Friday 2 June 2023

The Saboteur Awards & Other News

V. Press is very very delighted that The Beautiful Open Sky by Hannah Linden has been shortlisted for THE SABOTEUR AWARD FOR BEST POETRY PAMPHLET 2023!

The final round of voting, to decide the winners in each category of the award, is open until Wednesday, 21 June, 2023 at 11.50pm. You can vote for The Beautiful Open Sky and your favourites in the other categories here.


V. Press is delighted to share two Sphinx One Point of Interest reviews, on The Human Portion by Nicola Warwick and bed by Georgia Gildea.

Considering the close observation in The Human Portion by Nicola Warwick:

“Nicola Warwick has sharp powers of observation which, allied to her skilled use of imagery, make for richly evocative poems. However, she also goes beyond description, sometimes even into the surreal, using nature as a way into deeper feelings.

[…] I sense an underlying yearning to reconcile the human with the natural world in this mesmerising, closely-observed pamphlet.”

Sue Wallace-Shaddad, OPOI, Sphinx, full review here

More information, endorsements, a sample poem and ordering for The Human Portion can be found here.

Considering the use of the present tense in bed by Georgia Gildea:

“Days no longer have names, nor do colours. They are undifferentiated. The more I look at what is in these poems the more I start to see what’s missing.

I don’t know where better is

or whether I want
to go there

Illness has no timescale, no certainties other than the immediate present and shrunken surroundings. This is set up from the opening lines […]”

D A Prince, OPOI, Sphinx, full review here

More information, endorsements, a sample extract and ordering for bed can be found here.


Georgia Gildea talks with her V. Press guest editor, Charlotte Gann, about silence, self, resistance and more in her recently released chapbook, bed (which addresses the experience of hospitalisation for anorexia), on The Understory Conversation here.

More theme listings for V. Press titles and links to articles where authors talk about their V. Press books can be found in The Reading Room.


V. Press is very very delighted to share the publication of Braised in Wine by V. Press Prize for Poetry 2022 winner D.D. Holland.

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.

Winner of the V. Press Prize for Poetry 2022

ISBN: 978-1-7398838-5-0
34 pages, illustrated
R.R.P. £6.50

More information, ordering and a sample poem from Braised in Wine can be found here.


V. Press is delighted to have pre-ordering available already for a number of poetry titles out later this year.

Turn Around When Possible

“Combining a scientific eye with a poetic sensibility (and a sharp sense of humour), Martin Zarrop’s work is thought-provoking and wry. These poems take the long view and they never shy away from difficulty, each expertly using form to amplify content. Turn Around When Possible is an enlightening, enjoyable read.”

Helen Mort

“Whether he is looking back fondly on the seemingly mundane details of a working-class childhood or exploring the vastness of interstellar space, Martin Zarrop’s poems are distinguished by their metaphysical wit, humour, and sheer accessibility. There is a mathematical precision to every poem in this collection, a focus on details, that leads inevitably and, with a minimum of fuss, to memorable insights into love, affection, the ineluctable passage of time, and humanity’s place in the universe. Turn Around When Possible is a delight from start to finish and shows Zarrop writing at the height of his very considerable powers.”
David Cooke

Turn Around When Possible is very uncertain and very quirky.

ISBN: 978-1-7398838-8-1
74 pages    
R.R.P. £10.99

More information, pre-ordering and a sample poem from Turn Around When Possible can be enjoyed here.

Not Enough Rage

“It’s rare for me to recognise, and feel kinship for, a lot of contemporary poetry. I recognise and feel kinship with this. Not Enough Rage is like a series of controlled explosions. Trembling houses. A burning voice. Experience dismantled and sewn back together with glowing needles and a mouth full of stars.”

Bobby Parker

“Like a Dylan Thomas of the age of mental illness, Gram Joel Davies leaps and flies through the world with dark exuberance. These are speakable poems, full of love for unlovable places and impossible people. In touch with but not tied to rap's rhymes and rhythms, this collection, for me, shifts the modern world into the painful focus of real poetry.” 
Peter Oswald

Not Enough Rage is very heady and very gutsy.

ISBN: 978-1-7398838-7-4
62 pages
R.R.P. £10.99

A sample poem pre-ordering and a sample poem from Not Enough Rage can be found here.


(m)othersongs is a moving, visceral exploration of the othering nature of un-motherhood. Body-shame, medical misogyny and grief are exorcised in shape-shifting forms with veins of pain running through them, in which everything from cloud formations to sea gooseberries on a shoreline speak of the changing seasons of the human body. This is a world where ‘wooden babies’ and rag dolls are born in place of children, and the womb – a ‘special bedroom’ haunted by endometriosis, fibroids and myths of creation – is surrendered with the mantra – ‘it’s only a pocket, and one you’re not using’. Both heartbreaking and strangely transporting, these are powerful and necessary poems.”

Polly Atkin

 “(m)othersongs is one of those rare examples of a collection of poetry that is both moving in content and accomplished in form. Each poem is expertly crafted, with a skilled use of structured form alongside beautifully crafted free verse. This textured and vibrant collection does not hold back, it faces the pain of endometriosis and infertility and holds that pain up to the light as valid experience of womanhood. The poetry world is enriched by this collection, and I shall return to it.”
Wendy Pratt

(m)othersongs is very meteorological and very moonlit.

ISBN: 978-1-7398838-6-7
32 pages
RRP £6.50

More information, pre-ordering and a sample poem from (m)othersongs can be found here