What is the Cult of the Spiny Hog and is it Worth Joining?

Everything the Hedgehog Press does is underpinned by the support of our secret weapon, the 100 members of the Cult of the Spiny Hog.

The Cult members are a big part of everything we do and unusually, at the moment, there are a few places available for new members, which I hope you will agree is a fantastic opportunity for writers and readers of poetry.

To join costs £25* for three months (* or £35 if you aren’t in the UK) and personally, and I realise that I am biased, I truly believe that if you are a reader or writer of poetry, joining the Cult is the best thing you could ever do and without a doubt the best deal in poetryland.

But I should give you some facts and let you decide what you think.

So what do you get if you join the Cult of the Spiny Hog?

In simple terms – everything.

That is, whilst you are a member you:

1. Will receive everything we publish, and

2. Be able to enter all of our competitions as many times as you like.

But ‘everything’ is hard to see, so for example, if you joined today – paid £25* for a three month membership – you could enter ALL of these competitions while you are a member:

a. Nicely Folded Paper – Trois (Usually £25):

This is looking for Three poets who will have their Full Collection published in Pamphlet form

b. Something Slim – A Novella Competition (Usually £25):

Do you also write prose or prose poetry? Here we have the opportunity for you to have a novella length book published of your work

c. Sticklebacking (Usually £10):

We are relaunching out Stickleback Micro-Collections in 2020 and looking for poets to publish in them

d. Prickly Shorts (Usually £10):

Like the Sticklebacks, our Prickly Shorts are going to be one story pamphlets and this competition is looking for work for the first of these. Like the novella competition, this can be prose or prose poetry.

e. White Label – Quatre (Usually £25):

Postcards From The Hedge - A Bestiary of the Night CompetitionWe have regular competitions looking for First Collections to be published in Pamphlet form. Our next White label collection will be launched on the 1st of December.

f. Selected or Neglected – Deux (Usually £25):

We don’t publish many books, but the 1st of January will see us launch our second Selected or Neglected competition, aiming to find a poet who will see their ‘Best of’ collection published in 2020.

So that is £120 worth of competitions if you entered them all only once, but then there is the contents of the Goody Box you would receive in December.

The Goody Box Contains Everything We Publish:

As I write this, the final contents isn’t confirmed, but what I can say is that you will receive a beautifully packaged box in time for Christmas that will contain at least SEVEN pamphlets, including new work from Raine Geoghegan, Gaynor Kane, Mick Yates, Juliette van der Molen and Annie Maclean.

There will also be a copy of our lovely ‘Postcards From The Hedge: Bestiary of the Night’ anthology and an exclusive poetry calendar.

All of these would cost a minimum of £60 if you bought them separately.

And without sounding like a market trader, that isn’t all.

But the Cult is more than a good deal, as over the last year or so it has genuinely turned into a supportive writers group. It has it’s own area of our web site and every month we have Challenges that provide some (hopefully) interesting prompts that take your writing in new directions and often see members finding their work in print.

So to summarise – that is at least £60 worth of poetry books and pamphlets, £120 worth of Competitions, membership of a supportive band of poets, Monthly challenges with plenty of opportunities to be published and…

Did I mention the badges?

I’m sure that there are other things I have forgotten, but there we are.

So, if you fancy it and there are places still available, you can sign-up HERE.

The Cult is limited to 100 members, so if you are interested, don’t delay, join today…


(Sorry, the cheesey jokes comes as part of the package too, I’m afraid.)

Winter Books: Annie Maclean’s ‘The Garden/er’

I’m more than chuffed to be able to unveil the rather beautiful cover of ‘The Garden/er’ our forthcoming collection from Annie Maclean.

Annie is a wonderful poet and I really can’t wait to share this with you all in the near future.

About The Garden/er:

“The Garden/er is a long poem which contains a sequence of elegies. It follows a year in a garden, month by month, examining flora and fauna, and listening to the author’s experiences and reactions to her father’s death. Anger and bewilderment and loss give way to an appreciation of the rhythms of the natural world.”

About Annie,

Since passing my ‘three score years’ of age, I now follow the hopes of Katsushita Hokusai who commented:

‘… at 73 years I partly understood the structure of animals, birds, insects and fishes and the life of grasses and plants. And so at 86 I shall progress further; at 90 I shall even further penetrate their secret meaning and by 100 I shall perhaps truly have reached the level of the marvellous and the divine. When I am 110, each dot, each line, will possess a life of its own.’

[Calza, Gian Carlo (2004) ‘Hokusai: A Universe’ in HOKUSAI, p.7 Phaidon Press]


I have recently been awakened by Extinction Rebellion. We have 11 years to address the climate emergency on our planet. Today is 2019. 2031 will be too late.

Wake up, everyone! Wake up!

Friday Night is Fish Supper Night #20 – Ode To A Hedgehog

Since I started the Hedgehog Press, I’ve made it a point to ask people to write Hedgehog poems.

I know, I don’t get out much.

Anyway, a while ago I collected some of them together in a wee Stickleback, which as this week’s Free Friday Download, I thought I would share it with you.

You can download your copy, by simply clicking on the link below:

Stickleback - Ode to a Hedgehog (46 downloads)


p.s. We have a ‘Something For The Weekend’ offer running today, which means that you can buy Three Print Collections for a silly £10 – find out more HERE


Download Our Remembrance Day Tribute – Other People’s Freedoms

Looking at the preparations for today’s Remembrance Day Commemorations earlier and having spent yesterday buried in a copy of Martin Malone’s ‘The Unreturning’ – which incidentally, is a quite brilliant collection of poetry that genuinely answers the question of whether a modern writer can bring something new to war poetry – I couldn’t help but think that I should re-share the Stickleback we put out last year, ‘Other People’s Freedoms.’

You can download your copy of ‘Other People’s Freedoms’ below,

Other People's Freedoms (20 downloads)

Friday Night is Fish Supper Night #19 – Arfur #1

One of the biggest downers over the last year for me, was the fact that I failed dismally to cope with all of the interest there was in Arfur – our magazine, ‘A Restricted View From Under The Hedge’ and that I had to put the wee chap into hibernation.

Perhaps launching the book publishing as well as the magazine, wasn’t my brightest idea, but I’m hoping I’ll find a way to bring it back, as reading the first issue now, it was quirky, but good.

Any magazine that sees Chen Chen alongside Eileen Myles, Sophie Hannah with Victoria Richards – oh and Eileen Carney Hulme chatting to Brian Patten, can’t have been so verily bad.

So I thought I’d share the first issue and you can see what it was all about

You can download your copy, by simply clicking on the download link below:

Arfur Issue Uno (42 downloads)

It included poetry from:

Chen Chen
M. Stone
D. M. Thomas
Peter J. King
Phil Hawtin
Robert Sheppard
Charlotte Begg
Zoe Mitchell
Sophie Hannah
Eileen Myles
Sarah Bigham
Tawnya Renelle
S.A. Leavesley
Bill Herbert
Jane Burn
Nick Toczek
Eileen Carney Hulme
Johanna Boal
Kristin Garth
Rachel Burns
Georgina Titmus
Diana Devlin
Brian Docherty
Megan Falley
Moniza Alvi
Joe Williams
Jonathan Jones
Beth McDonough
Nigel Kent
Sonia Davies
Melissa Fu
Sanjeev Sethi
Martin Malone
Mimi Khalvati

and articles from:

Brian Patten Talks With Eileen Carney Hulme

Alison Lock Revealing The Odour of the Earth

Penny Rimbaud What Passing Bells

Paul Moss Poem I Wish I’d Written

Matt Duggan One Million Tiny Cuts

Patricia Oxley Talks Acumen

Charlotte Begg Talks Eye Flash Poetry

Penny Rimbaud America and How!

Sandra Beasley Count The Waves

S.A. Leavesley How To Grow Matches

Isabelle Kenyon This Is Not A Spectacle

Isabelle Kenyon Please Hear What I’m Not Saying

Sandra Beasley The Building of a Collection

Moose Postcards From The Hedge

Pre-Order Signed / Annotated Copies of Juliette van der Molen’s ‘Anatomy of a Dress’

Well, I keep saying that I like nothing better than people having the opportunity to buy signed or annotated copies of our books direct from the poet and I am really, really pleased to be able to say that you can now pre-order one that is particularly special.

‘Anatomy of a Dress’ is a stunning collection of work from Juliette van der Molen, and you can now pre-order your own copy of the first print run, of the first edition, direct from the lady herself.

There is no better way to support authors who’s work you enjoy, so please do consider supporting Juliette in this way if you can.

The collection won’t officially be available until December 16th, but Juliette will receive copies ahead of that and no doubt would love to sign, dedicate or annotate a copy for you.

These are now available to pre-order direct from Juliette at her web site HERE.

About Juliette

Juliette van der Molen is a transatlantic writer and poet currently living in the Greater NYC area. She is an intersectional feminist and member of the LGBTQIA community. She is the poetry editor for Mookychick Magazine and a seasoned spoken word performer. She has performed in several places including New York City and Philadelphia.

Her books include: Death Library: The Exquisite Corpse Collection and Mother, May I?. Her work has also appeared in Burning House Press, Kissing Dynamite, Memoir Mixtapes, Collective Unrest and several other publications. Her next book, Anatomy of A Dress, will publish in December 2019 through The Hedgehog Poetry Press..

You can connect with her on Twitter via @j_vandermolen.

  • Title: Anatomy of a Dress
  • ISBN: 978-1-9160908-9-7
  • Pages: 36
  • Order Signed Copies direct from Juliette van der Molen HERE

These poems deal with the messages sent and interpreted by the way women have historically been encouraged to dress and keep themselves, mainly for the pleasure and the subjugation of the patriarchy. Folded into these pieces are my own experiences that have caused me much internal conflict when I choose my own clothing. Sometimes these encouragements or rules were handed down by those of our own gender (i.e. grandmothers, mothers) and reinforced by a society that has a vested interest in women knowing their place. The poetry in this manuscript is crafted to speak loudly of the struggles that women go through, both physical and emotional, when making a decision that most men would consider simple–

What should I wear today?

Full Fat Collection Competition – Deux : Results

I am more than verily pleased to be able to announce the results of the second Full Fat Collection Competition, that will see the winner have their collection published in (with all due humility) quite beautiful paperback book form.

The original aim of the competition was to find a single collection, but I am happy to say that in the end I couldn’t split two entries and so have decided to announce them as joint winners, and that if the poets still want to, we will be publishing them in 2020.

The Shortlisted poets were:

  1. Adrian Buckner
  2. Alastair Hesp
  3. Ali Jones
  4. Cherry Combe
  5. Gavin Bourke
  6. Katharine May
  7. Patricia Hamilton
  8. Roger Elkin
  9. Sanjeev Sethi
  10. Valerie Bence

And I am really, really pleased to say that the TWO WINNERS are




Congratulations to everybody that was shortlisted and many, many thanks to everybody who took the time to enter. I need a cup of tea.


Friday Night is Fish Supper Night #16 – The Road to Clevedon Pier

Well, blimey – what a week this has been?

So many competition questions answered (and congratulations to all who made the podium.)

Books available direct from the poets all signed and dedicated – something I’m really proud of, although I have had to give-up on the ‘Get it from a Poet’ campaign slogan as apparently nobody wants to wear that T-shirt.

All of which makes me think that we have come a long way in the last couple of years, and indeed the 18 months since we managed to release our first wee book, The Road To Clevedon Pier.

So it seemed a good time to share that special book with you all today.

You can download your copy, by simply clicking on the download link below:

The Road to Clevedon Pier (85 downloads)

Have a lovely weekend.