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Amerah Saleh launching I Am Not From Here - April 20, Waterstones Birmz.

6th June 2018 – The picture above brings back fond memories of the April launch of our first two collections for Amerah Saleh and Casey Bailey. What a night that was – 160 people crammed into Waterstones Birmz to hear seven guest poets and Amerah and Casey perform their hearts out! We’ve been overwhelmed with the support we’ve been shown since, both in our home city and beyond, and our two collections have gone down a storm! If you still haven’t got yours, you can get them here – they are both super reads!

Verve Poetry Press Logo


This month marks our half year as a working press, and what a six months it’s been. You can read our story from the beginning in our previous blog:  VPP – The Story So Far

We’ve been having a glorious time, bringing out books, signing poets, making connections, becoming the press we want to be. We’ve planned our publication schedule right through to February 2019 (when the next Verve Poetry Festival will take place, in case you didn’t know:)) We will be announcing this in full soon, and have a teaser for you at the bottom of this newsletter. We have some very exciting news up our sleeves!


June 22 2018 sees us launch our next two collections. What a pair of books they are, and what a wonderful launch night we have planned!

Click above for tickets to this wonderful event.

Leon Priestnall’s Bennetts Hill Blues is published on Thursday June 21st and will be available through all the usual channels  – our site, from Leon himself, to order from all good bookshops in store and online – from that date onwards. It is an amazing book of sharp observation, magical turns of phrase, and old fashioned sensibilities told through the eyes of a pained post-modernist. This performer of note has performed his way onto the page in great style.

Nafeesa Hamid’s Besharam is a wonderful book by a young poet writing well beyond her years. This book won’t be published until September 2018…

Cover Bennetts Hill Blues
Cover Besharam

…but will be available to purchase at the launch as well as from Nafeesa at various feature spots at spoken word events across the summer. Those who pre-order through our site this summer will also receive their book ahead of publication and postage free. It is an incredible book.

At the launch event on June 22 Leon and Nafeesa will be supported by six excellent poets each of whom have a guest poem in one the the collections. They are Yasmina Silva, Jack Crowe, Zeddie, Scarlett Ward, Mina Mekic and Bethany Slinn. Do join us if you can get to Waterstones Birmingham – it will be an ace night. Tickets available here.


You want more? So we’ve already told you about the other collections we have in the pipe line for the Autumn. Rupinder Kaur will be publishing her much awaited debut Rooh in September, followed by two as yet untitled collections from Kamil Mahmood and Hannah Swings in October and November. These debut collections by Birmingham poets are the reason for Verve Poetry Press. You will hear much more about these wonderful books soon.

But we are also branching out a little in the autumn by publishing a small number of books that relate more closely to Verve Poetry Festival – you will hear how.  AND we are launching a small experimental pamphlet strand featuring authors who already have collections out or in the works, letting their hair down in various ways. These books will be exciting and interesting and add something to our main collection strand.

As we said, you will hear more about this in our next news-letter. But to keep you entertained, and guessing, here is a little collage we have made to give you a clue as to who we will be publishing. We think we may have created a monster! 🙂


Now that you’ve found our blog, we’d love you to sign up to our mailing list – that way when our news comes out each month it will just drop into your inbox – how much easier for everyone! If you’d like to sign up you can do that here.  

Our next newsletter will contain details of ALL of our remaining publishing for the year, news of the first Verve Poetry Press Festival Showcase which is happening this Autumn, and a cover reveal for Rupinder Kaur’s Rooh. We can’t wait. We hope you can’t either!

Happy poeting!