“… true literature can exist only where it is created not by diligent and trustworthy officials, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels and sceptics. But when a writer must be sensible and rigidly orthodox, when he must make himself useful today, when he cannot lash out at everyone like Swift or smile at everything like Anatole France, there can be no bronze literature, there can only be a paper literature, a newspaper literature, which is read today and used for wrapping soap tomorrow.”
– Yevgeny Zamyatin, “I Am Afraid”
Founded in 2008 and based in Glasgow, Vagabond Voices is an independent publisher that is both Scottish and fervently European in its aims. Vagabond is committed to introducing new titles from Scottish authors and translating fiction from other languages. Our library reflects our aims to promote literary ambition and innovative writers, and to challenge readers.
We publish our books under six series: Vagabonds, Changelings, Rants, Poetry, Playwrights and Contemplations.
VAGABONDS are literary works in original English. We call them Vagabonds because they involve journeys in search of small, subjective truths. Some recent Vagabonds include The Spit, the Sound and the Nest, You’re Not Supposed to Cry, Borrowed Time, Lies of the Land, and Things Written Randomly in Doubt.
Our translated works are called CHANGELINGS because, like changelings, translations only give the appearance of being the original but are subtly different. Some recent Changelings include The Saviour of Lasnamäe, A Happy Little Island and The Garden. In 2017 our focus is on Baltic literature, and some upcoming titles include The Death of the Perfect Sentence, 18 and the classic Lithuanian novel The White Shroud.
Our RANTS titles comprise political polemics aimed at widening political debate in Scotland. Recent works in this category include political journalist Paul Kavanagh’s Barking up the Right Tree series, and politician Jim Sillars’s In Place of ... series.
Vagabond’s POETRY series is wholly the work of our poetry editor, Colin Waters, a literary journalist as well as the spokesman for the Scottish Poetry Library. Recent collections include A Barrel of Dried Leaves, Settle, Our Real Red Selves, and the Saltire-shortlisted This Far Back Everything Shimmers.
PLAYWRIGHTS, like our POETRY series, is less creatively named. In 2016 we published a double bill by Peter Arnott: Face and Shall Roger Casement Hang? In January 2017 we published a double bill Chris Dolan's plays The Pitiless Storm and The Cause of Thunder.
Our latest series is titled CONTEMPLATIONS. These are non-fiction works in original English. All of our books invite critical analysis and close reading, but books in our Contemplations series are particularly curated to engage the reader in important questions. The first book in this series is Against Miserabilism.
The resources of a small publisher like Vagabond Voices can do very little to change popular tastes and attitudes; instead, we seek to serve the small but significant camp of readers that are being let down in these times dominated by the economies of scale. The vagabond represents our dedication to making available important and insightful stories and ideas from around the globe.
For information on how to contact us, please visit our CONTACT page.