Independent Scarborough-based publishing house Valley Press is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a bumper crop of new titles.
It already has more than 100 books in print, including poetry (collections, pamphlets and anthologies), fiction (novels and short stories) and non-fiction (travel writing and memoirs), by authors from all corners of the UK, as well as Canada, the USA, India and China.
This year, it’s adding another 36 books to its tally, including a couple of important ‘firsts’.
She Was A Hairy Bear, She Was A Scary Bear by Louisa Bermingham is VP’s first art book, bringing together the unusual and searingly personal creations of this exciting Bermudian artist in her debut narrative collection.
Following hot on its hairy, scary heels is VP’s first graphic novel, How To Disappear Completely by Leeds-based artist Si Smith, who has created a multi-layered modern twist on the Lent story with a unique playlist of songs cleverly woven into the narrative. The unnamed everyman at the dark heart of this story manages to leave his life behind after the death of his father, but escaping his own thoughts proves more problematic. As his outer world diminishes, his inner world takes over, emerging through ever more elaborate murals on the dank walls of the deserted inner-city Leeds office he calls home.
Northern poets play a key role in VP’s early 2018 offering. Light After Light is the debut pamphlet from Ripponden-based Victoria Gatehouse, a clinical researcher who collects, tests, measures and records her thoughts on the practical and spiritual materials from which we each build our lives. While Victoria is just starting her writing career, York-based Helen Burke is almost 50 years into hers – a fact celebrated in style in the new paperback edition of Today the Birds Will Sing, an exhaustive treasury of her work that includes 300 pages of poetry, illustrations, family photographs and reams of fascinating personal notes.
Among the other exciting poetry titles coming from VP this season is Trace Elements by Leeds-born and now Pocklington-based Nigel Forde, who takes the reader on a quintessentially English journey through life, love, landscape, music and those difficult moments we all share but few can put into words.
There’s a wonderful new collection, Moon Milk, from Sheffield’s Rachel Bower, who takes an unflinching and thought-provoking look at pregnancy, birth and parenthood.
And, as if VP has not whetted poetry lovers’ appetite enough, it is also releasing a diverse new collection from Robert Powell with a distinct water motif. Riverain, inspired in part by the River Ouse in the poet’s home town of York, provides a dream-like journey through reality and metaphor.
For more details of all the books on the Valley Press list, visit valleypressuk.com.