Friday, 14 August 2020

Announcing the Prize, Design Thanks & Reviews


V. Press is very very delighted to announce the winner of this year's V. Press Prize for Poetry run in conjunction with the University of Worcester.

V. Press editor Sarah Leavesley has chosen 'May We All Be Artefacts' by Chloe Hanks as this year's winner, with the winning pamphlet based on this portfolio to be published by V. Press in spring 2021.

She said: “This year’s winning portfolio for the V. Press Prize for Poetry is ‘May We All Be Artefacts’ – chosen from the University of Worcester’s shortlist of five for its striking and thought-provoking imagery, focal slants and choice of words. These are poems crafted with a painter’s eye for vivid details and a poet’s ear for language, its sounds and music. The scenes brought to life feel real, relevant and resonant.”


V. Press would like to say a VERY VERY BIG THANKS to Ruth Stacey who has just stepped down from designing the poetry covers.

Ruth was one of V. Press's founding editors in 2013 and has designed most of the press's poetry covers since then.

Seven years of design for the press and 40 odd poetry covers is no small feat. To put this in its full amazing context, both Ruth and V. Press editor Sarah Leavesley have given all their time and energy to their roles at V. Press on an unpaid basis. 

V. Press is extremely grateful to have had Ruth on board for so long doing this and would like to say a very big thank you   from the press, from Sarah Leavesley and on behalf of all our V. Press poets.


V. Press is delighted to share a number of great reviews, including one about Diane Simmons' “exquisite prose” in An Inheritance, which was shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards Best Novella 2020.

“[…] what we have with An Inheritance is a gripping novella-in-flash that takes us on this journey at breakneck speed, as we flit through seventy years and four generations of family life – with all its love, grittiness, despair, hope, loss, grief and evolution.
“Diane Simmons delivers a story that is heartfelt, desperately hopeful and heartrending – the way Simmons is able to move the reader in so few words just showcases what a master she is of the flash fiction genre […]
“[…] An Inheritance is a fabulously woven collection that moves us to feel many emotions, whether we want to or not, and causes us to reflect or face our own familial differences or circumstances. Powerful and beautiful in all the right ways!”

Ross Jeffery, Storgy Magazine, full review here

A sample flash, more information and ordering for An Inheritance can be found here.

"These 29 micro stories, which can be read in one sitting, are so interconnected that the effect is of one short story, told in fragments—a fitting format for a meditation on the unraveling of a marriage, with guest stars (dogs, lovers, therapists, the tiger cat, a rat). The compressed power of flash, however, combined with Pokrass’ lyricism, invites the reader to re-read each piece, and unpack each morsel line by line.[...]

"At a time when we are all living in said movie, Meg Pokrass’ new flash offering is a reminder that, while this collective unmooring is new and unsettling, our emotional lives have already pulled us through a great many rabbit holes. At times surreal, at times elliptical, Alice In Wonderland Syndrome is ultimately an earthy and poignant grouping of flash fiction for an upside-down world."

Amanda Krupman, SmokeLong Quarterly, full review here

A sample flash, more information and ordering for Alice In Wonderland Syndrome can be found here.


"[...] Lewis’ short, crisp phrases are excellent at conveying the profoundly relatable experiences of uncertainty, vulnerability and ennui. Her poems explore both the sense of helplessness and futility in trying to both come to terms with the vast abstractions of time and space, as well as the experience of these concepts within intimate structures such as relationships and memories.[...]

"‘Patience’ reinforces the idea that the time and space around us is charged, not necessarily with any sententious significance, but with a more elemental and formidable force: the ‘electrical surge of the universe’. In this idea of patience, there are always possibilities [...]"

Phoebe Walker, Sabotage Reviews, full review here

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

About Leaving

"[...] It is such details of syntax and diction that are a key strength in this collection. The poems are plain on the surface, letting the emotional intensity of the events and responses they describe come through unembarrassed by poetic expression, aided by care and attention."

"[...] See again the clarity and directness of the writing. ‘Absent’ is in fact a pantoum, so its clarity, preserved throughout its length, is a mark of skill as well as disposition. [...]"

Stephen Payne, Sabotage Reviews, full review here

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

The Protection of Ghosts

"[...]The way Bolderston moves through time so smoothly is a kind of magic. [...] Time doesn’t work linearly in these poems; the past has never left. It’s in the small details. [...] her project has much to say about the way people and places are affected by history. [...]"

Eric Nguyen,  diaCRITICS, full review here

A sample poem, more information and ordering for The Protection of Ghosts can be found here.

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