S.A. Leavesley (Sarah James) is an award-winning poet, fiction writer, journalist and photographer, as well as V. Press's main editor. Eight out of nine of Sarah’s solo poetry titles have won or been shortlisted/highly commended for an award, and she is author of five poetry collections, four poetry pamphlets, a touring poetry-play and two novellas. Her poetry has won or been shortlisted for many prizes, with individual poems published by the Financial Times, the Guardian, The Forward Book of Poetry 2016, on Worcestershire buses and in the Blackpool Illuminations. Her poetry has featured on the BBC, in poetryfilms and on radio. Shortlisted in the Gatehouse Press New Fictions Prize 15/16, she's also a widely published flash, essay and CNF writer. She's an occasional poetryfilm maker and reviewer, including micro-reviews and 'In the Booklight' author interviews on her own website.
Her books include: an eco-inspired poetry pamphlet, RAIN FALLING (Wigtown Festival Company, 2023), winner of the Wigtown Poetry Prize Alastair Reid Pamphlet Prize 2022; Blood Sugar, Sex, Magic (Verve Poetry Press, 2022), full-length collection, winner of the CP Aware Award Prize for Poetry 2021, highly commended in the Forward Prizes 2022 and shortlisted in the International Rubery Book Award 2023; Ten Lines of More Than Just Love Notes (Loughborough University, 2022), poetry pamphlet, winner of the Overton Poetry Prize 2020; Always Another Twist (Mantle Lane Press, 2018), novella; How to Grow Matches (Against The Grain Press, 2018), poetry pamphlet, shortlisted in International Rubery Book Awards 2018; Kaleidoscope (Mantle Lane Press, 2017), novella; Lampshades & Glass Rivers (Loughborough: Lamplight Press, 2016), poetry pamphlet, winner of the Overton Poetry Prize 2015; plenty-fish (Nine Arches Press, 2015), poetry collection, shortlisted in International Rubery Book Awards 2016; The Magnetic Diaries (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2015), poetry collection, highly commended in Forward Prizes, poetry-play version toured by Reaction Theatre Makers and a 'Highly Recommended Show’ at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016; Hearth, with Angela Topping (Mother's Milk Books, 2015), Poetry Book Society Autumn Pamphlet; Be[yond] (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2013); Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press, 2010), third prize in multi-genre International Rubery Book Awards 2011.
She has a modern languages degree from Oxford University, a postgraduate diploma in newspaper journalism from University of Wales, Cardiff, a masters in creative writing from the Manchester Writing School at M.M.U. and a C.I.M. level 4 in marketing.
Instagram: s.a.leavesley Twitter: @Sarah_James Website: www.sarah-james.co.uk
Ruth Stacey is a poet, academic and illustrator based in Worcestershire. Her recent poetry collection, Inheritance, won best collaborative work in the Saboteur Awards 2018. Her collection, Queen, Jewel, Mistress, was described by Fiona Sampson as, '…an astonishing debut…a beautiful and dreamlike collection.' Alison Weir said, 'the poems are exceptional…every line is a joy!' Ruth has a pamphlet, How to Wear Grunge, from Knives, Forks & Spoons press, and a full-length collection forthcoming with V. Press. She is currently working on a memoir in poems about Pamela Colman Smith as part of her PhD in Creative Writing at Northumbria University, and teaches creative writing and literature at Worcester University. Ruth is also a guest editor for Mingled Space by Margaret Adkins, winner of the inaugural V. Press Prize for Poetry.
Twitter: @mermaidsdrown Instagram: ruth_stacey Website: ruthstacey.com
OTHER GUEST EDITORS
|Photo by Dot & Lucy Photography|
Carrie Etter grew up in Normal, Illinois, spent thirteen years in southern California, and moved to England in 2001. Her fourth collection of poetry, The Weather in Normal (US: Station Hill; UK: Seren), will be published in autumn 2018; her individual poems have appeared in Poetry Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The New Statesman, The New Republic, and many other journals in the US and UK. Her V. Press pamphlet, Hometown, is her first collection of fiction. She is Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and also teaches for The Poetry School and Poetry Swindon. She is guest editor of two V. Press poetry pamphlets: Natalie Linh Bolderston's The Protection of Ghosts (2019) and Blue Dot Aubade (2020) by Miranda Lynn Barnes.
is an editor by trade – she worked as Editor of Health Which? magazine, for instance – and also works, within poetry, as Editor of The Understory Conversation (of which she’s Founder), and Co-Editor of Sphinx Review. She has an English degree from UCL and an MA in Creative Writing and Personal Development from the University of Sussex. She’s also a poet, with one pamphlet – The Long Woman (Pighog), shortlisted for the 2012 Michael Marks Award – and two full collections – Noir (2016) and The Girl Who Cried (2020), both published by HappenStance. Her main focus in recent times has been on developing and convening The Understory Conversation, a hub for creatives curious to explore the underside. She is guest editor of Georgia Gildea's forthcoming V. Press poetry pamphlet bed.
|Photo by Nathalie Marchant|
Mary-Jane Holmes has lived and worked as a teacher, editor and translator in many places including Spain, France and Switzerland. Since 2009, she’s been chief editor of Fish Publishing, Ireland. She is creative director at the Casa-Ana writing retreat in southern Spain and editorial consultant at The Well Review. Her debut poetry collection, Heliotrope with Matches and Magnifying Glass, is published by Pindrop Press. Irish Poet Dave Lordan has described her as "perhaps the most convincingly rural and at the same time convincingly contemporary English poet since Ted Hughes". Winner of the 2017 Bridport Poetry Prize, the Martin Starkie Poetry Prize, the Bedford International Poetry Prize and the 2014 Dromineer Fiction Prize, her other publication credits include Mslexia, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Prole, The Tishman Review, The Lonely Crowd and The Best Small Fictions Anthology 2016 and 2018. She has a Master of Studies in Creative Writing from Kellogg College, Oxford (with distinction). She is guest editor of Jinny Fisher's poetry pamphlet The Escapologist.Website: www.mary-janeholmes.com
Based in the West Midlands but publishing authors from across the U.K., V. Press is very grateful for invaluable support and advice from literature development agency Writing West Midlands. Also to Jane Commane at Nine Arches Press for her encouragement and publishing insights.
V. Press Cultural Intern October 2018 – March 2019
V. Press was very very delighted to work with Kibriya Mehrban as a University of Birmingham Post-Graduate Cultural Intern in partnership with Writing West Midlands.
Kibriya Mehrban is a graduate of English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Birmingham and worked with V. Press part-time as part of her internship with Writing West Midlands. Kibriya’s new marketing initiatives for V. Press included creating photo-quotes for forthcoming poetry titles and the Top Notes music recommendations on the Chez Nous page. She also designed the V. Press animated gif below and a series of very very backgrounds for use on promotional material. Her poem ‘Refraction’ was the commissioned V. Press poem for the 2018 festive period and Kibriya put together, designed and edited the V. Press Catalogue for 2018-2019. Outside of V. Press, Kibriya loves poetry in all its forms. Her poetry has featured in the anthologies This is Not Your Final Form (Emma Press, 2017) and Second Place Rosette: Poems about Britain (Emma Press, 2018). She has also written for Apples and Snakes, The Spoken Word Archive and Verve Poetry Festival. Twitter: @KibriyaTM