Wednesday, 30 November 2016

A very very merry Christmas & some special offers

With the start of December and Christmas excitement, we've put together a range of special Christmas offers that would make great festive reading bundles or last-minute stocking fillers.

Festive Offer 1: a dash of flash & poetry

2 pamphlets: Carrie Etter's Hometown (flash fiction) and David O'Hanlon's art brut (poetry) for just £7.50 (including P&P in the UK only)

Festive Offer 2: Northern strength & caring

2 poetry pamphlets: Alex Reed's A Career in Accompaniment and David O'Hanlon's art brut for just £7.50 (including P&P in the UK only)

Festive Offer 3: The way home...

2 illustrated poetry pamphlets: David Calcutt's The Old Man in the House of Bone and Nina Lewis' Fragile Houses for just £7.50 (including P&P in the UK only)

Festive Offer 4: No bones about it!

1 poetry collection + 1 illustrated poetry pamphlet: Kathy Gee's Book of Bones and David Calcutt's The Old Man in the House of Bone for just £12.50 (including P&P in the UK only)



Festive Offer 5: Life, death & so much more in between

2 poetry collections: Kathy Gee's Book of Bones and V. Press editor Sarah James' plenty-fish (Nine Arches Press) for just £12.50 (including P&P in the UK only)

All offers valid until end of December 2016 only and while stocks last.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone from V. Press, and with thanks to Rexy the dog, for his absolute cuteness starring in our Xmas fliers!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Skill & sensitivity - A Career in Accompaniment reviewed

"Alex Reed has skill and sensitivity..." A detailed review of Alex Reed's  A Career in Accompaniment is now up at Sabotage Reviews.


More information and a sample poem from A Career in Accompaniment can be found here. The pamphlet can be ordered using the paypal link below.


A Career in Accompaniment with postage & packing

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Chez Nous Recommendations for Fragile Houses

WITH NINA LEWIS' FRAGILE HOUSES

Sit by a window, probably an old one criss-crossed with leading, overlooking a lawn, but just as well a sunny dormer across roofs sketched in aerials. Pick up Fragile Houses and open it. The photographic art of Sarah Leavesley is rye bread to Nina Lewis' relish, these bitter-sweet poems.

I am going to let in the frosty air, breathe in "electromagnetic memories." It's these little moments when life runs most real. Lewis writes with class and clarity. Her poetry is earthly but inhabited by spirits. A grandmother looks at a photo, "the young girl turns."

Let's try food laced with tradition to go with this. Identity, and a simplicity that is not easily achieved. "Dining tables with black and white prints, a tablecloth of lives" make me want to admire exquisite dishes of sushi, before carefully selecting each one.  A little square plate on the cushioned window seat.

Nina Lewis' precise household scenes are deceptively colourful, blackly outlined. I have chosen Japanese food to go with this book, to throw the Englishness of her work into high contrast. In both cases, I am nourished by the strength of cultural identity and belonging.

Like Leavesley's accompanying illustrations, the poems are assembled from bric-a-brac and love. Each is rounded off with such a deft flick, unexpected or even abrupt but satisfying every time. I'm thinking of neat Japanese single malt to follow, smooth going down and fiery on the inside.

The poetry is "split like a spilled yolk / between love and something darker". The family history Lewis invites us into is tender to the point of hurt, and inseparably loyal. The rice has a gentle vinegar to it, the seaweed brings with it all the flavours of the deep. Then you taste the wasabi.

Gram Joel Davies


Photo by Robbie Elford
Gram Joel Davies lives in Devon. His poetry has appeared in Lighthouse, Magma and The Moth, to name a few. You can find him at http://gramjoeldavies.uk.

For a sample poem from Fragile Houses, please click here.

TO BUY Fragile Houses now using the paypal link below. 



Fragile Houses (please select correct postage & packing option below)

Thursday, 6 October 2016

National Poetry Day 2016 - samples & special offers

If you love poetry and you live in the UK, then it's hard (we hope!) to miss that today is National Poetry Day.

This year's theme is messages, and we have two V. Press messages to celebrate the day with - the first is to invite you to enjoy some of our poets' words in the video and poem below and the second is to offer you two special offers...




The video (created for our submissions window earlier this year) features poetry snippets from Jacqui Rowe's Ransom Notes, David O' Hanlon's art brut, Claire Walker's The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile, Kathy Gee's Book of Bones, Alex Reed's A Career in Accompaniment and David Calcutt's The Old Man in the House of Bone (with illustrations by Peter Tinkler), as well as prose from Carrie Etter's flash fiction pamphlet Hometown.

New to the 2016 V. Press pamphlet selection is also Nina Lewis' Fragile Houses (with a photographic sequence from S.A. Leavesley), which was launched earlier this week. A sample poem from this pamphlet may be enjoyed at the end of this post.

More information about all of these books can be found by following the links in their titles. (Copies of individual titles can be ordered this way.) However, to mark National Poetry Day, we are offering two special U.K. poetry pamphlet bundles: 

two 'surprise selection'* 2016 V. Press pamphlets for just £10, including P&P in the UK;

three 'surprise selection'* V. Press pamphlets for just £12.50, including P&P in the UK.


These offers run for the rest of this week - so until midnight on Sunday, October 9 - using the paypal links below. (Please take care to choose the correct button!)

2 'surprise selection'* 2016 V. Press pamphlets for £10, including P&P in the UK only:

3 'surprise selection'* V. Press pamphlets for £12.50, including P&P in the UK only:

HAPPY NATIONAL POETRY DAY 2016!!!

* Order, then sit back and see which pamphlets we pick out for you!

Ambiguous Answers

Teaching us ‘antonyms’, she asked:
‘What is the opposite of sweet?’
I remember stretching my arm up so high
I had to balance it against my left hand
to stop the aching.

I stared right at her.
I knew this; I knew it.

I was picked third;
‘Chocolate!’ I announced proudly,
being sure of applause.

She didn’t smile.
Looked at me as if she was trying
to work something out.
Some children sniggered;
she reprimanded them.
This made me think I was right after all.

She asked why I thought it was chocolate
and I explained how, with weekly pocket money,
Dad would take us up to the post office
and we could either afford sweets
or chocolate,
but not both.

I didn’t really know ‘sour’,
but the look she gave
demonstrated it perfectly.

Nina Lewis


Monday, 3 October 2016

Launching Fragile Houses

V. Press is delighted to launch Fragile Houses, a debut poetry pamphlet by Nina Lewis.


Home is more than a brick building, family trees or ancestral bones. In Fragile Houses, Nina Lewis explores the people, places and memories carried through life. Vibrant imagery and precise insight reveal strength in the most tender places. The pamphlet includes a photographic sequence from S.A. Leavesley that is directly inspired by the poems’ vivid mix of fragility and sharpness. Fragile Houses is very authentic and very fervent.

“In this engaging debut pamphlet, Nina Lewis deftly examines the human condition through the lens of family relationships. There is more than memoir here; issues of connection and disconnection, presence and absence, are gently explored while always acknowledging ‘These years can’t be backtracked or re-spent’ (from ‘Fusion’).” Angela France


“Nina Lewis’ debut pamphlet from V. Press explores memory and family. These are exact, concisely-conceived poems which find their power in restraint and understatement – ‘In our family, minds go missing’. She writes observantly about memory, and its trickeries, caught ‘somewhere in the space/ between those two lost letters, / as vivid as gold-dust,/ falling to the earth.’ Throughout the pamphlet Lewis maintains a voice which is sometimes sad, but truthful and grown wise, with some really memorable images which successfully convey the strong emotions she deals in – ‘He stayed away. Radio silence. / An opaque circle was drawn around our house/ filled with white noise.’” Jean Atkin

R.R.P. £5.50

Nina will be reading from Fragile Houses at a launch event at Birmingham Waterstones this evening (Oct 3) also featuring Roy McFarlane, Antony Owen and fellow V. Press poet Claire Walker. (Further details for this are in the poster at the end of this blog post. Waterstones 24-26 High Street, Birmingham, B4 7SL.)

To buy a copy of Fragile Houses now, please use the paypal link below, taking care to select the correct postage & packing option). 




A sample poem may be found below, along with a sample image from the pamphlet's  photographic sequence by S. A. Leavesley.

Ambiguous Answers

Teaching us ‘antonyms’, she asked:
‘What is the opposite of sweet?’
I remember stretching my arm up so high
I had to balance it against my left hand
to stop the aching.

I stared right at her.
I knew this; I knew it.

I was picked third;
‘Chocolate!’ I announced proudly,
being sure of applause.

She didn’t smile.
Looked at me as if she was trying
to work something out.
Some children sniggered;
she reprimanded them.
This made me think I was right after all.

She asked why I thought it was chocolate
and I explained how, with weekly pocket money,
Dad would take us up to the post office
and we could either afford sweets
or chocolate,
but not both.

I didn’t really know ‘sour’,
but the look she gave
demonstrated it perfectly.



'Fragile: Spilling' by S.A. Leavesley



Thursday, 8 September 2016

Birth to Bone


This week poets Kathy Gee (left), Claire Walker and David Calcutt took their V. Press pamphlets to Waterstones in Birmingham for a special V. Press reading.

The 'Birth to Bone' event featured a combined and interlinked set, carefully co-ordinated to bring out the poets' unique voices and striking lines.

Their collections/pamphlet can be ordered by following the links here: Book of Bones, The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile and The Old Man in the House of Bone.

With thanks also to Birmingham Waterstones,  Stuart Bartholomew and the wonderful audience for making is such a cracking night!

Monday, 22 August 2016

Review of A Career in Accompaniment

We are delighted share details of the latest review for Alex Reed's autobiographical poetry pamphlet A Career in Accompaniment.

The following snippets are taken from a review by Beth McDonough in Dundee University Review of the Arts, which can be enjoyed in full here.

“Opening with the prose poem “Things illness stole”, we find Jan, prior to diagnosis, at the cusp of their relationship; rather as Les Murray’s poem “It Allows a Portrait in Line-Scan At Fifteen”, does the much-needed job of untangling his son from his autism, this offers a vibrant ten line picture of a woman, completely charged and changed by the title’s significance. The magnitude of their loss is caught in the final, soon-to-be-ironic words – “Everything’s going to be alright” – happily lipsticked on her mirror. Ominously, these words hang over a deliberately disproportionate whitespace.”

“never flinching in its pained and painful observation”

“V Press demonstrates that same integrity”

“Alex Reed can write.”

“In his final poem, he hymns…

Remove yourself.
Take these things –
pencil, prayer-wheel and blade
to fashion an opening.


In A Career in Accompaniment, Alex Reed has done all that, with dignity, courage and respect to his partner, their situation and to poetry.”

The full review and analysis by Beth McDonough can be found here


A sample poem and more information about the pamphlet may be enjoyed here

To order a copy of A Career in Accompaniment use the paypal link below


A Career in Accompaniment with postage & packing