Two Rivers Press publishes poetry (classic and contemporary), local interest (about Reading’s people, history, places and culture), and art (wildlife and botanical) books. We celebrate our 25th Anniversary in 2019!
The brainchild of Peter Hay (1951-2003), one of the town’s most prolific artists, the Press originated in a piece of very creative dissent, a protest against road builders intent on desecrating the tranquillity of the riverside where the Thames and Kennet meet:
There was at that time (1990) a battle royal in progress to save the riverside from road-builders. In the guise of local historian, I had produced a microhistory of the free place where Thames and Kennet meet, fuel for the fires of some public enquiry. Pete saw it as the basis of a book and transformed my humdrum prose into a thing of beauty: Where Two Rivers Meet. And so the press was born.
So two rivers give the Press its name: the Thames and the Kennet. Their confluence, at the Kennetmouth, is a place of meeting. And as its name suggests, Two Rivers Press celebrates the confluence of visual art with the written word. Working with local artists and photographers, poets and writers, we make bold illustration and striking design important elements of our work which, combined with quality writing and close attention to detail in their production, instill in our publications a deep sense of pride, pride in the place where we live.
Two and a half decades of publishing and well over 100 titles since its inception, Two Rivers Press continues to champion Reading – its rebels and its traditionalists; the beauty of its rivers and the heritage of its industry; its art, poetry and history. And deep roots in the community give the Press vitality to branch out well beyond the boundaries of the Thames Valley. The poetry list now features nationally acclaimed poets such as Mairi MacInnes, based in York; the local interest list features books about the Vale of the White Horse and Octavia Hill, founder of the National Trust; and our art books are from award-winning artists all over the country.
We are delighted that the Press has been described as ‘one of the most characterful small presses in the country.’