Doubtist Books is a publishing and media company set up to fund, print, distribute and market the poetry of Alexander Velky. So far it’s been adequately functional.
Alexander came 2nd in the Fish Poetry Prize in 2010, judged by Matthew Sweeney; “The mirror ball” in The Fish Anthology of that year became his first published poem, giving him ideas above his station that have yet to be either validated or shifted. At that time he began work on what became his primary artistic outlet, the Has Doubts series: relatively simple poems combining narrative, allegory, biography, history and autobiography, with the intention of articulating important questions facing humanity.
He published Volume 1, a 33-poem collection called “Mistaken for art or rubbish“, in 2013; having crowdfunded via Kickstarter and having approached nobody else with any of the contents. It sold a little over 100 copies and received two very 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.
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. Velky launched the book with a performance and an open-mic evening at a pub in London on December 1, 2015.
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 some time on several diversions in the form of the 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.
Crowdfunding is ongoing for the most recent 2 volumes.