Friday, 17 March 2023

Launching bed

V. Press is very very excited to announce the publication of bed by Georgia Gildea, a poetry chapbook guest edited for V. Press by Charlotte Gann.

bed takes us on a heart-wrenching journey through hospital admission and discharge, opening doors inward and outward as it explores the divides of self and space and asks: ‘where do I belong’? This astounding collection locates the ‘I’ in innovative form as much as in content: the ‘empty / stem’ of the ‘I’ is evoked in poems that run narrow – yet stand tall – on the page, stanzas re-assemble into ‘I’ shapes and, achingly, the ‘I’ is an ideogram for ‘a goodbye / hug’. Amid disappearances, erasures and elisions, bed is a collection that recovers the ‘I’ from an overwhelming ‘landscape of white static / white and muted’. These pages crackle with inventiveness; here is an electrifying new voice.” Sarah Barnsley

“I love bed most for its clarity and depth. Its language, imagery, use of form, and framing, are all wonderfully delicate. From its diminutive, lower-case title on, bed invites its readers straight inside to experience ‘a life pared down to a spoon’. These poems are like tiny islands – boats – beds – drifting and bumping on their sea – ward – of white space and grief. It’s stunningly generous, as these seemingly small pieces offer up huge insights, both compassionate and enlightening. They draw a self struggling to navigate a bruising landscape. This is work that is both refreshingly direct and beautifully crafted.” V. Press Guest Editor Charlotte Gann

bed is very raw and very real. 

ISBN: 978-1-7398838-4-3
36 pages
R.R.P. £6.50
Guest edited by Charlotte Gann

A sample extract from bed can be enjoyed below.

BUY BED NOW using the paypal options below.
bed (with p&p options)


A sample extract from bed:

I am walking into snow

a landscape of white static

white and muted

indeterminate

each forward step 

undoes
a part
of the child
I never completed

making me scream
that I need to turn back
and retrieve her

   (grieve her) 


Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Launching The Human Portion

 V. Press is very very delighted to announce the publication of The Human Portion by Nicola Warwick.

“Nicola Warwick’s poems take place in entrancing, liminal territory in which the human sensibility encounters the natural world. Deep kinship, mystery and otherness are conveyed through acute observation and transformative imagination. The language is precise and often surprises. Take, for instance ‘the sky, red as a swallow's throat’ (‘Late high summer’), or ‘roots easing through earth / were a voice making itself unheard’ (‘And the trees (said)’). These poems reveal a special sensitivity and to read them is to feel our ‘Human Portion’ enlarged. Highly recommended.” Moniza Alvi

“‘How to speak of this’ Warwick asks in these nuanced, thoughtful poems concerning landscape, seascape and wildlife. Encompassing intimate losses of family and nature, the collection delicately explores our ‘egg-tight grief’ in distilled moments of striking imagery and accomplishment. Ultimately, these poems hope that we may find in nature, as  ‘The Courteous Farmer’ does, a ‘second heart’.” Heidi Williamson

The Human Portion is very liminal and very grounded.

ISBN: 978-1-7398838-2-9 

36 pages               

R.R.P. £6.50

A sample poem can be enjoyed below.

BUY THE HUMAN PORTION NOW using the paypal options below. 

The Human Portion (with p&p options)

The Chitterings

Night by night, I listen
for the soft scrape of their claws
as they slip out from under the eaves.

You doze beside me, unaware 
of the little interlopers who stir only 
as we are readying ourselves for sleep.

I wait for the dusky light to fade, 
for their ragged shapes to take to the air, 
for them to stutter like ticker-tape into the dark.

My ears are tuned like a child’s for their speech,
their squeals and calls, a quiet chit-chittering
as they gather for the off.

You say it’s all in my head, these creatures
that will not silence, suggest I still them 
with something like mindfulness.

On those nights when sleep won’t come, 
I watch from the window for their exodus,
count them out, count them all back in.


Friday, 17 February 2023

Spring-ing into 2023!

It's been a busy and exciting start to 2023 at V. Press, with review news and lots of forthcoming titles now ready for pre-order and scheduled in for later in the year.

We hope all our readers, writers and supporters have had a gentle but bright start to the year, with lots to look forward to over the next 12 months.

Here, there's so much to share that it's working out where to start...

NEW REVIEWS


"In The Beautiful Open Sky Hannah Linden shows us the nature of a childhood presided over by a mother who is unfit, and unable to nurture her children. I was astonished how quickly I became immersed in this world. [...]The poems work like a prism splitting the experience of this childhood into a spectrum of graphic images. They draw on fantastic myths and fairy tales as well as details of a working-class Lancastrian background. The language is always simple, penetrating, gets straight to the point, but there is a shift, subtle at first, a sense of the narrator getting a perspective on the situation and preparing to move on [...]"
Anne Bailey, OPOI, Sphinx, full review here.

"The Beautiful Open Sky is a poetry collection that takes leaps and bounds through an emotive and somber narrative that enrobes the reader in a sense of suffering far beyond what may ever be considered normal. What a powerful, sorrowful read of suffering crafted most exquisitely."
A.R. Arthur, Full House Literary, full review here.
 
More information, a sample poem and ordering for The Beautiful Open Sky can be found here.



A One Point of Interest review picks up on the nineties nostalgia and catchphrases in Powerless Rangers by Jack McGowan. 

"And given that ‘catchphrases’ have always been around, there’s some mileage in the idea that this is because people like Jack McGowan have an ear for them, and are noticeably good at generating their own. [...]McGowan really does catch the ear with his phrases: ‘small as a thumbnail, big as a future’."
E. T. Michie, OPOI, Sphinx, full review here.

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


A One Point of Interest review explores the gender assumptions, dual meanings, ambiguities and more highlighted by the use of strikethrough in Creature Without Building by Ray Vincent-Mills.

"I’ve read individual poems that make use of the strikethrough before, but never a collection that uses it so consistently to explore hesitation, power and permission around language."
Ramona Herdman, OPOI, Sphinx, full review here.

More information, a sample poem and ordering for Creature Without Building can be found here.


OUT SOON

V. Press is delighted to have two March-release poetry chapbooks now available to pre-order, as well as one out in April.


“Nicola Warwick’s poems take place in entrancing, liminal territory in which the human sensibility encounters the natural world. Deep kinship, mystery and otherness are conveyed through acute observation and transformative imagination. The language is precise and often surprises. Take, for instance ‘the sky, red as a swallow's throat’ (‘Late high summer’), or ‘roots easing through earth / were a voice making itself unheard’ (‘And the trees (said)’). These poems reveal a special sensitivity and to read them is to feel our ‘Human Portion’ enlarged. Highly recommended.” Moniza Alvi

“‘How to speak of this’ Warwick asks in these nuanced, thoughtful poems concerning landscape, seascape and wildlife. Encompassing intimate losses of family and nature, the collection delicately explores our ‘egg-tight grief’ in distilled moments of striking imagery and accomplishment. Ultimately, these poems hope that we may find in nature, as  ‘The Courteous Farmer’ does, a ‘second heart’.” Heidi Williamson

The Human Portion is very liminal and very grounded.

A sample poem, endorsements, more information and pre-ordering for The Human Portion can be found here.


bed takes us on a heart-wrenching journey through hospital admission and discharge, opening doors inward and outward as it explores the divides of self and space and asks: ‘where do I belong’? This astounding collection locates the ‘I’ in innovative form as much as in content: the ‘empty / stem’ of the ‘I’ is evoked in poems that run narrow – yet stand tall – on the page, stanzas re-assemble into ‘I’ shapes and, achingly, the ‘I’ is an ideogram for ‘a goodbye / hug’. Amid disappearances, erasures and elisions, bed is a collection that recovers the ‘I’ from an overwhelming ‘landscape of white static / white and muted’. These pages crackle with inventiveness; here is an electrifying new voice.” Sarah Barnsley

“I love bed most for its clarity and depth. Its language, imagery, use of form, and framing, are all wonderfully delicate. From its diminutive, lower-case title on, bed invites its readers straight inside to experience ‘a life pared down to a spoon’. These poems are like tiny islands – boats – beds – drifting and bumping on their sea – ward – of white space and grief. It’s stunningly generous, as these seemingly small pieces offer up huge insights, both compassionate and enlightening. They draw a self struggling to navigate a bruising landscape. This is work that is both refreshingly direct and beautifully crafted.” V. Press Guest Editor Charlotte Gann

bed is very raw and very real. 

A sample extract, endorsements, more information and pre-ordering for bed , which was guest-edited by Charlotte Gann, can be found here.



Although the poems may appear light-hearted on the surface, D.D. Holland's food-infused Braised in Wine is cut with a sharp knife.

This illustrated pamphlet from the winner of last year's V. Press Prize for Poetry, run with the University of Worcester, is out at the end of April.

Braised in Wine is a striking debut from D.D. Holland. There is a veritable smorgasbord of ways (case in point) in which food can make its way into common parlance, but Holland breathes new life into her subject matter, exploring the familiar and at times painful emotions that eating can elicit. The poems contained within Braised in Wine unpick how food can fashion the self through memory and relationships, using taste as a way to express a deeper well of feeling. Through small and large acts of confession, Holland conjures powerful and poignant images that bury themselves in the mind. I can’t wait to see what’s next.” Dr Jack McGowan 

“A book about eating disorders and abuse might sound like a tough read – but, although these poems teeter on the edge of an abyss, they are written with healthy doses of warmth and humour, and an appetite for life that proves moving and uplifting.” Dr David Swann

“Braised in Wine’s evocative, compelling and moving poems whet the appetite, while also exploring how what we eat and drink may feed into other aspects of life – body image, self-worth, relationships and more.” Sarah Leavesley, V. Press prize judge

Braised in Wine is very amusing and very genuine.

A sample poem, endorsements, more information and pre-ordering for Braised in Wine can be found here.

Sunday, 18 December 2022

Seasonal greetings and special offer reminder!

  


V. Press would like to wish all our readers, writers and supporters a joyous festive period and very very Happy New Year!

This year, to celebrate the season, V. Press has a special offer that runs the whole of December 2022 for orders for delivery in the UK. With every title purchased over this period for delivery in the UK, we will send a free pamphlet/chapbook/book.*

Happy reading, relaxing, rejoicing!

* This offer runs from 1 December 2022 to midnight on 31 December 2022, UK-time and UK-delivery only.


Friday, 9 December 2022

Launching Powerless Rangers

V. Press is very very delighted to announce the publication of Powerless Rangers by Jack McGowan.

“There is such an open-hearted charm, an immediacy and pleasure of recognition to these poems that it takes a moment to realise how they’re working on you. The forensic attention to nostalgia, popular culture as a natural and built environment; what surrounded us and moulded us and exerts invisible influence over us to this day. McGowan is a master of engaging humour and subtle melancholy. I dislike the word ‘relatable’, but I expect that’s the easiest term people will reach for, even as the poems themselves unpick our complex relations to our world.”
Luke Kennard

“The poems in Powerless Rangers enchant through their spoken power. They are clear-eyed about what makes us who we are and show true strength through their openness, compassion, and self-knowledge. The humour, language, and energy will win over readers and audiences alike.”
David Morley 

“McGowan’s poems are loud, with their energetic wit and playful meanderings, but they disguise a romantic, nostalgic centre and when it surfaces the audience or reader are encouraged to switch from one emotion to another in a second – which is a delight.”
Ruth Stacey

Powerless Rangers is very nostalgic, and very nineties.   

ISBN:  978-1-7398838-3-6   

34 pages

R.R.P. £6.50

A sample poem can be enjoyed below.

BUY Powerless Rangers NOW using the paypal options below. 

Powerless Rangers (with p&p options)


We watched the box set of Friends until we weren’t

Our love abandoned us before we did.
Hot coals anticipate cold glimmers 
like once fond notes sketched into 
the sweat on shared mirrors.
But boardgames became box sets, 
watching the things that stitched us scatter.
Like that summer we chased
rainbows in your old Toyota,
trying to find an end. Either. 
It didn’t matter.


Thursday, 1 December 2022

Seasonal greetings and a special offer

 


V. Press would like to wish all our readers, writers and supporters a joyous festive period and very very Happy New Year!

This year, to celebrate the season, V. Press has a special offer that runs the whole of December 2022 for orders for delivery in the UK. With every title purchased over this period for delivery in the UK, we will send a free pamphlet/chapbook/book.*

Happy reading, relaxing, rejoicing!

* This offer runs from 1 December 2022 to midnight on 31 December 2022, UK-time and UK-delivery only.


Friday, 28 October 2022

The V. Press Prize for Poetry and gearing up towards Christmas

2022 V. Press Prize for Poetry


V. Press is very very excited to share that the winner of the 2022 V. Press Prize for Poetry is Trudi Holland, with Amber Horne as a runner-up.

A shortlist of eight anonymous manuscripts was sent over for this year’s prize by the University of Worcester’s creative writing team.

Editor Sarah Leavesley said: “This year’s shortlist was exceptionally strong, demonstrating a strong sense of structuring and theming of the manuscripts as a whole, encompassing a wide range of forms, including experimental techniques, as well as striking imagery and lines within the individual poems.

“Picking a winner from these wasn’t easy, but I eventually went with ‘Braised in wine’ by Trudi Holland. An evocative use of food throughout this manuscript both whets the reader’s appetite and explores how what we eat feeds into (nearly) every other aspect of life, including body image, self-worth and relationships with others. This is also coupled with compelling use of the second person and a mastery of striking last lines.

“My runner-up is ‘Gates’s Monster’ by Amber Horne for its original slants and relevant contemporary feel combined with an impressive range of form and experimental techniques, as well as great use of sequences threaded across the manuscript.”

REVIEWS

The Beautiful Open Sky

Reviewing Hannah Linden's "impressive debut chapbook", The Beautiful Open Sky, for Litter Magazine, Steve Spence writes: "Her mix of graphic imagery – ‘the sunk pits’ for example – within an exploration of thought and feeling has a genuine link to what I’m going to call confessional poetry, something which is increasingly difficult to pull-off post Lowell and Plath, especially given the internet overload of such material, but it works here very effectively. It’s that combination I think of thought and feeling which does the trick and the careful use of language[...]"

The full review can be found on Litter Magazine here. A sample poem, audio recording and ordering for The Beautiful Open Sky are available here.

You'll need an umbrella for this

"[...] Victoria Richards has created a journey through girlhood to motherhood that invites readers to travel along though her humanity, humour, wry observations and recognisable scenarios. These lyrical poems want to share their stories and show what it is to be human. Their multi-layered approach rewards re-reading."
Emma Lee, full review here.

A sample poem, more information and ordering for You'll need an umbrella for this can be found here.


NEW TITLES


V. Press is very very delighted to announce that Set a Crow to Catch a Crow by Mary-Jane Holmes is now available as an eBook on Amazon.

“These are stories that pulse with transformation, visceral, lush, and sound-rich. In Holmes’ lyrically-charged short fictions, worlds tilt, horizons thrum and yearnings come unmoored, and the language pulls us close to the bloodstream of her characters, feeling for their pressure-points, their broken wings. Their land and homescapes leap to life around them, set alight by breath-catching images that bind us into the textures and electrons of each scene, skin and earth, creek, board and bone. Each brief diorama in this volume delivers us a ‘quivering glint’ of characters caught in slipstream instants, lingering on the verge of fission, or hauled into ‘dark runnels of the heart’ where currents of longing and threat inescapably converge. Holmes’ writing rubs the fibres of life between our fingers, so we feel its restlessness and wonder.” Tracey Slaughter 

“The stories that fill Mary-Jane Holmes’ Set a Crow to Catch a Crow are perfect, precise, highly burnished narrative shards that describe a moment in time but imply both what came before this moment and very likely may come after. It might only be a grain you are offered but you get a whole world. It is only writing of a very high order can pull off the feat that is pulled off here.” Carlo G├ębler 

Set a Crow to Catch a Crow is very textured and very liminal. 

A sample flash fiction from Set a Crow to Catch a Crow can be enjoyed here.

NOW AVAILABLE AS AN EBOOK IN THE U.K. AND INTERNATIONALLY ON KINDLE through Amazon, including Amazon.co.uk here and Amazon.com here.


NOW AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER

V. Press is very very delighted to announce that Powerless Rangers by Jack McGowan is now available to pre-order.

“There is such an open-hearted charm, an immediacy and pleasure of recognition to these poems that it takes a moment to realise how they’re working on you. The forensic attention to nostalgia, popular culture as a natural and built environment; what surrounded us and moulded us and exerts invisible influence over us to this day. McGowan is a master of engaging humour and subtle melancholy. I dislike the word ‘relatable’, but I expect that’s the easiest term people will reach for, even as the poems themselves unpick our complex relations to our world.”
Luke Kennard

“The poems in Powerless Rangers enchant through their spoken power. They are clear-eyed about what makes us who we are and show true strength through their openness, compassion, and self-knowledge. The humour, language, and energy will win over readers and audiences alike.”
David Morley 

“McGowan’s poems are loud, with their energetic wit and playful meanderings, but they disguise a romantic, nostalgic centre and when it surfaces the audience or reader are encouraged to switch from one emotion to another in a second – which is a delight.”
Ruth Stacey

Powerless Rangers is very nostalgic, and very nineties.   

ISBN:  978-1-7398838-3-6   
34 pages
R.R.P. £6.50

A sample poem and pre-ordering for Powerless Rangers can be found here.

WELCOME TO THE READING ROOM


Just a reminder that if you're looking for a Christmas gift, our The Reading Room contains themed listings for some of our titles to help you pick out the perfect present for a reader with particular interests. New listings have just been added which extend the range even more than before! You can get to The Reading Room by clicking here.