Although the Nymph might still throw tantrums worthy of a toddler, she has in fact turned into a mature young lady.
Peirene is now an established part of the UK publishing world. We choose and produce confidently our core product – the Peirene books. We are continuously developing our product palette, such as events, and our marketing strategies. We provide work and opportunity for an increasing number of people including accountants, translators and authors. And we are recognized as playing an important role in modern cultural life. That’s why we receive funding from the Arts Council and international bodies.
Someone once described life to me as a progression “from learning to earning to returning”. So, Peirene has learned and earned but what about returning?
A few weeks ago I started wondering about corporate responsibility. Is it enough for a publishing house to print on environmentally friendly paper to claim “social responsibility”? We print on acid free, wood free paper from FSC mixed credit sources. These are all good things, I admit, but somehow they don’t make me feel proud enough of the Nymph or myself.
Peirene No 1, Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi, will be sent off to the printers tomorrow for its 3rd print run. When the copies come back, they will all display a blue sticker on the front cover: Support the Maya Centre, 50p donation when you buy this book. And on the final page of the book we will explain that the Maya Centre is a London based charity that offers free psychodynamic counselling and grouptherapy for women on low or no income in different languages.
There are a number of obvious links between the Maya Centre and Peirene. Our focus on translated fiction correlates with The Maya Centre’s missions to offer therapy to women in their native language. Peirene believes in building local communities – and so too does the Maya Centre. And finally Peirene’s metamorphosis from the weeping Nymph into a sparkling source of inspiration reminds us of psychotherapy’s contribution to self-empowerment.
The idea of contacting the Maya Centre and offering Peirene’s support came to me as I was running on the Heath. I felt instantaneously happy and alive. However, I knew I couldn’t make this decision on my own. I had to mention it to the Nymph. I was a bit worried how she would react, not least because she loves her clothes and make-up.
But I needn’t have worried. As soon as I finished sketching out my proposal to her, she got up from her desk and came over to me and planted a huge wet kiss on my forehead.
“It’s an idea worthy of an ancient Greek Nymph!”