Taproot Press was started by two University of Edinburgh students, Patrick and Dani, with the help of experienced editor Jennie Renton and poets Robert Alan Jamieson and Miranda Pearson. Established during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a project that transcended the distance imposed by national lockdown, connecting those involved across Scotland, Portugal and British Columbia, and it is this spirit that continues in the press and its commitment to publish work from Scotland and the rest of the world, in both native English and translation.
Like the taproot that grows from the radicle of the seed, connecting the underground with the over-ground, the micro with the macro, Taproot Press interlinks international writers with Scottish audiences, and enables Scottish writers to reach out beyond the local. Above all, we are committed to publishing challenging, contemporary literature with a radical slant – and in doing so, to provide a platform for voices that might otherwise go unheard.
Meet the Team
Hello, I’m Dani and, alongside Patrick, I am one of the founders of Taproot Press. I am currently in my 3rd year of a Scottish Literature MA at The University of Edinburgh, and even though I’ve been living in Edinburgh for over 7 years, I’m actually Portuguese! While my current academic focus is Scottish Literature, my personal interests lie with feminist and post-colonial literature. As an emigrant from a small, non-English speaking country I particularly enjoy reading literature that deals with the intricacies of cultural dualities within the self – Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai are two fabulous books that explore these themes brilliantly. If I had to choose one book from the past that I wished I could have published it would be Jean Rhys’ Good Morning, Midnight. Jean Rhys writes unreservedly about the emotional, financial and mental challenges that women faced in the early 1900s. The literary calibre of Rhys’ writing paired with her controversial voice sits right at the heart of my publishing agenda.
Hi! As well as being one of the founders of Taproot Press, I am also a father and full-time postgraduate student at The University of Edinburgh. My own research is focused around post-war Scottish literature, specifically that of émigré writers, but my deep interests extend to contemporary continental philosophy, ecology, and radical politics. If I had to choose one book from the past that I wished I could have published, it would probably be Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. I love a bit of publishing controversy, and the legal battle around Miller’s first novel went a long way towards establishing the freedom of speech we now associate with modern Western literature. Despite his failings as a person, Miller was stylistically miles ahead of his time and the writing here is just exquisite. For Scottish literature I’d have loved to have seen Nan Shepherd’s manuscript for The Living Mountain back in the 1940s – Shepherd’s elegant appeal for re-connection with the natural world reads particularly poignantly in light of today’s ecological crisis.
Robert Alan Jamieson
Robert Alan Jamieson was born in Lerwick, Shetland, and is the author of five novels and three poetry collections. He has served as senior lecturer in Creative Writing at The University of Edinburgh since 2001.
Miranda Pearson is the author of five books of poetry, most recently ‘Rail’, with McGill-Queens University Press. She has an MFA from The University of British Columbia and has taught Creative Writing both there and at Simon Fraser University. Miranda is originally from Kent, England, and has lived in Vancouver, Canada, since 1991.
Jennie Renton is an Edinburgh-based editor, publisher and bookseller that has previously worked with Mainstream Books and as editor of The Edinburgh Review, among other roles. She currently runs Main Point Books in Edinburgh while typesetting for presses including Luath Press and Thirsty Books.
Taproot Press is an independent, Edinburgh-based publisher of challenging, contemporary literature from Scotland and around the world.
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