Doubtist Books is a publishing and media company set up to fund, print, distribute and market the poetry of Alexander Velky. It is wholly owned by the Landskerian Art Factory.
Alexander writes relatively simple poems combining narrative, allegory, biography, history and autobiography, with the intention of articulating important questions facing humanity. His frequent reliance on conspicuous sound devices and traditional literary forms bears testimony to his classical influences and ensures that he remains an unfashionable fringe element when exporting to the UK cultural scene.
Doubtist Books published Alexander’s first book, “Mistaken for art or rubbish” in 2013, under the “Alexander Velky Has Doubts” label. It was crowdfunded via Kickstarter and contained 33 poems, none of which had been published elsewhere, or submitted to anyone else, or entered for any competitions. The book sold a little over 100 copies and received two negative reviews. A performance of a poem from the collection (entitled “The box“) was shortlisted in a competition run by Scotland’s international poetry festival, the StAnza 2014 online slam in summer 2014. Every other poem from the book was similarly performed and uploaded to the Doubtist YouTube channel.
Has Doubts Volume 2: “Rhymes for all times” followed in 2015. Doubtist Books turned to Kickstarter again for funding, but this time a few poems had outings in advance. “John Simpson’s Burka” was shortlisted by Glyn Maxwell in the 2013 Live Canon international poetry competition and published in the subsequent anthology. “Sonnets from the corners of the map” achieved the same in 2014. “Kuzka’s mother” was shortlisted in the 2014 Poetic Republic Poetry Prize, a sadly defunct competition which was judged democratically by all entrants. Alexander launched the book with a performance and an open-mic evening at a pub in London on December 1, 2015. During the performance of the poem “Landskeria“, named after the micronation comprising Alexander’s home in West Wales, Alexander declared independence from the UK. This declaration went largely unnoticed, although was mentioned briefly in the Pembrokeshire Herald. This second book sold a little under 100 copies.
In 2016 Alexander was invited to contribute a poem to Live Canon’s 154: 154 new poems by 154 contemporary poets, in response to Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, which he did. To date this is the only time Alexander has been accused of being a “contemporary poet” as far as we know.
From 2015-2017, Alexander spent time on several diversions in the form of the now defunct National Anthems Project and the Doubtcast, before completing work on two more Has Doubts volumes by mid 2018: Volume 3: “In the men’s room” and Volume 4: “The misery tune“. “Attitude: rampant” from the former was shortlisted by Lorraine Mariner in 2016’s Live Canon competition, and published in the subsequent anthology; “Project Gilgamesh” from the latter was longlisted by Clare Pollard and published in the collection the following year.
In 2018 Alexander attempted to simultaneously crowdfund the two new Has Doubts volumes, promoting the effort with an in-depth video interview with himself, also conducted by himself. Funding fell short this time, so the project was shelved. Subsequently to this Alexander was forced to consider the future of Doubtist Books; but just as he was entertaining liquidating the company (in fact, just as he was Googling the word “liquidating” to find out what it actually meant) he received the news that his very long poem “Tractors turning” (or at least several parts of it) had been shortlisted by Liz Berry in the 2018 Live Canon competition. The poem did not win, but the subsequent publication of parts 1, 3 and 4 of “Tractors turning” from the intended third Has Doubts volume was enough encouragement to persuade Alexander Velky to return to “In the Men’s Room” and to reconsider its artistic merit and commercial viability. It was found to still have none of the latter, but to perhaps possess a salvageable degree of the former.
In early 2019 Alexander re-edited the volume (having alienated the editors who worked, unpaid, on the previous volumes through constant re-editing, reordering, and persistent emailing) and began working on a new long poem to introduce it. This long poem “Cantre’r Gwaelod: the ballad of the sunken hundred” was accepted for publication (along with a shorter poem called “Lots”) in the inaugural issue of Poetry Birmingham in September 2019. Has Doubts Volume Four remains shelved at this time (with just a couple of poems from it having had a public outing) but Volume Three is more-or-less ready for production pending a final proofread, and design and typesetting. Alexander has made a firm commitment that “In the Men’s Room” will almost definitely be published shortly after Brexit.
TL;DR: Alexander Velky is a poet and this is his poetry website.