Our Writers/Illustrators


ROMALYN ANTE grew up in Batangas, Philippines. At 16, she migrated to the UK, where she now works as a nurse and a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in a variety of magazines and e-journals in the UK, USA, and South East Asia, including Under the Radar, Cannon’s Mouth, Ink, Sweat, & Tears, Eastlit Literary Magazine and Anak Sastra. She has prize-winning poems in The Yellow Book (Rethink your Mind, 2015) and was commended in the ‘Poetry’ category of Creative Future Literary Awards in 2016. A Jerwood/Arvon mentee 2017-2018, she is currently working towards a full collection. Rice & Rain is her debut poetry pamphlet. 



DAVID CALCUTT is a playwright, poet and novelist who lives in the West Midlands. He has written over forty plays and adaptations for touring and community theatre, and for BBC radio. Several of his plays for young people and three novels for young people are published by Oxford University Press. He has a book of Robin Hood stories with Barefoot Books. As a poet, David is published widely in UK print and online magazines, and he has three pamphlets: Outlaws with Iron Press, Road Kill, a collaboration with Nadia Kingsley, and Through the Woods, a collaboration with Nadia Kingsley and Peter Tinkler (both published by Fairacre Press). David has also worked as a storyteller, director of community plays and projects, writer in residence at a community garden. His V. Press poetry pamphlet is The Old Man in the House of Bone, illustrated by Peter Tinkler.


DAVID CLARKE is Lincolnshire-born but now lives in Gloucestershire. He works as a teacher and researcher. His pamphlet, Gaud (Flarestack), won the Michael Marks Award in 2013. His first full collection of poetry, Arc, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2016 and was longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. He has taught online for The Poetry School and has published poems in magazines such as Magma, Tears in the Fence and Long Poem Magazine. He reviews poetry, and blogs at http://athingforpoetry.blogspot.co.uk/. His V. Press 2017 poetry pamphlet is Scare Stories.


Photo by Richard Austen
CATHERINE CROSSWELL is a performance poet, frustrated slammer, untidy wife, mother, bidet doubter, list lover, singer and guitarist. She studied Contemporary Arts at Nottingham Trent where she formed half of the award-winning comedy singing act 'Lindsey & Catherine.' As a poet, Catherine has performed at various poetry/literary festivals including Ledbury, Cheltenham and Stratford. In 2013 Catherine created a new word ‘Fusterbrothy’ with accompanying poem and this can be found in the ebook ‘Made-up words’ by English PEN. Catherine lives in Malvern and is co-organiser of the regular ConFab Cabaret with Amy Rainbow. Her website is at www.catherinecrosswell.co.uk and her poems feature in the V. Press publication The Vaginellas.


STEPHEN DANIELS is the editor of Amaryllis Poetry (www.amaryllispoetry.co.uk) and Strange Poetry (www.strange-poetry.com). His poetry has been widely published in numerous magazines and websites, including The Interpreter’s House, Obsessed With Pipework, Ink Sweat & Tears, And Other Poems, The Lake, Clear Poetry, Picaroon Poetry, The Fat Damsel, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Eunoia Review, Algebra of Owls, The Open Mouse, I am not a silent poet and Nutshells and Nuggets. His poems have also appeared in several anthologies including Richard Jefferies Writers – ’78 Anthology, Domestic Cherry, Ink Sweat & Tears’ 12 Days of Christmas 2016 and his poem ‘Light’ was runner-up in the Candlestick Press micropoem competition 2015. You can find out more at www.stephenkirkdaniels.com or follow him on twitter (@stephendaniels). His V. Press poetry pamphlet Tell Mistakes I Love Them is published June 2017.


JAMES DAVEY grew up in Bristol and currently lectures in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Before returning to the U.K. in 2014, he spent three years working in Catania, Sicily, as an English-language teacher. His poetry has previously appeared in journals including Poetry Wales, New Welsh Reader, Stand, The Warwick Review, Ambit, New Walk, Agenda, and The Interpreter’s House. How to Parallel Park is his debut poetry pamphlet, published by V. Press spring 2018.




Photo by Robbie Elford
GRAM JOEL DAVIES grew up in Somerset in the ’80s, overlooking the valley town of Taunton, the Quantock Hills and the edge of Sedgemoor. He was home-educated in a council house before attending a comprehensive in his early teens. When he left, his poetry came with him through years interspersed with other fixations—electronic music, theatre, artificial intelligence, inebriation, pop science...photography. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Magma, The Moth, Envoi and Lighthouse, and has received listings and commendations from Penelope Shuttle, Peter Oswald, Liz Berry and Carol Ann Duffy, among others. In 2014, he and collaboration partner Hannah Linden won the Cheltenham Poetry Festival Compound competition. He claims expertise in elusive identities, bending the senses and short-circuits of the human mind. Working with Juncture 25 poets, he attends readings and festivals across the Southwest. He takes particular interest in editing poetry and likes to spend days exploring moors, ruins, galleries and power stations with his girlfriend. Bolt Down This Earth (V. Press, 2017) is his first collection.


Photo by Dot & Lucy Photography
CARRIE ETTER is originally from Normal, Illinois, but has lived in England since 2001 and taught creative writing at Bath Spa University since 2004. She has published three books of poetry, most recently Imagined Sons (Seren, 2014), which was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, and numerous short stories in such magazines as Flash, New Welsh Review and The Nottingham Review, among others. She keeps a blog at http://carrieetter.blogspot.com and occasionally reviews poetry for The Guardian. Her V. Press flash fiction pamphlet is Hometown




Photo by Lee Allen
KATHY GEE grew up in York in a family of historians and archaeologists but she decided that working in museums was warmer than holes in the ground. She now lives in Worcestershire, U.K., where she makes a living by mentoring museum and heritage organisations. Widely published in print and online poetry journals and anthologies, Kathy has been highly commended in three poetry prizes and two pamphlet competitions, and was a finalist for the Worcestershire Laureate. She organised a poetry trail and anthology of poems inspired by Avoncroft Museum of Buildings, is a regular performer at spoken word events and spends most of her spare cash on theatre and travel. Book of Bones is her first collection.

JUDE HIGGINS has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. Her short fictions have been published in the Fish Prize Anthology, Great Jones Street, Halo and Severine magazines, Flash Frontier, The Nottingham Review, The New Flash Fiction Review, The Blue Fifth Review and National Flash Fiction Day Anthologies among other places. She has won or been placed in several flash fiction competitions. Jude runs Bath Flash Fiction Award, and loves everything to do with flash fiction. Her website is at http://judehiggins.com and her twitter tag is @judehwriter. The Chemist's House is her 2017 V. Press pamphlet of flash fiction.



Photo by Kevin Thomas

CHARLIE HILL has been described by Jim Crace as 'a real writer'. He is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, a novella and a handful of poems. His short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals in print and online, and he has been widely anthologised. In 2015, a story was republished by Birmingham's Ikon Gallery to complement their summer exhibition. His 2017 V. Press short fiction pamphlet is Walking Backwards.

JENNY HOPE is a writer, poet and workshop facilitator. She leads the Worcester City Write-On Writing Squad for Writing West Midlands. She also works for the In the Pink Dementia Poetry Project with the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford. Her poetry collection Petrolhead was published in January 2010 by Oversteps Books. She is currently working on her second collection as well as a whole load other things, which keeps life interesting. She is also a woman with a tree-thing and lives in Wildish-Worcestershire. Her website is at www.poetrymaker.co.uk and her poems feature in the V. Press publication The Vaginellas.



SARAH JAMES is a prize-winning journalist, photographer, short fiction writer and poet. Her first poetry collection, Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press, 2010), won third prize in the International Rubery Book Awards 2011. Her second collection, Be[yond], was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2013. The Magnetic Diaries, a narrative in poems loosely based on Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press spring 2015 and the poetry-play version premieres at The Courtyard, Hereford, in July 2015. A collaborative pamphlet with poet Angela Topping, Hearth (Mother's Milk Books) launched at Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2015 and her fourth collection, plenty-fish, is published by Nine Arches Press summer 2015.Her website is at: www.sarah-james.co.uk and her poems feature in the V. Press publication The Vaginellas.


S.A. LEAVESLEY runs V. Press and is a prize-winning journalist, fiction writer, poet and photographer. Behind the camera, she is a woman of few words. Her photographic sequence, 'Fragile' was inspired by and created for Nina Lewis' V. Press pamphlet Fragile Houses.







Photo by Reg Nichols
NINA LEWIS is widely published in poetry journals and anthologies, including Abridged, Fat Damsel Take Ten, Hark, Here Comes Everyone (HCE), I am Not a Silent Poet, New Ulster Poetry, Nutshells and Nuggets, Under the Radar and Visual Verse.
Worcestershire Poet Laureate Competition 2015/2016 runner-up, Nina often performs at spoken word events and literary festivals. She was commissioned to write and perform poetry on ‘ecology and the city’ at the Birmingham Literature Festival in 2014. Her haiku have appeared in an art installation at the Midlands Art Centre, on the Poetry Fence at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm and in Municipal Bank Vaults for an International Dance Festival. Nina’s work also formed part of the poetry trail for Wenlock Poetry Festival 2014. Fragile Houses, published by V. Press autumn 2016, is her first pamphlet.


Photo by Phil Punton
DAVID O'HANLON is a poet and occasional performer. His poems have appeared in, and are forthcoming from, numerous magazines and anthologies, including The Rialto, Elbow Room, And Other Poems, Dream Catcher, Spontaneity, Ariadne's Thread, Antiphon, Prole, Lunar Poetry, The Ofi Press, Nutshells & Nuggets and Ink Sweat & Tears. He reads and performs his work throughout the North East, including featured sets at The Stanza in Newcastle, Jibba(ish) in Whitley Bay and Poetry Jam in Durham. His V. Press publication, art brutis his first poetry pamphlet.

ANTONY OWEN was born in 1973, Coventry, and raised by working class parents. The Nagasaki Elder, published by V. Press in September 2017, is his fifth collection of poetry, jointly inspired by growing up in Cold War Britain at the peak of nuclear proliferation and, more recently, a self-funded trip to Hiroshima in 2015 to hear testimonies of Atomic bomb survivors. Owen’s war poetry and haiku have been translated into Japanese, Mandarin and Dutch in anthologies and journals including Poetry International (Europe) and Coal Sack Publications (Japan).In recognition of his 2015 peace trip to Hiroshima, CND Peace Education (UK) selected Owen as one of their first national patrons, and he won a Peace & Reconciliation award in 2016 for Community Cohesion from his home city of Coventry. A trip to Dresden and Nagasaki is planned for 2019 to continue his dedication to contemporary war poetry and transmitting art with a social conscience. Owen’s work, which ranges across the polemic, political and personal, has received widespread acclaim by critics and his contemporaries. Previous reviews have featured in The Morning Star, Southword, Sabotage and Stride.


JENNA PLEWES is a widely published and prize-winning poet. A career in psychotherapy and love of the natural world inform her work and she is at her happiest in quiet places, like the sea, mountains and moorlands. Her first full collection Salt was published by IDP in 2013 and a second, Pull of the Earth, in 2016. She and her husband live in Worcestershire, with their collie. They have two children and four grandchildren. Her pamphlet, Against the Pull of Time, is published by V. Press in 2018.



ALEX REED is a poet and writer living in Northumberland. His writing frequently reflects upon themes of illness, loss and acceptance within intimate relationships. He draws on both personal experience of caring for his partner, who has multiple sclerosis, and his previous work as a family therapist in the NHS and academic contexts. A Career in Accompaniment is his first pamphlet, published by V. Press in July 2016.







Photo by Rangzeb Hussain
JACQUI ROWE has had four pamphlets published, including Ransom Notes from V Press, 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, presented by Roger McGough. For over ten years she has produced and hosted Poetry Bites, a popular bi-monthly event at the Kitchen Garden CafĂ© in Birmingham, combining guest poets and readers from the floor. Co-editor of the award-winning press Flarestack Poets, she is a sought-after mentor for other poets and a tutor for the Poetry School. She works extensively as a writer in health and social care settings, including making poetry with people living with dementia. In 2013-2014 she was Writer in Residence at Birmingham's Barber Institute of Fine Arts, where she established and continues to deliver the creative writing programme. Since 2014 she has been Poet in Residence with Touring Consortium Theatre Company. Blink, out with V. Press in 2017, is her first full poetry collection.



Photo by Geoff Robinson,
2020zoom Photography

RUTH STACEY is a writer, artist, librarian and tutor. Her debut collection, Queen, Jewel, Mistress, was published by Eyewear July, 2015 and her pamphlet, Fox Boy, was published by Dancing Girl Press, June 2014. She designs the covers for V Press poetry and was part of the Vaginellas; a collective of female poets re-imagining classic forms of poetry. You can follow her on twitter @MermaidsDrown or www.ruthstacey.com. Her poems feature in the V. Press publication The Vaginellas.





Self-portrait by Peter Tinkler
PETER TINKLER is an illustrator, fine artist, and art tutor, born in Ireland, who currently lives and works in Birmingham. His most recent publications include book covers for both The Iceni Daughter (Shye Publishing) and Maligned Species: Nettles (Fairacre Press). He also provided book illustrations for the collaborative projects Being Here (St Giles Hospice Publishing) and Through the Woods (Fairacre Press), as well as the cover artwork for the debut EP of Celtic rock band Torous, and a poetry anthology cover for Writing West Midlands (Beyond the Wall).
Peter has been involved in many exhibitions over the last few years, which have included Urban Life at the Daniel Libeskind Space, London, and Young Artists of the Year, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle. He is currently working on paintings for a solo show which he hopes to exhibit next year in the West Midlands. He is the illustrator for The Old Man in the House of Bone, an illustrated poetry pamphlet by David Calcutt, published by V. Press in June 2016. Peter's website can be found here and his blog here.


Photo by Geoff Robinson 2020zoom
CLAIRE WALKER is a poet based in Worcestershire. Her work has been published in magazines and on websites including The Interpreter’s House, Prole, Ink Sweat and Tears, And Other Poems, The Poetry Shed, Obsessed with Pipework and Clear Poetry, and in anthologies such as The Chronicles of Eve (Paper Swans Press) and Crystal Voices (Crystal Clear Creators). She is a Poetry Reader for Three Drops Press, and Co-Editor of Atrium poetry webzine.
Her debut poetry pamphlet, The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile, published by V. Press in 2015 has now sold out. A second pamphlet, Somewhere Between Rose and Black, is published by V. Press in 2017.

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