Monday, 22 January 2018

Ledbury Poetry Salon

V. Press is very very delighted that Jacqui Rowe will be reading from her collection Blink at Ledbury Poetry Salon in June.

Jacqui will also be discussing her poems at the Ledbury Poetry Festival salon event on Tuesday, June 5.

Information from Ledbury Poetry Festival about the next four salon events can be found below, followed by a paypal link for ordering Blink.

Ledbury Poetry Salons, 7pm – 9pm, The Master’s House Panelled Room, £5 For the first half of the evening a Featured Poet will read and discuss their poems. This is followed by an Open Mic. Come along and expand your enjoyment of poetry through readings and conversation!

Tuesday 6 February with featured poet Adam Horovitz
Join us to hear poems from The Soil Never Sleeps, a new poetry collection from Adam Horovitz. As poet in residence for the Pasture-fed Livestock Association, Adam was commissioned to visit four of their farms across England and Wales and write about them. He reflects passionately on his love of Britain’s landscape and especially its farms.

Tuesday 6 March with featured poet Roz Goddard
Roz Goddard will read from a new pamphlet Spill published by Flarestack Press. Previously she published The Sopranos Sonnets and Other Poems with Nine Arches Press. Roz Goddard has worked for many years as a poet of the Festival’s Poets in Schools programme and is also a project manager for is also project manager for the ACE funded West Midlands Readers Network.

Tuesday 8 May with featured poet Roy McFarlane
Roy McFarlane was born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage and spent most of his years living in Wolverhampton. He has held the role of Birmingham’s Poet Laureate, Starbucks and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Poet in Residence. Roy was highly commended by the Forward Prize for ‘Papers’, published in the Forward Book of Poetry 2017. Other anthologies, including Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe 2012) and he is the writer and editor of Celebrate Wha? Ten Black British Poets from the Midlands (Smokestack 2011). His first full collection of poems, Beginning With Your Last Breath, was published by Nine Arches Press (2016).

Tuesday 5 June with featured poet Jacqui Rowe
Jacqui Rowe has had four poetry pamphlets published and her poems have appeared widely in magazines, such as Tears in the Fence, Bare Fiction, The Interpreter’s House, and Poetry Review. She has also read her own poems on Radio 4’s Poetry Please. hosted by Roger McGough. Her first full collection, Blink, is published by V Press. Co-founder and co-editor of the award-winning independent press, Flarestack Poets, she is a sought after mentor for other poets and a tutor for the Poetry School.


TO BUY A COPY OF BLINK NOW, USE THE PAYPAL LINK BELOW

Blink with p&p options

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

New year, new reviews!!!

V. Press is very very pleased to simultaneously finish 2017 and start 2018 with news of even more reviews!

Following on from December's top title listings from The Poetry School, Jacqui Rowe's Blink and Stephen Daniels' Tell Mistakes I Love Them both featured on David Clarke's end-of-year listings at A Thing for Poetry.

"Blink showcases Jacqui's range, both emotionally and culturally, from occasional poems and ekphrasis to responses to Apollinaire and Verlaine; all held together by a characteristic clear-sightedness. Drawing as it does from Jacqui's previous publications, her first 'proper' collection is arguably a 'New and Selected', but it still feels remarkably cohesive."
David Clarke, A Thing for Poetry

"Stephen's carefully conveyed sense of the surreal qualities of the everyday allows him to address the big themes from surprising angles, for instance in one poem where intimations of mortality lurk in the background as he describes getting a mole checked by his doctor. He's one of those poets who writes poems about things that other poets wouldn't write poems about, which is only ever a good thing."
David Clarke, A Thing for Poetry

David's full article and listings can be enjoyed here.

New Year's Day also saw the publication of a new review of Tell Mistakes I Love Them over at Sabotage Reviews.

"The poet produces some fantastic lines, which shine out for me:

‘was nine and had serrated breath’ (The first person I ever hated)
‘my family – twisted amphibians -snap at intimacy…’ (Surface Tensions)
‘The sofa apologised’ (Pyromaniac)...

...Daniels shares his hurt in a very immediate way, that can only provoke a visceral and lasting response. We have all been hurt like this."

Paul Goring, Sabotage Reviews, full review here


BUY a copy of Blink now using the paypal link below:


Blink with p&p options

BUY a copy of Tell Mistake I Love Them now using the paypal link below:


Tell Mistakes I Love Them (with P&P options)

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Heading into 2018 with books of the year & reviews

BOOKS OF THE YEAR

V. Press is very very delighted to end the year with some review news and top title ratings for our poetry range.

Scare Stories by David Clarke, which was longlisted in this years Saboteur Awards, has been named a The Poetry School Book of the Year 2017.

"Clarke’s eerie sequence of vignettes can be read in any order, juxtaposed and rearranged like Tarot cards to reveal further details and dangers, without ever giving away the bigger picture; if such convenient knowledge were even possible (there will be no newspapers announcing the last day on earth)..."

Will Barrett, The Poetry Schoolfull review here.



Bolt down this earth by Gram Joel Davies and Antony Owen's The Nagasaki Elder are also on the longlist (top 100) for The Poetry School Books of the Year.




THE IRISH TIMES REVIEW of WALKING BACKWARDS

V. Press was very very pleased to see Charlie Hill's short fiction pamphlet Walking Backwards reviewed in The Irish Times.

"...intensely observed fragments of ordinary lives, and all give pause for thought. Standout stories are The School Run, its effect achieved more by what’s left unsaid than what’s actually said, and The Allotment, with its sting-in-the-tail ending..."

Brian Maye, The Irish Times, full review here.

All of the titles above may be purchased through our bookshop or by clicking through to each individual title using the links above.

SABOTAGE REVIEWS REVIEW of SCARE STORIES

A wonderful very considered and very detailed review of David Clarke's Scare Stories has also just been published on Sabotage Reviews.

The review by Becky Varley-Winter concludes: "...his sustained use of form is also quite admirable. With controlled nerve, Clarke offers a sequence of quick, dark bites, with glinting teeth."

The full review can be enjoyed on Sabotage Reviews here, and the pamphlet ordered through the paypal link below.



Scare Stories (with P&P options)

WELCOMING 2018!

V. Press is very very happy to end one year and start the next with news that our first 2018 poetry pamphlet, How to Parallel Park by James Davey, is now available for pre-order.


"Stark, poised, precisely observed, James Davey’s poetry well demonstrates how much more emotion is conveyed the greater the restraint. The poems also exhibit an impressive musicality, from the lilting to the percussive. Each poem rewards rereading." Carrie Etter

"These poems by James Davey are vivid, articulate and entertaining. They evoke the peculiar intensity of childhood fears, the angst of adolescence, the tremors of first loves. Davey has a gift for clear-eyed dramatic presentation, as well as an often-humorous take on human condition and a true empathy for the various characters he comes across, be they ‘pyroman’ a down-and-out who accumulates trash to burn, the terrified child taken on a hunting trip, or the lover discovering the ‘colours’ of a girlfriend. This is a promising and well-wrought debut." Amy Wack

"Davey’s work is confident, crafted, elegant in its simplicity. The poems are full of moments of recognition for the reader, subtle emotive power balancing understated humour. I trust him to show me something worth seeing with no fluff around the substance." Anna Freeman

Set in England and Italy, the poems of How to Parallel Park are very emotive, very molto a pelle.

How to Parallel Park is James Davey's debut poetry pamphlet. A sample poem can be found below.

PRE-ORDER How to Parallel Park now using the paypal link below. (How to Parallel Park is published at the end of January 2018. Pre-orders are dispatched in the week of publication.)


How to Parallel Park (including P&P)





Wednesday, 13 December 2017

MM Awards, festive wishes & celebratory offers



MICHAEL MARKS PUBLISHERS' AWARD

V. Press was very very delighted to head to London this week for Michael Marks Awards dinner, having been shortlisted for this year's Publishers' Award.

The award is a highlight of the poetry pamphlet publishing calendar and runs from July to July. Our very very big congratulations to The Poetry Business who won the 2017 Michael Marks Award for Poetry Publishers and to Charlotte Wetton (winner of the pamphlet award) and Rose Ferraby (winner of the Illustrators award). More details can be found on the Wordsworth Trust website, and a very very big thanks to all involved.

Running a small press involves a lot of seen and unseen work. So, being shortlisted for the award alongside three established presses (The Poetry Business, Rack Press and Mariscat Press) feels like real validation for both V. Press and our authors.

The pamphlets that V. Press had in for this year are: Alex Reed's A Career in Accompaniment, Nina Lewis' Fragile Houses, David Clarke's Scare Stories and Stephen Daniels' Tell Mistakes I Love Them.

At the awards dinner, M.D. Sarah Leavesley asked to give a 3-minute presentation on V. Press's pamphlets from the Michael Marks Award year.

She said: "My name is Sarah Leavesley and I’m very very pleased to be here to share what we do at V. Press.

"I run, edit and market the press, with my friend and colleague Ruth Stacey taking charge of design and producing most of our fabulous poetry covers.

"In 2015, we published three poetry pamphlets, then expanded to include poetry collections and flash fiction pamphlets with 5 titles in 2016 and now 9 titles this year.

"We publish work that is ‘very very’. And people often ask what this means – essentially it’s work that knows what it wants to do and does that well.

"The four pamphlets from this Michael Marks Award year are typical not only of what we publish but also of the breadth offered by the pamphlet as a form in itself – a form that I get very excited about.

"So Alex Reed’s A Career in Accompaniment is about caring for his partner through severe illness. These wonderfully crafted poems can be enjoyed individually, but the pamphlet as a whole has a strong narrative arc. This poetry of “fragile places” is very intimate yet very universal.*

"Fragile Houses by Nina Lewis is a vivid mix of tenderness and sharpness. These  very authentic and very fervent poems fall naturally into small groupings of presence and loss. Rather than breaking this selection up into short sections, we used a sequence of photographic illustrations inspired by the poems to run through and between the poem groupings –  like beads on a thread.

"David Clarke’s Scare Stories is a pamphlet-length sequence of untitled poems in which alternate-present-reality and possible future collide. As the title suggests, this is very unusual and very unsettling. Scare Stories was longlisted in the Sabotage Review pamphlet prize, despite only being published just before nominations closed, and David also worked with a film-maker to produce a performance version.

"Finally, Stephen Daniels’ exciting debut Tell Mistakes I Love Them is a loosely-themed pamphlet which exposes social nerves through linguistically refreshing poems that are very vulnerable and very poignant.

"I’m very very passionate about what we do at V. Press and proud of all our authors. We’re a small press with very very big aspirations. I’m delighted to have shared a short snapshot of this with you today, thank you."

CELEBRATING!!!

To celebrate this shortlisting and the festive season, all four V. Press pamphlets from this 2016/2017 are available below with £1.50 off their usual price. [This offer is for U.K. delivery only and runs until the end of 2017, and through the links below only.]


Tell Mistakes I Love Them exposes social nerves and pokes at the wounds with poems that are very vulnerable and very poignant.




Scare Stories is a sequence of poems that is very unusual and very unsettling.







Fragile Houses is very authentic and very fervent.The pamphlet includes a photographic sequence from S.A. Leavesley that is directly inspired by the poems’ vivid mix of fragility and sharpness.






A Career in Accompaniment is a pamphlet of love, loss and surprising lightness. Based on Alex Reed’s personal experiences, these poems witness what it is like to care for a lover with severe illness. This poetry of “fragile places” is very intimate yet very universal.




IN THE TLS

'Alex Reed's A Career in Accompaniment, about caring for a dying lover, is similarly strengthened by its narrow focus. "Ghost" captures the way illness not only hijacks the present, but ransacks the future: Reed composedly voices the feeling of "missing the one you love, / even while they are with you". Like The Parkinson's Poems, Reed's pamphlet confronts human degeneration while drawing out how strange it is that we become intimate with our own mortality in the most banal of settings. In hospital with his lover, possibly for the last time, he carries her "Do Not Resuscitate" instructions in a "white plastic sack".'

Leaf Arbuthnot, Times Literary Supplement, 8 Dec 2017

* Musician David Scott has also produced a CD, Where the Waters Meet, with songs inspired by poems from A Career In Accompaniment. For more information about this, please email Alex Reed on areedhexhamATgmailDOTcom.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!


Friday, 1 December 2017

Launching Somewhere Between Rose and Black

We're very very delighted to start the advent run-up to Christmas 2018 with the launch of Claire Walker's second V. Press pamphlet Somewhere Between Rose and Black.

“There is a disquiet that moves through these poems. Walker explores what it means to create a sense of home, and how the people within it build our longings around us. Beautiful work by a rising star in poetry. These are words that linger after the last page.” Angela Readman

“Claire Walker’s quiet, almost still, narrative through these poems could reflect their rural setting or the sadness within the protagonist, yet that quietness is deceptive. There are passions here amid the juxtaposition of man and stag.  These poems will have you checking your fingernails for soil, seeing antlers in your peripheral vision.” Brett Evans



Somewhere Between Rose and Black is very earthy and very enigmatic.

A sample poem from the collection may be enjoyed below.

R.R.P. £6.50

BUY Somewhere Between Rose and Black now, using the paypal link below.


Somewhere Between Rose and Black (with P&P options)

Presence

I give up watching for antlers 
through the dark. Lying awake, 
I know their presence:
the gnaw of teeth against the night.

I’ve begun to identify with them. Come dawn,
I slip my feet inside the print of hooves,
touch their bite marks with my fingers, 
taste early shoots on my tongue. 

I plant for deer now; 
sow peas to feed hungry nights, 
realise nothing can grow to full height, 
accept the elegant destruction. 


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Review news & offers

V. Press is very very pleased to share extracts from a Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine review of Carrie Etter's Hometown.

"Longer pieces hint at deeper backstories; and throughout, the writing is pitch-perfect, with sentences carefully sculpted yet fully alive. The opening flash, 'Downs or Towanda Maybe', showcases Etter's neat line in keeping a narrative fresh... Elsewhere, Etter displays razor-sharp psychological insight...

"Praise too for V. Press  publishing poetry since 2013, they now offer a valuable new platform for quality flash fiction and have produced here a well-designed, well-presented pamphlet.

"... Hometown's stories are the real thing, the work of a skilled wordsmith and witness."

Michael Loveday in Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, Vol. 9 No. 2 

A sample fiction and more about Hometown can be found here.

Buy a copy of Hometown now

Hometown (with P&P options)


AWARD POETRY PAMPHLET OFFER

As we shared last week, V. Press is very very delighted to have been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Publishers' Award.

The award is a highlight of the poetry pamphlet publishing calendar and runs from July to July.  The pamphlets that V. Press had in for this year are: Alex Reed's A Career in Accompaniment, Nina Lewis' Fragile Houses, David Clarke's Scare Stories and Stephen Daniels' Tell Mistakes I Love Them.

Our special offer on each of these four pamphlets is available here.


POETRY COLLECTIONS READING

V. Press poet Jacqui Rowe hosts her final Poetry Bites on Tuesday, 28 November, after more than ten years running the Birmingham poetry night. Jacqui will be one of the guest poets reading from her V. Press collection, Blink. The other guest will be Antony Owen, who has been a great supporter of Poetry Bites over the years, and given some memorable readings, both as a guest and from the floor. Antony’s collection, The Nagasaki Elder, has also recently come out from V Press.

Food will be served from 6.30pm and the event begins at 7.30pm. Entry: £5 (£4 concs) including readers. Venue: The Kitchen Garden Cafe, York Road, Birmingham B14 7SA. Please contact Jacqui Rowe (jacquiroweAThotmailDOTcoDOTuk) if you’d like a floor spot.

(Poetry Bites will continue next year in the capable hands of Elaine Christie and Matt Nunn.)

POETRY BOOK SOCIETY (PBS) OFFER

The Poetry Book Society is delighted to announce the release of the new look Winter Bulletin featuring exclusive poems and unique commentary from major worldwide poets!

The Poetry Book Society was founded by T S Eliot in 1953 to ‘propagate the art of poetry’. Members get the best contemporary poetry books delivered straight to their door every quarter alongside the bulletin magazine.

To celebrate the new look bulletin, we’re offering V Press Blog readers a special 10% discount rate across all our membership options. Simply enter the code VPRESS at the checkout here. Christmas gift membership options are also available.

The Winter Bulletin will be launched from 7pm on the 8th December at the Poetry Society CafĂ© in London. We do hope you can join us for a stellar performance from five internationally acclaimed poets: PBS Choice Sasha Dugdale, PBS Recommendations Paul Deaton, Tim Dooley, Ahren Warner and PBS Special Commendation Fleur Adcock. Tickets are available here.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Michael Marks Awards Shortlisting

AWARD NEWS 

V. Press is very very delighted to have been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Publishers' Award.

The award is a highlight of the poetry pamphlet publishing calendar and runs from July to July.  The pamphlets that V. Press had in for this year are: Alex Reed's A Career in Accompaniment, Nina Lewis' Fragile Houses, David Clarke's Scare Stories and Stephen Daniels' Tell Mistakes I Love Them.

It's been a delight to publish these pamphlets and V. Press is very very proud of all its authors - the press is its writers, readers and all those involved with it, including our fabulous poetry covers from V. Press designer Ruth Stacey.

The Awards will be announced at a dinner at the British Library on Tuesday, 12 December, where Sarah Leavesley will be giving a three minute presentation about the V. Press 2016/17 pamphlet list.

Other presses shortlisted are Mariscat Press, The Poetry Business/Smith Doorstep and Rack Press. The awards are run by The Wordsworth Trust and The British Library, with the generous support of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, in association with the TLS and Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies (CHS), in Washington DC and in Nafplio Greece. More about this year's shortlisted presses and individual pamphlets can be found here.

The judges’ comments include: "The V. Press offering of four remarkably diverse pamphlets included a mix of established and new writers. We fell in love in particular with Alex Reed's pamphlet ‘A Career in Accompaniment’ about looking after his wife - quiet poems, carefully crafted, with enormous emotional heft and dignity. "

To celebrate this shortlisting, all four V. Press pamphlets from this 2016/2017 are available below with £1.50 off their usual price. [This offer is for U.K. delivery only and runs until the end of 2017, and through the links below only.]


Tell Mistakes I Love Them exposes social nerves and pokes at the wounds with poems that are very vulnerable and very poignant.




Scare Stories is a sequence of poems that is very unusual and very unsettling.







Fragile Houses is very authentic and very fervent.The pamphlet includes a photographic sequence from S.A. Leavesley that is directly inspired by the poems’ vivid mix of fragility and sharpness.






A Career in Accompaniment is a pamphlet of love, loss and surprising lightness. Based on Alex Reed’s personal experiences, these poems witness what it is like to care for a lover with severe illness. This poetry of “fragile places” is very intimate yet very universal.






FORTHCOMING TITLES

V. Press finishes 2017 with publication of  Claire Walker's second V. Press pamphlet Somewhere Between Rose and Black at the start of December.

2017 has been our busiest year yet, with four poetry pamphlets, three full collections and two fiction pamphlets.

The first V. Press poetry pamphlet for 2018 is How to Parallel Park by James Davey, followed by Jenna Plewes' Against the Pull of Time in summer 2018.

Also for 2018, V. Press has Unable Mother, a debut poetry collection from Helen Calcutt, a poetry collection from Brenda Read-Brown, a flash fiction novella  that draws on the techniques of prose poetry by Michael Loveday and a flash pamphlet from Tino Prinzi.

But the press will be looking for new poetry titles for later in 2018...

SUBMISSIONS NEWS

V. Press managing director and editor Sarah Leavesley was pleased to take part in a short interview with Jim Harrington about the press at Six Questions For... (The questions and answers here.)

Although titles for the start of 2018 have been scheduled,  V. Press is hoping to re-open a general poetry submissions window early next year. The press will be looking for poetry titles for the second half of 2018 and going into 2019.

For more information about new titles and submission windows, please follow V. Press on twitter at @vpresspoetry and sign up for the press newsletters (below or the side-bar on the right-hand side of the webpage).