Between 1916 and 1927, the little magazines Birth and Spinner provided opportunities for writers to publish poems not accepted by mainstream periodicals. The poems collected in these magazines was not avant garde, but the literary character they collectively exhibited offered an alternative to the more nationalistic tone of larger magazines. Both magazines ceased production for practical and financial reasons, but a number of Melbourne writers remained committed to maintaining a place for poets to see their work in print.
By the late 1920s, without Spinner, there were few publishing opportunities for poets outside of the small number who achieved regular publication in the large newspapers and periodicals. In September 1929, the composer and writer Louis Lavater revived Spinner under a new title: Verse.
Printed on Frank Wilmot's home-based press, Verse appeared in the same format as Birth which was also set by Wilmot. These physical similarities are strengthened by the appearance of familiar contributors, providing a degree of unity throughout the separate lives of the three magazines. The work of Louis Lavater, Frederick Macartney, Frank Wilmot, Mary Gilmore and Mary Fullerton appears in all three publications and almost sixty writers who appear in Spinner also appear in Verse. In addition to poetry, contributions of prose were also accepted. Titles such as 'Prose, Poetry and Verse', The Translation of Anglo-Sazon Verse', 'Philosophy in Poetry', and 'Concerning Free Verse' indicate the type of articles Lavater accepted for publication.
Sold by subscription and in bookstores like Coles Library and the Olde Book Shop, Verse achieved a limited circulation, but its growth was hindered by the deepening economic depression. In a message to subscribers and contributors on the last page of the twenty-fourth number, Lavater expressed his desire to pay contributors to strengthen his 'editorial position'. But unable to achieve this goal, Lavater announced the closure of Verse, hoping to revive the magazine in the future.