Our Writers/Illustrators

Photo by Leah Adkins

MARGARET ADKINS is a postgraduate research student at Worcester University. She is interested in the concept of home and the stories of others. Her poetry features online and in the following anthologies: This Is Not Your Final Form (Emma Press 2017) The Physic Garden (Palewell Press 2017) and two Beautiful Dragons collections (2016/17). Previously she was a nurse and midwife; she was placed second in Our NHS70 Poetry Competition (2018). She won the inaugural V Press Prize for Poetry , with her debut poetry pamphlet Mingled Space published by V. Press in 2019.

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. 

KEREN BANNING grew up singing in bands on the coast at North Tyneside. This led to a BA in Performing Arts, and teaching voice production in both formal and informal settings. She now lives in the Tynedale Valley, working across artistic disciplines as singer, composer, musician, actor, facilitator, wood turner and photographer. Her images appear in a V. Press pamphlet produced in collaboration with poet Alex Reed, entitled These nights at home.

CHARLEY BARNES is a Worcester-based poet and author ,with a Doctorate degree in Creative Writing. Her poetry has been published in a number of anthologies, and her debut prose collection, The Women You Were Warned About, was published by Black Pear Press in 2017. Her unconventional speakers are a mix of personal experience and creative licence. A Z-hearted Guide to Heartache (V. Press, 2018) is her debut poetry pamphlet.

NATALIE LINH BOLDERSTON studied English at the University of Liverpool, where she won the 2016 Felicia Hemans Prize for Lyrical Poetry and the 2017 Miriam Allott Poetry Prize. She now works as an Editorial Assistant. Her work has been featured in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, L'Éphémère Review, Oxford Poetry, Smoke, and The Tangerine. She is a 2018 Creative Future Literary Award recipient. Her pamphlet The Protection of Ghosts was selected by  V. Press Guest Editor Carrie Etter.

Photo by Tina Barnes
HELEN CALCUTT is a globally published poet and critic. Her work features in over 40 journals, and she performs her work internationally. She has taken on writing residences with The National Trust and Loughborough University, where she's also a visiting lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing.  Helen’s pamphlet Sudden rainfall was published by experimental publishing house Perdika Press when she was 23. It was shortlisted for the PBS Pamphlet Choice award, and in 2016 became a Waterstones’ best-selling collection. Unable Mother (V. Press, 2018) is her first full-length book of poems. 

DAVID CALCUTT is a playwright, poet and novelist. He has written over forty plays and adaptations for touring and community theatre, and for BBC radio. Several plays and three novels for young people are published by Oxford University Press. As a poet, David is published widely in print and online. He has three pamphlets: Outlaws (Iron Press), Road Kill, a collaboration with Nadia Kingsley, and Through the Woods, a collaboration with Nadia Kingsley and Peter Tinkler (both Fairacre Press). David has worked as a storyteller, director of community plays and projects, and writer in residence. 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, published in the English PEN ebook ‘Made-up words’. 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 editor of Amaryllis Poetry and Strange Poetry. His poetry has been widely published, including in 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, Nutshells and Nuggets, Richard Jefferies Writers – ’78 Anthology, Domestic Cherry and Ink Sweat & Tears’ 12 Days of Christmas 2016. He was runner-up in the Candlestick Press micropoem competition 2015. His V. Press poetry pamphlet is Tell Mistakes I Love ThemWebsite: www.stephenkirkdaniels.com. Twitter: @stephendaniels.

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.

Photo by Robbie Elford
GRAM JOEL DAVIES grew up in Somerset in the ’80s. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Magma, The Moth, Envoi and Lighthouse, and received listings/commendations from Penelope Shuttle, Peter Oswald, Liz Berry and Carol Ann Duffy. He and Hannah Linden won the Cheltenham Poetry Festival Compound collaboration competition 2014. 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 explore moors, ruins, galleries and power stations with his girlfriend. Bolt Down This Earth (V. Press, 2017) is his first collection.

NICHOLA DEANE was born in Bolton in 1973. She was educated at the Universities of St Andrews and Manchester. In 2012, her first pamphlet, My Moriarty, won the Flarestack Poetry Pamphlet Prize, and was a PBS Pamphlet Choice. Her second pamphlet, Trieste (Smith Doorstop, 2015), was a Laureate’s Choice. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Poetry London, Magma, Archipelago, and The Rialto. ‘Yesterday’s Child’ was Highly Commended in the 2014 Forward Prize. Cuckoo is her first collection, forthcoming with V. Press in 2019. 

JOHN DUFFIN is a painter and printmaker based in London. Over a 35-year career he has held over 60 one-man shows of his work and won many awards including ‘Best Printmaker’ award from Sir Peter Blake. His work is in many public and private collections including Museum of London, V&A, Ashmolean Oxford, Fitzwilliam Cambridge and his work was recently added to the Royal Collection of the Queen. He's illustrator for John Dust, a poetry pamphlet with poems by Louise Warren, forthcoming from V. Press in 2019. 

Photo by Dot & Lucy Photography
CARRIE ETTER grew up in Normal, Illinois, spent thirteen years in southern California, and moved to England in 2001. Her fourth collection of poetry, The Weather in Normal (US: Station Hill; UK: Seren), will be published in autumn 2018; her individual poems have appeared in Poetry Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The New Statesman, The New Republic, and many other journals in the US and UK. Her V. Press pamphlet, Hometown, is her first collection of fiction. She is Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and also teaches for The Poetry School and Poetry Swindon. 

JINNY FISHER was a classical violinist, then a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, now a poet full-time. A member of Wells Fountain Poets, her work's appeared in print and online magazines including The Interpreter’s House, Under the Radar, Domestic Cherry, Tears in the Fence, Prole, The Poetry Shed, Strange Poetry, Amaryllis and Ink, Sweat & Tears. Commended in national competitions, she was runner-up in The Interpreter’s House Competition 2016. She's committed to bringing poetry to a wider audience and takes her Poetry Pram to music festivals for one-to-one readings. Her pamphlet The Escapologist was selected by  V. Press Guest Editor Mary-Jane Holmes. Twitter: @MsJinnifer.

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. 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 (V. Press, 2016) is her first collection. Checkout is her 2019 V. Press pamphlet.

IAN GLASS grew up in Northumberland and lives in Worcestershire where he has read, written and occasionally performed poetry since the departure of his wife and her death five years later. He trained as an engineer and works as a computer programmer, but prefers writing. His poems use everyday objects and events to explore feelings of loss, despair, recovery and hope. About Leaving, which is forthcoming with V. Press, is his first pamphlet.

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 poet, fiction writer, journalist, and photographer, with six poetry titles, two novellas and a poetry-play. Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press, 2010) won third prize in the International Rubery Book Awards 2011. The Magnetic Diaries (Knives Forks And Spoons Press) was highly commended in the Forward Prizes and the poetry-play version toured by Reaction Theatre Makers. Her fourth collection, plenty-fish (Nine Arches Press) was shortlisted in the International Rubery Book Awards 2016. Overton Poetry Prize winner 2015, she has several poetry pamphlets. Her poems feature in V. Press's The Vaginellas. Website: www.sarah-james.co.uk.

Photo by Camille Lauder-Mander
CHARLES G LAUDER JR was born in San Antonio, Texas, lived for a few years each on America’s East and West Coasts, and moved to south Leicestershire, UK, in 2000. His poems have been published widely in print and online, and in his two pamphlets Bleeds (Crystal Clear Creators, 2012) and Camouflaged Beasts (BLER, 2017). From 2014 to 2018, he was the Assistant Editor for The Interpreter’s House, and for over twenty years he has copy-edited academic books on literature, history, medicine, and science. His debut poetry collection The Aesthetics of Breath is forthcoming with V. Press. Twitter: @cglauder

JOHN LAWRENCE lives in Worcestershire, although he was born and bred in the Black Country. He gave up a career in IT Consultancy to gain a Creative Writing BA at the University of Birmingham, where he ‘found’ poetry. A popular poet and performer, he loves writing poems that are entertaining and unsettling, making the reader think, without being wilfully obscure. His work is informed by family, experience, his roots in a Salvation Army household, and ever-present doubts about why we are here. John’s parody The Secret Five and the Stunt Nun Legacy (Matador) is powered by similar imaginative wit. The boy who couldn’t say his name (out March 2019) is his first poetry collection.

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 a widely published poet who often performs at spoken word events/literary festivals. Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2017/18, she was commissioned to write and perform poetry at Birmingham Literature Festival 2014, and featured in the poetry trail for Wenlock Poetry Festival 2014. Her haiku have appeared in a Midlands Art Centre art installation, on the Poetry Fence at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm and in Municipal Bank Vaults for an International Dance Festival. Fragile Houses (V. Press, 2016) is her first pamphlet. A second pamphlet, Patience, is forthcoming with V. Press in 2019.

Photo by Rebecca Noakes Photography
MICHAEL LOVEDAY's debut poetry pamphlet He Said / She Said was published by HappenStance Press in 2011. Since 2013, he has been working as a tutor in Community and Higher Education, teaching fiction, poetry, life writing and general literature. He is a Director of the National Association of Writers in Education, and his blog of interviews with writers of flash fiction, poetry and prose poetry can be found at pagechatter.org. Since 2016, he has lived in Bath. His flash fiction novella drawing on the techniques of prose poetry, Three Men on the Edge (V. Press, 2018) was inspired by his experiences of an in-between place.

PAUL MCDONALD is Course Leader for Creative Writing at the University of Wolverhampton. His novels include Surviving Sting (2001), Kiss Me Softly Amy Turtle (2004) and Do I Love You? (2008), with poetry collected in The Right Suggestion (1999), Catch a Falling Tortoise (2007) and An Artist Goes Bananas (2012). His scholarly work includes books on American literature, narratology, and flash fiction. Paul also has research interests in humour, taking pleasure in the fact that Googling ‘the oldest joke in the world’ throws up several hundred pages with his name on. Midnight Laughter is his V. Press flash fiction pamphlet.

DAMHNAIT MONAGHAN was born and raised in Canada but now lives in the U.K.  She has had more than thirty flash fiction (and creative non-fiction) pieces published in places like Mslexia, Jellyfish Review, Ellipsis Zine, TSS Publishing, and the 2016 and 2018 National Flash Fiction Day anthologies. She is a member of the Editorial Board for FlashBack Fiction and tweets @Downith (which is also how to pronounce her name). The Neverlands is a pamphlet of interlinked stories.

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 is his fifth collection of poetry, inspired by growing up in Cold War Britain at the peak of nuclear proliferation and 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 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.

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 V. Press pamphlet is Against the Pull of Time.

SANTINO PRINZI is Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day in the UK and Senior Editor for New Flash Fiction Review. He's part of the team that organises the UK’s annual Flash Fiction Literary Festival and a flash fiction reviewer. His debut flash fiction collection is Dots and other flashes of perception (The Nottingham Review Press) and he has short stories, flash fiction and prose poetry published/forthcoming in magazines and anthologies including Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, Litro Online, (b)OINK! zine, Stories for Homes Anthology Vol.2, Jellyfish Review, and The Airgonaut. There's Something Macrocosmic About All of This is V. Press's 2018 flash fiction pamphlet.

Photo by Andy Smith
BRENDA READ-BROWN worked for many years as an IT project manager. In 2001, she gave up her high salary, company car and secure pension to be a full-time freelance writer and poet; it seemed like a good career move at the time. Winner of more than 30 slams, she has performed across the UK, in Texas and Denmark. She was selected as Gloucestershire Poet Laureate in 2012 and published her first collection, Arbitrary edges, in 2013. Her one-act plays have won several awards, including the UK-wide Geoffrey Whitworth prize. Brenda works with many groups of people, and says that helping others find their words gives her the greatest joy. Her V. Press collection is Like love.

ALEX REED is a poet and writer living in Northumberland. His writing frequently reflects upon themes of illness, loss and acceptance within intimate relationships, drawing from his experience of caring for his late partner Jan, his work as a family therapist, and his interest in Zen Buddhist practice. He has articles in professional journals addressing illness and family life, and his first poetry pamphlet A Career in Accompaniment was published by V. Press in July 2016. Working in collaboration with photographer Keren Banning, Alex Reed's These nights at home is a longer pamphlet that both stands alone and continues the narrative of his previous V. Press pamphlet.

Photo by Rangzeb Hussain
JACQUI ROWE has four published pamphlets, including Ransom Notes. Blink is her first poetry collection. Her poems have appeared widely in magazines such as Tears in the Fence, Bare Fiction, The Interpreter's House and Poetry Review. She's read her own poems on Radio 4's Poetry Please. For over ten years she hosted Poetry Bites at Kitchen Garden Café, Birmingham. Co-editor of award-winning press Flarestack Poets, she's a sought-after mentor for other poets and Poetry School tutor. She works extensively as a writer in health/social care settings. In 2013-14 she was Writer in Residence at Birmingham's Barber Institute of Fine Arts, where she established the creative writing programme. Since 2014 she's been Poet in Residence with Touring Consortium Theatre Company.

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 and her second full collection I, Ursula is forthcoming with V. Press early 2020.

Self-portrait by Peter Tinkler
PETER TINKLER is an illustrator, fine artist and art tutor, who lives/works in Birmingham. Publications include covers for The Iceni Daughter (Shye Publishing), Maligned Species: Nettles (Fairacre Press) and a Writing West Midlands poetry anthology (Beyond the Wall). He's provided illustrations for collaborative projects, Being Here (St Giles Hospice Publishing) and Through the Woods (Fairacre Press), and cover artwork for the debut EP of Celtic rock band Torous. Peter's been involved in many exhibitions, including Urban Life at the Daniel Libeskind Space, London, and Young Artists of the Year, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle. He's illustrator for The Old Man in the House of Bone. Peter's website is here, his blog here.

Photo by Ollie Evans
BECKY (REBECCA) VARLEY-WINTER is from the Isle of Wight, and currently lives in London. Her poetry has won the Brewer–Hall Prize and T. R. Henn Prize, been long-listed in the Eric Gregory and Foyle Young Poet of the Year Awards, and appeared in Sidekick Books’ No, Robot, No anthology, Tentacular, Rising, Poems in Which, Gadabout Press, Obsessed With Pipework, Pomegranate and Varsity. Her book Reading Fragments and Fragmentation in Modernist Literature, based on her PhD research, is published by Sussex Academic Press. She teaches English Literature and Creative Writing for various universities. Her poetry pamphlet is Heroines on the Blue Peninsula.

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 was published by V. Press in 2017.

LOUISE WARREN was born and grew up in the West Country and now lives in London. With a background in theatre, her first collection A Child’s Last Picture Book of the Zoo won the Cinnamon Press debut poetry competition and was published in 2012. A pamphlet In the scullery with John Keats, also published by Cinnamon, came out in 2016.  Her poems have been widely published in magazines including Ambit, The Rialto, Poetry Wales and Stand. In 2018 she won first prize in the Prole Laureate Poetry Competition with her poem ‘The Marshes’, which appears in John Dust, her poetry pamphlet illustrated by John Duffin and forthcoming from V. Press in 2019.

JOHN WHEWAY has poems in New Measure, Stand, Magma, The Warwick Review, Poetry Review, Yellow Nib, Poetry Quarterly, Compass Magazine, South Word, Agenda, and The High Window, in Templar anthologies and in The Echoing Gallery from Redcliffe Press. His flash fiction is in Flash Flood 2017&18, Flash Fiction Festival 1&2 (Ad Hoc Fiction). There is a chapbook, The Green Table of Infinity (Anvil Press), and a novella, Poborden (Faber). He has a Creative Writing MA with distinction from Bath Spa. He is a psychotherapist, married to fellow V Press author Jude Higgins, living near a stone circle. His debut collection A Bluebottle in Late October is forthcoming with V. Press in 2020.

Photo by Taylor Shatford
KELLY WILLIAMS is an unapologetically queer poet from Malvern, England. She has been an undergraduate student from Worcester University, completing her time there with a First Class Degree in Creative Writing and English Literature. She is interested in communicating the importance of gender fluidity, expressed in her poetry portfolio ‘ynygordna’, which explores androgyny through a third gender pronoun. As well as poetry, she works across other artistic disciplines as an aerialist, singer, pianist and photographer. Winner of the V. Press Prize for Poetry 2019, Kelly has a selection of her poems forthcoming with V. Press in 2020. ynygordna is her debut poetry pamphlet.

MARTIN ZARROP is a retired mathematician who wanted certainty but found life more interesting and fulfilling by not getting it. He started writing poetry in 2006 and can’t stop. His pamphlet No Theory of Everything (2015) was one of the winners of the 2014 Cinnamon Press pamphlet competition. His first full collection Moving Pictures was published by Cinnamon Press in October 2016. His V. Press 2019 pamphlet is Making Waves Albert Einstein: Science & Life .

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