Dare-Gale Press is an independent small press founded in 2015, with an initial focus on poetry and memoir. The first title to be published was Mary Borden’s Poems of Love and War, launched at the Wimbledon Book Fest. This is the first of an inaugural series of collections by poets who saw active service in the First World War, but not with a gun in their hand. Their role was to save life, rather than to take it. Other poets in the series include Laurence Binyon, who served as a medical orderly at a hospital for French soldiers near Verdun. Counter-Wave: Poetry of Rescue in the First World War is the first anthology of its kind, featuring ten volunteer humanitarian workers who saw front-line service, including E.E. Cummings, Ernest Hemingway and John Masefield.

Forthcoming publications include Poems for the Earth: A Global Anthology which marks a new focus on poetry about the natural world and is part of our Poems for the Earth project, which aims to bring together writers and readers from around the world who share a sense of delight and wonder at the beauty and diversity of the natural world, and who are increasingly worried for its survival. The project will include a series of books, pamphlets, blogs, podcasts and events.

Dare-Gale books are distributed in the UK by the Unicorn Publishing Group and in the USA by the University of Chicago Press.

cage aart janvenema
Artwork by aartjanvenema

Dare-Gale Press takes its name from the opening lines of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem, ‘The Caged Skylark’:

As a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage
Man’s mounting spirit in his bone-house, mean house, dwells…

Since at least the time of the great Troubadour poet Bernart de Ventadorn, the skylark has been a symbol of both lyric poetry and what Hopkins calls ‘man’s mounting spirit’, and its desire for freedom. For Shelley, the skylark is a ‘blythe spirit’ who teaches the poet to sing. Coleridge ‘translated’ the skylark’s exuberant song as: ‘I love my Love, and my Love loves me!’. We use it as a symbol of the freedom of spirit that we are looking for in the poetry we publish.

Dare-Gale Press is run by Paul and Pilar O’Prey. We are based in Brighton and Hove on the south coast of England.

For any further information, please get in touch.

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Dare-Gale Press


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