A sneaky peek inside one of our recent titles, an erotic poetry anthology edited by Charley Barnes and Wendy Allen.

We understand that it requires a leap of faith to buy a book by poets and authors who are new to you, so we’re going to be sharing a few excerpts from our recent releases to help you make that leap!

Today is the turn of Under Your Pillow, a collection of erotic verse that showcases work from some of the UK’s best contemporary poets. Traversing sensuality, sexuality, and the many intersections of pleasure, this book explores the erotic in distinct and personal ways, through poetry that is both accessible and experimental. Featuring new work from the likes of Richard Scott, Zoë Brigley, Jennifer Wong and more, this is a book best kept close to hand: in your bag, next to the bath tub, under your pillow.

Here’s a great in-depth review for Under Your Pillow by poet and creative writing tutor, Bethany Rivers:

“To write about sex in a succinct, sexy, sensuous and richly textured way, is one of the most difficult things to do, without sounding crass or cliché. Even the act of sex defies language. But this anthology, under your pillow, not only achieves this, but positively glows with the celebration of sex in language that pulsates and throbs with life (of course the pun is intended).

The sustained metaphor and fresh images of ‘Hibiscus rosa-sinensis’ with a trumpet so complete will / possess my voice which turns red purple will awaken your senses and the interweaving of nature, societal misunderstandings and the personal conversation between lovers of ‘Meet me under the witch hazel’ will have you re-reading this poem endlessly.

From the rhythmic word couplings of kisspout / kissquick / slowkiss / lovesleep to the intimate portrait of seeing your lover touch and trace the words you’ve written on a Post-it; from the heat of shared ‘Tapas’ to the tenderness of we make home with each other; from the sensuousness of ‘Wild strawberries’ to the rawness of Zoe Brigley’s poem; the unique experiences of different first times (orgasms, oral, saying the word love) to the wonders of self-touch and the perfect ‘pleasure playlist’: this anthology holds it all in a full on and full bodied experience of not just the physicality of sex but the emotional landscape within, through use of diverse, original and writhing language, where blood streams echo each other to the aftermath of taps spill their secrets / spoons nestle, these poems will certainly make [your] body sing and keep you coming back for more.”

(Quotes and titles of poems by: Nora Nadjarian, Vera Zakharov, Alice Wickenden, Eva Heath, Coco Danvers, Briony Collins, Catherine Redford, Deborah Finding, Amy Dugmore, Alice Flinta, Emma Gawlinski and Ivor Daniel.)


And here are two poems from the anthology to whet your appetite:


Full Moon by Amy Dugmore

I want something full on and full bodied full flavoured, all dairy no diet

full fat, all plush and pulsing

full bloom and unrepentant


poised to pour into

full colour, no inks spared

as I swirl all rainbow and prism

sky turning downwards, upwards

full circle, round, round

the dervish unpinned from the whirl and travelling full tilt, full throttle, full pelt

a vixen alive and face full to the wind,

earth flying, soaring grateful and fulfilled

faster than you can say

faster than you can –


morning after by Erin Coppin

I love these morning-after scars


and aching thighs
bruises from an unknown corner

matted hair
and ashtray eyes


I hate these morning-after scars

awkward glance

and look away

too-wide smile anticipating

never knowing what to say


You can order your copy here: https://www.victorinapress.com/product/under-your-pillow-edited-by-wendy-allen-and-charley-barnes/

Look out for more Sneaky Peeks, coming soon!

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