The Emma Press

The Emma Press Acquired World Rights For Book About Early Parenthood by Award Winning Writer and Academic, Abi Curtis

The Emma Press has announced that it has acquired world rights in the English language to an anthology of short fiction and poetry on the challenges and joys of early parenthood

The anthology, Blood & Cord edited by Abi Curtis, includes short stories and memoir by Naomi Booth, Ruth Charnock, Malcolm Taylor, Jennifer Cooke, Daisy Hildyard, Rebecca Goss, and Caleb Klaces. And poems by Gail McConnell, Liz Berry, Rachel Bower, Abi Curtis, Paige Davis, Janine Bradbury, Elizabeth Hogart, Sylvia Simmonds, Alex McRae Dimsdale,  Sandra Simonds and Tommy Bradford. It is set to be published in May 2023.

Filling a much needed gap in literature that addresses all sides of parenthood, for all caregivers, Blood & Cord is a raw exploration of the complex emotions and experiences that are part and parcel of becoming a parent. Voicing silenced conversations about loss, grief, and loneliness, as well as the joys and laughter of early parenthood, the stories told within offer a refreshingly honest account of life after new life.

“The birth of a baby is like a comet crashing into your living room. Like a door inside yourself opening up, like being inside a tempest. Becoming a new parent is one of life’s greatest joys, and much of what we read and see on social media and in popular culture tells us so: blooming mothers flushed with love, adoring, doting fathers, proud grandparents. But it is also full of other emotions, some of them ambivalent, and this storm of emotions is often under-portrayed. Becoming a parent can be a kind of un-making of the self.”

From the ‘Introduction’ to Blood & Cord, by Abi Curtis

Abi Curtis said, “The book was inspired by the fact that the transformative experience of having a first child, both good and bad, does not seem to be well represented in culture or in writing. The experience can be such a psychological shock to many people and comes with both joyful feelings and ambivalent, negative feelings. I found lot of writers were exploring these themes and wanted to commission them to produce work for an anthology that explores all of these complex emotions in a really raw, honest and inspiring way  – a really searching set of pieces that people could read and not feel alone in the ambivalence of their feelings.”

From short stories about unnerved fathers and lost mothers, to poems about ‘half-built Lego palaces’, this anthology is a hand in the dark, offering comfort and solidarity to any new parent. 

About Abi Curtis

Abi Curtis is Professor of Creative Writing at York St John University. She has won an Eric Gregory Award and Somerset Maugham Award for her poetry collections, Unexpected Weather (Salt, 2009) and The Glass Delusion (Salt, 2013).  She has a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing and is inspired by art, psychology, science and the environment. She has written on such subjects as mushrooms in Freud, the uncanny, elegy, squid in literature, and pollination and enjoys collaborations with artists, musicians and scientists. Her first novel,Water & Glass, a speculative climate-change fiction was published by Cloud Lodge Books in 2017 . In 2022 Abi’s short fiction was commended in the Bridport, Fish and Alpine Fellowship Prizes, and a poetic sequence on the subject of a medieval anchoress, set to music by David Lancaster, was performed by the Ex Corde Vocal Ensemble. After having children, Abi developed a particular interest in the relationship between creativity and parenthood. She lives in York with her husband and two sons.

About The Emma Press

The Emma Press is an award-winning independent publishing house based in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. It was founded in 2012 by Emma Dai’an Wright and is dedicated to producing beautiful, thought-provoking books for adults and children, and to making poetry accessible to everyone. The Emma Press publishes themed anthologies, illustrated chapbooks and children’s poetry and fiction, with a growing list of translations which includes titles from Latvia, Estonia, Indonesia, Spain and the Netherlands.


  • The Emma Press

    The Emma Press is an independent publisher specialising in poetry, short fiction and children’s books. We are trying to make publishing and literature as welcoming and accessible as possible.

    View all posts

The Emma Press is an independent publisher specialising in poetry, short fiction and children’s books. We are trying to make publishing and literature as welcoming and accessible as possible.
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