The Emma Press

The Emma Press signs two new poetry pamphlets from open submissions call

The Emma Press has acquired two new poetry pamphlets submitted unagented to the press during its December 2021 call for submissions. 

The pamphlets touch on themes of femininity, anger, body image, autonomy, and generational and cultural challenges, changes, and resilience. Consistent across these two collections is an unflinching honesty about what it means to bear the weight of social, cultural, and familial expectations.

In Laurie Bolger’s Makeover, a purposeful play on the stereotypes of the chick-flick genre, silenced pressures and ideals are elevated and interrogated. Exploring the shifting trends and expectations of romance, self-love, and body image, these poems journey through three-generations of womanhood, weaving together the painful pressures of daily life with the glossy magazine cover images that frequented 90s and 00s bus stops, billboards, and newspaper stalls. Makeover is a dedication to the resilience of the working-class women of Bolger’s family, but its reach stretches much further than that. This collection is an ode to all of those who have been fed lies about love, and beauty, and what it means to be a woman. As Joelle Taylor brilliantly summarises, “intimate, warm, and with teeth-clenching wit, Bolger turns the domestic into an epic.” Due to be published 15th February 2024.

In Zaina Ghani’s In the Name of Red, this singular striking colour is multiplied as she explores what red means to different people and cultures across the globe. Tied together by the central image of the pomegranate, a rich and pertinent reference to the myth of Hades and Persephone, the poems in this collection chart, celebrate, and challenge ideas of female reproduction, ritual, and empowerment. This collection is a vast yet pointed exploration of the pressures on women to be simplistic, two-dimensional child-bearers. In Ghani’s words, In the Name of Red is “at its very core, a collection of poems written in a voice seeking freedom from antiquated shackles.” Due to be published 21st March 2024.

James Trevelyan, Director (maternity) of The Emma Press said: ‘We are thrilled to be publishing two poetry pamphlets early in 2024, which in different ways explore the idea of what we inherit. We have long been fans of Laurie’s work and Makeover is a nostalgia-dripping short collection on the body, family and working-class lives that charmed us more with each reading. Zaina was a new discovery to us during our open submissions, and we were all blown away by her pamphlet’s laser focus and the extraordinarily powerful voice across her poems, which we can’t wait to share with readers next year.’

About the authors:

Laurie Bolger is a London based writer and founder of The Creative Writing Breakfast Club. Laurie’s work has featured at Glastonbury, TATE, RA , BBC & Sky Arts. Her writing has appeared in The Poetry Review, The London Magazine, Moth, Crannog, Stand, & Trinity College’s Icarus. Laurie’s work has been shortlisted for The Bridport, Moth & Sylvia Plath Prizes. Laurie is currently working on her first full length collection Lady.

Zaina Ghani was born in London in 1990 and grew up in Mauritius. She studied Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Her work has been widely published and anthologised, appearing in journals including Magma, Willowherb Review, Square Wheel Press and Black Bough Poetry. In 2021 her first collection of poems was shortlisted for the Poetry Wales Pamphlet Competition. 

For further information please contact: 

Kyaice Hendricks, Publishing Assistant, The Emma Press

About The Emma Press:

The Emma Press is an award-winning independent publishing house based in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. It was founded in 2012 by Emma Dai’an Wright and is dedicated to producing beautiful, thought-provoking books for adults and children, and to making poetry accessible to everyone. The Emma Press publishes themed anthologies, illustrated chapbooks and children’s poetry and fiction, with a growing list of translations which includes titles from Latvia, Estonia, Indonesia, Spain and the Netherlands. 

Kyaice is a publishing assistant at The Emma Press.
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