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Luke Kennard, Rupinder Kaur, Nafeesa Hamid, Lunar Poetry Podcasts, Matt Abbott, Jenna Clake, Hannah Swings, Polarbear

Well we told you we had some exciting plans to announce for the coming Autumn, didn’t we? The press is tramping on wonderfully, and is developing new strands as it goes. Let us explain…

Our DEBUT COLLECTIONS SERIES continues apace this Autumn. Following on from super Spring debut’s by press co-founder Amerah Saleh as well as Casey Bailey and Leon Priestnall, this series, featuring young and exciting poets local to Birmingham continues to grow and delight from September onwards. This project sits at the heart of the press. It is our reason for being, and we will always be heavily focussed on this important work. Which is why, coming this Autumn, we   are looking forward to publishing Rooh by Rupinder Kaur, Besharam by Nafeesa Hamid, and nearer Christmas, as yet untitled debut collections by Kamil Mahmood & Hannah Swings. Both Rooh and Besharam are available to read  about and pre-order on our website HERE. Kamil & Hannah’s books remain shrouded in secrecy for a little longer, but we know they will be incredible!

Rooh by Rupinder Kaur
Besharam by Nafeesa Hamid

But through our close links with Verve Poetry Festival, we have also started to bump into other opportunities to get things into print that need and deserve to be read, and a couple of these are coming this Autumn too.

Two Little Ducks by Matt Abbott

MATT ABBOTT has always been a big supporter of our festival, and produced an excellent showcase for us at Verve 18 under the banner of his NYMPHS & THUGS spoken word record label. Meanwhile, his one man poetry show – Two Little Ducks – has been developing into a storming performance piece at Edinburgh and elsewhere, and this Autumn, Matt is embarking on a 22 date tour of the UK with his show. You can read more about this HERE. But suffice to say, when the opportunity arose to put this wonderful piece into book form along with a fair few individual poems that Matt has written over the same period we knew we had little choice. We are thrilled to be publishing Two Little 

Duckss on National Poetry Day (Oct 4th 2018) and on the day after that, Matt will be launching both the tour and his book at Waterstones in Birmingham. You can get your tickets HERE.

Similarly, David and Lizzie Turner have been an important part of Verve Poetry Festival since it started. Like Verve, their series of podcast interviews – LUNAR POETRY PODCASTS – which is beginning to get the audiences it deserves, promotes poetry as a broad church that should be celebrated for all it’s many and varied forms, and they have featured some of the key names in UK contemporary poetry, without limiting themselves to the poetry mainstream. To celebrate their fourth year, we are helping them publish ‘Why Poetry? – The Lunar Poetry Podcasts Anthology’. And what an anthology it is – featuring poems from a large selection of the poets they have featured…

'Why Poetry?' by Lunar Poetry Podcasts

from Helen Mort to Kim Moore, from Jane Yeh to Mary-Jean Chan, from Melissa Lee-Houghton to Luke Kennard, from Susannah Dickey to Travis Alabanzer and everywhere in between. The anthology also featured extracts from each poets’ interview. The whole makes for a wonderful and thought provoking engagement with poetry both as form and as performance. This anthology will be published on Sep 27 2018 – watch our for Lunar Poetry’s launches around that date.

This Autumn we will also be launching our NEW EXPERIMENTAL PAMPHLET SERIES. This series will offer opportunities for poets – either local or friends of Verve festival – who perhaps already have collections, to do something a little different, or perhaps to work with someone on a joint project. Our pamphlets   will be printed locally, will be lovely to hold and look at and will be limited to  only 250 copies. Once they are gone, they are gone!

Tuffle Hound - Luke Kennard

We are absolutely bowled over to be able to announce that kicking off the pamphlet series will be LUKE KENNARD’sfirst pamphlet since 2012 – Truffle Hound. More resolutely prose than any of his previous books of poetry, here Luke allows his childhood (imagined or otherwise) to flood into the foreground, while his present (factual or fake news) distorts and fractures as if his life were being directed by David Lynch and Terry Gilliam and neither could agree whether horror or comedy should dominate. Dogs, cigarettes, children and pills shouldn’t really be permitted to mix should they? Here they are a heady mixture indeed!

Luke’s pamphlet drops on Sep 6, and will be followed nearer Christmas by two more! One from recently crowned Eric Gregory poet JENNA CLAKE, who’s debut collection, FORTUNE COOKIE has already been greeted with such acclaim. And one from the wonderful JASMINE GARDOSI! Jasmine’s will be her first ever book, can you believe, and will be amazing! 🙂

                         STILL READING? Good – because lastly, and quite possibly           mostly, the best news of all!

Sometimes (we hope often) a poet of note will give us some of his poems to publish just because they like us, or because we are small and in Birmingham, or just because. And we will be happy and honoured to put them in a book because not only are the poems amazing, but they are rooted firmly in the city we love – are, in fact, almost a love letter to the city itself.


POLARBEAR’S ‘SECOND CITY TRILOGY’ is an excellent example of this. Containing three long poems – ‘If I Cover My Nose, You Can’t See Me’, ‘Old Me’ and ‘Return’ – that are close to Steven ‘Polarbear’ Camden’s heart, taken together these performance pieces stack up to become the poet’s love song to the city. It is a city that the direction of his life has taken him away from, but where he’s always happy to return. As the poems progress they move too, from simple spoken word piece to fully fledged dramatic work. We are thrilled to be able to bring them to you on Nov 29!

Steven 'Polarbear' Camden

SO there you have it! Our Autumn list! We are thrilled with the quality of it, the variety of it, but mostly with the way that, while it is changing, it is still resolutely US!
We hope you agree and are as excited as we are! 🙂

OUR LAST AND FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT for now is a hold the date announcement…


HOLD THIS DATE - 30/11/18!!!!!!

Most of you will already know how good at performing Verve Poetry Press poets are! So on 30/11/18 you are in for a real treat. On this date, OUR FIRST ANNIVERSARY END OF YEAR EARLY CHRISTMAS BASH will take place in the Glee Club Studio on Hurst St, Birmingham. And will feature EVERY SINGLE POET THAT WE HAVE PUBLISHED OR WILL PUBLISH THIS YEAR!!! We are limited to 130 tickets for this venue and they will absolutely sell out. So please don’t be late. When the tickets go on sale (mid Sept) book yours straight away. You have been warned! 🙂

Casey Bailey
Amerah Saleh
Leon Priestnall
Nafeesa Hamid

We for one can’t wait!!!

Happy Poeting! 🙂