Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Emma Press Newsletter #39: The Year of Firsts and Lasts

#39: The Year of Firsts and Lasts

Hello everyone,
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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Andrew Wynn Owen's new poetry pamphlet

We published Andrew Wynn Owen's first poetry pamphlet, the delectable Raspberries for the Ferry, back in 2014, followed by his collaboration with John FullerAWOL, in 2015. 
We're delighted to be working with Andrew again for The Dragon and The Bomb, his mini-epic poem which tells the tale of Don Armando, who wants to be a saint, and Haplo Nous, who wants to split the atom. There's also a dragon, but you'll have to read the book to discover the extent of its involvement in DA and HN's plans.
We're launching The Dragon and The Bomb at All Souls College in Oxford on Friday 24th February and you are all invited – see our Events page for details.

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Dates for your diary: events & opportunities

The Tangerine, the new Belfast-based magazine for new writing, is open for submissions of all sorts of writing. Deadline: 12th February.
BIRMINGHAM. Verve Poetry Festival runs 16-19th February in Waterstones. Booking info here.
* The Christopher Tower Poetry Competition for students aged 16-18 years closes very soon. It's judged by Sarah Howe and Vahni Capildeo and the theme this year is 'Stone'. Deadline: 17th February.
BIRMINGHAM. Remember 1000 Trades, our new favourite bar in the Jewellery Quarter? We're running a poetry-and-wine evening with them on 23rd February. £10 earlybird tickets are available until 11th February (£15 after that) – details here.
* The Poetry Business has two contests open at the moment: their International Book & Pamphlet Competition, judged by Ian Duhig and Mimi Khalvati, and their New Poets Prize, judged by Andrew McMillan. Deadline: 1st March.
LICHFIELD. Come and see three of our new pamphlet poets read at Lichfield Literature Festival on 4th March! Details here.
LONDON. Save the date for our launch party for our three newest poetry pamphlets on 24th March, with readings from Andrew Wynn Owen, Emma Simon and Jack Nicholls.

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Valentine's Giveaway!

We've teamed up with our fellow Jewellery Quarter business Connolly's Wine Merchants to offer a Valentine's giveaway of champagne and love poetry books.
'Like' our Facebook page and leave a comment on the photo before 10th February to be entered into the prizedraw.

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Verve Poetry Festival

It's been a pleasure to be involved in this brand-new poetry festival, hosted by Waterstones Birmingham and taking place next weekend 16-19th February.
I programmed the children's events, including readings, workshops, and an open mic event for children aged 6-16. You can find out more here and you can read my blog about the importance of children's poetry here.

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Submissions Update

Open calls for submissions

Here's some exclusive news for readers of this newsletter: our next call for submissions will open on Monday 13th February and we'll be looking for POEMS ABOUT BRITAIN. This will be the fourth book in our Emma Press Ovid series, and our inspiration this time is the Fasti. We'll be looking for poems about customs, ritual and festivals which take place in Britain, to try and build up a picture of what this country and its people are now. The call will close on 26th March.

Closed calls for submissions

* Our call for poems about British and Irish KINGS AND QUEENS closed on 13th November 2016 and we are no longer accepting entries. We are aiming to send our responses by the end of February.

* We have sent out all the responses for POEMS ABOUT ANIMALS and POEMS ABOUT AUNTS. If you can't find your response, feel free to send me a nudge and I'll forward the response on to you again.
This is a complete update on all of our calls for submissions, and we do send responses to everyone's submissions individually. In the meantime, just keep an eye on our newsletters for news of our progress and read our blog to find out what we do when we process submissions.

That's all for now! Do forward this newsletter onto your friends if you think they might enjoy it, or encourage them to sign up themselves.
Best wishes,

Emma Wright
Publisher at the Emma Press

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