#39: The Year of Firsts and Lasts
I'd like to wish you all an extremely belated but no less heartfelt happy new year. As you may have deduced from the tardiness of this newsletter, I've hit the ground running in 2017, spending the majority of January working with editors and authors and trying to get a head start on the nineteen (!) books we've currently got in the works.
This will be a year of many firsts for the Emma Press, as it has been every year since I started it. I know that 2017 will be the first year we publish prose and translations, and I've promised myself it's the first year we'll publish a book without a mad rush to get the files off to the printer. It will be the first year I launch our books in Birmingham as well as London, the first year I really ask for and accept help, and – I hope – the last year the Emma Press is a one-woman operation. I'll let you know how that all goes!
And now, on with the newsletter. Scroll down for details of our Valentine's giveaway and an exclusive preview of our next call for submissions.
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Introducing... This Is Not Your Final Form
This Is Not Your Final Form is our anthology of poems about Birmingham, featuring poems from the Verve poetry competition. I had tremendous fun editing the book with Emma Press stalwart Richard O'Brien, and we're looking forward to meeting the poets in the book at the (sold out!) launch on 18th February.
Seasoned Emma Press-watchers may notice that this is the first time we've used a photo on a book cover, and subscribers old and new may spot that the photo is of an enormous pink gorilla's head. I feel I owe you some answers:
- The head belongs to the 7ft pink gorilla sculpture built by the Birmingham Originals last year, utilising the various skills of the team members. I'm a member and I actually worked a bit on the early stages of the head, as well as contributing a snippet of pink-themed poetry by Rachel Piercey to be stencilled across the gorilla's torso.
- The title is a quote from one of the poems in the book (by John McGhee), and we picked it because it nods at the way Birmingham is constantly re-inventing itself. Once we'd decided on that, Richard suggested that the pink gorilla was the perfect fit for the cover, because it's an homage to the famous King Kong statue which stood in Birmingham in the 1970s. The photo is by Lee Allen Photography.
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