After all the excitement last month, October has been almost peaceful – but don't think I've been enjoying my good fortune on a beach somewhere, sipping cocktails! I've been preparing for a big November, which should see the publication of four new titles from Valley Press. I'll just tell you about the first two today, though, as they have launch events imminent (and you can have too much of a good thing).
We'll start with Ex Libris, which has the honour of being the first Valley Press hardback, and the first time the poetry of David Hughes
has been collected in print. David taught English at St Peter's School
in York for almost thirty years, whilst quietly getting on with some
excellent writing – he had finished around two-hundred poems at the time
of his death, in 2011. This collection has been meticulously edited by
David's friend, fellow poet and former St Peter's student Antony Dunn, who should be a familiar name to many of you (from the Bridlington Poetry Festival, perhaps?)
It really is a fantastic book, but don't take my word for it – Brian Patten perfectly described Ex Libris as: 'A wonderful collection by a poet whose work has been saved from oblivion by an act of love'. Helen Mort has said: 'If you only discover one writer this year, make it David Hughes' ... so consider yourselves told!
You can read a sample of Ex Libris on the book's homepage, if the above has sufficiently piqued your interest. The launch event for this book will take place on Thursday November 5th, at St Peter's School, York; there'll be a fireworks display at 6pm, with drinks, food and Antony Dunn reading from the book at 6.30pm. This is a free event, but you are asked to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to attend. Here's a map to the venue. Hope to see some of you there!
Cinema Stories, by long-time Valley Press poets James Nash and Matthew Hedley Stoppard (who I'm sure need no introductions). For this volume, James and Matthew toured and researched the cinemas of Leeds – some abandoned, some re-purposed (there were seventy at one point) and some still proudly operational. They then wrote a book of poetry on that subject, and about the mysterious shared (yet personal) experience that is cinema-going ... the results are fascinating. As ever, you can read a sample on the book's homepage.
Cinema Stories is to be launched at the Leeds International Film Festival (no less!) on Tuesday 10th November, in an event at Leeds Town Hall from 7pm. The two authors will be reading from the book, and there'll be a few other treats as well (think, multimedia extravaganza). This time you will have to buy a ticket to attend; you can do so through the festival's website here.
That's all for today, I'll be in touch in a couple of weeks with news of the other two November titles – there's one more poetry collection, and one big chunky historical fiction novel, both by established Valley Press authors. Watch this space!
All the best,
Jamie McGarry (VP Publisher)