Monday 20 May 2019

Awards & Reviews, Festivals & Events

It's been a busy and exciting few months for V. Press with the Saboteur Awards, multiple launches, reviews and events.

Saturday saw us celebrating the shortlisting of Michael Loveday's Three Men on the Edge for the Best Novella category in the Saboteur Awards 2019!!!

The flash fiction novella is also now into well its second print run. For more information on the novella, some sample flashes or to buy a copy, click here.

Other reviews, festival and other event news below, as well as a poetry dance film of 'Naked' from Helen Calcutt's V. Press collection Unable Mother.


“Brenda Read-Brown’s poems are made to be spoken and heard. She’s won more poetry slams than most people but that’s not important here: how do the poems work when captured in her book, Like love? The answer is, rather well, perhaps even surprisingly well…
“She writes a poem that wants to be understood and that wants a punch-line, but within these two reasonable demands a lot of emotional ground is covered. She is devilishly self-deprecating and can lay out a line of thought with a deft dead-pan delivery…
“…this very enjoyable collection.”
Jonathan Davidson, Under the Radar 22

For more information, a sample poem or to buy a copy of Like love, please click here.

"Another new pamphlet I was impressed by was Romalyn Ante’s Rice & Rain, whose melancholy but steely voice sings of the dislocation between her current home in the UK and her roots in the Philippines."
André Naffis-Sahely, Poetry Foundation Reading List May 2019

For more information, a sample poem or to buy a copy of Rice & Rain, please click here.


Thursday, 30 May:  Jinny Fisher reads from The Escapologist at Words and Ears, 7.30 pm, Swan Hotel, 1, Church Street, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1LN. With James Davey. £4 with open mic.

Thursday, 6 June: Jinny Fisher reads from The Escapologist at Fire River Poets, 8.00 pm, Creative Innovation Centre, Paul Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3PF. £5 with open mic.

Wednesday 12 June: Jinny Fisher reads from The Escapologist at Satellite of Love, 8.30 pm, with Rachael Clyne. Greenbank Pub, 57 Belle Vue Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 6DP. Free with open mic.

Friday, 14 June: Pamphlet Party and launch of Natalie Linh Bolderston’s The Protection of Ghosts, Jinny Fisher reads from The Escapologist ,with Luke Palmer. 8.00 pm, St. James Wine Vaults, 10 St James's St, Bath BA1 2TW.

Thursday, 20 June: John Lawrence is 'featured poet' at Dear Listener, Boston Tea Party, Worcester, 6.30pm, reading from his V. Press collection The boy who couldn't say his name.


V. Press is delighted to be taking part in the 'Publishing with an Indie Press' event at this year's , Flash Fiction Festival at Trinity College Bristol, Stoke Hill, Stoke Bishop, 2.45-3.45pm. This event is part of the weekend festival – full details on booking can be found on the festival website at Diane Simmons, whose debut flash fiction collection Finding A Way was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in February 2019, Damhnait Monaghan, whose debut flash fiction chapbook The Neverlands was published in April 2019 by V. Press, and Susmita Bhattacharya published by Dahlia Press will talk about their journeys to publication and what has happened in the few months since. With publishers Jude Higgins from Ad Hoc Fiction, Sarah Leavesley from V. Press and Farhana Shaikh from Dahlia Press. Diane, Damhnait and Susmita will read samples from their collections and there will be Q and A.


This year's Ledbury Poetry Festival includes three V. Press poets, Margaret Adkins, John Lawrence and Brenda Read-Brown, giving FREE 20-minute readings on Sunday, July 14.

Photo by Leah Adkins
20 Minutes with… Margaret Adkins
12:20 pm - 12:40 pm

Margaret Adkins will read from her debut pamphlet, Mingled Space. It won the inaugural V. Press Poetry Prize in association with the University of Worcester, and was launched in May. These poems inhabit real and imagined everyday spaces. Other work features in recent issues of Under the Radar and Prole magazines.

20 Minutes with… John Lawrence
3:20 pm - 3:40 pm

John Lawrence will read from his V. Press debut collection The boy who couldn't say his name. His poems are packed with heart, humour, and a unique slant on everyday life. The Poetry Book Society Spring Bulletin reviewed The boy who couldn't say his name as ‘… a thoroughly enjoyable debut collection. Running the full gamut of the comic and the tragic...’

Photo by Andy Smith
20 Minutes with… Brenda Read-Brown
5:20 pm - 5:40 pm

A look at the sharper edges of life, love and laughter, performance poet Brenda Read-Brown has turned to the page with her new collection, Like love (V Press). “The poems in Like love are uncluttered. They are simple, profound, and immensely touching...” Brian Patten. "These poems remind me of the tingles. I’m so happy to feel them. This collection makes me want to run outside, kiss, fall in leaves and then write.” Hollie McNish

Romalyn Ante is also a Nine Arches/Poetry School Primers:Volume Three poet reading on Saturday, July 13. (You can find details of her V. Press pamphlet Rice & Rain which won the Saboteur Awards 2018 Best Poetry Pamphlet here.)

(Thanks to Herefordshire Libraries who are supporting these readings.) The festival runs from Friday, July 5 to Sunday, July 14 and you can check out the full festival programme here.

POETRY DANCE FILM - of 'Naked' from Helen Calcutt's V. Press collection Unable Mother

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Launching Heroines

V. Press is very very delighted to launch Heroines: On the Blue Peninsula by Becky Varley-Winter.

“My favourite way to read these poems – and there are many – is to pay attention to what the light is doing.  In Varley-Winter’s hands, it’s always up to something interesting: filling a glass or a pear, say, or reviving the dead. It emanates from spectres or screens, and makes cameos in grease or chrome or crystal. It makes alterations: horns and feathers come and go; myth invades a city park; love arrives in a deluge. Here’s a gifted technician at work, and you feel the scope of her gift most sharply when she pulls into abrupt focus on intricate forms (shell, moth, burr), or in a gorgeous turn. The total effect is something like a series of mirrors tilted slightly off their planes: a vitreous gallery of rich, uncanny poems, crisscrossed with slant perspectives.” Abigail Parry

Heroines is about the everyday in the fantastical – bored damsels, witches living on cliff edges, and the Lady of Shallot scrolling through unsolicited ‘sword pics’ – but the fantastical is also in the everyday, and some of my favourites here are Rebecca’s incredibly tender and expansive poems on heartbreak, love and loss. With influences ranging from Apollinaire to Audre Lorde, Heroines is a great debut from this young poet, a gentle network of strong characters.” Alex MacDonald

Heroines: On the Blue Peninsula is very vibrant and very tender.

A sample poem from the pamphlet can be found below.

36 pages
ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-9165052-2-3
RRP £6.50

BUY Heroines NOW using the paypal options below.

Heroines (including P&P/delivery options)

The Lover

Morning a warm hand on her spine
she watches him by the flooded river
thick with crucial information
such as: he loves her
and it must be clandestine.
It must be against the rules
to love someone and be loved back,
there’s no story, oh no, the king or someone
opposes their union. This can’t happen.
Huge owls stare her down
and herds of camels trail past him into the house
but he’s untroubled by them.
as he smiles and leads them away
with such kindness.
There’s a nestling pit
at the base of her ribs, it’s really terrible,
she can’t keep still, lying in the longest grass
hardly daring to look at him, her hands fidgeting
as his eyes soak in the smallest traces of her mind
where even the worst mud is touched and sinks
into the strata of time
where it will never fully recover.

HEROINES: ON THE BLUE PENINSULA - London Poetry Party & Launch

Date: Sunday 12 May
Time: 4pm–8pm
Venue: The Harrison Pub (28 Harrison St, Kings Cross, London WC1H 8JF - 6 mins walk from King's Cross, London), downstairs.
Admission: Free, but bring ££ if you would like to buy a copy of Heroines (£6.50) or give a donation for guest readers.
Fancy Dress (optional): Dress up as your heroine. If averse to fancy dress, be your own heroine (come as yourself).
Guest poets will also read a poem *about* one of their heroines or *by* one of their heroines. As well as Becky Varley-Winter, the line-up includes Abigail Parry, Amy Cutler, Amy Evans Bauer, Astra Papachristodoulou, Edmund Hardy, Emma Hammond, Fran Lock, Iris Colomb, Jonathan Catherall, Jon Stone, Kirsten Irving, Mendoza / Linus Slug / Tommy Peeps, Nisha Ramayya, Ollie Evans, Rebecca Wigmore, Rishi Dastidar, Robert Martin Denis Kiely, Nell Prince, Kat Peddie and Tim Wells.