Friday, 25 August 2017

This week at Valley Press, #69: 'River in the Sky'

Dear readers,

As promised I (Jamie #2) have returned to newsletter duty, and there is a lot to report.

Undeterred by the torrential downpours on Wednesday, myself and Jamie (the Two Jamies?) bravely took to the rainy streets of York, armed with just one umbrella and one coat between us, for a series of top-secret meetings. I can’t tell you the details of these meetings, but one of them included poet Robert Powell, a book that is not entirely written yet, and a boat. Exciting things are happening at Valley Press! It was also during this meeting that Robert gazed romantically out of the window and calmly proclaimed: ‘the river is in the sky’. Poets, eh?

Yesterday saw the return of the Literary Lunch Hour, and this week was a celebration of the Valley Press Anthology of Yorkshire Poetry. Presented by co-editor Oz Hardwick, 15 of Yorkshire’s finest poets descended upon Scarborough as we saw readings from – pause for breath – Patrick Lodge, Sarah Wallis, Carole Bromley, Wendy Pratt, Ian Harrow, Anne Caldwell, Mike Farren, Pauline Kirk, Jane Sharp, Robert Powell, Yvie Holder, Amina Alyal and Rob Miles. This made for an extremely talented – if slightly crowded – room, and you can watch the entire event here.

Next week’s literary lunch hour will be with Nora Chassler, fresh from the Edinburgh festival with a new, subversive book: Madame Bildungsroman’s Optimistic Worldview. In the meantime Laura McGarry will be doing a ‘live-reading’ of the book – posting excerpts of it on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag ‘#readingwithLM’. Madame Bildungsroman is full of snappy philosophical wisdoms, presented in such a way that it almost comes across as Nietzsche’s Man Alone With Himself’s younger, easier to read sibling. If this sounds like your sort of thing, why don’t you buy a copy and join in the debate (which has already sparked a good-natured Facebook argument about racism in Sherlock Holmes)?

Continuing our recent theme of having more videos than books, Kate Fox (of The Glasto Code, Jagger’s Yurt and Tour de Force, among others) was featured on Good Morning Britain today, discussing the pressure on women to have children. If you fancy a change from all of the literature videos we’ve been giving you, you can watch Kate’s debate here.

As just about the last intern at Valley Press this summer, I feel I have a duty to thank Jamie and the team for being so welcoming and helpful (and a special mention to my friends at the post office – I will miss each and every one of you). It is a testament to Valley Press that despite the pressures of being an independent publishing company they are still doing their best to give experience to people like myself. Two weeks ago I arrived as a confused southerner in a strange land. Since then I have I have seen first-hand how books are created, bored you all with my adventures and found myself charmed by the northern grace of a town (and company) that I do not want to leave.

Sadly, I must depart tomorrow. Before I sign off, though, there is one last thing…

Readers, friends of Valley Press, lovers of literature: we need your help! Our ‘readers group’ is now recruiting new members to look at submissions, via email. If you join, every week (ish) you will be sent poetry and novels that Valley Press are considering publishing – totally free of charge! All you have to do is read through them – whichever ones you choose, and totally at your leisure – and then send us your thoughts. Seems like a pretty good deal, right? I know I will be signing up as soon as I leave tomorrow. To join, just email Submissions Coordinator Tess and let her know.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and rest assured that by the next newsletter the number of Jamies in the office will have returned to one.

Jamie Firby,
Valley Press Intern

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