Standard biographical and bibliographical information on Erica Marx
may be found in Contemporary Authors .
Primarily a publisher and promoter of the arts rather than a practicing
artist, she operated Les Press de l’hotel Sagonne in Paris from
1938-1940 and 1945-1947. In addition, she was the sole proprietor of the
Hand and Flower Press from various locations in Kent from 1940-1963,
affording many young poets their first appearances. Largely an
experimenter, with a particular interest in poetry, her primary concerns
seem to have been in attempting to reach those in the public who either
could not afford to buy books of poetry or who scorned poetry in large
measure. Of particular renown is the Poems in Pamphlet Series, which ran
for 3 Series of 10-11 each, 1951-1953. Each pamphlet included up to 40
poems by one author but sold for a very small price.
Erica Marx published under the Hand and Flower imprint two books of
her own verse. The first of these, Escape from
Anger , was issued as #11 in the 1951 pamphlet Series, under the
pseudonym Robert Manfred. The second, Some
Poems , was published as a separate slim volume, in 1955. In the
same year, she edited with Patric Dickinson and J. C. Hall, the P.E.N. Anthology .
She was one of the original guarantors and directors from 1955-1959
of the Company of Nine, a group dedicated to the promotion of poetry as
an oral entertainment, and a director of the Poetry Book Society from
its inception in 1954 to her resignation in 1957. From 1954-1957 she
also helped operate M Plates Ltd. which was concerned with a printing
process. Throughout her publishing career, she was an active member in
numerous London literary and musical societies.
As of 1959, she was reported to be living in England’s only converted
Thames barge. In 1963 she sold the press and launched herself into
“Private research into Radiesthesia, paraphysics and sonic
therapy in an attempt to acquire a greater understanding of the
relationship between mind and matter.” (C/A)
The Rare Book Department holds copies of Escape
from Anger , and Some Poems and
several Hand and Flower Press publications; of special note, Poems in Pamphlet .