mervyn Linford:

         Littoral Press  168 pages - illustrated throughout with colour photographs - £13.99


Bullshit & Bootlace Ties - Basildon Boys, Southend Girls - A Teenage Extravaganza - Mervyn Linford:

                                        Littoral Press 268 pages £12.99


Everyday Objects, Chance Remarks - poems - Derek Adams: Littoral Press 60 pages £8.50


A Tilt in the Year  - poems - winner of the Littoral Press full collection poetry competition 2017 - Jennie Carr:                                                Littoral Press 74 pages £8.50 Now available in Blackwell's Bookshop - Oxford



Double Vision -  poems - Mervyn Linford & Clare Harvey: Littoral Press 48 pages £6.50


Equinoctial  -  poems - Judy Gahagan: Littoral Press 59 pages £6.99


Hearting Spread with a Slow Hand  -  poems - Jill Elulalie Dawson: Littoral Press 63 pages £6.99


Chorus and Coda  -  poems - Adrian Green: Littoral Press 104 pages £6.95


A Short Poetic Anthology  -  poems - Luis Benitez/Buenos Aires: Littoral Press 87 pages £9.99


Credo  -  poems  - Mervyn Linford: Mica Press, Wivenhoe, Essex 62 pages £9.00


Dialogue for One  -  poems  - Jill Wallis: Littoral Press 56 pages £7.50


Collected Poems Volume One 1984-2010  -  Tom Bryan: Littoral Press 78 pages £9.00


Collected Poems Volume Two 2011 - 2019 - Tom Bryan: Littoral Press 61 pages £9.00


Collected Poems  -  Mervyn Linford: Littoral Press 319 pages £11.99


Lavenham to Leigh-on-Sea  -  Country ways/Coastal Waters - a country journal - Mervyn Linford:

                 Littoral Press 92 pages illustrated with b/w photos £9.99


Hoarding Conkers at Hailes Abbey  -  poems - Neil Leadbeater: Littoral Press 53 pages £7.99


Notes from the Fields - Wethersfield, Finchingfield and the Bardfields  -  A Country Notebook - Mervyn Linford:                                                      Littoral Press 317 pages &12.99


The East Seaxe  -  a book of poems and full page black and white photographs celebrating the coast and the              countryside of Essex   -  Robert Hallmann & Mervyn Linford: Littoral Press 113 pages £9.99


Scenes from the Interior  -  a novella - Judy Gahagan: Littoral Press 136 pages £8.99


Refuge  -  a novella  -  Judy Gahagan: Littoral Press 90 pages £7.50


Basildon New Town - A Memoir 1952-1969  -  Mervyn Linford: Littoral Press 179 pages -

               illustrated with more than 90 black & white photographs £12.99


Two Tree Island  -  poems & prose - Mervyn Linford: Littoral Press 124 pages illustrated b/w photos £7.99


Hippocrene  -  Anthology chosen from the best poems entered for the Littoral Press full collection poetry competition        2017 - 12 poets - including 12 full colour plates by the artist Janet Green: Littoral Press 110 pages £12.50


Talking to the Bees  -  poems - Mervyn Linford: The Brentham Press of St Albans 50 pages £4.50 plus £1.50 P&P


The Fobbing Horse  -  From Suffolk Punch to Cyberspace - a poem for the Plotlands:

      book length autobiographical poem by Mervyn Linford: Littoral press 186 pages -

                         illustrated throughout with b/w photographs £9.99


Two Essex Poets  -  poems  - Frederic Vanson & Mervyn Linford: The Brentham Press of St Alabans -

                                           72 pages £4.95 plus £1.50 P&P


Dawn's Tinder Box  -  poems  - Mervyn Linford: Littoral press 100 pages £7.99


The Judas Deer  -  poems  -  Mary Blake: Littoral Press 92 pages £7.99


Selected, New and  Unpublished Poems 1980-2006  -  Mervyn Linford: Littoral Press 400 pages £9.99


Migrations to Solitude  -  poems & prose  -  Michael Molyneux: Littoral Press 138 pages £6.99


Bright Moon, Still Heart  -  poems and essays - Michael Molyneux: Littoral press 112 pages £7.99


The Night is my Woman  -  poems  -  Michael Molyneux: Littoral Press 56 pages £7.50


Metaphysics in the Forest  -  poems  -  Andrew Hawthorne: Littoral Press 76 pages £7.50


The Beatitudes of Silence - a spiritual journey through the seasons in irregular sonnets  - 

                               Mervyn Linford: Littoral Press 64 pages £6.50


Autumn Manuscript  -  poems/pamphlet - Mervyn Linford: Littoral Press 50 Pages £3.50


The Wheel of Weathers  -  poems/pamphlet - Mervyn Linford: Littoral Press -

       a poem and a b/w photograph for every month of the year £3.99


The Weather Man  -  prose - a spiritual journey through the year - Mervyn Linford: Littoral Press 144 pages £8.99


Fields of Asphodel  -  poems  - Mary Blake: Littoral press 70 pages £8.50


Toad Lichen  -  poems  -  Caroline Ackroyd: winner of the Littoral Magazine poetry pamphlet competition March 2006                                        Littoral Press 36 pages - Out of Print.


The Coggeshall Chronicles   -  A Writer's Year in the County  -  Essex & Beyond  -

Mervyn Linford  with 12 b/w lino cuts by Penelope Cline: Littoral press 234 pages £9.99


The Woods of Ashridge   -  poems  - Mary Blake: Littoral Press 79 pages £7.99


Nature Study  -  poems - I P Taylor: Littoral Press 77 pages £8.99


The Dengie Diaries - Country Journal - Littoral Press 272 pages - illustrated with b/w photographs - £11.99


All That Jazz and Other Poems - Adrian Green 83 pages £9.00: Littoral Press 2018


Before Dusk - Barbara Strangward Littoral Press 2018 50 pages £7.00


From George to George book length poem about George Eliot and her Husband by Margaret Eddershaw- 53 pages £7.50: Littoral Press


Mapping the Borders - Rose Flint - Littoral Press 2019 100 pages £9.00


 Journey Down the Stour  211 pages  -  £11.99    -  includes more than 70 black & white photographs

                                 Please read the Blog on this website for more details


"The Angler's Other Eye"  - 156 pages - £10.00 - includes 42 black and white photographs - Littoral Press


The Saxon Shore - 59 pages - £7.99 - includes an hour-long Cd of the poem - Littoral Press 2019

 Natural Histories - Richard Whiting - 52 pages - £7.99 - Littoral Press 2019

Penn Fields - Neil Leadbeater - Littoral Press 2019 £8.50  86 pages


I started of with the intention of only publishing the poetry of nature and the spirit. I felt that poetry that concerned itself with environmental issues was under represented by the majority of poetry publishers and wanted the help those poets whose nature/spiritual work deserved to be in the public domain. I now publish poetry on any subject but still like to publish the best nature/spiritual work submitted.


Although I have be published by a number of other small presses and in many magazines and periodicals I also publish my own poetry and prose with the Littoral Press. I feel that this gives me greater editorial freedom even if the kudos of being published by another publisher may be lacking. For those of you thinking of self publishing remember that if it was good enough for authors like George Bernard Shaw and Beatrix Potter initially, then it's good enough for you! 




Sample poems:





Sutton Hoo Sequence


I therefore regard a ship burial as just as much a poem as Beowulf


             Martin Carver, Excavator of Sutton Hoo, 1998




Not the obvious place

 for a ship

 if it was meant to travel -

 a mound on a hill of gravel.




Was archaeopteryx aiming to fly

 when it hopped a little

 and hung there

 in the suddenly solid air?


Either way, it reached us.




We all make hoards -

 37 gold coins

 from 37

 Merovingian mints


a scramasax

 baptismal spoons

 a coronation mug

 six unused trout flies

 a Brownie camera

 a stick of chalk



Poet, archaeologist,

 make up some stories.




A hundred iron strands

 twisted tight and welded

 wrapped like a pupa


seeming dead

 it was lethal in the hand.


Red garnets, blue glass

 and ivory, a fistful

 of butterflies

 around the blazing steel.




The bodies are just the earth's

 idea of bodies, they heave into

 anagrams of resurrection.


Said to be gallows folk

they populate

this shoreline Golgotha,


 in a recovered codex.




The old man leant

 his christened ear to the wall

 of the mound, he recalled

 the roystering of warrior kings:


he heard the drip,

drip of rainwater

eroding the the great

bronze cauldron,


the creak of decaying

 timbers, the snap


of a lyre string

 as the gut



Cameron Hawke Smith: From the Anthology of competition poems Hippocrene




Planting Potatoes During Chernobyl


The seed went in two days

before the clouds of Chernobyl

Shiva-danced over the Strath.

We joked about tubers

glowing in the dark.

It rained for six weeks.


The leaves grew to lovely sheen.

Tiny flowers lured bees and butterflies.

Roots swelled Edzell Blues, skins of livid heather.

Kerr’s Pinks, soft carnation hue, marble-fleshed.


All perfect, as new potatoes.

Leave them for maincrop?

Eat and run? Dig before

the roots turn to slush, cells run riot?


Let them grow.

Death and potatoes

go a long way back in my family.

Our old Irish men in North America

would not risk potatoes again.

They planted maize

because the sun could cure what the soil could not.


In that newer world, death was above ground,

in the clear living light.


Tom Bryan from Collected Poems Volume One 1984-2010






 (Evacuated, 1930)


In the end it wasn’t famine.

Though, by the God they feared

it had come close enough.

Nor was it tetanus,

taking babies with the appetite

of a folk-tale ogre.

The weather they had endured,

their ruggedness akin

to the Soay sheep

that cropped the rough pastures

above Village Bay.

Ferocities of wind,

iron-clad beatings of rain,

now drifting deep and thick,

could not defeat skin lagged

against this landscape’s lore.


When the gales paused,

 people got wind of Canada, Australia,

 life on the mainland.

 Who would be left to climb

 the Stacks for solan geese,

fulmar oil or puffin eggs

when Hirta felt the heartbeat

of the modern age?

On the horizon, the mailboat,

unarmed yet dangerously loaded

with word from émigrés,

weakening the St Kildan resolve,

like tongues of sea

testing the resistance of rock

and scattering spoil

onto empty beaches below. 


Solan geese (Gannet)


Richard Whiting from the competition anthology Hippocrene








I closed the curtains on evening, saw you

 a silhouette topping the telegraph pole.


         brown     beech     screech


 Now I hear your soft hoo - disturbingly close -

 the drawn pause, the long hollow tremolo.


         wood     hollering     hoot


 You swoop from oak to oak, further and further

 away across the fields calling your territory in.


         hill hooter      jenny howlet


You claim your old names brown hoolet:


         jinny yewlet      billy hooter



 you tell me of daybreak, your first post

 your last before sleep.


 Jennie Carr winner of the 2017 Littoral Press full collection poetry competition.




Black-tailed Godwits – Mersea Island   


Three godwits –

 three black-tailed godwits

 standing at the tide’s full edge.


One - on one leg:

 head tucked in beneath a wing -




The others – busier with worms and molluscs –

 and all such things secreted in the ooze beneath their feet


   are almost black


silhouetted in the heat of late September

 and the sun-shot, glittering, shatter of the sea

        in smithereens.


Bladder wrack and eelgrass

seep into the senses with the smell

of oyster smacks and cockle spits and brine


and early, but expected, from the east

the darkening skeins of those dark-bellied geese

who write their cursive script across a sky as wide as winter.


Mervyn Linford from Credo published by Mica Press of Wivenhoe, Essex.



What a waste

(for Ian Dury)

There’s a feeling, like the memory of a Kursaal ride,
an old wind, a cold wind that stirs inside.
Rolling in like the wind off the estuary tide,
down a dead flat, mud flat, eight miles wide.

somewhere, somefing, somehow sighed,
what a waste - what a waste,
Ian Dury died.

Snazzy little geezer wiv a spazzy stick.
A concrete mixer voice, rough and fick.
Takes the stage, like a fief on the nick.
Hard bard, art tart, don't giva shit.

somefing, somehow, somewhere sighed,
what a waste - what a waste,
Ian Dury died.

Words of an angel, dressed wiv a mallet,
mixed wiv spit from a painters palette.
Raw sound, foot down, pushed to the limit,
escaped from the cage of an old cock linnet.

somehow, somewhere, somefing sighed,
what a waste - what a waste,
Ian Dury died.

Derek Adams MA from Everyday Objects Chance RemarksLittoral Press





In the room are faded daffodils

They live only in their shadows


Tinted yellow, as earthbound spirits

Hang their bones with jaundiced flesh;


Or semblance of it. Eyes make up

The filtered light with memories,


Of questions left unanswered,

Books discarded half-way through.


How small the room seems

Now in the solitude of night,


It is tinted shades of quiet

And the ticking of a vast clock.


                                       Adrian Green


 (Previously published in Psychopoetica 31 and Chorus & Coda published by Littoral Press)