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‘We are real!’ – Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan on why The Fly Girl’s Guide to Cambridge needs to exist.

Three years ago during my final year studying History at Cambridge, me and three of the most wonderful, fiery, radical & brave women I know – Lola Olufemi, Waithera Sebatindira and Odelia Younge – decided to write a book documenting our experiences as women of colour in an institution that so violently erased our realities, histories and sometimes our very existences; in fact an institution which ideologically and financially was rooted in and flourished on the concept and consequences of slavery, racism and colonialism.

We all 4 initially met at “FLY” – a group founded before we arrived, specifically as a space for women and non-binary people of colour. In that space was the first time I found the truth of my experiences at Cambridge validated and recognised, and I found I didn’t have to be weighted down by the experience of white supremacist patriarchy but that I could funnel my feelings into anger and creativity! It sparked my engagement with radical politics, poetry and decolonial feminism ever since.

The book, of course, was not something anyone wanted to publish. One publisher actually told us it would have been better if it were fiction – a reminder that it is easier to empathise with women of colour when we aren’t real.

However, alhamdulillah, this year @vervepoetrypres listened to our vision, heard us and recognised that this book needs to exist. IMHO we don’t particularly need a best seller or big recognition.

. I am excited solely because this book is a testament to the experiences that never get heard and thus are never accepted as real. But we are real. Our experiences are real and this book is a testament to us and every woman of colour struggling to articulate how it feels to be in spaces built for others.

We publish in January inshaAllah (and you’re all invited to the launches! Dates tbc!) but you can pre-order RIGHT NOW by clicking on the book cover illustration on this page.

Above all I hope our FLY GIRL’S GUIDE can be a testament, a refuge and a friend to anyone who needs it. I am so thankful for all the WOC in my life and ultimately, always, to Allah.

Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan @thebrownhijabi

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‘My Spoken Brummie Saga’: all about The Second City Trilogy by Polarbear

Polarbear AKA Steven Camden

I fell into spoken word before I really knew what it was. Speaking stories and playing with rhyme was something we’d always done, without any designs on stages or gigs. 

Once I was introduced to this thing, these events, where people stood up and spoke their words to an audience, I ran mouth first, straight into it. The freedom and openness of it grabbed me. The fact that I could play with spaces and silence as well as the patterns of speech, descriptions, repetitions, all felt like this magical mix of music and chemistry.

Once I started finding my voice, I felt the itch to play. That meant longer pieces. That meant more risks. More layers. Things I wanted to learn.

I was lucky enough to get support to develop my first feature length piece from Birmingham REP. If I Cover My Nose You Can’t See Me. In that one I played with rhyming and not rhyming. Narrative devices. The dance of rhythm and the definition of character voices. All combined with a Batman infused slightly surrealist noir story about a boy following his future self. It felt great.

On the back of that I wanted to push further.  My spoken word pieces all felt like short films to me as I spoke them, so I asked myself. Challenged myself. Could you speak a full film?

Polar LIVE!

RETURN is just that. A combination of shot descriptions and dialogue. An experiment in conviction and simplicity. My hardest performance piece to speak (and arguably to listen to), but a massive benchmark for me personally in terms of what I could do with words and my mouth.

After that I played with lots of ideas for a while until I came up with the final piece to what had become, in my mind, a definite trilogy. If I Cover My Nose was all about leaving Birmingham. Breaking the cycle of my life at the time which had gotten stale and uninspiring. RETURN was all about the desire to come home and realising how much I love Birmingham and it’s influence over my new creative life.

Polarbear - final publishing announcement of 2018!

The final piece of the puzzle became a celebration of the mess between what I was and what I’d become. The origins of my new life and the fractured sense I’d come to make of it. A melting pot of form, voice, memory, fantasy and realism. OLD ME was born and the perfect third instalment to my spoken brummie saga. 

I am so proud of these pieces and how they map my journey as a spoken word artist trying to craft his own voice whilst also trying to gather a sense of who the hell I am.

They have helped me find myself. And my heart. 

And they, just like me, belong to Birmingham.

Speaking to Stuart about Verve and the work they are doing with the festival, events and printing collections, I got stupidly excited about being part of their list. I’d spoken to other people about releasing stuff before and always felt like it wasn’t the right thing for these words. Verve is the right thing. A Birmingham press, offering me the chance to share my Birmingham trilogy with the world in print? Yes please. I said. Thank you I said. Chuffed.

I cannot wait for this book to come out and let people read, speak and 

play with the stories that have shaped my life. The Second City Trilogy is my creative time capsule.

Nice one Stuart. Nice one Verve.


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84 – A New Anthology on the Subject of Male Suicide – Submissions Details

84 is a new anthology of poetry on the subject of male suicide, as well as sub-themes of mental health, vulnerability, grief, and hope. You can read about our campaign to raise awareness and money for CALM with this book HERE.

Published by us, and edited by Helen Calcutt, the anthology will feature a host of male and female voices sharing their experiences of suicide, mental health, or grief – from those who have been on the brink of suicide, to those who have lost a loved one, or been moved by the campaign. We see this anthology as both an uncensored exposure of truths, as well as a celebration of the strength and courage of those willing to write and talk about their experiences, using the power of language to openly address and tackle an issue that directly affects a million people every year.

This book will be for everyone – from those who have lost a loved one to suicide, to those who want to support the call for action, and deepen their understanding of the crisis.

Submission Guidelines

-Submissions will open on Saturday 15th September 2018, and close on Monday 15th October 2018, midnight GBT.

-Up to three poems per poet (with none exceeding 40 lines) will be considered.

-Two works, including one short and one long poem (exceeding 40 lines) will also be considered.

-There is no limit to how short a poem can be.

-We are afraid that previously published work cannot be considered.

-Please include your name and contact details in the body of your email. Your personal information mustn’t be anywhere on the documents containing your poems.

-All work must be single spaced, with a title. If you poem does not have one, please give it an ‘Untitled’ heading.

-Please entitle your submission POETRY followed by the title of your work/s.

-Every single poem submitted will be read carefully by the editor.

-The editor’s decision is final.

-Please send your submissions to: 84@vervepoetrypress.com   Only submissions sent to this email will be considered.

Please note that all submissions will be read very carefully, and with the utmost respect and sensitivity. If you want to share your story, but aren’t ready to share your identity, we accept anonymous submissions or those under a preferred pseudonym.

HERE’S WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR

Note from the Editor:  ‘I am looking for work that is direct and unflinching. That is in each way unique to the poet and bright with clarity and precision. I prefer writing that turns the world on its head – as with translated works when English is brought to you fresh, I enjoy poems that are an experience. Taut with energy, and bold with musicality, lyricism & intent.

The translation here, however, will come directly from your experience: let this be your touch-stone.Sing your work from the body and mind. Play with voice, physicality, and landscape – internal and external. Be as honest as you think you can be, and as open as you feel you need. I’m not strictly looking for confessions, or songs of sorrow. There can be hope too, and words from another perspective. I admire work that dares to say ‘I suffer’ – but also that which looks to a new dawn. Be honest, take your time.

Thank you again for all your support during the early stages of this project. We’re excited to be taking this forward, and delighted you’re with us on the journey!

Warmest Wishes,

Helen Calcutt (editor), Stuart and The Verve Press team.

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LEON PRIESTNALL ON CASEY BAILEY

Your friends and peers are you worst critics - right?

Well, yes – they can be. Especially when they are also a poet! So imagine how Casey Bailey felt when he read the below from his friend and sometime mentor, Leon Preistnall, the day after Leon read Casey’s Verve Poetry Press collection Adjusted.

‘I absolutely love Adjusted. I like it even better than his short collection, Waiting at Bloomsbury Park, and I REALLY liked that. I was with the entire collection throughout (and that opening poem is INSANE – I read that as I was sitting with friends in a restaurant after the launch and knew I had to read the rest right through).

The poems in this book have a rawness but also a sense of craft, delivered with subtle wordplay but without being pretentious.  They are vulnerable and self aware but without trying too hard, conscious without being preachy. And whatever form the individual poem takes, all are written with a clarity that, in my opinion, always exists with the very best writers who have something truthful to say about human nature.

I really, really rate this collection. Very much. And wouldn’t be suprised if it turns out to be the best collection put out this year. It’s fantastic and Casey should be incredibly proud.’

Adjusted by Casey Bailey

Leon knows what he’s talking about. As programmer and host of Howl, he’s seen it all and has an instinct for sniffing out the best spoken word poetry around. If Leon had written this about anything I’d done (he hasn’t, although he’s pretty complementary about Verve Poetry Festival) I’d have been OVER THE MOON!!!

It was great for me to read what Leon said, because Casey’s was the book that started it all – the first collection I had in my hand, the first one – along with Amerah Saleh’s I Am Not From Here – to feature guest poets in the back and at the launch. It is a book with so much heart and soul that it knocks you skidding sideways, and

you wonder how poems that contain so much can be so beautifully controlled. It is a book that, in my opinion, you NEED to read.

We’ve been talking a lot recently about books that we’ve got coming up at Verve Poetry Press. We have a storming Autumn coming down the line, with super names who we’re bowled over want to work with us – Luke Kennard, Matt Abbott, Jenna Clake, POLARBEAR!  But at the heart of what we do are our debut collections from local poets with things to say and colourful ways of saying them. These are the books that matter. Bennett’s Hill Blues by Leon Priestnall matters – Leon is a glorious poet as well as programmer and host. AND Adjusted by Casey Bailey matters. Take a look. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

 

 ‘I can’t recommend Adjusted enough! Stunning, honest, achingly gorgeous   work.’  –  Bobby Parker

 ‘Adjusted is a brave, full-bodied, sweet textured first collection.’ – Roy McFarlane

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ANOTHER SIDE OF VERVE POETRY PRESS

ANNOUNCING ALL OF OUR AUTUMN PUBLISHING!!! 🙂

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! 🙂

@Vervepoetrypres
https://vervepoetrypress.com
mail@vervepoetrypress.com

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VERVE POETRY PRESS: SIX MONTHS IN…

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

SIX MONTHS AND COUNTING

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!

BUT BEFORE THAT, WE HAVE THIS!

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.

AND THEN WHAT?

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! 🙂

WE THINK THAT’S ABOUT IT FOR NOW.

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!

VPP

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VERVE POETRY PRESS: THE STORY SO FAR…

3rd May 2018 – So, we have been SO busy since our launch in February – too busy it seems to sort out a working website, and to start blogging regularly. Well all that changes now. Here we are on a brand spanking new website (thanks to marvellous Verve friend Emma Scott) and we will be blogging and newslettering on a monthly basis from now on…

So what’s been happening? And why so busy?  Here’s why…

TWO ANTHOLOGIES LAUNCHED

February saw the first two Verve Poetry Press releases at two very special Birmingham occasions.

Wild Dreams & Louder Voices was released to tie in with the fifth anniversary celebrations of Poetry Jam – the regular open -mic only poetry event run by Verve friends Beatfreeks. Poetry Jam is absolutely one of the most important poetry nights in the city – a safe space where many of Birmingham’s best poets cut their teeth and where the poets of the future a performing RIGHT NOW! Their fifth anniversary birthday bash was held at our wonderful Town Hall and what a night it was – over 500 attended, and the quality of the poetry was sky high. What an event to launch our Poetry Jam Anthology at! The book contains poems from a broad range of local poets, all of whom have performed at Poetry Jam over the years. The contents list is a role call of poetical excellence, both realised and emerging. Names such as Jasmine Gardosi, Joe Cook, Polarbear and Spoz sit alongside names you will certainly hear from in a big way one day – Ahlaam Moledina, Yasmina Silva and Dennis Muhirwa Nkurunziza to name but three.  

Cover of Wild Dreams & Louder Voices
Cover of It All Radiates Outwards

Barely a week later and we had our second anthology good to go, this time to launch at our sister festival Verve Poetry Festival. An altogether different beast, It All Radiates Outwards features the winning, commended and commissioned poems from our city themed poetry competition and event. Judged by Luke Kennard, the calibre of the entries was sky high. The book reflects this, containing a heady mixture of approaches to the idea and reality of city living by ‘name’ poets such as Jacqueline Saphra, Claire Trevien, Polly Atkin, Roy McFarlane as well as poets to watch: Stephanie Papa, Vik Shirley, Sarah Marina and David Turner. When competition winner C.I.Marshall flew all the way from North Carolina to appear at the Verve City event, we knew we were onto something. Our City Poems anthology is a book to be proud of.

A HOST OF POETS SIGNED…

Hands Signing A Contract

We have been very busy too talking to local poets about their projects and agreeing schedules for the publication of their collections. We have some wonderful books coming along as the year progresses. June 21 will see the release not only of Leon Priestnall’s debut collection Bennetts Hill Blues, but also Nafeesa Hamid’s first book, Besharam. Both titles launch at a special event at Waterstones Birmingham on June 22, which we can hardly wait for. And both can be pre-ordered now if you go to our site shop! At Verve Poetry Press, if you pre-order you don’t pay postage!

Then beyond the summer, we have Rupinder Kaur’s debut, Rooh which we are really excited for, along with as yet untitled collections from Kamil Mahmood and Hannah Swings. We have three or four other titles in pipe-line too which will shock and delight you, but which we aren’t ready to announce quite yet. It all adds up to a bumper year ahead for Verve Poetry Press!

TWO COLLECTIONS PUBLISHED

You will already know our big news! Just two weeks ago, we published and launched our two debut collections for two amazing Birmingham poets, Amerah Saleh and Casey Bailey! Press co-founder Amerah’s wonderful I Am Not From Here is as glorious as anticipated, exploring the fractured nature of her own identity and a world that, piece by piece, word by hard fought word, is only just beginning to make some kind of sense. Casey’s book, Adjusted, grapples in his trademark musical verse with becoming and losing a parent in the same year and is both a moving and uplifting delight. 

Cover of I Am Not From Here
Cover of Adjusted.

The launch was at Waterstones Birmingham and what an event it was! 160 people watched guest poets Hannah Swings, Afrah Yafai, Reuben Field, Raza Hussain, Sophie Wheeler, Adjei Dsane and Ahlaam Moledina perform single poems before Casey and Amerah took to the stage. What an atmosphere! What a great way to properly launch this press for Birmingham!

We urge you to get hold of these two books. They really are thoroughly worth a read. They are available to purchase at our website shop, but you can also order them online or in store from ANY bookshop. (Waterstones Birmingham, Foyles Birmingham, London Review Bookshop and Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham are our current stockists.) They are also available to borrow from The National Poetry Library in London’s Southbank Centre and from our very own Library of Birmingham.

Casey And Amerah With Books

AND FINALLY, A WEBSITE…

We do hope you like it. It feels wonderful to finally have an online home. We have all the usual stuff – a SHOP to buy our books from, a statement of intent on our ABOUT page, a way of CONTACTing us. AND a MAILING LIST which we urge you to sign up to as this really is the best way to hear all our news and receive our special offers. On our GALLERY page you will find some pictures from Amerah and Casey’s awesome launch-night. And our EVENTS page is something we’re really proud of. Our poets are excellent performers and are out and about performing NOW! (Esp Casey, who we can’t seem to get off the stage at the moment!). If you want to catch any of them, check out our calendar. We know you won’t be disappointed. 

Shot of Website Home Page

SO, NOW YOU’RE ALL CAUGHT UP … We hope you like it here. You’re welcome any time. Take your time and have a good look around. There’ll be more from us soon. In the meantime, don’t be a stranger 🙂

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Launching the Verve Poetry Press [Historical]

We have been stunned at how popular Verve Poetry Festival has been and how happy people have been with our full spectrum of poetry approach, where beginners can rub shoulders with top name poets, where spoken word and page poets appear together, where audiences and cultures mix and engage with each other.

However, we have always also been determined to find ways to help bring the wonderful poetry scene we have here in the West Midlands to people’s notice, and this we have discovered is difficult for a festival on its own to achieve. We wanted to see if we could help give some of the excellent local poets a hand-up – something to show the world and help them spread their message. It soon became clear to us how that might happen.

 

SaveSave

Verve Poetry Festival now has a sister press: The Verve Poetry Press. It launched 8th February and has an ambitious vision — to publish wonderful, lively, challenging poetry that’s going to tear up assumptions and change the poetry world. All of the Verve fun, originality, and excitement can now be found in printed form.  Read more on about the Press and what to expect in the following blog. 

Our full 2018 and 2019 stable to be announced soon!