Sunday, 2 October 2016

This week at Valley Press, #29: 'New and Selected'

Dear readers,

It's been a busy first week in the world for baby George. Just reading the hundreds of lovely emails he received after last Sunday's newsletter was quite tiring enough – but afterwards, before he went for his fifth sleep of the day, he asked me to thank you all for your kind words. We were touched!

As for me, I'd like to apologise to the authors of the other two-hundred emails I received this week, about important publishing stuff, all of which I've had to ignore. I think we may be getting into the beginnings of a routine now, a week after D-day, so perhaps this time next week I'll be back to full speed? Let's remember, I've lost my 'executive assistant' too – thanks in advance for your understanding!

I know you read these newsletters for the cutting-edge literature, and vital news from 'one of Yorkshire's leading publishers' (I'll be milking that quote until George is in high school), so I'll get back to that stuff straight away; no more baby-related frivolity. What's that? Oh ... go on then, one more picture!

Somehow, Valley Press managed to release a new book this week – the latest project from our Associate Editor Rosa Campbell, who has just started studying for her PhD up in St Andrews (so she might be quiet for a while). As hinted in the last two newsletters, this is a monumental 380-page poetry collection which took no less than forty-five years to write; it's the New and Selected Poems of Paul Sutherland.

VP followers will know Paul best as the author of 2012's Journeying, one of our most popular poetry titles, or perhaps for his many years of work on the journal Dream Catcher. He's been writing and publishing consistently since 1970, and (as I discovered in the last four years) has not slowed down at all – by spring 2014 he had offered me two excellent short collections, and it was that May when I realised I wouldn't be able to keep up, and suggested we do a big book bringing all Paul's best work into print at once.

There's so much content in this book (and this is going to be a long post!) that I'm going to struggle to describe it concisely; so will quote from Rosa's excellent blurb:

"[The book] charts the poet’s life from his Canadian roots to immigration to the UK, from agnosticism to Christianity to Sufi Islam, and from natural wonderment to a greater understanding of the world around us. The collection is in turn heartfelt, philosophical, and beautifully lyrical, as Sutherland lays bare for the reader his experiences and perspectives – at once particular and universal. Completely unique, this is an unflinching and forensic exploration of a life lived through language."

The book retails for £20, which is quite a serious price; but we think that's exceptionally good value for such a comprehensive collection. Plus, as you're a newsletter reader, you get special treatment: 20% off all this week with the code PSUTH. You can buy the book here, and make sure you click through anyway to see the extraordinary cover image; a dramatic photo of Paul by Abigail Smith.

Elsewhere this week, far away from nappies and baby-gros, Jonathan, Kelley and Malene started our autumn tour by taking Valley Press to Swindon – the performance was nicely reviewed here, well worth reading that if you couldn't make it. We'll be in Manchester and Sheffield soon; that's the 11th and 17th respectively, follow the links for times and booking.

There's also a Lucky Dip launch event coming up at our Scarborough HQ in Woodend, at which you might actually get to meet baby George – that's 10.30am on Saturday 8th (so before the next newsletter). Maybe I'll see you there, or at one of the tour events? In the meantime, thanks for reading, have a great week, and look out for next week's newsletter which will have a brilliant offer for early Christmas shoppers.

All best,
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher

P.S. Thanks to the in-laws for entertaining George and Laura while I wrote this!

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