Brave Faces & Other Smiles

Verve Poetry Press, 1st December 2020, £9.99 (pre-order below)


Online launch event on Wed 2 December 2020 - book now

‘…I told you / I really like your smile. / And to my surprise / you gave it to me.’


This astonishing debut by Beth Calverley takes the umbrella theme of the smile and shares it out – with great generosity and care – among a multiplicity of subjects, moods and meanings. Smiles can be brave, shy, sad, or a lighthouse beam of joy. They can be a mess of countless other things.


This subject seems so appropriate for a poet whose presence, way of reaching out to every member of her audience, and most of all her smile, create smiles all around her. Her leaps of imagination take the breath away. Her recurring imagery draws a safety-net of light around her listeners and readers.


Some of the smiles that inspired this collection were contributed by people whom Beth has met on her adventures with The Poetry Machine.


These poems are worthy of your great attention. We dare you not to smile as you read.


Join the nourishing online launch event on 2 December 2020:

book here (but first, order the book below!)

Content Warning:


Go gently. This collection is home to all kinds of smiles. Many of the poems in the collection look at how smiles adapt to challenging times as well as positive ones. They explore experiences of mental ill-health, physical ill-health, grief, loss and trauma as well as joy and connection. There is a full list of content warnings at the start of the book. Feel free to email Beth at [email protected] for a full list of CWs.

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