Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Review news & Free Verse 2017!!!

We're very very delighted to share the latest reviews - of Romalyn Ante's poetry pamphlet Rice & Rain and Jude Higgins' flash fiction pamphlet The Chemist's House.


"This is a powerful debut that demonstrates a control of language and emotion typical of poets at more advanced stages in their careers. In her editorial blurb, Jane Commane says Ante’s poems are ‘a real feast for the senses.’ Indeed, by focusing on sensory details – from listening to the ‘rattle’ of ‘monsoon raindrops’ and the ‘tarri-tik’ of the ‘hornbill lizard’, to smelling a mother’s ‘tamarind-scented fingers’ – Ante’s work richly exploits sensory awareness of her homeland, The Philippines."

Elisabeth Sennitt Clough, Sphinx, full review here.

BUY Rice & Rain now using the paypal link below.

Rice & Rain with p&p options


"Jude Higgins has created a particular rendition of the universal experience of childhood and adolescence, a microcosm explored with a light but thorough touch, and in particular through taste and smell."
Cherry PottsSabotage Reviews, full review here.

BUY a copy of The Chemist's House now, using the paypal link below.

The Chemist's House with packing and postage


This year’s Poetry Book Fair takes place on Saturday, September 30 at Conway Hall in London and I will again be taking V. Press.

As well as a stand, this year we also have a V. Press reading by Stephen Daniels and Nina Lewis at 3pm at the GARDEN CAFE in RED LION SQUARE.

“Unbroken : V. Press poets celebrate connection/disconnection. Stephen Daniels reads from ‘Tell Mistakes I Love Them’, exposing social nerves and poking at the wounds with very vulnerable and very poignant poems.

Worcestershire poet laureate Nina Lewis offers a very authentic and very fervent glimpse of 'Fragile Houses' – tender and sharp snapshots of people, places and memories carried through life.”

The fair itself is free to enter and is open to the public from 11am - 6pm, with an Evening Do from 7pm onwards, at Conway Hall (25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL).

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Nagasaki Elder - review news!!!

We're very very delighted to share not just one but two reviews of Antony Owen's very very hard-hitting yet very tender The Nagasaki Elder.

The collection was only published last week and already has reviews in The Morning Star and the Hong Kong Review of Books.

The Nagasaki Elder (V. Press, £9.99) is Owen’s fifth collection of poems, and his best yet. The book has the inspired ferocity and prophetic fury of those British poets like Edith Sitwell, Randall Swingler, EP Thompson, James Kirkup and Adrian Mitchell who have protested so eloquently against nuclear weapons. There are some fine individual poems here, notably ‘How to survive a nuclear winter’, ‘To feed a Nagasaki starling’ and ‘The stars that wandered Hiroshima’. One of the most memorable is ‘The art of war’”
Andy Croft, Morning Star (Full review here.)

"The poetry in this book is stark and vivid. Owen does not mess about, casting solid images, the burnt shadows of the victims, and more pertinently the survivors who bear witness to these awful events. Antony applies presence and absence, the point of impact contrasted with the eerie stillness that follows flattened earth and muted lives. I particularly enjoyed the Senryu poems, that apply a haiku-like form to leave powerful and indelible images that haunt you long after the poem has been read and absorbed."
Adam Steiner, Hong Kong Review of Books (Full review here.)

Buy The Nagasaki Elder now, using the paypal link below.

The Nagasaki Elder with packing & postage


The Nagasaki Elder will be launched on Thursday, September 7 at Inspire Bar (Christchurch Spire, New Union St, Coventry CV1 2PS) from 7.15pm to 9.15pm.

More about the collection and a sample poem may be enjoyed here

Friday, 1 September 2017

Launching The Nakasaki Elder

V. Press is very very delighted to launch The Nagasaki Elder, a full poetry collection by Antony Owen.

"Antony Owen closely examines the human toll and the indiscriminate effects of chemical warfare in this new and affecting collection.  Owen’s exploration is both tender and melancholic, and his imagery of flesh transmuted is as beautiful as it is horrific.  This book sings and weeps of loss; it is a testimony to the survivors and the wounds that they carry; to the dead and the shadows they leave on the earth.” Helen Ivory

 “Antony Owen is the bravest British poet of his generation. He goes to places poetry doesn't visit and lingering there, crafts acts of testimony and tribute. He does what art is supposed to; raising us the highest so that we can see the deepest. The Nagasaki Elder in its stunning evocation of human suffering is simply his best work yet.” Joe Horgan

The Nagasaki Elder is a beautiful and harrowing account of a journey through the bombed cities of Japan.  Unlike most poets who hold forth about atrocities, Antony Owen has been there.  He has spoken in depth to the Hibakusha and transformed their voices into some extraordinary poems.  And we must listen, if we don't want our world to end as theirs did.” Merryn Williams

The Nagasaki Elder is very very hard-hitting yet very tender.

Launch details and a sample poem from the collection may be enjoyed below.

R.R.P. £9.99

Buy The Nagasaki Elder now, using the paypal link below.

The Nagasaki Elder with packing & postage


The Nagasaki Elder will be launched on Thursday, September 7 at Inspire Bar (Christchurch Spire, New Union St, Coventry CV1 2PS) from 7.15pm to 9.15pm.

To feed a Nagasaki starling

She said don’t go to the shadows without water –
I have tried to erase him for sixty-four years
and my wrists are tired;
I have scrubbed the darkness of my son
so he could be buried at last in sunlight.

Don’t go to my son without removing your shoes –
I have tried to bathe him with prayers and carbolic
but he only gets blacker;
I have lived for ninety-nine years
and starlings are beginning to land by my feet.

Don’t wind the paralysed clock,
it is rebuilding the world with seared hands –
I have tried to turn back time
but God will not allow it in Nagasaki;
I had tried to make another child but gave birth to pink curd.

Don’t tell them my name,
and look me in the face when you see him –
I have tried to understand
why ink is only spilled by vaporised kin;
I have tried to write a haiku
for the willow which strokes my son.

Don’t disturb my son
when the raven plays in the shape of his spectre –
I have tried to shoo it away and it quarrels with my broomstick;
I have tried to tell my son that he was ten yards from living.

I have tried to feed a Nagasaki starling
when it drank the black rain;
I have tried to get it to sing so this wraith could be comforted –
 don’t disturb my grave and desecrate me

with twitching shadows.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Launching Rice & Rain

We're very very delighted to launch Romalyn Ante's Rice & Rain - a poetry pamphlet that is very rich and very distinct.

“Romalyn Ante's poems are exquisitely detailed and a real feast for the senses. She has an instinctive talent for crafting precise and finely-tuned poetry that captures the exact sensations –  potent, close to home and as incisive and accurate as a scalpel's first cut. Whether it is the sun's rays that ‘infiltrated your bones, filling them with gold’, or the heart which breaks open like a pomegranate, ‘the seeds, / rusty-red like rivets, / contour a constellation’, life's preciousness is measured here carefully in its proximity to death. These poems are gracefully poised and balanced perfectly, alive with their own irresistible songs of love and longing.” Jane Commane 

Rice & Rain is an impressive first collection of poems that take us from the Philippines to Cannock Chase. The poems are confidently written – Romalyn Ante’s surprising and original imagery shows us how to fatten a boy with the boiled water from rice-rinsing; a handbag mirror made from solidified gin; cornflake sunsets.
“Her poems explore sickness and separation – the longing for the sour-sweet taste of home – but there is also emphasis on nurturing and nourishment. With many references to food from ‘sheen pieces of bullet tuna wrapped in banana leaves’ to ‘luggage stuffed with sun-dried squid’ it is a book you feel you could almost eat.” Jane Seabourne

A sample poem from the collection may be enjoyed below, along with details of Romalyn Ante's launch readings.

R.R.P. £6.50

BUY a copy of Rice & Rain now using the paypal link below.

Rice & Rain with p&p options


My chromosomes got divorced in 2006.
The papers on the narra table parch
with apoptotic blotch. The screams

that fragmentise picture frames
and wine canisters remain free-floating
in the dark cytoplasm of the cellar.

The swearings at each other’s mother
accumulate in the lounge rug.
Even the sword corrodes, its gleam

fading after a saber-arch wedding
many summers ago. Forget about the picnic
in the grove, the colour of sky that day.

Forget about the accidental discovery
of a kingfisher with gun-shot wing.
Forget about the scintillating moment

when XX chromosome, young and dumb,
threw her sandal to the river, certain that
my future father would recover it for her.

Poster by Suriya Chadawong

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

More review delight!

We're very very delighted to share news of the latest review of David Clarke's pamphlet-length poetry sequence, Scare Stories.

"Causality and chaos. These could be our governing gods at present. They are certainly the governing gods in David Clarke’s Scare Stories – a 25 poem sequence in the third person plural set in ‘possible near futures or versions of the present’.

"The poems cover horribly recognisable ground: consumerism, refugee crises, despot generals, video-game violence, genocide, corporatism, sex and death. These are neat, short poems that form a coherent whole. But the work is full of contradictions that undermine the slick surfaces.
"What impressed me most about this collection were its delivery mechanisms. Not necessarily ‘what’ is said in the poems, but ‘how’ Clarke chooses to construct and present them. It’s a masterclass in how to embed more questions into the work. Fitting for the highly questionable circumstances we’re currently living in."

Heidi Williamson, reviewing for The Poetry School

The full detailed and thoughtful review can be found here. A sample poem and more about the collection can be read here.

Buy your own copy of Scare Stories now, using the paypal link below.

Scare Stories (with P&P options)

Monday, 3 July 2017

“a lingual leyline” – review news

We’re v. v. delighted to share the latest review of Gram Joel Davies’ Bolt Down This Earth.

“Bolt Down This Earth is a courteously eye-catching debut collection, a lingual leyline buzzing with a flexed perception blending a revenant reflex with lyrical confidence…
A worthy arrival. I look forward to Davies' next book.” Grant Tabard, The Lake

The full detailed and thoughtful review by Grant Tabard can be found here

Buy Bolt Down This Earth now using the paypal link below

Bolt Down This Earth with P&P

More background to the collection and a sample poem from Bolt Down This Earth can be found here

Friday, 30 June 2017

Launching Walking Backwards (+ fiction offers & flash submissions)

The short fiction in Walking Backwards is very human and very distinctive.

"With Walking Backwards Charlie Hill gives us dense fragments of closely-observed lives, obsessive interiors and broken, unspoken loves. The result is touching, funny, melancholy.”  AL Kennedy

“Charlie Hill dissects the solitary, dignified struggles of day to day life with great tenderness – his stories are beautiful and moving, a balance of cool observation and tenderness. A brilliant collection.” Catherine O'Flynn

“Charlie Hill writes artfully about the gaps between people, of those caught out by love or hushed by pain, or others seeking order within chaos, solace in the face of change.” Catherine McNamara

The title story from the collection may be enjoyed below.

R.R.P. £6.50

ORDER a copy of Walking Backwards now using the paypal link below.

Walking Backwards (with package & posting options)

Walking backwards

The man who walked backwards lived in a house for people who had no house to live in. The house was called Ilfracombe House. I don’t know why.

When I moved into Ilfracombe House, I met the man who walked backwards. He was always there, walking backwards through the house. He walked up and down the stairs backwards, in and out of the lounge backwards, through the kitchen backwards. He even walked backwards along the hall.

One day, I asked the man why he walked backwards. He said he’d read that our hearts only beat a certain number of times before we die, and, if this were so, it made sense that we could only take a certain number of steps too. Each time we took a step forwards then, we were literally moving a step closer to the end of our life. Whereas, if we walked backwards, we were moving away from it, cheating death a step at a time.

It’s been a while since I saw the man who walked backwards. I don’t live in Ilfracombe House any more. I’ve moved. I live in a house called Barnstaple House. I don’t know why. But I think about him every time I see people walking forwards, moving step by step towards the end.

FICTION BUNDLES (UK delivery only)

Continuing or National Flash Fiction Day celebrations, a three-pamphlet fiction bundle,containing Charlie Hill's Walking Backwards, Jude Higgins' The Chemist's House and Carrie Etter's Hometown, may be purchased for just £18 (including packing & postage for the U.K. only) using the paypal link below. This offer is valid until the end of July 24 (U.K. time).

3 fiction pamphlets offer (with p&p for U.K. only)


The V. Press flash fiction (NOT poetry) submissions window will also be open for the next month (30 days)  (until July 24). Please check out the submissions page  for how to submit work, making sure to follow all the guidelines.

(N.B. We are not currently open to general poetry submissions. However, if you are a poet already in discussions with us about a specific manuscript, this month would also be a good time to submit, before we re-open to poetry submissions generally.) Thank you.