The Emma Press Anthology of Contemporary Gothic Verse is edited by Nisha Bhakoo, with illustrations by Emma Dai’an Wright. The collection is haunting, romantic, and full of dark doorways and strange spaces which readers will get thoroughly lost in. It’s a hand in a velvet glove, ready to grasp you by the elbow and lead you through an array of ravishing and heart-racing encounters.
This anthology engages deeply and playfully with the rich and unsettling tradition of gothic literature from which these poems emerge, and updates it for a 21st-century readership. The featured poets twist traditional stories, set the rule books on fire, and know that to truly surprise and unnerve, you may have to traverse some wild, remote places…
“When legs unwind and try to stand
where river waxes dull and slow,
the earth feels slick beneath my hand,
fallen petals burrow into my hair,
sloughed off before I’ve let spring go.”
– from ‘The Sorceress’ by Caroline Hammond
Page count: 64 pages | Paperback ISBN: 9781912915361 | Publication date: 31st October 2019
In The Emma Press Anthology of Love, edited by Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright, fifty-six poets speak to what love means to them right here, right now, and 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.
The Emma Press Anthology of Aunts, is edited by Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright, illustrated by Emma Wright. At one remove from parental authority, aunts play a crucial role in the upbringing of children across the world. This anthology puts these women in the spotlight and explores what it means to be – and feels like to have – an aunt, historically and today. Some aunts are biological, some are chosen, but all have an impact on the way we learn to move through the world.
“This was soldier curfew he says, apropos
of nothing, the way the best stories come
round this table that just about holds us,
bwali all but eaten, the flash of the thought
a flame lighting up his face. He rests the tip
of a finger in the space between his eyes,
past curfew there were no warning-shots.
Auntie chips in as if this were little more
than a scene they were rehearsing: you had
to have a man with you at all times, especially
at night, so my cousin would walk me home.
In trousers and squared shoulders she could pass.
She smiles a knowing smile at our scandalized
faces. Faces we’ve bent into anguished shapes
when she could smell a lie but let us improvise
wildly until, hoist by our respective petards,
we came clean, deferring to the knowledge
of a woman who was a girl who could climb
out of a window in hotpants and platforms,
dance to the last ache in her legs and make
it back before the cockerel crowed morning.”
– ‘Curfew’, by Kayo Chingonyi, from The Emma Press Anthology of Aunts
80 pages | Publication date: 10th May 2017 | Paperback ISBN: 9781910139660