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.


NEW TITLES

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.


NEW PRINT RUN

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


VIDEO READING

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.

KEEPING BUSY IN LOCKDOWN


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 vpresspoetry@hotmail.com or click on the paypal Tip-jar donation button below.


LOCKDOWN & NATIONAL FLASH FICTION DAY OFFERS

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.


FLASH NEWS

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.

THE NEVERLANDS IS AVAILABLE IN THE UK AND INTERNATIONALLY ON KINDLE through Amazon, including Amazon.co.uk here and Amazon.com here.


NEW VIDEO AND AUDIO

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.

QUICK REMINDERS

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)

futch

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.

Reviews/Interviews

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.

JUDGING

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.

PUBLISHED SOON

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.




VIDEO READINGS


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.

STILL POSTING

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.

REVIEWS

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.

Patience

"[...] 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.


AND MORE

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.






EVENTS

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.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Spring News & Mother's Day!

While there's lots going on across the world right now, here at V. Press we're trying to focus on the start of Spring and Mother's Day on Sunday, 22 March 2020.

To celebrate this year's mother's day, we're offering a fortnight-long discount on Helen Calcutt's poetry collection Unable Mother, as well as a 'family rate' bundle on some of our flash pamphlets with a family slant. The offers run until Friday, 27 March 2020  for U.K. delivery only.*

Unable Mother - Mother's Day price: £10 with U.K. delivery only.


'Family Rate 2-Pamphlet Flash Bundle': Choose from two of  An Inheritance, The Neverlands, There's Something Macrocosmic About All of ThisThe Chemist's House or Hometown for £10 with UK delivery only. (Please specify your preferred two pamphlets at the time of ordering or 'potluck' if you'd like us to choose them for you.)


* While stocks last and for U.K. delivery only.

REVIEWS

ABOUT LEAVING (poetry)


"This deceptively simple pamphlet poignantly explores the process of coming to terms with the departure and, later,  death of a loved one. Glass's poems move through sparse spaces of domestic absence [...] Carrying the weight of love and loss, these poems offer hope of a new found strength. [...]"

Poetry Book Society, Spring Bulletin 2020

The pamphlet may be ordered through Poetry Book Society here.



"Ian Glass’s surname is perfect for his poetry. In ‘About Leaving’, the writing is as sharp and clear as glass, creating a frame — a window — through which to look at emptiness, departure and loss. [...]
"By writing around leaving — by skirting the edges of grief — Glass communicates these experiences and feelings in a way which embodies them. Here are poems about states of being at once as empty — and full — of reflections as glass."

Isabelle ThompsonSphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'Writing around loss: concision, transference and understatement' here.

For more information, a sample poem and to order a copy of About Leaving, please click here.

THREE MEN ON THE EDGE (flash fiction)

"This is an enigmatic and intriguing work. [...] Sharply and poetically-written, Three Men on the Edge is as engaging as it is elusive."

Zel NorwoodThe Frogmore Papers, Number 95

For more information, sample flash and to order a copy of Three Men on the Edge, please click here.

AN INHERITANCE (flash fiction)

"Lifetimes pass in a twinkling in this novella-in-flash from Diane Simmons. Eighteen tightly woven short stories sew together moving glimpses into the love, betrayals and reconciliations of four generations over a span of seventy years from 1932 to 2002. [..] this is a celebration of people who take things in their stride."

Judy DarleySkyLightRain, full review here.

For more information, a sample flash and to order a copy of An Inheritance, please click here.

JUDGING HASTINGS LITFEST FLASH FICTION COMPETITION

V. Press is very very delighted to share the news that editor Sarah Leavesley will be judging this year's Hastings Litfest flash fiction competition. The deadline is early June. 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. She is very much looking forward to reading the entries.

Friday, 28 February 2020

Launching An Inheritance

V. Press is very very delighted to launch An Inheritance, a historical flash fiction novella by Diane Simmons.

An Inheritance is a gem of a novella. It succeeds in spanning seventy years and four generations of one family, exquisitely capturing their relationships, secrets and divided loyalties. The historical changes wrought by each decade are delicately interwoven throughout the twists and turns within the family’s life. This captivating narrative will make you weep and smile.”
Joanna Campbell

“Despite large secrets and larger financial woes, one family’s superior love, kindness and understanding pulls them through the hardest of times, from generation to generation. An Inheritance is a poignant heart-warmer of a novella-in-flash and is a useful lesson in the importance of kindness in this life.”
Nuala O’Connor

An Inheritance is very readable and very intriguing.

A sample flash from the pamphlet can be found below.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-5-0
44 pages
R.R.P. £6.50

BUY An Inheritance NOW using the paypal link below.


An Inheritance (including P&P/delivery options)

Profit and Loss
1932

Thomas takes the cameo brooch. 
“The mount is gold,” the customer says. “It was a present from my husband on our wedding day.”
    Thomas reads the inscription on the back: 14th May 1930. Not even two years ago. “It must be difficult for you to part with this Mrs Baldwin – even temporarily.”
    “My John wouldn’t be happy about it, but…”
He nods and searches in the drawer for his eye glass, relieved that he has an excuse to look away. When Mrs Baldwin had first started coming into the shop, she’d been pretty. Now she’s emaciated, her eyes shrunken and her face pale. He sees so many customers with tuberculosis. At least she has something worth pawning – many don’t. Recently, he was tricked into giving a good price for a bundle of clothes, only to find that someone had hidden a cabbage inside to make the parcel heavier. The smell in the storeroom was ghastly. His father would never fall for such a trick, but Thomas, guessing at the customer’s desperation, was almost glad to be deceived. 
Thomas picks up the eyeglass, does a quick calculation, offers a loan of five guineas.

Six months after Mrs Baldwin’s death, Thomas removes the brooch from the safe. He has taken care to follow the business’s guidelines to the letter. His father won’t tolerate special treatment or any display of compassion, even for a grieving husband burdened by doctor’s bills and funeral costs. The brooch must go up for sale today and a profit recorded.
     He cleans the brooch, attaches a two-guinea price tag to it and places it on a velvet tray in a prominent place in the shop window. By lunchtime, two people have inspected it, but it doesn’t sell. By two pm, despite brisk trade and a lady promising to return within the hour, it still hasn’t sold. By four, concerned that his father will arrive soon to shut up the shop, Thomas moves the brooch out of the window, wraps it in tissue paper and puts it into his breast pocket. 
     With one eye on the door, he takes five guineas out of his wallet and places the money into the till. It’s more than he can comfortably spare, but he’ll find a use for the brooch one day. Neatly, he records the transaction in the ledger – sale price in one column, profit in the next – just as his father likes it.

LAUNCH

The public online launch for An Inheritance takes place on Facebook on Monday, 2 March 2020. Details here


Friday, 14 February 2020

Launching Winter with Eva

V. Press is very very delighted to celebrate Valentine's Day with the publication of the poetry pamphlet/sequence Winter with Eva by Elaine Baker.

“This is a poignant but tough love story told against the backdrop of Brexit-era England. Eva is Romanian, a free spirit with a beautiful soul navigating the ignorance and hatred of her adopted country. Elaine Baker’s powerful but understated narrative is told from the perspective of Eva’s British lover, Sean, who is at once enchanted but also bewildered by her foreignness, her language, her precarious status in a country that isn’t hers – all the things that threaten to drive them apart. So what begins as a love story evolves to encompass a greater theme – these poems speak eloquently of the way we live now.”
Tamar Yoseloff

“Elaine Baker writes so beautifully about love: macrocosmic passion and domestic comfort are drawn with sharp, sensual tenderness. But Winter with Eva is also a timely sociopolitical exploration and a gripping page-turner of a pamphlet, one to read carefully yet compulsively in a single sitting.” Rachel Piercey

Winter with Eva is very human, very conscious.

A sample poem can be found below.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-4-3
36 pages
R.R.P. £6.50

BUY Winter with Eva NOW using the paypal link with posting options below. 

Winter with Eva (including P&P/delivery options)

Winter with Eva has already received its first review.

"[...] There is a strong sense of narrative arc: two people meeting, falling in love, sharing their lives until cracks show ending with Sean’s dilemma. The poems balance celebration and disintegration. A satisfying read."
Emma Lee, full review here.

Crowns

We’re all set up –
two beers. Mixed nuts.
Half a plastic tub of Roses on the rug.
It’s a Wonderful Life
playing out on the telly.

You’ve been baking
and before you’re back with the plate
I can already taste the cozonac –
sweet and melting.

We pull the crackers,
put on the paper crowns
hold hands,
settle down to watch George Bailey drown
in his small American town.

Every year’s the same.
I pretend this isn’t crying.

It doesn’t get you
till the end,
when all George’s friends descend,
fill the room with smiles,
empty their pockets to an impromptu chorus of
‘Hark the Herald’.

Now your tears are coming,
there’s no stopping them.

You say you miss the singing.
Where are all the children?

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Early Spring Reviews & Poetry Book Fair



Free Verse Poetry Book and Magazine Fair is managed by The Poetry Society

V. Press is very very pleased to be exhibiting at the 'Free Verse' Poetry Book Fair in London on Saturday, 22 February 2020, with a lunchtime reading featuring three V. Press poets.

The fair is a highlight on the poetry publishing calendar, featuring presses from across the U.K. and takes place at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL from 11am to 5pm.


The V. Press reading takes place at 1.40pm and features V. Press poets Jinny Fisher, Natalie Linh Bolderston and Martin Zarrop.

'People, power, politics’: V. Press poets Jinny Fisher, Natalie Linh Bolderston and Martin Zarrop look at intergenerational issues, family relationships, survival, personality, science and politics in poems from their pamphlets The Escapologist, The Protection of Ghosts and Making Waves Albert Einstein: Science & Life.

 More information about what's in store for this year's fair can be found here, on Facebook here, and the Twitter / Instagram hashtag is #freeverse20.

If you can make the fair, please do come and say hello - we're v. v. much looking forward to meeting readers and writers!

Free Verse Poetry Book and Magazine Fair is managed by The Poetry Society

REVIEW NEWS

I, Ursula


"[...] Overall “I, Ursula” is a chilling, memorable exploration of the darker side of the muse. She is stalked, hunted, desired and formed in other’s image, a body on which to project desires. Rarely does she get her own voice but here she contemplates the power dynamics in relationships and how she is used to create art, often to her own detriment. Despite the projection of delicacy and fragility, she has to remain strong with a will to survive. Ruth Stacey has created a powerful collection."

Emma Lee, full review here.

For more information, a sample poem or to order a copy of I, Ursula, please click here.

Winter with Eva


This pamphlet is officially out on Valentine's Day next week, but has already received its first review.

"[...] There is a strong sense of narrative arc: two people meeting, falling in love, sharing their lives until cracks show ending with Sean’s dilemma. The poems balance celebration and disintegration. A satisfying read."
Emma Lee, full review here.

For more information, a sample poem or to order a copy of Winter with Eva, please click here.



Patience


'[...]“Patience” is a reminder of the value of connection between generations, legacies of objects and character passed from the contemporary to the future. The poems show sensitivity and an acute focus, exploring different aspects of an overall theme. Their gentleness acts as an invitation to the reader to engage with and interpret the poems. Their pace is measured which combines with a calm tone to explore grief, loss, legacy and intimacy. The title, “Patience” is apt. These are slow poems to enjoy at leisure.'
Emma Lee, full review here.

For more information, a sample poem or to order a copy of Patience, please click here.

About Leaving


"The theme of finding strength in a family and creating a safe place for children, even those who grow up and leave, to return to is as strong as the notion of leaving. The poems benefit from a programmer’s precision with language, but also offer texture and an openness of interpretation. They start in personal experience but open out into a universal concern: the effect on children of a parent’s absence and a desire to ensure home feels welcome. For all its apparent lightness, “About Leaving”, probes the intense experience of loss and recovery with honesty and concern."
Emma Lee, full review here.

For more information, a sample poem or to order a copy of  About Leaving, please click here.

The Protection of Ghosts

Natalie Linh Bolderston's The Protection of Ghosts had two mentions in the Poetry Wales '44 Poetry Books of 2019 as nominated by poets'.

"There is a sadness to the poems as they strive to reach into the minds and memories of others, but also a wiry strength.  An exceptional debut from a young poet."
Anna Lewis

"Many unforgettable and searing evocations of loss and the unceasing search for healing."
Jeffery Sugarman

If you didn't pick up a copy last year, you can still get one now. More information, a sample poem from The Protection of Ghosts and ordering here.

Making Waves Albert Einstein: Science & Life 

“[…]Zarrop imparts his knowledge with a lightness of touch, with an ear for the anecdote and keen sense for picking propitious moments in time.[…]
The science really comes to life where the poet-narrator-teacher employs metaphoric image or storytelling to great effect, as in ‘Equivalence.’ The image is of a man in a lift with the cable severed. Is he an astronaut, floating, or is he falling, in that precise moment? ‘as reaction/follows action,/performs a slow rotation/before terrestrial matter,/without a single thought,/gets in the way.’ The verbal shift from the scientific to the colloquial finale of ‘gets in the way,’ illustrates best the poet’s ability to bridge these two worlds in a way that is fascinating, and illuminates for once, (to me, at least, as one all too decidedly ‘non-scientific’), the poetry of, and in, equations, equivalencies and scientific paradox.”

Ken Evans, The Manchester Review, full review here.

For more information, a sample poem or to order a copy of Making Waves, please click here.

John Dust

"[...] The title character is a malleable ghost-like person others can project their feelings on. Just when someone thinks they have the measure of him, he shifts and surprises. He represents traditional folklore but can be found in Poundland. [...]"

Emma Lee, The Blue Nib, full review here.

For more information, a sample poem or to order a copy of John Dust, please click here.

The Aesthetics of Breath 


"[..]the careful building of these poems into a logical order, the vivid depiction of transient lives, the insight into social and historical events, was competent and challenging. The strength and beauty of some poems more than made up for lapses into the esoteric and, as reader, I felt gifted with the surprising perspective of man and father."

Pat EdwardsLondon Grip, full review here.

For more information, a sample poem or to order a copy of  The Aesthetics of Breath, please click here.



OTHER EVENTS

Friday, 28 February 2020 in Cheltenham, 7.30pm

Ruth Stacey will be reading from I, Ursula at The New Bohemians event, Cheltenham, hosted by Jennie Farley. Tickets £8.00 includes wine, soft drinks, nibbles. Contact su@deespaceworks.co.uk or pay on door. Venue: deepspaceworks art centre, 11 Hamilton Street, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham GL53 8HN. Free parking at St Edward’s Prep School, London Road (opposite Hamilton Street).


Wednesday, 25 March 2020 in Bishop's Castle, 7.30pm

Ruth Stacey will be guest poet at VERBATIM, hosted by Pat Edwards, at The Poetry Pharmacy, 36 High St, Bishops Castle, SY9 5BQ, entry £3 (inc drink & nibbles), with open mic slots available on the night.


Happy reading and hope to see you at Free Verse on 22 February!