Thursday, 28 April 2016

This week at Valley Press: 'On the cusp of greatness'

(In my haste to pack up, I forgot to post this on Sunday – whoops!)

Dear readers,

As promised, I'm writing to you this week from my 'publisher in residence' desk at the Wenlock Poetry Festival (pictured above; I've been lurking behind the signs at the end). I haven't been to this part of the world before; I've found the people very friendly (though it is a poetry festival crowd, not known for their unfriendliness) and the town very beautiful. Great cakes too.

I won't launch into an elaborate reminiscence, as I need to let you know about our next book (the third in our 'five books, five weeks' phase) and our next new author. Mark Waddell has described himself as a 'comedy-poet-libertine for the modern generation' – which is a decent attempt at at describing a truly unique writer. If you're familiar with John Hegley, and can imagine him with somewhat bluer material, you'll be in the right ballpark, but still a little way off.

The marvellous thing about Mark is, although he is a legitmate 'stand up comedy poet', there's a lot of thought and intellect lurking behind many of the poems (the others are purely hilarious). We've been working on his first book, titled on the cusp of greatness (he prefers lower case titles) for what seems like years, finding the best examples of his work and putting them into a sensible order. I'm delighted with the result.

There is no truly representative single poem, but have a go at 'The Sound of a Falling Possum' on our website, and here's the title piece:

one evening
I was standing
at the bar
and blurted out
how I was
on the cusp of greatness
raised their drinks
and shouted
me too.

We're doing a launch for Mark in London next Saturday (see advert below), and of course don't forget to come to Joanna Ezekiel's launch on Tuesday if you're based in York. I now have a train to catch, so am signing off – lots to tell you next week!

All best,
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher

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