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About us

Penned in the Margins creates publications and performances for people who are not afraid to take risks. We believe in the power of language to challenge how we think, test new ideas and explore alternative stories. We operate across the arts, collaborating with writers, artists and creative partners using new platforms and technologies.


Live Events and Productions

Since 2004 we have curated, produced and commissioned a diverse range of events, projects and productions: from sell-out music/poetry nights at The Spitz to London Lip and Visions of the City at the Bishopsgate Institute; from Salt Margins and Stress Fractures Performance Lectures at the Whitechapel Gallery to a series of bespoke literary salons at Aubin & Wills. We have produced a number of UK touring shows including the trailblazing Generation Txt, spoken word comedy show Found in Translation, and poet Siddhartha Bose’s one-man play Kalagora. We are currently producing Electronic Voice Phenomena.

We’ve worked with over one hundred and fifty writers, musicians and artists, including Iain Sinclair, Glyn Maxwell, Daljit Nagra, dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Inua Ellams, Siddhartha Bose, Laura Dockrill, Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band, Hannah Silva, Luke Kennard, Jeremy Warmsley, Joe Dunthorne, David Harsent and Clare Pollard.

Find out what’s on.



We published our first book, the anthology of new poets Generation Txt, in 2006. Since then we’ve racked up over thirty titles spanning poetry, criticism and short fiction. As well as poetry collections and anthologies, we publish a series of limited edition mini-books from the likes of Roddy Lumsden and Luke Kennard. Our books have been Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Highly Commended by the Forward Prizes, and featured by the likes of Time Out, The Sunday Times, The TLS, The Independent, Dazed Digital, The Culture Show and BBC Radio 3. Adventures in Form was a PBS Special Commendation and was picked by The Independent as one of its 50 Best Summer Reads. In 2013 we were voted Most Innovative Publisher by the Saboteur Awards.

See our full catalogue.

If you are looking to submit your manuscript, please consult this page.



As well as our books, events and productions, we offer a range of consultancy services: from marketing to website design, event programming to podcasting. Organisations we’ve worked in partnership with include Arts Council England, the Poetry Society, Poetry London, Free Word Centre, Resonance FM, Jewish Book Week, the London Borough of Ealing, Writers’ Centre Norwich, Spread the Word and Salt Publishing.


Who we are

Tom Chivers, Director

Tom Chivers is a writer and literary arts producer. His books include How To Build A City (Salt Publishing, 2009), The Terrors (Nine Arches Press, 2009; shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets) and Flood Drain (Annexe, 2014). He has edited a number of anthologies including the award-winning Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins, 2012). In 2009 he presented a documentary about the poet Barry MacSweeney for BBC Radio 4. He received an Eric Gregory Award in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Prize in 2014.

Tom was co-Director of London Word Festival from its inception in 2008 until 2011, and was a recipient of a Breakthrough Award from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. He commissioned and produced a range of work including The 14th Tale by Inua Ellams, Hackney Ascension Day by Iain Sinclair, Every Rendition on a Broken Machine by Ross Sutherland, and site-specific murder mystery The Crash. Tom has worked on a variety of arts and literature projects with organisations such as the Poetry Society, Writers’ Centre Norwich, Arvon Foundation and Free Word Centre, where he was Digital Editor 2011-12. He was a board member of the Poetry Book Society 2009-2013, and is currently a board member of Inpress.

Nick Murray, Production Assistant

Nick Murray is a live literature producer, writer, viola player and head of Annexe Magazine based in London. His art and installation work has featured in exhibitions such as Sites of Alternative Publishing (Five Years Gallery) and toured with Electronic Voice Phenomena (Mercy/Penned in the Margins).

Associate Artists

Siddhartha Bose
Hannah Silva
Ross Sutherland

Creative Associate

Russell Bender

Advisory Board

Chris Baker
Paul Cann
Oliver Dawson
Rose Fenton
Julia Payne
Natasha Tripney


Good news for poetry

The Times

A marvellously exciting venture, always bringing together the worlds of experimentalism and performance, always looking for new ways to present the spoken word in a time of artistic flux

Ian McMillan

At the forefront of exploring what live literature, spoken word – whatever you wish to call it – can and could be

The Stage

An independent one stop shop for exciting literary publications and events

For Books Sake

Each book that comes out of the PITM stable is perfectly packaged, of a super high quality and guaranteed to make readers think a little differently

Reader, Saboteur Awards

Exactly the kind of work that needs to be done ... neither declarative nor factional

SJ Fowler

The Brian Eno of the poetry publishing world

Selected Poems

Cracking (and frequently cutting-edge) live lit events