Happy Dragons' Press

The Happy Dragons' Press is a non-profit private press in North Essex, UK,[1] which publishes limited edition volumes of poetry using letterpress printing methods. There are currently two series produced by the press, the Dragon Poems in Translation series (edited by Shirley Toulson) and the New Garland series (edited by Rosemary Grant).[1] The books are hand printed in-house by founder Julius Stafford-Baker.

Founded in 1969 but originally producing only ephemera and the occasional book,[2] the press was asked to adopt the Keepsake Poems project after the death of long-term collaborator Roy Lewis (founder of the Keepsake Press)[3][4] and has since published 21 titles.


Poetry in Translation

The press is notable for its focus on Poetry in Translation. Languages published to date include Cornish, German, Hebrew, Irish, Latin, Manx, Polish, Russian, Scots Gaelic, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish. A number of poems in local dialects such as Perthshire, Northumbrian, Lincolnshire and Shetlandic have also been published by the Happy Dragons' Press.

Letterpress Packing

The press is also notable for popularising a type of letterpress packing, used behind paper to improve impression quality, which they call Swiss Style Packing. The packing consists of a synthetic foam rubber blanket and a hard plastic top layer.[11]

See also


  1. 1 2 Poetry Library: Small Press Publishers, retrieved 30 September 2009
  2. History of the Happy Dragons' Press, retrieved 30 September 2009
  3. Chambers, David; Nash, Paul (2002), The Private Libraries Association Volume 5 : 2, The Private Libraries Association, p. 57
  4. The Keepsake Poems, retrieved 30 September 2009
  5. Ambit Poetry Magazine: Blind Man's Buff, retrieved 30 September 2009
  6. The Poetry Library: Hop Pickers' Holiday, retrieved 30 September 2009
  7. The Independent Obituaries: John Cotton, London, 24 March 2003, retrieved 30 September 2009
  8. The London Magazine, retrieved 30 September 2009
  9. Brownjohn, Alan (19 November 2007), "Guardian Obituaries: Vernon Scannell", The Guardian, London, retrieved 30 September 2009
  10. Other Voices of the British Isles, retrieved 6 October 2010
  11. Swiss Packing at Kelsey-Letterpress, retrieved 30 September 2009

Amazon Search: Books Published by the Happy Dragons' Press 

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