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The NLP Arrival Announcer

Here’s a question for you: what’s the name of the guy who stands in the doorway at balls, finds out the name of each arrival and announces them as they walk in? I tried to find out and the internet failed me. Until someone comes up with a better name, I’m going to go with Arrival Announcer. That’s me, right now. The Nasty Little Press Arrival Announcer. Of course, in my head, there’s an actual ball room and I sound a little like Lumière from Beauty and the Beast, but that might be a discussion for another time.

So let’s get on with the announcing. Last week I announced the arrival of Tristram Fane Saunders and his Nasty Little Intro #5, and today I have two new books to tell you about, both of which are available to buy right now from the NLP shop.

elvisFirst, I am delighted to introduce you to Elvis McGonagall: stand-up poet, armchair revolutionary and recumbent rocker. In print for the first time ever, Elvis’s poems challenge our politicians and the people who make decisions for us, our obsession with pop culture (do NOT get him started on Jeremy Clarkson. Or actually, do. It’s pretty entertaining), and our reliance on consumerism. A regular both on Radio 4 and at comedy clubs and music festivals, Elvis is one of Britain’s favourite live performers and we’re thrilled to welcome him and his debut pamphlet Mostly Dreich to the NLP family.

Last, but by no means least, I’m also really pleased to introduce you to Arthur by Martin Figura (whose Boring The Arse Off Young People is also still available here on the NLP website). Developed in conjunction with Roaming, an exploration by seven artists of the geography, fables and peoples of East Anglia, Arthur is a narrative sequence of poems detailing the life of an odd, but happy young man whose life is changed forever when the Second World War breaks out.

By the end of this year, Nasty Little Press will have published ten books, and even with this little flurry, we still have two to come! Keep your eyes open for news of our final festive arrivals; I think I might need to get me a big cane to bash on the floor for the occasion. And maybe some kind of frock coat…

A new season and a new Intro

Autumn days when the grass is jewelled
and the silk inside a chestnut shell.
Jet planes meeting in the air to be refuelled,
all these things I love so well…

It’s that time again, poetry fans, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. The season of pumpkins and falling leaves and slippers and apple crumble and baked potatoes and first frosts. The season of ace TV. It’s also, though I’m not going to tell you how many shopping days there are until Christmas (mainly because I put my fingers in my ears and lalalala very loudly when anyone tries to tell me), the season where you start seeing things in the shops and thinking “I’ll remember that next month”.

tristramWith that in mind, we have some pretty awesome treats lined up for you on the run up to Christmas, and the first is the latest in our Nasty Little Intro series.

Nasty Little Intro #5 comes to us courtesy of Mr Tristram Fane Saunders, a young poet who at nineteen years old has already been turning in some excellent reviews for his performances at the Edinburgh Fringe, and has appeared on the bill alongside such poetry royalty as John Cooper Clarke and Simon Armitage.

Tristram’s Intro is available for sale on the Nasty Little Press website for the incredibly reasonable price of £2. Don’t miss this opportunity, poetry fans, to pick up some poems by a serious young talent!

Made Up Norwich

Hi poetry friends! Today, I bring word from NLP poets Molly Naylor and Byron Vincent about a really, really exciting project. Actually I’m just going to shut up and let them tell you:


We’re writing to invite you to be part of Made Up Norwich, a unique story-telling project taking place this Autumn in Norwich, written and performed by us, Molly Naylor and Byron Vincent.

Between 3rd and 18th November, we will perform 20 stories to people living in and around Norwich. The stories will be requested by individuals or organisations just like you, and can be told in any location you choose. They can be given as gifts, used as celebrations or kept as indulgences.

To be in with a chance of receiving one, send us your idea for a story, who it is for and where you’d like it to be told. It could be as simple as ‘I’d like a story about penguins for my sister’, or ‘Can you invent a new country for my geography class?’ or ‘Will you read me a motivational bedtime story the night before my big job interview?’

Email your idea to our producer on, or post it to Made Up ℅ The Book Hive, 53 London Street, Norwich, NR2 1LH. Deadline for submissions is noon on 25th September 2012.

There’s more information here on our website.

We look forward to reading your submissions!

Molly, Byron and Grace

Some Things

Poetry fans, I have exciting things to tell you about a number of our poets!

pubFirst up: Salena Godden, whose show Stir It Up – 50 Years of Writing Jamaica was broadcast on Radio 4 on Monday and is available here on BBC iPlayer for the next five days! This is an excellent opportunity to hear some of Salena’s work, as well as reflections on the literary heritage of Jamaica on the fiftieth anniversary of its independence. You can find out bit more about Salena on her Nasty Little Press profile page and her blog.

Next on my list of Things To Tell You is that Tim Clare got a fantastic review of his debut collection Pub Stuntman from Sabotage Reviews. You can check it out here, but here’s a lovely highlight:

It is the little turns of comedy that make Pub Stuntman such a breath of fresh air and such an enjoyable and easy collection to read. There is none of the heavy-handed ‘ULTIMATE SOUL PAIN’ that Clare mocks, and he is the polar opposite of the poet who, in the collection’s final poem, wears ‘his condescension / like a giant gilt-edged monocle.’


And now, like Columbo, One More Thing: The Latitude Poetry Club at 8:00pm on Wednesday 19th September at the Norwich Arts Centre. Featuring Luke Kennard, Sam Riviere and NLP poet Martin Figura, the evening will be hosted by Luke Wright, also an NLP favourite, and will cost £7 (£5 concessions). Buy your tickets here before they sell out!

That’s it! That’s all my things! Until next time!

Reviews and a belated introduction

So since posting on Saturday, something else occurred to me, and I thought I should tell you about it now while I think of it, because there’s some saying about putting things off until tomorrow that you can do today and I’m feeling uncharacteristically efficient.

lizzyI’d like to talk about Lizzy Dening. Lizzy and I joined the Nasty Little Press family at approximately the same time, when we brought some much needed names with zeds to the NLP website’s People page. Because I was just getting the hang of the blog thing back then, I don’t feel like I introduced very her well, so without any further ado, here are some things that I know about Lizzy:

  • Her poems have been published in various places including The Times and The Rialto, and she also had a pair of poems exhibited in Edward Hopper’s house in New York.
  • She is a feature writer for the Cambridge News and its family of magazines.
  • She is incredibly passionate about nature, goes to the zoo as often as she can, writes a blog about her trips and is currently working on a non-fiction book about zoos.
  • Her Nasty Little Intro #2 was published by NLP in December 2011, and continues to get great reviews.


One such great review (or group of reviews) was published online recently by Sphinx, which you can read here. I do recommend you go read all three reviews, but here are a couple highlights:

Lizzy Dening’s poems invite readers in. I appreciated their tight focus and the way tone and detail brought the poems and situations alive. The poems were pleasurable to read aloud too, showing the writer has taken care with rhythm and choice of words. I look forward to a full collection.

Lizzy Dening’s pamphlet manages to showcase a wide range of qualities in a short space.

Her narrative gift is clear from the off, as in ‘Silverfish’, the pamphlet’s first poem. Its ending brings the story to a close, yet skillfully opens out beyond:

Yet when their shells had been binned
she noticed instead, the steady trickle
of disappointments. The time she asked
for yellow roses, and he bought her lemons.


For more information about Lizzy and the rest of the NLP family, have a wander round the website here but do also take a look at everyone’s various websites, facebook pages and twitter feeds. Lots of our poets are either touring or preparing to tour, so keep an eye out in case one or more of them could be coming to an arts centre or literary festival near you!

Until next time, poetry fans!

Poems are supplied. Bring your own champagne.

Good day to you, and humblest apologies for the radio silence from this blog. No excuses, just apologies. I will do better.

There are new and exciting things afoot at NLP, new and exciting things that I have not yet received clearance to tell you about. Rest assured that you guys will be the first to know when I do!

poejazziIn the meantime, members of our facebook group may have seen this already, but it’s such a great review, you shouldn’t have to be a member of our champagne-swilling, super-exclusive, über mysterious facebook group to take part*. Poejazzi is a London-based spoken word and music night, and a couple of weeks ago, they reviewed Alex Gwyther’s Nasty Little Intro #4 on their blog. And what a lovely review it is! (Plus, they call us a cool publishing universe. Oh Poejazzi. Flattery will get you everywhere.)

Until next time, poetry fans, I hope you’re all sprinting outside whenever the sun comes out to see as much of the summer as possible!


*In actual fact, it’s not super exclusive and it’s totally un-mysterious. Honestly. Come join us. Poems are supplied. Bring your own champagne.

Introducing … Tim Clare

Introducing you to Tim Clare is a bit like the credits for Ocean’s Eleven, which read …and introducing Julia Roberts as Tess.

timNow look, I realise this is a slightly odd thing to say. As far as I know, Tim doesn’t aspire to be America’s next sweetheart, and Julia doesn’t have a penchant for rhyming and the ukulele. What I really mean is that if you are a fan of the UK poetry scene, you will probably not need me to introduce you to Tim, whose debut collection Pub Stuntman is now available for pre-order here on the NLP website.

As his profile page and website will tell you, Tim is something of a one man variety show. His live shows are a heady mix of poetry, comedy and musical stylings on the ukulele, and Pub Stuntman brings all that variety to the page, along with a heaping dose of satire and the surreal. He is the author of the prize-winning memoir We Can’t All Be Astronauts and two highly acclaimed solo stage shows, which he has toured worldwide. He is one of the UK’s most popular stand-up poets and a familiar face at both literary and music festivals.

Mr Clare, we are sincerely jazzed to welcome you to the NLP family!

Reviewed by a Sphinx

sphinxYou know how when you hear someone saying something really nice about someone you know? You’re at a party and you hear people talking about a friend of yours and they say “She’s the one who baked that cake over there that basically made me weep with joy”, or “Have you seen his illustrations? They’re incredibly good. You should check out his blog”, and you feel like running up to those people and saying “I KNOW! Aren’t they GREAT?!” but you don’t, because you don’t want to appear weird? Anyone else know that feeling?

I get that a lot working for NLP, and it happened again just this evening when I read these reviews of Nic Aubury’s Small Talk from Sphinx. I don’t want to spoil it all for you, as it’s a great read, but here are a couple of highlights:

Whether Aubury is setting his sights on relationships, technology, or the experience of being a poet, his spirited use of rhyme lights up the page. I found his images, coupled with simple lines made weighty with emotional intelligence, very moving. Read aloud, his poems contain a kind of devil-may-care joy. It is infectious.

Aubury pinpoints the humour and pathos in everyday life with precise rhyme, and can also offer images that resonate with the reader.

I tell the waiter ‘Fine’
when really what I’m thinking it
‘I’m fairly sure it’s wine.’

It’s the kind of perfectly constructed observation you’ll want to be able to remember and breezily quote next time you’re in that situation. And this pamphlet is full of them.


If those reviews have whetted your appetite for a bit of poetry and you haven’t yet bought Small Talk, it and a whole bevvy of poetical beauties are available here on the NLP website. Come have a browse…

Until next time, poetry fans!

Intros, gigs and the wettest drought ever

Well hello there, poetry fans, and a very happy (and rainy if you live…pretty much anywhere in the UK) Saturday to you!

This is just a quick ‘un to remind you that our two latest pamphlets, Nasty Little Intro #3 by Amy Blakemore and Nasty Little Intro #4 by Alex Gwyther are flying off the shelves. Awesome poetry from two of the UK poetry scene’s Next Big Things, and all for the bargain price of £2. Stocks are limited, so don’t miss out!

I also have a few gigs for you to pencil into your diary, from above mentioned NLP poet Alex Gwyther. He’s out and about around the UK this spring and summer, most notably at Streetfest on 6th May, Poejazzi on 10th June, The Secret Garden Party from 19th-22nd July, and Camp Bestival from 26th-29th July.

Not being a farmer or someone who monitors water levels in regional reservoirs, I can’t say I’m all that excited about this ‘drought’ we are having. In fact, it would almost appear that we are being cheated out of an entire season. At NLP, I know we have some friends in high places, but am unsure whether any of them actually have the power to do anything about the weather. I’m just putting it out there. It’s my birthday next week and I’d like to wear my flip flops. OK? Thanks.

Beautiful new books

My dear poetry fans, it is with the deepest pride and the greatest pleasure that we…no, wait, I’m writing this with Lumière from Beauty and the Beast in my head, we’re not going to let the dining room present your dinner, we’re going to…unveil the latest NLP publications! Way more exciting than watching the flatware entertaining!

amyHere at NLP, we are very excited to introduce you to Amy Blakemore and Alex Gwyther, whose Nasty Little Intros are now on sale. Do go check out their pages in our People section to find out a bit more about them, and then head here to buy your copy for the bargain price of £2. You will not be disappointed!

I also wanted to draw your attention to a couple of our NLP poets who are currently or about to be on tour: Hannah Walker, whose Oh Fuck Moment show will be touring the country during April and May, Molly Naylor, who will be previewing her Edinburgh show My Robot Heart over the next few months, and John Osborne, whose show John Peel’s Shed will be touring Ireland and Scotland in May.

We’ll try to keep you up to date with our poets and their comings and goings, but do keep an eye on their websites and facebook pages!

From everyone at NLP, have a lovely, springy Easter!