It is not the crocodile’s job to shout ‘watch out for the crocodile’.
— Henri Michaux
— Henri Michaux
Nestled under an RAAF flightpath, in the otherwise tranquil backwater of Markwell via Bulahdelah (Myall Lakes District of NSW), Cerberus Press has, since the nineties of another century, pursued its infernal small press publishing agenda. The work has gone largely unnoticed, and with very little money changing hands. Sometimes years would go by without a book even being thought of, let alone sold. Seasons would come and go, wallabies would pass through, and all the while the grand experiment continued to see just how low-impact a small press could be. For years at a time, there was nobody at home at all. And still the stark question remained — how little a splash was it possible to have in the muddy lotus dam of Australian letters? What was the true meaning of ‘minor’ in a landscape where nothing was terribly significant? That was then. But now — behold — under the umbrella of Cerberus’ fierce mongrel heads, Flying Islands Books partners with other small presses (for instance, ASM in Macao) to present Australian and international poetry, in English and in other languages. A series of large scale bilingual anthologies (published since 2009) present Australasian poetry to the Chinese reader, and (since 2010) a series of poetry pocket books offer readers the works of individual poets, in English and in bilingual formats. All minor works. So far, the emphasis has been on Australian poets and on Australian connections with China, but we plan over time to become more cosmopolitan, while at the same time remaining stubbornly parochial. There’s no hurry with any of this though. ‘He he’, we say to the bottom line. Resisting seriousness at every turn and shunning the merest principles of organization, Cerberus and Flying Islands waddle off into codgerdom together, hand in hand, anticipating a next feed and wondering what next brilliant conceit will pop into the woolly scone.Kit Kelen