About Us

The term ‘darkness visible’ comes from John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost (1667). It describes the nature of the flames of Hell, emitting not light but something else entirely…

At once as far as Angels kenn he views
The dismal Situation waste and wilde,
A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round
As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes

It was also used as a title for a 1979 novel by William Golding and a 1989 memoir by William Styron, concerning his struggles with deep depression.

We like the term because of its striking imagery and poetic resonance, and as a publisher imprint it delineates a certain territory in writing. We are specialising in dark, edgy and transgressive fiction and non-fiction, which may lay outside or blur the conventional boundaries of literary categories and genres, and in doing so seeks new fusions and syntheses. More detailed submission guidelines will follow presently.

Darkness visible publishing