Sunday, 18 September 2016
This week at Valley Press, #27: 'Surprise!'
Yesterday was Poetry Book Fair day, the single most important date on the British poetic calendar as far as I'm concerned. For the first time in five years I didn't attend, in case a full-term Mrs McGarry should need swift transport to the hospital (she didn't!) – but VP was ably represented by the always dynamic and charming Rosa Campbell, pictured here behind the stall with our best pal Emma from The Emma Press:
Huge thanks to Rosa for stepping in, and doing (reports suggest) a marvellous job. Thanks to the organisers too, Chrissy and Joey; they do extraordinary work putting it all together, I can't imagine the effort that must be involved in wrangling that many poetry publishers. We're an eccentric lot!
Last week, I promised that anyone who attended the Fair would receive a 'significant Valley Press surprise' – were you intrigued? Lurking in the 'goody bags' given to visitors on their arrival was a brand new anthology, VP50, which included fifty classic Valley Press poems; one for each poetry book we've published so far. You may have actually chosen these, if you replied to my request back in May for your VP favourites. They include all of our 'greatest hits' (like James Nash's first sonnet), and some 'deep cuts', like Kate Fox's poem honouring Billy Bragg's beard, from her Glastonbury project.
In total, we gave away five hundred copies of this anthology – our biggest publicity stunt ever. This means that five hundred people could have sat on their trains/buses home on Saturday night, learning (maybe for the first time) about all the wonderful poets and poetry we've published over the last eight years. I am bursting with pride!
The anthology is now available to buy; though after our generosity yesterday, it seems a little steep to charge you the full £10.99 RRP (even though it is an extremely classy, shiny production – that's the front cover in this week's header image). Please accept 50% off VP50 all this week, by adding the code FIFT at checkout. More information and buying links for the book can be found here.
I'd like to end with a plug for our autumn tour – I know, another surprise! – in which Valley Press poets are headed to the Swindon (Sept 29th), Manchester (October 11th) and Sheffield (October 17th) literature festivals. Click the city names for more information and links to book tickets. We'd love to have your support, and of course it's a chance to grab those all-important submissions forms!
I'll give those gigs another mention in the coming weeks; got to make sure the venues are packed to the rafters (then they might have us back). For now, enjoy your anthology if you were lucky enough to get one, and I'll be back next week with another new book, this one including no less than 380 pages of high quality poetry...
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher