‘From humble, ‘student hobby’ beginnings in 2008, Valley Press has grown into a force to be reckoned with in UK poetry. Famed for its distinctive, no-two-the-same cover designs, plus writing that is frequently accessible and ambitious, the press is now home to some of the UK’s most exciting poetic talents.
This new anthology offers a valuable overview of VP’s poetry output so far. Here are fifty poems, one from each poetry title, selected by readers of the much-loved weekly newsletter; then ordered and organised by founding editor Jamie McGarry. In these pages, comedy sits alongside tragedy, the surreal finds itself alongside piercingly-accurate life writing, and the only thing you can expect is the unexpected.
Both a ‘greatest hits’ and an introduction to dozens of new poetic voices, VP50 is a tremendous starting point for any readers new to the press, and a must-buy for existing fans curious as to which poems ‘made the cut’…’
Blurb from the 2016 edition
This is one of the best anthologies of contemporary poetry I’ve come across, and one I feel I will return to since, unusually, it contains a number of poems that have stayed in my head and to which I feel I will come back.
As an overview, this is a great introduction to the books published by Valley Press being composed of one poem from each of the first fifty books they have published.
Highlights are for me Kate Fox’s ‘Billy Bragg’s Beard’ which is, as you may have imagined, an ode of love to the beard of the UK’s favourite singing socialist, Patrick Lodge’s ‘Yiannis in His Bar’, a beautifully observed portrait of a bar owner set against the backdrop of the bar itself, atmospheric and evocative, Di Slaney’s ‘How to Knit a Sheep’ and Oz Hardwicks’s ‘A Train and a Fox’.
A sublime collection