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Autumn 2021: New Releases

After a (slightly) quieter Summer, Verve Poetry Press are hitting the ground running with a jam-packed Autumn, full of wonderful books that we’ve just been dying to share with you. Here are the collections and pamphlets we’re putting out September-November 2021!

Emily Rose Galvin - the dew point

due sep 21

Taking inspiration from the transient states of water, and the parallels of human sentiment, the debut collection from Emily Rose Galvin explores the changing states of emotion, relationships, mental health and cultural pressures.  From the vapour-like intangibility of first love to the waves of depression, the dew point aims to examine that finite degree between happiness and desolation; emptiness and making ourselves whole.

At times both vulnerable and shocking, Emily’s writing strikes a nerve between the subtle and uncomfortable, while coaxing out the honest core of readers and forcing them to engage with the darker parts of modern life that we tend to gloss over.

Emily Rose Galvin

Emily Rose was the first female Staffordshire Poet Laureate (2017-2019) before becoming Poet in Residence at Lichfield Library and co-host of Spoken Word night WordCraft in Stoke-on-Trent.  Performing regularly across the UK, Emily has a repertoire of poetry that tackles mental health, emotional wellbeing and the complications of human relationships, and was most recently placed in the Top 5 Shortlist for Culture Recordings' New Voice in Poetry Prize 2020.

Phoebe Stuckes - The One Girl Gremlin

due sep 21

Her first pamphlet since her debut full collection Platinum Blonde sees Phoebe Stuckes’ trademark poems of high humour and hubris take on a dreamier, more abstract, quality. Perhaps the ‘wise-cracking party girl’ of her earlier work is sensing that, for a while at least, the party is postponed. There isn’t much worth staying up late for any more in these poems. Instead, our character lies awake in bed long into the night or wakes up into a pre-dawn world they barely recognise. And the strange new rural setting they wake to is inviting and also threatening and therefore not to be trusted.

Phoebe Stuckes

Phoebe Stuckes is a writer from West Somerset now living in London. She has been a winner of the Foyle Young Poets award four times and is a former Barbican Young Poet. Her writing has appeared in Poetry Review, The Rialto, The North and Ambit among others. Her debut pamphlet, Gin & Tonic was shortlisted for The Michael Marks Award 2017. She has been awarded an Eric Gregory Award and The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize.  Her first full length collection, Platinum Blonde will be published by Bloodaxe Books in 2020.

Rick Sanders - The Top Secret Notebook of Willis The Poet

due sep 21

Anyone who has seen and laughed with Willis the Poet will know that his poetry notebooks contain poems big and small, incidental and even more incidental, rough and smooth and everything in between (incl smoothly rough). The thing they have in common is that they are all hilarious. At least the ones he reads out are. But never before has Willis the Poet permitted his audience to peep inside his most prized poetry trove. A bad idea? Perhaps, but there’s no resisting a top secret poetry notebook!

Rick Sanders

Rick Sanders, aka Willis the Poet, is an established comedy stand-up poet based in the mighty West Midlands. He is a regular headliner and featured poet on the flourishing spoken word scene across the UK, his sticky sausage-fingers in as many pies as he can. You can find him running his mouth off at any event where there is a) an audience and b) a microphone. In between gigs he skulks in the dark recesses of abandoned buildings trying to think of funny things to write about, which is testament to the contents of this book really; a romp through the cerebral cortex of a man who writes humourous verse about pretty much anything and then inflicts it on unsuspecting poetry fans wherever he can.

Zoe Brigley - Into Eros

due Oct 21

The poems in Into Eros consider the dangers for women in risking desire, and they tell a story about nature, trauma, and healing. Here, pumpkin flowers, poison sumac, and apple blossoms are as much persons as women are, and their experience are parallel but different. These poems register the value of love after violence. Not possessing or dominating but dwelling with people, with nature – this at last might lead to freedom, and joy.

‘Brigley bravely confronts what it is to be a woman in a world that sees women as prey’
Maggie Smith
author of Goldenrod & Good Bones

Zoe Brigley

Zoë Brigley has three collections of poetry from Bloodaxe: The Secret, Conquest, and Hand & Skull, and all three are Poetry Book Society Recommendations, as well as receiving an Eric Gregory Award, being Forward Prize commended, and listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize. She also has a collection of nonfiction: Notes from a Swing State: Writing from Wales and America (Parthian). She is Assistant Professor in the English department at the Ohio State University. She runs an anti-violence advocacy podcast: Sinister Myth: How Stories We Tell Perpetuate Violence.

Golnoosh Nour - Rocksong

due Oct 21

‘ROCKSONG is a shamelessly baroque ride through the nadirs and summits of the contemporary queer. It’s a decadent book, where decadence isn’t a cipher for self-indulgence, but a fierce and fugitive resistance. As Audre Lorde writes ‘We survived and survival breeds desire for more self’. Or, in the glowing neon precincts of Rocksong, more selves, plural. These poems flirt and confront in turns, they seduce and attack, they are tender and grotesque. They create a strangely exultant burlesque on identity, sexuality, desire and language. I love them for that.’

Fran Lock

Golnoosh Nour

Dr Golnoosh Nour is the author of The Ministry of Guidance and Other Stories (Muswell Press, 2020). Her full-length poetry collection Rocksong will be published in October 2021 by Verve Poetry Press. Golnoosh’s work has also been published in Granta and Poetry Anthology amongst others, and she has performed in numerous literary events, including Stoke Newington Literature Festival, the Poetry Café, and RVT. Golnoosh is a visiting lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire. She’s currently co-editing the issue 80 of Magma and the anthology Queer Life, Queer Love forthcoming from Muswell Press.

Jo Morris Dixon - I told you everything

due Oct 21

Jo Morris Dixon’s debut pamphlet I told you everything reveals how poetry can function as a holding place for difficult experiences and emotions. Through language at once vivid and straightforward, Dixon skilfully addresses coming-of-age themes which are often left unexplored, even in therapy rooms. There is a keen attentiveness to form in these startling poems, ranging from the sonnet to the Golden Shovel. Urgent, complex and searingly honest, I told you everything is a fierce addition to poetry and queer writing in the UK.

Jo Morris Dixon

Jo Morris Dixon grew up in Birmingham and now lives in London. She has worked in museums and currently works for a mental health charity. Her poetry has been published in Oxford Poetry and The Poetry Review. She was longlisted for the 2015 Plough Poetry Prize and the 2020 National Poetry Competition. I told you everything is her debut pamphlet. 

Sam J. Grudgings - The Bible II

due nov 21

A defiant splatterpunk body horror on the Inneracy of theological doctrine, in the context of recovery, addiction, death & grieving. A kind of reverent aching. A glorious descent into havok & profanity.

Exploring what god is to an addict, The Bible II is a gory, surreal How-Not-To-Guide for alcoholics coming to terms with their own saviour complex in absence of traditional methods of recovery.

The world is ending but if you need something a little more holy to guide your soul wherever you think you are heading this might be it.

Sam J. Grudgings

Sam is a poet perpetually on the edge of collapse, shortlisted for the Outspoken Prize 2020 & longlisted in 2019. Renowned for his off-kilter, frenetic delivery & boundary pushing stage dynamic, Sam grew up in the punk scene & it shows. He yells stories about recovery, mental illness, loss, fighting god & cities made of teeth because it’s  cheaper than therapy & is less physically taxing than pornography Sam runs workshops on performance as well as campaigning for the recognition of lived experience in professional & academic circles.  He endeavours to bring poetry to everyone eventually. He can be found if you know where to look.

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