The Team

Barbican Press was set up by Martin Goodman and James Thornton in 2009.

At the time, before he moved to become Professor of Creative writing at Hull, Martin lived close to the Barbican in Plymouth. The press’s name was chosen as one that would work in other European languages. We also like its sense of being both strong and protective. Barbican Press writers become part of a writing family – so every writer is part of the team.

Martin’s intention was to create the sort of publishing house that as a writer he would like to exist. Great books that have no interest in compromising don’t always find a home. Those are the books we welcome into the Barbican. We introduce them to readers who don’t need their books to compromise. They get along well.

Martin Goodman
Martin does most of the editorial work.
Jason Anscomb
Most covers come from Jason Anscomb.
Kate Horsley
Our web designer and guru is Kate Horsley.
Alex Billington and Imprint Press
Typesetting has been by Alex Billington at Tetragon, and Imprint Press.
Sam Hawcroft
Copyediting has been by Sam Hawcroft.
Central Books & the Independent Publishers Group
Our books are distributed by Central Books, and in the USA by the Independent Publishers Group.

PR and rights sales are done on an individual basis.

Red Hands – Colin W. Sargent

Red Hands is a deeply compelling tale of a woman caught inside the destruction of a regime. Iordana is a normal girl, brought up with all the perks of Romania’s corrupt communist regime. Then she falls in love and marries the eldest son of her parents’ arch-rival, Romania’s monstrous dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.  They become the […]

Notes from a Mountain Village – James Thornton

A hymn to beauty that is layered, inquiring, and redemptive. Homero Aridjis The second collection from Irish-American poet and leading environmentalist James Thornton, Notes from a Mountain Village is out Summer 2020. Written over 25 years, it pays exquisite attention to the nature, seasons and people of a French mountain village. In his new volume […]

Angelica, Paintress of Minds – Miranda Miller

Angelica, Paintress of Minds – the new novel from Miranda Miller. June 2020. A fictionalised autobiography of the painter Angelica Kaufmann, one of the two female founders of the Royal Academy. This is a novel about an artistic genius and a powerful woman living, like us, at a time of huge and bewildering change. View […]

Virgin & Child – Maggie Hamand

Strangely touching… written with great elegance and authority. It tackles “head on” some of the most challenging issues for the Roman Catholic Church around gender and sexuality. Sara Maitland What happens when everything you know is thrown into doubt…and you’re the Pope? A thrilling gender-busting story featuring the first recently elected Irish Pope, Patrick, a […]

Ref! Women in Rugby League Drama!

“I love this game. The true game. It makes you feel you belong whatever bloody genitals you were born with.” Based on the true story of former rugby league referee Julia Lee, ranging from the 1980s to the present century and across two continents, REF! by Sarah Jane Dickenson is a universal tale of how […]

Hope Walks By Me

Poetry and Prose by Ex-Offenders A Financial Times Book of the Year 2019!! Selected in the FT by Bonnie Greer, who says of Hope Walks By Me: ‘My seasonal book is Hope Walks By Me (Barbican Press £9.99)–a collection of poetry and prose by the incarcerated. Developed out of writing projects in Hull and across […]

Peter Thornton

We are honoured to follow our publication of Peter Thornton’s translation of Dante’s Inferno with his new, rhymed verse translation of Petrarch, Scattered Rhymes. we flew to Chicago, and Peter’s home in nearby Evanston, for powerful yet poignant days of putting the final edits in place. Sadly Peter passed away a few days later – […]

Gains and Losses

Barbican Press’s latest – a book of stories from new and emerging writers. Find new voices reaching out in new ways. The collection takes the reader from the conquest of Mexico to modern-day British politics. Tales are spun from Iraq in the Gulf War, Greece in the 1980s, and HIV clinic in Uganda and a […]

Paul Harfleet’s PANSY BOY on the Polari Prize Shortlist

Hooray for prizes! Paul Burston’s Polari Prize for LGBT debut books, gives terrific support to books treading out from the margins. We were GLAD to be longlisted last year, for Sarah Walton‘s boundlessly fine novel of Ancient Rome, Rufius. And our heart is warmed once again at the shortlisting for Paul Harfleet‘s supremely beautiful and […]

James Thornton & poetry of science

James Thornton gives the Barbican Press  2018 summer poetry reading – to a discerning audience. ‘I don’t generally like poetry or science,’ said one surprised listener. ‘With this I like both! It turns out poetry is the perfect medium for delivering science!’ The reading came from James Thornton’s The Feynman Challenge. ‘What men are poets […]