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The Emma Press Anthology of Fatherhood

Posted on January 23, 2017 by Rebecca Robinson

This anthology is a touching cacophony of poems about fatherhood. This little book holds a selection of powerful pieces from poems written about fathers, both in remembrance and thanks, to poems written by fathers about their fathering experience. The anthology is sympathetically and sparsely scattered with illustrations which complement the sentimentality of the poems. Father’s Day isn’t for a few months but it’s always a good time to reminisce about and appreciate a father figure fatherhood itself.  


Between his first and third heart attack
passed my father’s Summer of Love.
An unknown younger man came back:

My ear-ring was no longer mocked
- nor the tattoo of an arrowed dove –

Between his first and third heart attack.

- ‘Digitalis’ by Martin Malone  


‘It’s difficult to avoid the adjectives ‘moving’ and ‘touching’ when commenting on many of these poems, but to their credit they are rarely sentimental and some do portray less than perfect relationships. […]  While many address the angsts and anxieties of being a father, and how easily a child can be hurt, most are joyful and the exuberance of twenty-first century fathers contrasts with the buttoned-up-ness of many of their earlier incarnations portrayed here.’ — Jacqui Rowe for Bare Fiction

You can but a copy of The Emma Press Anthology of Fatherhood here now on sale!

On Friday 27th January there will be a chance to get your hands on all of the books featured on the blog this week, check back then to see how you can win!



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The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day 11

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Yen-Yen Lu

To get us into the festive spirit here at Inpress we've been looking back at some of our favourite books from 2015. It's...

Taking you from 1612 Lancashire to modern day Dushanbe, here's November's top picks!

Rebecca's Choice: Malkin by Camille Ralphs


Malkin is a vivid evocation of the trials of the Pendle Witches in 1612. The sequence of poems is delivered in the form of epitaphic monologues, with the accused men and women eerily addressing the reader with their confessions and pleas. 

Strikingly, poet Camille Ralphs has employed the technique of ‘free spelling’ throughout the monologues, bringing out new meanings in familiar words and encouraging the reader to immerse themselves in the world of the poems. 

Buy it here.



Yen-Yen's Choice: The Disobedient Wife by Annika Milisic-Stanley
http://inpressbooks.co.uk/products/the-disobedient-wifeDedicated to the women of Tajikstan, The Disobedient Wife intertwines the two narratives of Harriet, whose journal portrays a darker interior world than that of the rich wife of a powerful and influential husband, and Nargris, her local nanny and maid, struggling with poverty, yet with a strength that Harriet comes to admire as her own life unravels against a backdrop of violence and betrayal.

Rich with sense of place and deeply humane, Annika Milisic-Stanley tells a story of how two women survive and thrive in difficult circumstances.

Buy it here.


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Read All About It: 'True Tales of the Countryside' by Deborah Alma

Posted on October 12, 2015 by Yen-Yen Lu

For those who are tired of clichés about sex and relationships, you may find it refreshing to see a more open and honest take on these issues and more in Deborah Alma’s debut pamphlet of poetry True Tales of the Countryside.

Published by The Emma Press, who were shortlisted for the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlet Publishers last year, Alma draws from her own experiences to thread the truth into her poems, and does so with pride. The entire collection is very personal; Alma writes with a responsibility to the truth and speaks to her readers as if speaking with close friends. It is an intimate experience to get an insight into Alma’s experiences in rural Shropshire and Wales. The poems are bracing, humorous and easily relatable. 

Alma is also known for her work as the Emergency Poet, prescribing poetry as her medicine to ailing ‘patients’ suffering from stress, heartbreak, grief, anything that can be nurtured by a good poem. The Emergency Poet taps into a deeper purpose for poetry as a truly innovative way of helping people. Alma runs this service in her 1970s ambulance at many different events and venues across the UK, including literary festivals, schools, universities, weddings, and parties. 

What first drew you to poetry?

I’m from North London, a mixed race council estate girl who loved books, worked as a bookseller and then for a publisher before having children in rural Shropshire. I love living in the countryside, but it felt unreal for a long time, and I felt a need to write about that dissonance.  I have always written poetry, I love what it can do; its potential for music, intimacy and connection. It’s also, among the demands of work and family, easier to have something finished; I can’t imagine having the time to write prose.

What inspired you to start Emergency Poet and how do you think it can help people?

I wanted to do something mobile with creative writing; to go into schools and care settings; I’m interested in arts for well-being and self-expression and have worked with people with dementia for a few years using poetry. This coupled with a strong belief that there is poetry out there for everyone, that it need not be intimidating or for the privileged few.  I’m a poetry zealot.

There is a very long answer to the question ‘How can poetry help people?’, but I’ll try to be brief! It’s intimate, empathetic, a hand across a kitchen table, an inspiration, a challenge, a chant, a curse, a blessing, music, meditation, wisdom, spirit, soul ... I’ll stop now!

True Tales of the Countryside has been noted for its ‘honesty and intimacy’ regarding issues of sex and love. What is the importance of honest representations of these issues to you?

I think it’s the friend–over-the-kitchen-table point of poetry for me...I would tell my friends everything; to be my authentic self there and here in the poetry.

What would you most like to achieve with True Tales of the Countryside?

I like that question because it seems to touch the part that asks why we write in the first place...I think I would most enjoy the gift of beginning to like the sound of my own voice . The writing of the poems came from somewhere different, but seeing them in print is like singing in public. Brave for me.

True Tales of the Countryside is available to order on our website for just £6.50. For more information on the Emergency Poet, check out their website.

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