Monday, 3 August 2020

Launching Hierarchy of Needs: A Retelling

V. Press is very very delighted to announce the launch of Hierarchy of Needs A Retelling, a collaborative pamphlet of poems by Charley Barnes and Claire Walker.

“This pamphlet is a reminder of the extraordinary paradoxes and dualities cultivated between the shaky coexistence of the natural world within the Anthropocene. We are drawn into other-worldly ecologies populated by ‘giddy’ ‘warriors’ ‘fenced in (for freedom)’ and ‘giants, balancing on toes’; yet also confronted with the harsh and tangible realities that confirm the mortal fragility of our environments, even those we create for ourselves through technology.  There is adept writing skill evident in these poems: fresh anthropomorphic voices propagate amongst lyrical lines that converge with direct, demanding declaratives; violent vivid images give way to mellow half-rhymes and assonance; form is executed with precision and also reworked into affecting challenge and experiment. Here lies the adroitness of a pamphlet that moves like rhizomes – with purpose, poise and intelligence.

“Re-working nature’s contradictions and vulnerabilities, and ultimately its needs and desires with this resolute energy, offers a striking parallel: as women writers we might be seen, but not always heard. For me then, this pamphlet is more than just an excellent example of eco-poetry; it is a sophisticated and spirited example of eco-feminism. This is a Mother Earth who nurtures, protects, provides but is also ‘bounty hunter’ with unmistakable, fierce needs of her own: unapologetically pursued and satisfied. ‘Something beautiful’.”

Katy Wareham Morris

“We do not exist without nature, though more and more these days, we seem to be expected to. In this book, Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory is used as a narrative to consider the entwining of both nature’s and our own human needs. The book is split into two sections, each headed with its own recreations of the original five-layered hierarchical pyramid. They feel like a catechism – questions that we must keep on asking ourselves.

“The poems are each beautiful and spared from unnecessary clutter – there is such gentleness and consideration to be gained from the reading. Nature is personified and within the poems there is an aching, a longing to be freed from our human bonds – to be able to answer the age-old call of the seasons without our interference.

“Some of the poems writhe with wonderful touches of the fairy tale. Some express nature’s desire to work in harmony with us as it did in days long past. Some stand in stark contrast to our modern, technology reliant world. Some convey a sense of eternal searching, of pain and grief. Some are piquant with our own bodies, loves, families and deaths. Under the current circumstances and the strange times we are living through, this really does feel like a needed book. We could all do with being a bit more tree.”

Jane Burn

Hierarchy of Needs is very structured, very inquisitive.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-8-1

R.R.P. £6.50

A sample poem from the pamphlet can be enjoyed below.

BUY Hierarchy of Needs now, using the paypal link below. 

Hierarchy of Needs (including P&P/delivery options)

For U.K. delivery only, a special 'duet' prices is also available for Hierarchy of Needs pre-ordered at the same time as Claire Walker's V. Press pamphlet, Somewhere Between Rose and Black, shortlisted in Saboteur Awards 2018 Best Poetry Pamphlet category.

Pre-order Hierarchy of Needs Somewhere Between Rose and Black for £12, U.K. delivery only using the paypal link below.

For U.K. delivery only, a special 'duet' prices is also available for Hierarchy of Needs pre-ordered at the same time as Charley Barnes' V. Press pamphlet, A Z-hearted Guide to Heartache.

Order Hierarchy of Needs A Z-hearted Guide to Heartache for £12, U.K. delivery only using the paypal link below.

For Agatha, who loved this place

I wake slow, see no need to rush,
in this, my centenary year.
I’ve earned this slowness,
have honed the art
of observation since I took root:
planted For Agatha, who loved this place.

My own potential realised,
I know all seasons of people,
have taken their stories down
and filled their lungs in return.

Mothers push their babies around
and I shade their tired eyes,
wish them unbroken sleep tonight.

Children come and go – grow –
race around my sturdy trunk,
build dens inside the hollow of my heart.
They weave up my branches, so light
I shoulder them so they might stretch
towards the sun.

I have seen whole family trees expand.
Generations of the same tribe
picnic together at my feet.
At times, this warms me
more than a summer day:
generations gabbling, together, alive.

Here, I witness life,
snap a twig of hair and carve a quill,
scribe everything into my parchment
to pass on. Collecting roots, truths to tell,
for Agatha, who loved this place.

Monday, 3 August 2020 - Zoom launch

Charley and Claire would love for friends, family and fellow writers to join them in celebrating the release of this new pamphlet on August 3, at an event held via Zoom. The event will also feature guest readers Ruth Stacey, Katy Wareham-Morris and Jane Burn, along with a Question and Answer session. The Facebook event page can be found here. Please note: Zoom details will be available closer to the time. The Zoom space will open at 7:15pm for a 7:30pm start.


Friday, 17 July 2020

Launching This Lexia & Other Languages

V. Press is very very delighted to launch This Lexia & Other Languages by Helen Kay.

“In these poems about the relationship between a mother and son, about dyslexia and language itself (‘the dangling hooks of “f”s and “t”s’), Helen Kay forges an idiom which is both tender and firm. Kay draws us into the experience of living in a society shaped around neurotypical expectations. The poems that result are angry and searching. But in feeling out the boundaries of language, they achieve a ‘seedling syntax’ which is alive and beautiful.” Will Harris

“These poems are quicksilver – deft, concise, witty and full of fresh ways of saying things.  With empathy, and sometimes anger, they skilfully lead the reader into a world of words that confounds expectation but contains its own very specific delights.” Judy Brown

“We are told ‘all shapes are made to fit’, but sometimes the world has a preordained notion of ‘shape’ that does not include people with dyslexia. In Helen Kay’s latest publication, she reflects on a ‘mother-son bond’, as they navigate a childhood where dyslexic can mean being ‘labelled “slow’’’. This Lexia & Other Languages will awaken you to their world, to ‘hear it, taste it, feel it’ in all its devastating complexity.” Elisabeth Sennitt Clough

This Lexia & Other Languages is very genuine and very human.

A sample poem from This Lexia & Other Languages can be enjoyed below.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-9-8
32 pages
R.R.P. £6.50

BUY This Lexia & Other Languages NOW using the paypal link below. 

This Lexia & Other Languages (including P&P/delivery options)

Short Term Memory Loss

It starts with an        empty tight-lipped jug
or a foggy eviction        from my narrative.
Familiar names are        clinging to my tongue
I lose my spectacles        and wash my purse.
A slush of turnips        blackens in a pan.

Others fear dementia.        I was born misplacing
mid-stairs, purpose        waves goodbye. I float.
Quiz time. I parrot        an answer, claim its mine.
At night I lie awake        to rescue hunches
that it started with a ‘P’        or was it ‘K’?

Next day fills        with Mrs Malaprop
whotsit pen drives        brillig crib sheets.
Only the key things        cross the neural pathway:
the days that leaked        the saltiness of now
the dregs of pain        the scent of being loved.

Friday, 10 July 2020

Summer Reading, Reviews and Interview


V. Press managing director and editor, Sarah Leavesley, loves talking about V. Press authors and titles, though not quite as much as she enjoys reading their books!

She was delighted to talk to Janet Emson in a Q & A over on From First Page to Last recently. Check out the interview here.

Meg Pokrass's pamphlet of microfiction, Alice In Wonderland Syndrome, is very tender yet very naughty.

The title is available in print in the U.K. and as an eBook for international customers.

More information, endorsements, a sample flash and ordering can be found here.


Preparing your summer reading? V. Press is delighted to have two new titles out this summer that are ready for pre-order now.

This Lexia & Other Languages by Helen Kay is published on 17 July, 2020. More information, a sample poem and pre-ordering for this very genuine and very human pamphlet of poems can be found here.

Hierarchy of Needs: a retelling by Charley Barnes and Claire Walker is out on 3 August, 2020. More information, a sample poem and pre-ordering for this very structured, very inquisitive pamphlet of poems can be found here.


The Aesthetics of Breath

"History blends with family in this engaging and impressive debut collection by Charles G. Lauder. [...]

"In some ways this manifold debut— taking in, as it does, historical figures, family lives, the problem of evil, and how an element of fantasy and danger is never far from our perception of those we treasure and love— might strain at the edges and become less a sum of its parts, and more of, well, a collection. What draws it together is the consistent awareness of a sense of self. ‘Between lives no light defines us / no mirror reassures us’ as Lauder presents it in ‘Incarnations’: how we are different people in different contexts and how we remain enigmatic and unknowable even to those closet to us. This necessary blurring of character is, ultimately, what charges the writing, exploring the simple, everyday doublings wherein lie ordinary hypocrisies, dreams and nightmares, as well as betrayal and infamy. The lies we tell, the love we offer, and the poetry we read: all are the aesthetics of breath."

Daniel Bennett, The High Window, full review here.

More information, a sample poem and ordering for The Aesthetics of Breath can be found here.

John Dust

“There are no weak poems and the intense atmosphere is maintained throughout. […]
“Such care has gone into the writing of each line, the choice of wording and metaphor, and this is typical of the whole pamphlet. […]
“Even a seemingly trivial subject can take on magnitude when seen through Warren’s keenly observant eye and original viewpoint. In ‘Fly’ she is writing in the tradition of poets like D.H. Lawrence, who excelled in poetry about creatures from mosquitoes to elephants:

How beautiful he is in death
laid out in the white afterlife
like a god, a fly on the sill
in a tapestry of cup rings.

I have picked out these poems as examples of the striking nature and observational poems which go along with the ones on the theme of legend which hold the collection together. […]

“John Dust is illustrated by the award-winning painter and print-maker John Duffin, adding to the folktale feel of the pamphlet and letting us see Warren’s legendary figure.”

Adele WardLondon Grip, full review here.

"Warren’s imagery is lively and surprising, her rhythms inventive, with a sure use of repetition. Sometimes the pamphlet reads like a song; sometimes like a botanist’s memoir. Often, it’s playful – even tongue-in-cheek. Always relishing the vibrancy of words."

Claire BookerInk Sweat and Tears, full review here.

More information, a sample poem and ordering for John Dust can be found here.


"[...] Deane’s ability to offer us personal subjects with a sense of scale and distance, which goes beyond historical writing or the ambitions of the epic. [...]

"[...] Cuckoo as a whole: a small space teeming with characters, with Deane at the centre, relating the exchanges with imagination and insight."

Daniel Bennett, London Grip, full review here.

More information, a sample poem and ordering for Cuckoo can be found here.

The Neverlands

It's lovely to see Damhnait Monaghan's flash fiction novella The Neverlands included on Chelsea Stickle's quarantine reading list on Fractured Lit, where she describes it as "The Neverlands might be the chapbook most recommended to me by strangers, teachers, and fellow writers". The full microreview and list can be found here.

The Neverlands is now out of stock in print form but can still be enjoyed as an eBook. More information, a sample flash and links for ordering can be found here.


We've recently updated The Reading Room with some new details to help readers select their ideal summer reads.

The Reading Room contains links to articles by V. Press authors about their titles, as well as listings for particular popular themes such as Love and Loss, Friendship and Crime!

Meanwhile, we have a poetry reading and a new poem for you to enjoy (below)!


V. Press is very very delighted to share this video of John Wheway reading from his recently published V. Press collection A Bluebottle in Late October.

For more information, another sample poem, video reading and ordering for A Bluebottle in Late October, please click here.


V. Press is very very delighted to share a new 'John Dust' poem by Louise Warren.

John Dust in Lockdown

John Dust
asleep in the spindled barn
asleep in the silted pond
where the wild fridges grow
where the water pops like an old man’s chest
where the flies feed on the buried wounds
John Dust
face like a windfall no one has gathered
sloe hedge, nettle bed, a wood of sighs
nothing wakes
John Dust
the village is shut
a sign says Go Home
a shop door bangs
the post office dies
verges spill into the empty road
as John Dust
rambles in his dreams
past The Three Bells, past the cricket pitch
past the market, busy with apples, busy with faces
busy with voices, chatting and prattling
now quiet as graveyards.

John Dust
wake up
wake up to the orchards
bursting with blossom
wake up to the shop door, the bus stop and market
wake up to the faces pressed to the windows
wake up to the prattle bright as the birdsong.

John Dust
turns over
mumbles a rising
mumbles a falling
a rising a falling
light a rising moon falling rain
night falling day rising birds rising
breath rising and falling.

Louise Warren

More information, a sample poem and ordering for John Dust can be found here. (N.B. The poem above is not in the pamphlet, it is an extra new lockdown poem featuring the character John Dust.)

Monday, 22 June 2020

Launching Alice In Wonderland Syndrome

V. Press is very very delighted to launch Alice In Wonderland Syndrome, a flash fiction pamphlet by Meg Pokrass.

“There could be no more apt title for Meg Pokrass's collection of brilliant and brilliantly disquieting flash fictions than 'Alice in Wonderland Syndrome', a condition in which objects appear larger or smaller than they should. Pokrass's stories are so much greater than their word count, entire worlds, but they also make the tiniest moments vital, enormous. Here, people – and, once, a rat – are on the edges of things; there is no settling in these worlds, as in ours, and animals are often more reassuring than humans. Is the ‘she’ who recurs in the stories Alice herself, or many Alices? Or is she us, trying to find our footing, to shrink and to grow, to restore some balance in a world that is forever tilting?”Tania Hershman

“‘…there is always a story inside a story inside a dog…’ With dreamlike clarity, these beautifully choreographed stories slip, delve and spiral in and out of the quotidian and the surreal with such deftness and precision that like Alice in her wonderland, suddenly you find yourself catching your breath in the light and dark of a world both familiar and yet deliciously unsettling. Pokrass has once again produced an exquisite collection for our enjoyment.”

Mary Jane Holmes

Alice In Wonderland Syndrome is very tender yet very naughty.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-3-6
36 pages
R.R.P. £6.50

A sample flash can be enjoyed below.

BUY a print copy of Alice In Wonderland Syndrome NOW using the paypal link below for U.K. delivery.

Currently, international shipping for this title is more expensive than usual, due to Covid-19 related issues. International customers are encouraged to use the cheaper eBook options for this title, through Amazon (link below the paypal button). 

Alice In Wonderland Syndrome (with postage & packing options)

Alice In Wonderland Syndrome is also available internationally (outside of the U.K.) as an eBook on Kindle through Amazon here.

Mr. Figs

Mr. Figs has jelly on his hands in her dreams. He swells up with real pep when he strums his guitar. He has love for pale beer, and his favorite brand of humor is the same as hers. He likes Oolong tea. Can peel the toughest skin from her heart.

Mr. Figs protects his name, doesn't giggle, and doesn't chafe where she does, watches while she looks away and her face reddens like wine.

Mr. Figs tells her about his dog, how the dog is more than enough pets, because he sleeps little and irregularly. She’s not happy about her practical footwear, but Mr. Figs does not mind her thick-assed socks, in fact he can’t see them and has never asked to see her feet.

Also, he has recently been to the doctor who cleared him of fatal ills.

Mr. Figs has a trick and the trick is becoming Mr. Figs. A phantom here on this earth. Like her, he doesn’t read the newspaper—or if he does, says absolutely nothing about the real horrible things that happen.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Saboteur Award Success, new poetry titles and a video reading, lockdown ideas and offers to celebrate National Flash Fiction Day

V. Press is very very delighted to celebrate Damhnait Monaghan's The Neverlands winning this year's Saboteur Award for Best Novella. An Inheritance by Diane Simmons was also one of the four titles shortlisted for this category. 

Big congratulations to both Damhnait and Diane!!!

The full list of this year's winners can be found here and the shortlists here. Big thanks to all at Sabotage Reviews who work so hard on the annual awards, on top of their year-round review coverage. 

More about both flash fiction novellas, sample flash and ordering can be found by clicking on the titles above or here:  The NeverlandsAn Inheritance.


This also month saw the launch of A Bluebottle in Late October, a poetry collection by John Wheway that is very particular and very human.

More information, endorsements, a sample poem and ordering can be found here.

Helen Kay's poetry pamphlet This Lexia & Other Languages, which is published in July, is also now available for pre-order.

More information, endorsements, a sample poem and pre-ordering for this pamphlet of very genuine and very human poems can be found here.

V. Press will also be sharing snippet quotes from the pamphlet on Twitter and Facebook from the start of July.


Although it was only published in January, Ruth Stacey's I, Ursula is already on to its second print run.

More information, endorsements, a sample poem and ordering can be found here.

Fiona Sampson's recent Guardian review of the collection can be enjoyed here


V. Press is also v. v. delighted to be able to share this beautiful short video reading by Nichola Deane of two poems from her V. Press collection Cuckoo.

More information about Cuckoo, another sample poem and ordering for Cuckoo can be found here.


V. Press editor Sarah Leavesley/James is very pleased to have had Arts Council England funding for a hypertext fragmented poetry narrative > Room.

The multimedia project features 45 virtual rooms containing poetry and images, with hypertext links on certain words or phrases allowing readers to move to different rooms and create their own path through the labyrinthine narrative.

You can explore and enjoy > Room for free here.

For those who are writers as well as readers and may be using their time at home to work on their writing, Sarah Leavesley also has a short (eight A4 pages) guidance sheet on 'Structuring a Pamphlet'. 

The advice and points to consider are based on Sarah's own experience as a writer putting together her pamphlets and collections, as well as her work as an editor reading and working on other writers' manuscripts. 

This guidance sheet is mainly intended for those putting together a poetry pamphlet. But some of the points on it may also be useful for flash pamphlets and full collections. This guide is free, though a voluntary Tip-jar donation of £2 is invited.

For a pdf copy of 'Structuring a Pamphlet', please either email Sarah at or click on the paypal Tip-jar donation button below.


To celebrate this year's National Flash Fiction Day on Saturday, 6 June 2020, V. Press is v. v. pleased to have a special flash fiction bundle offer (for U.K. delivery only and valid until 11.59pm U.K.-time on Sunday, 7 June 2020).

The NFFD2020 offer is any two flash fiction pamphlets from Carrie Etter's Hometown, Jude Higgins' The Chemist's House, Santino Prinzi's There's Something Macrocosmic About All of This, Paul McDonald's Midnight Laughter or Diane Simmons' An Inheritance for £12 including U.K. delivery. 

The offer is valid until midnight on 6 June 2020 and only available for U.K. delivery. A random selection of two will be made by V. Press for orders where no preference is stated at the time of ordering.

NFFD2020 flash offer (U.K. only)
Specify your preferred 2 flash pamphlets (from Carrie Etter's Hometown, Jude Higgins' The Chemist's House, Santino Prinzi's There's Something Macrocosmic About All of This, Paul McDonald's Midnight Laughter or Diane Simmons' An Inheritance) in the text box below, then click Buy Now.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Launching A Bluebottle in Late October

V. Press is very very pleased to launch A Bluebottle in Late October, a poetry collection by John Wheway.

“John Wheway’s first full collection places its trust exactly where it should be: in the poetic present tense where every gnomic detail is magnified, every commonplace brought to its own species of transfiguration. At a time when the lyric is so much in need, he rejuvenates it in its most pellucid and most effortless form; the couplet is reshaped and crystallised, and comes to life. A Bluebottle in Late October is a memorable sequence of poems.” Tim Liardet

“This is a funny, sad, yet uplifting account of how we live and love. Poems by a formidable poet, pulling no punches, yet with a delightful lightness of touch.

Domestic bliss is here, with moments of tenderness and beauty, hopelessness too, and a deep urge to engage. How can we live together? Why do we need to?  What compels us?

These poems made me laugh out loud, though their acuity is sobering. We’ll all glimpse ourselves in them. Marked by meticulous diction and vibrant imagery, this is poetry with an authentic voice.” Neil Rollinson

A Bluebottle in Late October is very particular and very human.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-0-5
72 pages
R.R.P. £10.99

A sample poem from A Bluebottle in Late October can be enjoyed below.

BUY A Bluebottle in Late October NOW using the paypal buttons (with delivery options) below. 

A Bluebottle in Late October (including P&P)

Making Up 

At the mirror, she takes a step back, 
like an artist changing places 

for a different angle, absorbed 
not in herself 

but in the portrait’s subject, dabbing 
pigment over each cheek, circling 

with the tip of her pinkie to reveal 
unseen depths. 

He’d never seen his mother in her, 
but now he’s like the boy who watched 

the woman in the strapless dress, lips kissed 
with Rouge Noir, hurrying 

downstairs to the street, bowing 
into a waiting taxi. He’d peer 

between the curtains, noticing 
the eagerness in her pace, 

not knowing what it meant, 
though he knew she loved to dance, 

and that the Polish captain 
who gave him that red fire engine 

was not his father’s friend.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Last days for voting, eBooks, new audio poetry and video readings

Last days for voting in the Saboteur Awards

Just a quick reminder that voting for the this year's Saboteur Awards closes on May 13!

V. Press is very very delighted to have not just one but two V. Press authors shortlisted in this year's awards. Damhnait Monaghan and Diane Simmons are both shortlisted in the Best Novella category - Diane for An Inheritance and Damhnait for The Neverlands.

If you haven't already, please VOTE! for them now on the voting form here.

And while you're there, do check out all the others shortlisted in what is an annual publishing/poetry/festival highlight with the wide range of categories covered and the great shortlists for these. 

More about both flash fiction novellas, sample flash and ordering can be found by clicking on the titles above or here: An InheritanceThe Neverlands.


V. Press is v. v. pleased to announce two pieces of flash news.

The first is that we will be publishing a new pamphlet of hybrid prose/ microfiction by renowned and award-winning author Meg Pokrass. Editor Sarah Leavesley has already been busy typesetting and working on the cover design for this exciting manuscript, so watch this space for more news on Alice In Wonderland Syndrome soon!

V. Press is also very very excited to announce our first eBook. Damhnait Monaghan's The Neverlands has already enjoyed several new print runs. This combined with covid-19 has prompted us to turn it into an eBook and trial the possibilities for occasional electronic publishing alongside our traditional print editions.



Kelly Williams, V. Press Prize for Poetry 2019, has celebrated the launch of her debut pamphlet Ynygordna at the end of last month with some video and audio recordings that can be enjoyed below.

Kelly has also written a post about Ynygordna and raising awareness of the third gender pronoun here.

A sample poem, more information and ordering for Ynygordna can be found here.


John Wheway's debut full collection A Bluebottle in Late October is published in just over a week, with pre-orders going out this coming week. So please do check out the sample poem and more information on this very particular and very human collection here.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Launching Ynygordna

V. Press is very very delighted to launch Ynygordna by Kelly Williams, winner of the V. Press Prize for Poetry 2019.

Ynygordna is not a twee poetry collection for your kitschy coffee table display – this is a no-holds-barred fistfight with blood, guts and strap-ons. Williams is a true warrior poet and these poems will wound you. You’ve been warned.”
Jonathan Kinsman

“Bristling with vivid imagery, vibrant language and powerful emotions, these poems are not afraid to challenge conventional boundaries in poetry as in life. Ynygordna is a fresh and striking selection of poems, encompassing a bold and brave exploration of gender, sexuality and love within and against societal expectations.”
Sarah Leavesley, V. Press Prize for Poetry Judge

Ynygordna is very ardent and very versatile.

Winner of the V. Press Prize for Poetry 2019

A sample poem can be found below.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-2-9
36 pages
R.R.P. £6.50

BUY Ynygordna NOW using the paypal link with posting options below.

Ynygordna (including P&P/delivery options)


Scream what needs to be said: the labels
found on ver body are engrained in our minds,
not ver skin.

Take pride in fingers that move two at once
and sex that sings in newborn cells
in the amygdala of closet mannequins.

There is urgency in a body that does not
align with walls it sleeps within,
animated suddenly in a light not blurred
by straight-lined articles.

Ve meets me in a place
where thumbprints are moulded in mercury;
the blood of clouds runs with ver, neither
disappearing into sky nor wandering
upon pavements.

Ve is between the lines of my favourite poem,
the blank page in the introduction fated
to be folded and scribbled.

Splintering euphoria

in strips of jock-strap clips:

trimmed fingernails trace letters of wildfire
in scripts made louder than the sirens
of a bordering wall.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Saboteur Awards shortlistings, reviews, interviews, judging news and more!

The Saboteur Awards

V. Press is very very delighted to see not just one V. Press author shortlisted in this year's Saboteur Awards but two!

Damhnait Monaghan and Diane Simmons are both shortlisted in the Best Novella category - Diane for An Inheritance and Damhnait for The Neverlands.

If you nominated them in the first round, please do go across and vote for them again now in the second round. (Unfortunately, you can't pick both for the award, so you will have to try and choose between them!) Even if you didn't nominate in the first round, please do get your vote and voice in for them now.

The voting form can be found here - for this category and all the others in what is an annual publishing/poetry/festival highlight with the wide range of categories covered and the great shortlists for these. 

More about both flash fiction novellas, sample flash and ordering can be found by clicking on the titles above or here: An Inheritance; The Neverlands.


John Dust

"[..]so authentic and richly imagined is the character of John Dust that I had assumed he really was part of folklore, a figure stalking the South-West for generations. In fact the character is Louise Warren’s own invention and it is the realisation of this character that gives the pamphlet licence to dazzle, with inventive imagery and new rung language running through the poems. [...]

Neil Elder, The High Window, the full, detailed review here.

A sample poem, more information and ordering for John Dust can be found here.

The Neverlands

"A deceptively slim book that tells an entire Irish family saga, Damhnait Monaghan’s debut, The Neverlands, is a beautiful treatise on who we love and how do we love–especially those closest to us. In this story love is vulnerable and risky…but it is also redemptive. A stunning mini epic full of equal parts sorrow and hope, each tension-filled story stands alone and yet together they create something powerful and universal."

Nancy StohlmanSo You Wrote a Book?, full interview with Damhnait Monaghan about The Neverlands here.

A sample flash, more information and ordering for The Neverlands can be found here.

V. Press's The Reading Room also has more links to interviews and articles by some of our authors about their V. Press titles.


Unfortunately, this year's Hastings Litfest has been cancelled, including the flash fiction competition that V. Press editor Sarah Leavesley was due to judge.

However, Sarah is delighted to be the poetry judge for this year's Gloucestershire Writers’ Network 2020 Competition, supported by The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.

The theme is 'My World' and the deadline is early July 2020. Full details about the competition and how to enter can be found here. Please do follow the instructions carefully, particularly making sure your entry is anonymous.


Just a reminder that Ynygornda by V. Press Prize for Poetry 2019/2020 winner Kelly Williams is published on Friday, with pre-orders going out this week.

Meanwhile pre-orders are also available for John Wheway's debut full collection A Bluebottle in Late October, which is out next month.


Listen to and watch Charles G Lauder Jr reading his The Aesthetics of Breath poem, 'Sir Walter Raleigh of Bexar County, Texas', below:

Another sample poem, more about The Aesthetics of Breath, endorsements, reviews and ordering for this collection can be found here.


V. Press is v. v. pleased to still be sending out orders across the U.K. during the current lockdown. Orders can be placed via the website (bookshop here). Our poetry titles are also available through the Poetry Book Society here. (Use the search tool to find the book or poet you're after.)

Monday, 6 April 2020

National Poetry Competition, The Guardian & Other Review/Event News

National Poetry Competition Celebrations

V. Press is very very delighted to see V. Press poet Natalie Linh Bolderston win third prize in the 2019 National Poetry Competition for her poem 'Middle Name with Diacritics'.

Big congratulations to all the winners and commended poets, especially Natalie. Her winning poem can be enjoyed on The Poetry Society website here, along with a video of her reading the poem.

More on Natalie's V. Press pamphlet, The Protection of Ghosts, can be found here.


I, Ursula

"Disproportionately overlooked are non-metropolitan poets such as Ruth Stacey, whose second collection, the mysterious and fabular I, Ursula (V. Press £10.99) appears from an award-winning West Midlands micropublisher. The book conjures a Dantesque lost forest [...]"

Fiona Sampson, The Guardian, full review 'The best recent poetry – review roundup' here.

For a sample poem, more information and to order I, Ursula, please click here.


"[...] this collection actively encourages our seeing beyond the harrowing experiences that being human entails. [...] I feel I will recall Nina Lewis’ Patience in those darkest moments."

Mhairi Owens, Sphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'A call to the light' here.

For a sample poem, more information and to order Patience, please click here.

Winter with Eva

"This is a love story so sensual that you can smell autumn leaves on the ground and taste snow on your lips. [...] It’s this mixture of words and meanings and connotations which adds depth to the poetry, and tension to the story. [...] Elaine Baker’s visually surprising images are a joy. [...]"

Candyce LangeSphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'When reading a pamphlet is like watching a play' here.

For a sample poem, more information and to order Winter with Evaplease click here.

Making Waves [Albert Einstein: Science & Life]

"[..] And that is what I suppose struck me most — how human he [Einstein] was — this man who has always seemed to me larger than real life, distanced by his genius.

"There’s humour here, too. [...] After reading these poems, I think of the great man differently. He has stepped down from his stone pedestal. He has turned into a human being."

Helena NelsonSphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'Oddly Human' here.

For a sample poem, more information and to order Making Waves [Albert Einstein: Science & Life], please click here.

The Escapologist

"So the world of these poems contains beauty and love, but it is undoubtedly ominous. Much is shared. Nothing is hammered home. There are careful layers, many of them, and the poems draw their reader back and reward re-reading. They are expert pictures from the life, and the poet has declared them fearlessly  her own."

Helena NelsonSphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'Omens' here.

For a sample poem, more information and to order The Escapologist, please click here.


A recent article, and new addition to the V. Press Reading Room is a fabulous interview by Nancy Stohlman with Michael Loveday, about his flash fiction novella Three Men on the Edge.

'So You Wrote a Book? Michael Loveday' can be enjoyed here. More on Three Men on the Edge, including sample flash fictions, endorsements, reviews and ordering, can be found here.


Obviously, Covid-19 has affected many events and launches in the UK, including Elaine Baker's launches for her pamphlet Winter with Eva. Although these have been postponed, Elaine has been doing a series of daily video readings from Winter with Eva on Instagram and Twitter. Day 10, featuring her poem 'Water cooler', can be watched below.