Gateway Poets

Methuen & Co., Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1933-1935
Size: 5″ x  7.5″

Methuen’s Gateway Poets uses the same Gateway name used for their Gateway Library series, but instead of reprints (found in the Library series), the Gateway Poets include volumes of new poetry by “younger modern poets whose verse has not previously appeared in volume form” – according to an advertisement for the series (see below, from New Verse, 6, 1933).

The Gateway Poets published 7 volumes between 1933 and 1935. Norton published one book in a series called the Gateway Poets in 1938, which does not seem to be part of the same series. Norton had a series named the Gateway Books published between 1935 and 1960.

Titles in the series are listed below.

The Widow and Other Poems, by Ada Jackson
Spring Encounter, by John Pudney
Difficult Morning, by Randall Swingler

Up the Noran Water, and Other Scots Poems, by Helen B. Cruickshank
The Walls of Glass, by A.S.J. Tessimond

Harlem, and Other Poems, by William Rose Benét
Three Dawns Ago, by John Thompson

Thanks to Peter Thompson (his father’s poetry was published in the series in 1935) for information about the Gateway Poets series.

Ada Jackson’s The Widow was among the first three titles published in the series in 1933. Jackson was a relatively well-known British poet in the WW2 era, but is largely forgotten today:

“Jackson’s extraordinary long poem Behold the Jew, which won the Greenwood Prize in 1943 and was published in Poetry Review, exemplifies the political challenges that fascism presented poets. Already well known as the winner of the National Poetry Prize in 1933 for her collection The Widow and Other Poems (1933) and for the detailed, matter of fact evocations of fascist violence in World in Labour (1942), Jackson turns her hand to the modern ode in Behold the Jew.” (The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century British and Irish Women’s Poetry, p. 33)

Jackets for the series are printed on heavy paper, blue-green in this case (I’ve also seen a brown-gold colored paper jacket). A graphic frame surrounds the front of the jacket, which includes the series name, title, author, and publisher. The jacket spine includes the price of 2s./6d. The front jacket flap is blank.

The back of the jacket indicates the series name and price, and a blurb for the series. The first three titles in the series (published in 1933) are listed.

The jackets cover heavy paper-covered bindings to which a label is glued: the label includes the series name,  title, and author and publisher, printed in two colors with a bird design. The spine is blank.

The half-title page:

The title page, faced by a list of the initial three titles in the series. The book size is specified as Narrow Crown 8vo.

“First published in 1933.”

“Printed in Great Britain at the Westminster Press 411a Harrow Road, London W.9”