Visual Verse is a unique literary journal containing more than 11,000 pieces of original ekphrastic writing by over 3,000 writers from around the world. Launched on 1 November, 2013 and ending on 1 October, 2023, it now provides a testimony to early 21st Century writing and aesthetics and an intricate, collective witnessing of our times.

Read and explore a literary archive like no other.

Vol. 01 / 2013 – 2014

Our very first volume establishes a literary beginning for Visual Verse. Featuring art by Marc Schlossman (above), Rhona Byrne and June Glasson and words by Sandeep Parmar, Sarah Howe, Deborah Levy, and Vidyan Ravinthiran among many others.

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Vol. 02 / 2014 – 2015

Volume 02 marks the year that Modi comes into office and the plates of global politics begin to shift. Includes art by Rupert Jessop (above), Dominic Goodman and Sigrid Calon and words by Eley Williams, Nikesh Shukla, Sean Hewitt and Claire-Louise Bennet.

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Vol. 03 / 2015 – 2016

The year of the Brexit referendum and the birth of the “Trump era” is encapsulated in words by Irenosen Okojie, Ivan Vladislavić, Alex Pheby, Mike McCormack and NourbeSe Philip and others, alongside art by Coralie Bickford-Smith (above), Michael Salu, Grant Wood, Megan Archer and more.

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Vol. 04 / 2016 – 2017

Launched a week before Trump was elected in the U.S., our fourth volume captures the global rise of right-wing politics and the devastating Grenfell fire in London. Featuring artists Hernan Bas (above), June Glasson and Marc Schlossman and writers including Amrou Al-Kadhi, Anthony Anaxagorou, Khairani Barokka, Inua Ellams and Sohini Basak.

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Vol. 05 / 2017 – 2018

In our fifth volume we bring our focus back to our community and connections. We collaborate with Creative Review and Lewis Glucksman Gallery and showcase talent from indie publishers including Fitzcarraldo, Comma, Peepal Tree, And Other Stories and Galley Beggar Press. Alongside art by Penny Byrne (above) and others, find the words of Samuel Fisher, Sarvat Hasin, Jeffrey Boakye, Kusi Okamura, Isabel Waidner and others.

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Vol. 06 / 2018 – 2019

The health of our planet is the undercurrent of volume 06. In August 2018, Greta Thunberg sparked a global youth for climate movement with her school strike. We publish responses by Michael Donkor, Lucie McKnight Hardy, David Hayden, and Rebecca Tamás alongside art by Hannah Coulson (above), NASA,  Matt Boyce and Norbu Gyachung.

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Vol. 07 / 2019 – 2020

The first human cases of COVID-19 are identified in Wuhan, China, in November 2019 marking the beginning of the global pandemic. The year of uncertainty that follows is captured in this issue by writers including Yara Rodrigues Fowler, Mary Jean Chan, Kate Briggs and Otis Mensah. We also collaborate with the Estate of artist Khadija Saye (above) and writer Kadija Sesay to mark the 3rd anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire.

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Vol. 08 / 2020 – 2021

After the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 and the first year of Covid-19 lockdowns, Volume 08 may be characterised by a sort of collection exhaustion. Writers including Stu Hennigan, Elizabeth Chakrabarty, Victoria Gosling and Lisa O’Hare are deeply honest and reflective as the world confronts issues of identity, racism, prejudice and trauma. They write in response to work by Oscar Ukonu, Judy Moore (above) and María Victoria Rodriguez.

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Vol. 09 / 2021 – 2022

Just as the pandemic eased, Russia embarked on the shocking invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Volume 09 features art by Vony Razom, Omar Musa (above), Dee Mulrooney (a.k.a. Growler) and writing by Shehnaz Sutterwalla, Stephen Kingsnorth, Nina Hynes, Paul Scraton and Zainab Bobi among others. See also “Utopian Dystopian Future Vision”, a special issue created with students at Wangari Maathai International School.

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Vol. 10 / 2022 – 2023

Our final volume is a celebration of all that Visual Verse has become over a decade of publishing: a vibrant, diverse and engaged global community of writers who are willing to push the boundaries of their work on our platform. In the spirit of experimentation, we feature “writing” by Chat GPT alongside real human writers including Nadine Monem, Hasti and Sylee Gore in a collaboration with the brilliant Wasafiri Magazine. We also feature art by Kitty Harrison (above), Sarah-Jane Crowson and Olga Naida as we bring the journal to a close.

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