We're very very delighted to share another detailed and considered review of Carrie Etter's flash fiction pamphlet Hometown.
"...there is only one action to take with Hometown: read it, devour it, and savour these stories in your mind, but be prepared for them to linger for a long time afterwards." Santino Prinzi concludes in his review on Bath Flash Fiction Award.
The full review, which includes thoughtful commentary on a number of Etter's individual flashes within the pamphlet, can be enjoyed here.
V. Press is very very delighted to share review and reading news for The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile by Claire Walker.
"In her review on the pamphlet's back, Carolyn Jess Cooke speaks of how 'nothing is taken at face value.' I, too, discovered this, and liked how it was often images from the natural world that, fairy tale like, transformed human beings into something other... The poems themselves pulled me in, and left me wanting to read more of Walker's work." From a review by Deborah Tyler-Bennett, Under the Radar, issue 17.
Buy a copy of The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile(RRP £4.99) now:
Claire Walker will also be reading from The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile at tonight's Leicester Shindig.
A Career in
Accompaniment by Alex Reed draws us into an intimate experience of caring
for a lover that leaves your palate aching for tea – strong, comforting tea.
recommend the high-tannin punch of the mighty Assam leaf, or for the
connoisseur, the coppery tones of Sapphire Earl Grey, with just a touch of
bergamot and blue malva flowers. Infuse longer for a more robust flavour – you will
need it to be strong to help you through this journey of love, loss and
challenge in the face of long-term illness.
a "beery dance" club on a Northern quay to a lonely café table in Padua –the
observations of a trip that becomes a fall and then "the trace of a limp" will
leave your palate dry. Dry as the "flame licking dry wood" of Reed’s love and
stifled rage (in ‘Woken by your Cough’) as he tries to hold on to what he is
about to lose:
“Ambiguous loss. But I’d
say that I am haunted
the ghost of her motion,
flow of her - ”
is definitely a read for a rainy day, tucked away with teapot and cup in a
dusk-filled room. Let Reed take you to his lover sitting "at her table by the
bay window - a flask of tea…within easy reach" (‘Long Day’).
A Career in Accompaniment is a pamphlet of love, loss and surprising lightness. Based on Alex Reed’s personal experiences, these poems witness what it is like to care for a lover with severe illness and to live with a future where there is no “escape without damage”. Spare and accessible language of the everyday reinforces the emotional power and resonance of “all the falling” but also recalls moments of great tenderness, when “the world lit in her eye”. This poetry of “fragile places” is very intimate yet very universal.
“Reading these poems, you are struck by their striving for truthfulness – as if that might be the key to making sense of a seemingly senseless situation, a life no one could prepare for. And yes, truthfulness seems to work – opening into absolute presence, careful observation of detail and moment-by-moment tenderness and courage. Here you are listening to a generous, unassuming voice, drawing our human vulnerability and capacity for endurance closely together, with space to breathe and gather what threatens to scatter. Restraint and discretion characterise the poems as well as openness – a hard-won but lightly-worn congruence. ‘A Career in Accompaniment’ reminds us what poetry makes possible.” Linda France
Order now using the paypal link below:
A sample poem from the pamphlet can be found below:
Inch the door a fraction further, look for the tell-tale rise of her sheet, my vigil of four days now. The doctor said Just keep going. I try
to hold her presence like a breath in this room; tread softly as I can, like a walker in the woods who sees a deer in a clearing. Until a twig
snaps underfoot. She is far away and I am here – I picture her waking, startled a second, then her eyes drink me in; her thin arms, bare breasts,
her hand behind my head, I dream of a lover, dream of the lovers we were.
“In Hometown Etter creates engaging vignettes of, yes,
‘normal’ life. Even the aftermath of an accidental death is notable for its
banality: the killer’s wife visits him in prison, eats homemade sandwiches and
drinks Diet Coke; the killer himself brushes his teeth, lifts weights and prays
his wife won’t divorce him; their daughter watches Sesame Street and sings
along. What’s moving is that this normality in the face of horrific
circumstances feels so real, so plausible, and reminds us that a nightmarish
twist of fate could be around the corner for any of us…
“This is the first fiction venture by V Press and it’s
encouraging to see new small presses championing experimental and innovative
forms of writing. Etter’s voice is honest and irreverent and shows that
‘normal’ life can be very strange indeed.”
From a review by Vicky MacKenzie in New Welsh Reader, Issue
Yes, that's right, less than a month left now if you're planning to make the most of our current submissions window.
Still thinking about it? Enjoy extracts from some of V. Press's existing titles, a little graphic fun with our logo and details of our submissions window.
V. Press is open to flash fiction for the first time this year, on top of the usual poetry submissions. The fine print details can be found here.
Even if you've read or submitted before, please do take the time to read the guidelines (there are some updates!) and make sure you give your work the best chance possible - by following them.
Yes, we do ask for a few specific things. But there are good reasons for them. And the time and care that these take to include is a very small fraction of the time that it takes us to read submissions carefully. It's also an even smaller fraction of the time and care that we put into the manuscripts which we take on to publication.