13 January 2017

True art is not an indulgence, but a fundamental defence of humanity. . . When art fails, failure of imagination follows and thereafter cruelty thrives.

(A.L. Kennedy)

Happy New Year!

The Nymph and I are delighted to announce that we have just donated £4000 to our chosen charity, Counterpoints Arts. Counterpoints Arts promotes the creative arts by and about refugees and migrants in the UK. Thank you to everyone who has bought a Peirene book last year. Without your enthusiasm for our books this donation would not have been possible. 50 pence of each book we have sold in 2016 has gone to the charity.

This is what our donation will help them to achieve: 'Peirene Press will support Counterpoints Arts as we embark on developing a series of new art commissions, involving artists and civic organisations in Halifax, Blackburn and Darwen, Wakefield, Nottingham and Newcastle. The commissions will range from place-based interventions involving local participants, to touring installations such as 'Refugees Welcome', where artist and activist, Alketa Xhafa-Mripa, uses her own memories of receiving a warm welcome as a Kosovan refugee to the UK in the 1990s to draw people into a public conversation about the nature of ‘welcome’ in the UK today.' Áine O'Brien, Co-Director Counterpoints Arts

We will continue our support for Counterpoints Arts with our 2017 titles.

More thrilling news: This year we will present our 8th series of foreign literature: East and West – Looking Both Ways. The three books in this series address the dilemma of those caught between two worlds. We will publish a psychological thriller from the woman Thomas Mann called 'the First Lady of Europe', a moving tale of twin brothers who become pawns in a civil war and a tragicomic satire from the heart of East Germany.

Remember, you can subscribe to our 2017 series now and the first book will be send to you straight away.

And then of course on June 23rd, the anniversary of the EU referendum, we have our second Peirene Now! novel coming out. The Cut is a Peirene commissioned novel responding to Brexit by the Black Country writer Anthony Cartwright. It will be a fictional exploration of the forces that split Britain in two. You can get a cinematic insight into Anthony’s and my latest editorial meeting here. And if you click here, you see the stunning book cover and you can also pre-order your copy.

A few dates for you:

This year I will hold three Salons, starring French Canadian writer Larry Tremblay on Saturday 17th June, German writer Kerstin Hensel on 23rd September and Anthony Cartwright on 2nd December. You can book your tickets now.

On Wednesday March 1st there will be a celebration of our first title this year, Peirene No 22: Ricarda Huch’s The Last Summer, translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch, at Waterstones Gower Street. More details will follow in our February newsletter.

And one final piece of news: This month we welcome our new intern Julia. She is the Nymph’s 20th intern! One of her first tasks will be to distribute our new newspaper with James. You can meet them at Highgate Tube Station on Monday 23rd January between 8.15 and 9.15 - even if it is snowing :)

I wish you an inspiring and creative 2017.
Best wishes Meike