Sphinx was originally a paper magazine. Dedicated to the promotion and celebration of poetry in pamphlet form, it collected reviews, features, interviews and various scraps to inform or entertain. The last paper issue appeared in Spring 2010, though by that time, poetry pamphlet reviews were being posted online, on the HappenStance website.
Whither Sphinx has now made its way. Although the paper publication is extinct, interviews with small press publishers and selected features are collected in the Sphinx area of the website, and a list of UK poetry pamphlet publishers is kept updated and free to download. Equally significant, there is a repository for pamphlet reviews which appears, for various reasons, to be unique.
Why? First, each pamphlet is reviewed by three different reviewers. There are a few ‘rules', of course. The pamphlets must be ISB numbered. They must be single-author publications of between 20 and 36 pages, excluding preliminaries, in English. They can be self-published. They do not have to be published in the UK, though most are. They must be in print, available for purchase and submitted within twelve months of publication. Needless to say, we need three copies.
Secondly, the review policy places an emphasis on constructive and personal response - no absolutes and no sarcasm. The principles are to