The Emma Press Anthology of Love

Edited by Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright

With illustrations by Emma Wright


In The Emma Press Anthology of Love, that familiar four-letter word takes on a world of meanings. Love is transcendent and love is everyday, found equally in steamy texts and shopping lists, and the only reliable thing about it is that it’s never where you expected to find it.

Building on the success of 2015’s Mildly Erotic Verse, this book explores the diversity of modern romance. Often awkward, never perfect, romantic encounters and relationships are rooted in our own contemporary world of Tinder, Twitter and TV dinners. But they are also part of an enduring tradition: the cornerstone of our common humanity. In this book, fifty-six fresh, diverse and original voices speak to what love means right here, right now, bridging the gap between Hollywood imagery and modern lived experience.

Paperback ISBN 978‑1‑910139‑56‑1
Publication date: 25th January 2018
Page count: 128
Price: £10 (paperback) / £10 (hardback) / £5.50 (ebook)

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About the editors

Rachel Piercey is a poet and editor for adults and children. She regularly performs her poems and runs writing workshops at schools and festivals across the country. Rachel’s poems have appeared in The Rialto, Magma, Poems in Which, Butcher’s Dog and The Poetry Review, as well as various Emma Press pamphlets and anthologies, and in 2008 she won the Newdigate Prize. She lives in London.

Emma Wright worked in ebook production at Orion Publishing Group before leaving to found the Emma Press in 2012 with the support of the Prince’s Trust Explore Enterprise programme. She lives in Birmingham.


About the poets

Catherine Ayres is a teacher from Northumberland. Her poems have appeared in a number of magazines, including Mslexia and The Moth. In 2015 she came third in the Hippocrates Prize and in 2016 she won the Elbow Room Prize.
Her debut collection is Amazon (Indigo Dreams, 2016).

Kathleen Moran Bainbridge has worked as a singer, teacher and Gestalt therapist. In 2014 she was runner-up for the Flambard Prize and in 2015 she won a New Writing North award. Her poems have appeared in magazines, anthologies and online. She lives across a ford in Northumberland.

Daisy Behagg won the Bridport Prize for poetry 2013. She has been widely published in journals including The Poetry Review, The Morning Star, Poetry Wales, Ambit and Poems in Which. She is a student mental health nurse and lives in Brighton.

Carole Bromley lives in York. She has two collections with Smith/Doorstop: A Guided Tour of the Ice House and The Stonegate Devil, which won the 2016 York Culture Award. Her first collection of poems for children, Blast Off!, was published in June 2017.

Jane Burn is originally from South Yorkshire and is now based in the North East. Her poems have been published in magazines including The Rialto and Under the Radar. Her first collection, nothing more to it than bubbles, has been published by Indigo Dreams.

Jared A. Carnie lives in Sheffield. He won a Northern Writers Award in 2015 and his debut novel, Waves, is available now.

George David Clark’s Reveille won the Miller Williams Prize and his more recent work can be found in AGNI, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review and elsewhere. He edits 32 Poems and lives with his wife and their three young children in Washington, Pennsylvania.

Kitty Coles’ poems have been widely published in magazines and anthologies. She is one of the two winners of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize 2016 and her debut pamphlet, Seal Wife, was published in 2017.

Ellie Danak has a background in researching Swedish crime novels. Her work has been featured in Emma Press and Paper Swans Press anthologies and in a wide range of magazines.

Alexandra Davis is an English teacher living in Suffolk with her husband and four sons. Her debut pamphlet, Sprouts, was published in August 2017 by Dempsey & Windle. Her poems have been published in Agenda, Artemis and Emma Press anthologies.

Frank Dullaghan is an Irish writer living in Dubai. He has three collections published by Cinnamon Press, the most recent being The Same Roads Back (2014). In 2016 he had a pamphlet, Secrets of the Body, published by Eyewear Press. He is published widely in UK and Irish journals.

Wendy French has four full collections of poetry published and won the Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine prize for the NHS section in 2010. She facilitates creative writing in healthcare settings. She was poet-in-residence at the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre in 2015.

Chrissie Gittins has two poetry collections for adults: Armature (Arc, 2003) and I’ll Dress One Night as You (Salt, 2009). Her latest children’s collection featured on BBC Countryfile. She visits schools, and has read at the Hay, Edinburgh, West Cork and Shetland festivals.

Nashwa Gowanlock is a writer, journalist, and literary translator with an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has translated numerous works of Arabic literature, including poems by Moroccan poet Mohammed Bennis and a co-translation of Samar Yazbek’s memoir, The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria.

Caroline Hardaker lives in Newcastle upon Tyne with her husband, a giant cat, and a forest of houseplants. Her poetry has been published widely, most recently or forthcoming in Magma, Neon and Shoreline of Infinity. Her debut chapbook, Bone Ovation, was published by Valley Press in 2017.

Ramona Herdman’s pamphlet Bottle is available from HappenStance Press and is the Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice for Spring 2018. She won The Poetry Society’s Hamish Canham prize 2017. She lives in Norwich and is a committee member for Café Writers.

Lizzie Holden is a London poet. She finds her poems are primarily about love and loss. The themes of abuse, dance, trees and breath also find their way into poem shaped forms. Some of her poems are tiny. Her work has been published by Pankhearst Press, Picaroon Poetry and Sable Books.

Jack Houston lives in London with his wife and son, plays drums with his band, Bugeye, and is a founding member of a radical housing coop. He works in Hackney’s Libraries, where he regularly runs free poetry workshops. His work has featured in Brittle Star, Magma and Butcher’s Dog.

Paul Howarth was born in Chester and now lives in Suffolk with his wife and two boys. He is a writer and a photographer and he works promoting reading through libraries and beyond. Most recently he has poems published by the Emma Press and in Under the Radar.

Anna Kisby is a Devon-based poet, widely published in magazines and anthologies. She won the BBC Proms Poetry Competition 2016 and was commended in the Faber New Poets Scheme 2015-16. Her debut pamphlet All the Naked Daughters is published by Against the Grain Press (2017).

Rowena Knight grew up in New Zealand and splits her time between Bristol and London. Her poems have appeared in various magazines including Bare Fiction, Butcher’s Dog, Magma, and The Rialto. Her first pamphlet, All the Footprints I Left Were Red, was published by Valley Press in 2016.

Anja Konig grew up in the German language and now writes in English. Her first pamphlet, Advice for an Only Child, was shortlisted for the 2015 Michael Marks Award.

Gill Learner married Trevor in London 56 years ago; they now live in Reading. She has won several prizes, including The Poetry Society’s Hamish Canham award, and been published widely. She has two collections with Two Rivers Press: The Agister’s Experiment (2011) and Chill Factor (2016).

Rachel Long was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon mentorship in 2015. She is assistant tutor to Jacob Sam-La Rose on the Barbican Young Poets programme, and leader of Octavia, a  poetry collective for women of colour, which is housed at Southbank Centre.

Anne Macaulay was born in rural, northern Scotland but, after meeting her husband in the 70s, has embraced urban life in East London. Since retiring from teaching and her children growing up, poetry has become her focus. She has had poems published in several anthologies, and enjoys poetry classes and performing poetry.

Antony Mair lives in Hastings. He has had poems accepted for publication in numerous magazines and several anthologies. He won first prize in the Rottingdean Writers National Poetry Competition 2016 and was shortlisted in the Live Canon Poetry Competitions 2016 and 2017.

Martin Malone was born in County Durham and now lives in Scotland. He has published two poetry collections: The Waiting Hillside (Templar, 2011) and Cur (Shoestring, 2015). His third collection, The Unreturning, is forthcoming. He edits The Interpreter’s House poetry journal.

Roy McFarlane was born in Birmingham. He is of Jamaican parentage and has been Birmingham’s Poet Laureate. Roy co-edited Celebrate Wha? (Smokestack, 2011) and his first poetry collection, Beginning With Your Last Breath, was published by Nine Arches Press (2016).

Abigail Meeke is a journalist with a BA in Theology and an MA in Creative Writing. She was born and bred in West Wales but now lives in Devon with her husband and their two young daughters, Beatrice and Alexandra.

Rob Miles lives in Yorkshire. His poetry appears widely in magazines and anthologies. He has won the Philip Larkin Prize, judged by Don Paterson, and the Resurgence Prize, judged by Jo Shapcott and Imtiaz Dharker.

Cynthia Miller is a Malaysian-American poet and brand strategist. Her poems have been published in Primers Volume 2, Butcher’s Dog and Under the Radar and shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize. She is also co-director of Verve, a Birmingham Festival of Poetry and Spoken Word.

Marie Naughton’s poems have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies. She won the Café Writers competition in 2012 and was awarded second prize in Mslexia’s competition in 2016. Her first collection is forthcoming in 2018 from Pindrop Press.

Penny Newell has a PhD from King’s College London and is a Reader at Frontier Poetry. Her writing has featured in the TLS, The Cardiff Review, The Still Point Journal and Alien Mouth, and is forthcoming in The Portland Review and 3:AM. She is currently commissioned for Lakes Ignite 2018.

Ben Norris is a poet, playwright, and actor, and two-time national poetry slam champion. His debut solo show, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family, won the IdeasTap Underbelly Award, and his first short film, produced by Channel 4, was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award.

Paulius Norvila graduated with an MA in Economics from Vilnius University in 2009. Since 2004 he has published both poetry and prose. He is the author of three poetry collections, The Seven Seasons (2006), Drawing the Cards is Just a Part of the Ritual (2012), and The Everyday (2014).

Tish Oakwood has been addicted to words since she was a child, smuggling a torch, Scrabble board and dictionary under the bedclothes. Since then she has been published in various magazines and anthologies, and placed in competitions. Tish teaches occasional poetry workshops and short courses.

Richard O’Brien’s pamphlets include The Emmores (Emma Press, 2014) and A Bloody Mess (Valley Press, 2015). His work has featured in Oxford Poetry, Poetry London, and The Salt Book of Younger Poets. His first children’s play was produced at the Arcola Theatre in December 2016.

Catherine Olver is a Cambridge-based poet who loves to rhyme. Her doctoral research considers representations of the five senses in contemporary YA fantasy novels. Catherine holds an MA in Place & Environment Writing from Royal Holloway and was a Foyle Young Poet in 2010.

Eeva Park was born into a writers’ family in 1950 in Tallinn, Estonia. She made her debut with a poetry collection, Mõrkjas tuul (Acrid Wind, 1983), and has published a total of seven poetry collections to date, along with several award-winning novels, short stories and radio plays.

Maya Pieris has had poems published widely, including in  South Poetry, and one of her play scripts won a Page to Stage Tacchi-Morris Award. Maya recently received third prize in a Jane Austen-inspired competition organised by SaveAs
Writers and the University of Kent.

Rachel Plummer is a poet who lives in Edinburgh with her partner and two young children. Rachel is a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award recipient and has recently released a pamphlet of sci-fi poems with House Press, called The Parlour Guide to Exo-Politics.

Stav Poleg’s poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry London, and Poetry Ireland Review. Her graphic-novel installation, Dear Penelope: Variations on an August Morning, with artist Laura Gressani, was acquired by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. She lives in Cambridge, UK.

Jody Porter is poetry editor for the Morning Star. His work has appeared in Magma, Best British Poetry 2013 (Salt), Best New British and Irish Poets 2016 (Eyewear) and elsewhere. Originally from Essex, he now lives in London where he is involved in the Stoke Newington Literary Festival.

Kate Potts is a London-based poet and creative writing lecturer. Her first full-length collection is Pure Hustle (Bloodaxe). Kate teaches for Oxford University, Royal Holloway, and The Poetry School. She has recently completed a PhD on the poetic radio play.

Samuel Prince lives and works in London. His poems have been published in various print and online magazines, including Cordite Poetry Review, Magma, Menacing Hedge and Poetry Salzburg Review, as well as the anthologies Birdbook 2, Coin Opera 2 and Lives Beyond Us (all Sidekick Books).

Shauna Robertson’s poems have been set to music, displayed on buses, made into comic art, hung on a pub wall, and published in various lit mags and anthologies. She has two chapbooks: Blueprints for a Minefield and Hack. Shauna also writes for children and makes artwork.

Lenni Sanders is a writer/performer in Manchester, UK. She is the general editor at Cadaverine Magazine, and makes interactive performances with Curious Things and absurdist poetry cabaret with Dead Lads. Her writing has appeared in The Tangerine, Butcher’s Dog and elsewhere. @LenniSanders

Jacqueline Saphra’s recent pamphlets are If I Lay on my Back I Saw Nothing but Naked Women (Emma Press, 2014) and A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller (Hercules Editions, 2017). Her latest collection, All My Mad Mothers (Nine Arches, 2017), is shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize.

Stephen Sexton lives in Belfast. His poems have appeared in Granta, Poetry London and Best British Poetry 2015, and his pamphlet, Oils, published by the Emma Press in 2014, was the Poetry Book Society’s Winter Pamphlet Choice. He was the winner of the 2016 National Poetry Competition.

Arvis Viguls is a Latvian poet and translator based in Riga where he lives together with his wife and their cat Žižek. His work includes two award-winning poetry collections in Latvian and a book of selected poems in Spanish translation.

James Walton is an Australian poet published widely in newspapers, journals and anthologies. His work has been shortlisted twice for the ACU National Literature Prize and the MPU International Poetry Prize. His collection The Leviathan’s Apprentice was published in 2015.

Ruth Wiggins lives in London. Her poems have appeared most recently in POETRY, The Poetry Review, Long Poem Magazine and The Wolf. Her pamphlet Myrtle was published by the Emma Press in 2014 and was runner-up in the Fledgling Poetry Award. She blogs at

Rachel Willems is an American poet and fiction writer who grew up in Washington State and studied poetry at the University of Washington and Boston University. Her work has appeared in The London Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review and Streetlight Magazine.

Jayde Will is a literary translator. He has an MA in Fenno-Ugric Linguistics from Tartu University. His translations of Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian authors have been published in numerous journals, including The Poetry Review, Trafika and Mantis.

Kate Wise fits poetry around two small people and a career in law. She has been published in several Emma Press anthologies, and various journals including The Rialto, Structo and Poems in Which. She grew up in Cheshire, lives in London, and tweets at @kwise62

Andrew Wynn Owen is an Examination Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. In 2015, he received an Eric Gregory Award. His first poetry pamphlet, Raspberries for the Ferry, was published by the Emma Press in 2014, followed by a collaboration with John Fuller, AWOL, in 2015.
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