Category Archives: News

NOV 2020 UPDATE – A Guide to Getting Published in UK Poetry Magazines

There’s now an updated version (Nov 2020) of Robin Houghton’s 2018 guide for poets looking to get their work published in poetry magazines. Visit for information, testimonials and to buy just £6 (free postage within the UK).

A Guide to Getting Published in UK Poetry Magazines

TRUTHS …our Anthology has launched

Truths - A Telltale Press Anthology

Truths - A Telltale Press AnthologyAfter what felt like more rounds of editing than I thought possible (I just don’t have the eagle eye I thought I had!), some last minute panics and a day-of-launch book delivery,  Peter Kenny, Sarah Barnsley and myself were thrilled to finally launch TRUTHS on April 25th 2018.

TRUTHS is the anthology we’d been planning since last year. We had invited contributions from poets who had read with us at Telltale & Friends events since 2014, plus a few of our most dedicated supporters. This was an opportunity to explore what ‘truth’ means to each of us in a world where post-truth and surreality seem to have taken root.

Many of the contributors were at the launch and it was wonderful to witness the breadth of interpretation and fine poetry. Having read all the poems many times over in the editing of the book, I was especially interested to find how hearing them read aloud by the poets themselves added a new layer of comprehension and/or emotion for me.

Perhaps also realising that this was our last Telltale Press event made it more poignant. More about that in a follow-up post.

Read Peter Kenny’s blog post about the event here. 

I took some photos, although wasn’t able to catch all the poets, apologies to those I missed.

Sarah Barnsley

Sarah Barnsley

Marion Tracy

Marion Tracy

Louise Tondeur

Louise Tondeur

John McCullough

John McCullough

Peter Kenny

Peter Kenny

Jeremy Page

Jeremy Page

Clare Best

Clare Best

Judy Brown

Judy Brown

Charlotte Gann

Charlotte Gann

Abigail Parry

Abigail Parry

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith




Anthology launch

Finally – it’s here!  No, not the brilliant spring sun (although HURRAY for that), we mean the new offering from Telltale Press: our anthology has been published and it’s time for a book launch!

Truths:  A Telltale Press Anthology marks the culmination of the Telltale Press & Friends 2014-2017 reading series, which has been terrific fun.   Invited to summon, explore, or query ‘truths’ however they wished, contributors have met the brief with such compelling imagination and verve – we can’t wait to share!

All are most warmly invited to the launch where we will be delighted to introduce readings by a variety of contributors.   This will take place on Wednesday 25 April 2018, from 7.30pm onwards, at the John Harvey Tavern (upstairs), Bear Yard, Cliffe High St, Lewes, BN7 2AN,

Hope to see you there!

Sarah Barnsley, Robin Houghton and Peter Kenny, Editors


Front cover of Truths anthology

Truths:  A Telltale Press Anthology features work from:

Siegfried Baber / Sarah Barnsley / Michael Bartholomew-Biggs / Clare Best / Stephen Bone / Judy Brown / Rishi Dastidar / Helen Fletcher / Charlotte Gann / Robin Houghton / Peter Kenny / Martin Malone / John McCullough / Jessica Mookherjee / Abegail Morley / Katrina Naomi / E.E. Nobbs / Jeremy Page / Abigail Parry / Sue Rose / Catherine Smith / Janet Sutherland / Louise Tondeur / Marion Tracy / Rebecca Violet White

‘In this eclectic and hugely enjoyable anthology, I’m reminded of that old notion that the “poetic truth” might be more important than the literal facts of what happened’ – Andrew McMillan

‘This glorious, panoramic anthology taps truth on the shoulder, or leaves truth in that shaded corner of the room, suggests that truths are in words and in the silences in between’ – Tania Hershman

New month, new space, new poetry

1 November saw the Telltale gang return to the newly-refurbished Poetry Café in Covent Garden where we were delighted to be joined by special guests Catherine Smith and Abigail Parry.   The spare and smart décor was the perfect backdrop for readings that were by turns elaborate, engaging, intense, irreverent, comic, caustic and yes indeed alliterative, rhythmic; downright brilliant displays of the sonic magic of live poetry.

Telltale co-founder Robin Houghton kicked off proceedings in style with an exclusive preview of her exciting new pamphlet, All the Relevant Gods, due out in February 2018 with Cinnamon Press.  Next on the floor was Catherine Smith with a funky festoon of poems from collections including Lip and Otherwhere (Smith/Doorstop).   Two stomping sets, a break to enjoy the refreshed upstairs café complete with poetry miscellany on each table like inviting menus (my favourite was the school exercise book inviting visitors to leave a poem), then it was back downstairs for a corker of a set by other Telltale co-founder Peter Kenny.  Halloween may have just come and gone but that didn’t stop Abigail Parry treating us to a trio of Gothic poems amid an exhilarating set that tricked and turned on wicked word plays – we simply cannot wait for Bloodaxe to bring out Abby’s collection Jinx next March.

Thank you once again to Robin Houghton, Catherine Smith, Peter Kenny, Abigail Parry, the Poetry Café and the wonderful audience who filled the room with warmth and laughter.  Next stop:  the Telltale Anthology 2018 – watch this space!

TT 1 Nov pic

Peter Kenny, Abigail Parry, Robin Houghton and Catherine Smith

Guest poet Abigail Parry joins us for our autumn event

abigail parryFantastic news – we’ve persuaded the multiple award-winning poet Abigail Parry to read with us at the new-look Poetry Cafe in London on November 1st for our autumn Telltale Press & Friends.

Last year Abigail won two of the biggest prizes out there – the Ballymaloe and the Troubadour. Her long-awaited debut collection Jinx is out with Bloodaxe next year. Abby gives excellent poetry readings  – another great reason to come along on 1st November.

Joining Abby are Telltale founder members Robin Houghton & Peter Kenny, and our marvellous Associate Editor and mentor Catherine Smith – also known for her compelling readings … it’s going to be a great night.

As ever, entry is FREE, although donations are always welcome! Just buy a drink upstairs and come on down to the newly refurbished basement room.

Here’s the flyer, and here’s the Facebook event page – please share with your friends, and thank you!

We’re looking forward to seeing you there.


What’s next for Telltale Press…?

We’ve been a bit quiet on here, and the reason for that is simply that we’ve all been busy – with work, family, pamphlets, plays and more…

Good news though – we now have a date for our next Telltale Press & Friends, and we’ve booked our Special Guest reader – but more to follow on this once we have the CONFIRMED booking from our London venue.

Also on the cards is a Telltale anthology, which should make its way into the world next Spring.

Thanks for keeping up with Telltale. We’ll soon be enticing you to our next event. Hope you can come.

A warm night at the Lewes Arms

Lewes Arms

Warm in the sense of friendly I mean – although we did also need to open windows. I’m of course talking about last Friday and our latest Telltale Poets & Friends readings at the Lewes Arms. It’s a delightfully intimate pub, no longer with an actual stage upstairs but still a great venue for poetry readings. Plus it’s sort of become our mothership.

Sorry, no pics this time – except the ‘before’ photo of the room, so that I could see how the tables needed to go back before we moved them all – so you just have to imagine how our readers looked, especially Katrina in her beautiful vintage frock.

Telltale’s Siegfried Baber and Sarah Barnsley gave us storming sets with many new poems, and it was a pleasure to welcome Marion Tracy and Katrina Naomi as our guest poets. It’s just occurred to me that they have something in common, in that they have surnames that could be first names – spooky! I’m glad I didn’t think of that before the intros, or I would have certainly said “Please welcome Tracy Marion!” or something equally daft. Katrina, who had journeyed up from Penzance, mesmerised us with her witty and moving poetry. She had to contend with noisy blokes outside AND the sudden dramatic collapse of our roller banner, but she carried on like a true pro. Marion’s reading was excellent as always – surreal and joyously unpredictable poems.

It felt like all our friends and supporters were there, as well as a good number of people we didn’t know but many of whom came up afterwards to say how much they enjoyed it, and that really made for a super evening. Thank you everyone who came, bought books and donated generously the Telltale funds (there’s a new banner to buy after all!)

Interior Lewes Arms

Our cosy room, before we moved the tables and everyone arrived – !

Telltale Press & Friends, poetry reading, Lewes Arms, Lewes, Friday 28th April at 8.00pm

Poetry reading Lewes Arms 28th April 2017

Spring is here and with it another sparkly Telltale Press & Friends’ reading in Lewes, kicking off the Bank Holiday weekend in style on Friday 28 April 2017 @ 8pm.

Our guest poets come from near and far.  From Penzance we are delighted to present Katrina Naomi, whose spectacular second collection, The Way the Crocodile Taught Me (Seren, 2016) is a must-read; and we are thrilled to be joined by Brighton-based Marion Tracy, whose dazzling debut collection Dreaming of our Better Selves is fresh out from VanguardEditions.   Telltale poets Siegfried Baber (When Love Came To The Cartoon Kid, singled out by The TLS as one to watch) and Sarah Barnsley (The Fire Station) complete the lineup in what promises to be an exquisite evening.

The event is at the Lewes Arms and admission is FREE (donations welcome).  We hope you can join us!

How to find the Lewes Arms.


Poetry reading Lewes Arms 28th April 2017


Telltale Press & Friends reading, Lewes Arms, Lewes 19th October at 8.00pm

In a word: unmissable. We’ve managed to assemble another exciting line-up for our series of Telltale Press & Friends readings in Lewes.

Judy Brown’s brilliant new book Crowd Sensations is a Poetry Book Society recommendation. Jess Mookherjee’s spanking new Telltale pamphlet The Swell is already causing a sensation. Michaela Ridgway needs little introduction in Sussex, beinga leading light in Brighton’s poetry firmament as well as hosting the Pighog evenings. Telltale’s Siegfried Baber (When Love Came To The Cartoon Kid)  is, of course, one of the most promising poets under 30 in the country.

This is a must-see event in Lewes. It’s free too. (Though if you do donate something into the Telltale coffers we won’t object.)




Jess Mookherjee launches ‘The Swell’ 5th October, Pitcher & Piano, Tunbridge Wells

Glory and trumpets! Telltale officially launches Jess Mookherjee’s pamphlet The Swell at 7.00pm at the Pitcher & Piano in Tunbridge Wells on 5th October. 

I say ‘officially’ because The Swell went on sale at the Poetry Book Fair. I have to tell you this fabulous pamphlet sold like piping hot cakes. Why? Because it is absolutely excellent. So if you missed the fair, and want to lap up a Jess Mookherjee reading and buy her pamphlet come to Tunbridge Wells on 5th October. Plus, later in October, there will be another Telltale & Friends reading in Lewes, which will also feature Jess and stellar guests we are busily confining as I type.

As ever the Book Fair itself was an unmissable opportunity to hear some amazing readings (my favourite was Judy Brown whose book Crowd Sensations is a stunner) get an overview of the UK’s thriving poetry scene, and bump into loads of old poetry  muckers. Later Jess, Sarah and Peter also represented Telltale by giving a quick reading in the Square Pig & Pen pub nearby.

A few snaps from the day.



A poet and her editor: Jess Mookherjee and Sarah Barnsley with The Swell.


Jess selling another copy of her marvellous pamphlet The Swell. Next to her is Jeremy Page of The Frogmore Press who shared a stand with us again this year.


Sarah Barnsley and Peter Kenny get slightly too excited on the Telltale Press stand.