Pocahontas Press, a local publishing company in operation for nearly 40 years, is under new ownership.
Lori Graham, author, newspaper reporter and American Sign Language Interpreter, recently purchased the company. Graham is a contributing writer for the News Messenger and Radford News Journal.
“Mary Holliman began Pocahontas Press in 1985, publishing her father’s autobiography, “A Teacher’s Story,” Graham wrote in an owner’s message on the company’s website, www.pocahontaspress.com. “For the next quarter century, she continued publishing stories in the form of poetry, autobiography, and history. Upon Mary’s death, published author Michael Abraham, along with his wife Jane Abraham, and published author Deborah Warren, have seen the business through the years to its continued existence today.”
Graham credits Holliman with her start in writing and publishing, so this new venture is a full circle moment.
“Mary Holliman gave me my first opportunity to work in and learn about publishing in 1995,” Graham said in a recent interview. “I began by writing blurbs for book releases, editing, and my most memorable piece of work was a late 1800s diary that I transcribed for a family.”
Graham, who worked with a United Kingdom company as part of a team completing memoirs for people in southwest Virginia, said she will continue that type of outreach at Pocahontas Press.
“Pocahontas Press will continue to provide support to authors in the publishing of their work in a variety of genres and styles but will also offer the gift of your family’s story through memoirs or autobiographies,” she wrote in the owner’s message. “I will be continuing Holliman’s outreach to specific stories centered in the Appalachian region as well, promoting the understanding of culture, people, and community that has evolved over the years in this region.”
Graham has a master’s degree in English and Certificate in Appalachian studies from Radford University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language, with more than 15 years working with people with disabilities.
“As an avid reader and storyteller, I dreamed of being an author someday, and I am currently working on my first novel that has a planned release by Spring, 2024,” she said in the interview. “However, what I enjoy more than anything is listening to people’s stories and helping them transfer their thoughts to paper. Everyone has a story to tell; what’s your story?.”
“It is my mission as the next owner of Pocahontas Press to support writers in the sharing of their stories,” she explained in the owner’s message. “Although many published works will focus on the rich heritage of the Appalachian history, culture, music, memoirs, and poetry of the region’s people, Pocahontas Press will accept a diverse range of submissions for consideration. Whatever your story is, I assure you it is as unique as you are.”
For more information, go to www.pocahontaspress.com or www.facebook.com/PocahontasPress.