Friday 17 July 2020

Launching This Lexia & Other Languages

V. Press is very very delighted to launch This Lexia & Other Languages by Helen Kay.

“In these poems about the relationship between a mother and son, about dyslexia and language itself (‘the dangling hooks of “f”s and “t”s’), Helen Kay forges an idiom which is both tender and firm. Kay draws us into the experience of living in a society shaped around neurotypical expectations. The poems that result are angry and searching. But in feeling out the boundaries of language, they achieve a ‘seedling syntax’ which is alive and beautiful.” Will Harris

“These poems are quicksilver – deft, concise, witty and full of fresh ways of saying things.  With empathy, and sometimes anger, they skilfully lead the reader into a world of words that confounds expectation but contains its own very specific delights.” Judy Brown

“We are told ‘all shapes are made to fit’, but sometimes the world has a preordained notion of ‘shape’ that does not include people with dyslexia. In Helen Kay’s latest publication, she reflects on a ‘mother-son bond’, as they navigate a childhood where dyslexic can mean being ‘labelled “slow’’’. This Lexia & Other Languages will awaken you to their world, to ‘hear it, taste it, feel it’ in all its devastating complexity.” Elisabeth Sennitt Clough

This Lexia & Other Languages is very genuine and very human.

A sample poem from This Lexia & Other Languages can be enjoyed below.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-9-8
32 pages
R.R.P. £6.50

BUY This Lexia & Other Languages NOW using the paypal link below. 

This Lexia & Other Languages (including P&P/delivery options)

Short Term Memory Loss

It starts with an        empty tight-lipped jug
or a foggy eviction        from my narrative.
Familiar names are        clinging to my tongue
I lose my spectacles        and wash my purse.
A slush of turnips        blackens in a pan.

Others fear dementia.        I was born misplacing
mid-stairs, purpose        waves goodbye. I float.
Quiz time. I parrot        an answer, claim its mine.
At night I lie awake        to rescue hunches
that it started with a ‘P’        or was it ‘K’?

Next day fills        with Mrs Malaprop
whotsit pen drives        brillig crib sheets.
Only the key things        cross the neural pathway:
the days that leaked        the saltiness of now
the dregs of pain        the scent of being loved.

Friday 10 July 2020

Summer Reading, Reviews and Interview


V. Press managing director and editor, Sarah Leavesley, loves talking about V. Press authors and titles, though not quite as much as she enjoys reading their books!

She was delighted to talk to Janet Emson in a Q & A over on From First Page to Last recently. Check out the interview here.

Meg Pokrass's pamphlet of microfiction, Alice In Wonderland Syndrome, is very tender yet very naughty.

The title is available in print in the U.K. and as an eBook for international customers.

More information, endorsements, a sample flash and ordering can be found here.


Preparing your summer reading? V. Press is delighted to have two new titles out this summer that are ready for pre-order now.

This Lexia & Other Languages by Helen Kay is published on 17 July, 2020. More information, a sample poem and pre-ordering for this very genuine and very human pamphlet of poems can be found here.

Hierarchy of Needs: a retelling by Charley Barnes and Claire Walker is out on 3 August, 2020. More information, a sample poem and pre-ordering for this very structured, very inquisitive pamphlet of poems can be found here.


The Aesthetics of Breath

"History blends with family in this engaging and impressive debut collection by Charles G. Lauder. [...]

"In some ways this manifold debut— taking in, as it does, historical figures, family lives, the problem of evil, and how an element of fantasy and danger is never far from our perception of those we treasure and love— might strain at the edges and become less a sum of its parts, and more of, well, a collection. What draws it together is the consistent awareness of a sense of self. ‘Between lives no light defines us / no mirror reassures us’ as Lauder presents it in ‘Incarnations’: how we are different people in different contexts and how we remain enigmatic and unknowable even to those closet to us. This necessary blurring of character is, ultimately, what charges the writing, exploring the simple, everyday doublings wherein lie ordinary hypocrisies, dreams and nightmares, as well as betrayal and infamy. The lies we tell, the love we offer, and the poetry we read: all are the aesthetics of breath."

Daniel Bennett, The High Window, full review here.

More information, a sample poem and ordering for The Aesthetics of Breath can be found here.

John Dust

“There are no weak poems and the intense atmosphere is maintained throughout. […]
“Such care has gone into the writing of each line, the choice of wording and metaphor, and this is typical of the whole pamphlet. […]
“Even a seemingly trivial subject can take on magnitude when seen through Warren’s keenly observant eye and original viewpoint. In ‘Fly’ she is writing in the tradition of poets like D.H. Lawrence, who excelled in poetry about creatures from mosquitoes to elephants:

How beautiful he is in death
laid out in the white afterlife
like a god, a fly on the sill
in a tapestry of cup rings.

I have picked out these poems as examples of the striking nature and observational poems which go along with the ones on the theme of legend which hold the collection together. […]

“John Dust is illustrated by the award-winning painter and print-maker John Duffin, adding to the folktale feel of the pamphlet and letting us see Warren’s legendary figure.”

Adele WardLondon Grip, full review here.

"Warren’s imagery is lively and surprising, her rhythms inventive, with a sure use of repetition. Sometimes the pamphlet reads like a song; sometimes like a botanist’s memoir. Often, it’s playful – even tongue-in-cheek. Always relishing the vibrancy of words."

Claire BookerInk Sweat and Tears, full review here.

More information, a sample poem and ordering for John Dust can be found here.


"[...] Deane’s ability to offer us personal subjects with a sense of scale and distance, which goes beyond historical writing or the ambitions of the epic. [...]

"[...] Cuckoo as a whole: a small space teeming with characters, with Deane at the centre, relating the exchanges with imagination and insight."

Daniel Bennett, London Grip, full review here.

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

The Neverlands

It's lovely to see Damhnait Monaghan's flash fiction novella The Neverlands included on Chelsea Stickle's quarantine reading list on Fractured Lit, where she describes it as "The Neverlands might be the chapbook most recommended to me by strangers, teachers, and fellow writers". The full microreview and list can be found here.

The Neverlands is now out of stock in print form but can still be enjoyed as an eBook. More information, a sample flash and links for ordering can be found here.


We've recently updated The Reading Room with some new details to help readers select their ideal summer reads.

The Reading Room contains links to articles by V. Press authors about their titles, as well as listings for particular popular themes such as Love and Loss, Friendship and Crime!

Meanwhile, we have a poetry reading and a new poem for you to enjoy (below)!


V. Press is very very delighted to share this video of John Wheway reading from his recently published V. Press collection A Bluebottle in Late October.

For more information, another sample poem, video reading and ordering for A Bluebottle in Late October, please click here.


V. Press is very very delighted to share a new 'John Dust' poem by Louise Warren.

John Dust in Lockdown

John Dust
asleep in the spindled barn
asleep in the silted pond
where the wild fridges grow
where the water pops like an old man’s chest
where the flies feed on the buried wounds
John Dust
face like a windfall no one has gathered
sloe hedge, nettle bed, a wood of sighs
nothing wakes
John Dust
the village is shut
a sign says Go Home
a shop door bangs
the post office dies
verges spill into the empty road
as John Dust
rambles in his dreams
past The Three Bells, past the cricket pitch
past the market, busy with apples, busy with faces
busy with voices, chatting and prattling
now quiet as graveyards.

John Dust
wake up
wake up to the orchards
bursting with blossom
wake up to the shop door, the bus stop and market
wake up to the faces pressed to the windows
wake up to the prattle bright as the birdsong.

John Dust
turns over
mumbles a rising
mumbles a falling
a rising a falling
light a rising moon falling rain
night falling day rising birds rising
breath rising and falling.

Louise Warren

More information, a sample poem and ordering for John Dust can be found here. (N.B. The poem above is not in the pamphlet, it is an extra new lockdown poem featuring the character John Dust.)