With just over a month to go until VERVE explodes back onto the scene, we’re giving you the lowdown on some of our much-anticipated events. If you’re looking for more background info and what to expect when you get your tickets, you’re in the right place!

The next in our Unpacked series takes a look at the One-off (not) Online Indie Poetry Press Festival, the brainchild of Jake Wild Hall, co-founder of Bad Betty Press. Hosting its inaugural festival over Zoom in July 2021, OOIPP is bringing its celebration of independent poetry publishers and their poets to the VERVE stage at the Hippodrome.


One-off (not) Online Indie Poetry Press Festival VERVE Special

WHEN: Saturday 19th at 2:00pm – 3:25pm
WHERE: The Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome
WHO: Eve Esfandiari-Denney, Molly Naylor, Gboyega Odubanjo, Sarah Barnsley, Azad Sharma & Sam Quill

Jake Wild Hall

Jake Wild Hall is the 2016 Spirit of the PBH Free Fringe and a multiple slam champion. He’s the host of Boomerang Club, one of London’s warmest and most well-loved poetry nights, which enjoyed a popular full run at Edinburgh. He’s performed at the Royal Albert Hall and opened for Daley and Afrikan Boy at the Lyric. His work has appeared in the London Spoken Word Anthology. Jake is a vegan chef who loves the combination of peanut butter and hot sauce, and the father of a boy named Solomon.


Jake joins us to tell us more about the origins of OOIPP and who you’ll be able to spot at their event:

“In early 2021 I was sitting inside on furlough thinking about what to do and what ways best to spend my day. It was in this moment I contacted Stuart Bartholomew (Verve Press and Festival) and said: I have had an idea for an online festival, what do you think? This is how OOIPP (One-Off Indie Poetry Press Festival) was set in motion.

OOIPP was born out of the desire to bring indie poetry presses together, to celebrate the hugely difficult work we have been doing during the pandemic, and show off the strength and depth of the work in poetry in the UK today.

So when Stuart asked me to bring a live edition of OOIPP to VERVE, I snapped at the opportunity.

There is nothing more exciting to me than bringing together all the pieces of a jigsaw of what it is to be an indie poetry press. I’m hoping that the live show will capture the same energy that made our first OOIPP the beautiful week it was.

On the night we will be showcasing work from three different publishers and six poets. The publishers are Bad Betty Press, Broken Sleep and The Poetry Business. The poets are Molly Naylor, Eve Denney, Gboyega Odubanjo, Sarah Barnsley, Azad Sharma and Sam Quill. A line-up of poets I know and love and ones I can’t wait to meet.

OOIPP FEST: From furlough idea to festival stage in 12 months. Thanks to hard work and good vibes.”

Jake Wild Hall

Broken Sleep Books

Broken Sleep Books are a small, innovative press, who publish a range of pamphlets and collections, from a range of writers. We particularly wish to encourage more working-class writers, LGBTQ+, and BAME writers to submit. Politically we are left-leaning, and have no interest in misogynists, racist, sexists, the alt-right, or dickheads in general.

Bad Betty Press

We’re an independent publisher of new poetry, born in 2017 and run by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall. We love writing that is bad (meaning good) and beautiful (‘a Betty’ in 90s slang). We love the strange, raw and risk-taking. We believe strongly in art’s capacity to challenge its own definition, to curve away from the norm, making space for more and varied voices.

The Poetry Business

The Poetry Business is a publisher and writer development agency with a strong reputation for discovering, developing and publishing outstanding new poets.

Over the last three decades we have nurtured the writing and developed the careers of hundreds of poets. Our teaching, mentoring and editorial work is widely regarded as the benchmark in writer development provision.


Azad Sharma

Eve Denney

Gboyega Odubanjo

Sam Quill

Molly Naylor

Sarah Barnsley

We can’t wait for OOIPP to take to the stage, and hope you’ll be there to join us!

For info and tickets for this and all our other amazing VERVE 2022 events, head over to our line-up page! In the meantime, be sure to check back here regularly for updates and sign up to our mailing list for all the latest direct to your inbox.

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