Monday 3 January 2022

Starting the new year with some news!

We hope all our authors, readers and supporters have had a good festive period and a healthy start to 2022!


V. Press will be open early in 2022 (see the dates below) for poetry pamphlet/chapbook submissions from writers who have previously received the V. Press ‘Structuring a Pamphlet’ and used this advice for their pamphlet. Those submitting should have received the ‘Structuring a Pamphlet’ pdf before 9 January 2022.

In addition to following the submission guidelines on the submissions page, please include in the body of your email the date when you received the ‘Structuring a Pamphlet’ pdf and the email address that it was sent to. (So that we can check you meet the criteria for this submission window). Your initial submission sample (as detailed in the guidelines on the submissions page) should be emailed to V. Press (on the email address given in the submissions guidelines) between 24 January 2022 and 31 January 2022.


What love would smell like

The new year always follows on from the old, and V. Press was very very delighted to see What love would smell like by sk grout feature in the Poetry School's Poetry Books on the Year 2021.

The full books of the year list can be found here, and more information, a sample poem and ordering What love would smell like is available here.


Set a Crow to Catch a Crow

"[...] The characters are sympathetically drawn. Mary-Jane Holmes knows how to give a reader sufficient detail to understand a character’s motives but also trusting readers to build their own pictures of who the characters are and their relationships to each other. With minimal sketches each story is fleshed out to not only convey the characters’ lives but also their histories and their futures. The stories explore complex issues, poverty, keeping a family together, keeping relationships going or fresh starts and the fear of beginning again. The decoys are dispatched effectively: some characters are lying to themselves: believing they know what the problem is and not willing to listen and understand the actual problem. Sometimes the decoys lure the character to acknowledge and resolve their problem. The stories in “Set a Crow to Catch a Crow” reward re-reading."

Emma Lee, full review here.

For more information about Set a Crow to Catch a Crow, a sample flash or to order a copy, please click here.

knots, tangles, fankles

“[…] Reed stretches form to allow these multiple voices to shift, in style and font. This skillfully creates a disorientating effect while offering their different experiences and perspectives. Changes in metre and pace increase this effect. To say it is intense is to underestimate its readability […] this absorbing collection is a fine example of how poetry can showcase important uncomfortable issues.” Mary Mulholland, The Alchemy Spoon, full review on page 94 here.

A sample poem, more information and ordering for knots, tangles, fankles can be found here

Less than three months old, the collection is already onto a new print run - get a copy while you can!


V. Press is delighted to share the news that our editor's new collection Blood Sugar, Sex, Magic is now available for pre-order over on the Verve Poetry Press site here, and more information about the collection can be found below.


Blood Sugar, Sex, Magic is award-winning poet Sarah James’s exploration of 40 years living with type one diabetes, a life-threatening autoimmune condition that is now treatable, but remains incurable. The collection tracks her personal journey from diagnosis, age six, to adulthood, including the high and the low points, as well as the further long-term health risks lurking in the background. These are poems of pain, but also of love and beauty, taking in motherhood, aging and establishing self-identity in a constantly updating world. The route to some kind of acceptance and belonging may be troubled by 'trying to escape' but it also 'holds | more light than your eye | will ever know'. 

"Sarah James’s fine poems are wonderfully abundant in experiment, energy, and expression. She has a remarkable sense for how the self-discipline of illness—like art—can release and shape the language of wonder, wisdom, and love." 
David Morley 

"Sarah James' Blood Sugar, Sex, Magic compellingly conveys the journey of a life pervaded by type one diabetes and the myriad struggles of that hidden disability. It's a world of sunlit fields and night sweats, 'doorstep birdsong' and pricked fingertips, at once arduous and munificent. Always engaging and often moving, James' poems deftly immerse as well as inform, urging a deep appreciation of life's plenty, 'breath[ing] in the sky'." Carrie Etter 

 "These poems speak with such urgency and humanity that we take the deeply researched science (and magic) in our stride, then get pulled up short by its failure to ‘make sense of unfairness’. It’s an exhilarating, poignant collection combining raw honesty with impressive craft. The way ‘the world shrinks’ in personal hardship and the sheer and constant work it takes to open it up again. I feel more awake and alive for reading it." Luke Kennard