The Heaventree Press has won the Raymond Williams Community Publishing Prize 2004 for its publication of the 'Phoenix New Writing' anthology. The Arts Council of England has awarded the local publishing house £3000 for the collection that was launched last July.
'Phoenix New Writing' was produced as part of The Phoenix Initiative, Coventry Council's regeneration project, and is edited by the poet David Morley, Director of the Warwick Writing Programme at the University of Warwick. It contains works of prose and poetry by writers who either live in Coventry or who have chosen to come to the city to live, study and write.
Mike Phillips, one of the judges and an award-winning author, said of the collection: "Phoenix New Writing is an engaging and accessible book. It is at times funny, occasionally poignant and tragic, yet never pretentious. It creates a vivid picture of Coventry life through a variation of style, language and form, displaying some talented new writing."
This award is the culmination of a year of prolific success for the publishing house, which has included a reading by the Nobel Prize Winner (and Warwick honorary graduate), Derek Walcott, and the publication of pamphlets by David Dabydeen, from the Centre for Caribbean Studies, and Mario Petrucci. Jon Morley, Co-Director of The Heaventree Press, said: "This is excellent news for us as a company and the city. The work that we've done over the past year has paid off, and this national recognition will help us to continue our achievements locally."
Established in 2002 by University of Warwick Graduates, Jon Morley and George Ttoouli, the local press aims to promote literature and the arts in the local area. The company mission statement states Coventry to be a thriving city whose socially and ethnically diverse communities give it enormous potential as a market and centre of cultural production.
Forthcoming months show further exciting development for The Heaventree Press, and bids are currently in progress for the opening of a unique media centre in Coventry. Their most recent anthology, 'I Have Crossed An Ocean', was launched on Sunday 4th July in Ottakar's bookshop, Coventry. It is a collection of writing by refugees, international students, and local writers, including Roy Pargeter, whose own book, 'Rock House Nutter', will be launched by the press in September.
"Heaventree is a new poetry press that already shows immense promise." The Guardian