Issue 27 September 2021


Editor's Comments

Following on from last September's History issue the theme of Geography resulted in a large number of submissions. Maybe we are all missing our favourite places and the freedom to be able to travel wherever we want in the world. I personally miss travel and have loved reading different poems which tackle the theme in a variety of ways and evoke so many different places.

Sally Long


Landscaping Stowe 

And so he planted trees, with a mind
running beyond his lifetime, carving 
a fresh horizon. Chestnut, beech and oak
greened up and grew, edging the sky
with dense irregularity. Storms raged
and passed. Below,
men laboured the new valleys, digging
and carting, doing the contoured groundwork
nature had overlooked, until
their future is this finished masterpiece. 

Who reads its meanings now? A temple—
Latin-ed below the pediment—
is backdrop for a Facebook post,
the debris of a picnic. The British Worthies
and their politics are stony footnotes. 
But still the trees—
whole stands of trees, balanced
between his vision and the mature spread
of trunk and bark and branches—
mark each day, the seasons sliding past;
a seamless canvas never still
but coloured 
by the tender fragile presence of each leaf.

D A Prince

Sils Lake II


They keep coming back, the butterflies

from shore to shore;

Proust evoked them

not yet the great French writer,

conjured them up (as we conjure him now). 

Nietzsche’s rock must have been like that

imagined substantiated

not there at all

then there forever.

Lynne Lawner

Horses of the Frozen Lake, Iceland 

The horses step lightly onto the unbroken field
of ice a blue frazil through fresh snow 

perhaps the hard Nordic window of an old floe
to see if the lake will hold them 

for no other reason
It is their way of testing the providence of the old gods 

the Niflheim realm of mist and ice
that still comes yearly to the Icelandic shore 

with frostnip fears that all will still to nothing
and return to black basalt origins 

of a more violent volcanic world
But I keep running up the fiord 

and the horses watch in their knot of three
thick fur faces steaming in the spring air 

their wool noses and deep-set eyes witness
humans moving almost naked 

through the stillness of cinder cones
But like the ancient gods they are unmoved 

by the human form on such cold days
when the lake holds them on its fragile palm 

and they seem to hover in the air
testing the limits of the known world 

as I disappear even as 
the seasons begin to change

George Moore

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana

Some tongues place stress on the second vowel
some delay emphasis until fourth-fifth consonant 
allowing the last syllable to become light-shadow:
yet our shadows are not light, our imprints darken
walls, buildings — the weight of those bodies still, 
though dissolved, hang heavy, permeates western
momentum, moral argument from armchair ease, 
while lives of those who evaded total retribution
reside in new museums, are consigned to history 
as history consigns conscience to such argument
— where to place each stress, of guilt, of syllable:
        Hiro: HiROsh: HiroSHIma.  


Of Course All Statistics Are Approximations 

Not that there was knowledge, not that we would admit,
not in the first instance, no, our missive merely confirms 
successful delivery, our condition normal, omitted detail: 

Dead (Japanese) - Immediate:  70,000-80,000
Injury (Japanese) - Immediate 70,000
Dead (Japanese total) 1945  140,000 

Dead (U.S Airman P.O.W.)  12 



“….the morality of dropping that bomb was not my business. 
I was instructed to perform a military mission to drop the bomb. 
That was the thing that I was going to do the best of my ability. 
You have got to leave the moral issue out of it.” 

General Paul Warfield Tibbets - Reflections on Hiroshima: Atomic Heritage Foundation 



Such a loving son. See how he takes care 
in holding the pen between finger and thumb
— as Heaney (also a loving son) would write 
some decades later when the dust had settled
in lungs and the Eleanor Gay (his ma’s name)
departed, disassembled, relegated to display:
parts only.
      It may be said that is also the case in items found in a space dedicated to Peace
— last entry 30m. before closing — not of those
victims vaporised but lucky survivors, who invite
tourists to survey a dress, a watch, a lock of hair,
their anger, their pain, their photos or their faces:
       parts only.

Ruth O’Callaghan 


Beyond us
stretches an expanse of brown ground
             – grass tussocks, bog myrtle, reeds –
                          quivering with wind, shadows, water.
 An antlered stag trots uphill
              roaring his domain.  
A burn coppers the valley
            the narrow road following its twists
to a village on a tilt above the boglands
             while across the tract in a ring dyke
ruined crofts are falling into squelch.
              Sometimes looking-up shakes you
            like hindsight.
Here this caldera of silence
              is a roofless cathedral for giants;
igneous summits orbited by eagles.
              We try to imagine the immensity
of hot gasses, magma overflowing so fast
             the volcano collapsed into its core.  
But we’re shivering.
             Underfoot we notice gabbro slabs
             are riven with cracks.
Out at sea, volcanic islands have snagged the clouds.  

Rebecca Gethin 

Columbus calculates risk Gran Canaria 1492

None really, all things considered.
Though this flat cartography disagrees,
his perspective is different. 

He has read Ptolemy, thinks him wise,
knows there is no real edge, no tilting tip
only oceans slanting away to sunsets. 

He trawls tales of traders and merchants
who voyage from sunrise, scale waves
tall as swaying firs, fierce as fear. 

Tides slip secrets to an eager Europe
- carved wood drifting East, corpses
with other faces carried by West Winds. 

On this scatter of land at Africa's edge
close hauled, he weighs tales and truth,
danger and wealth. Decides.

Finola Scott

Guerrilla country 

You climb the final rise, and reach the ridge.
A winter sunlight catches ribs and hollows
rippling out across a world that’s green –
and bleached where pain has washed the land in waves. 

Touch hands with those who made these marks with stones
or picks or ploughs; with fighters, fearful how
their day would end; and those who made a mark
by ending here – in traces we can’t see. 

The ground’s as new as its most recent rain,
or wind that last blew soil grain on grain;
and old as stifled cries of children hidden
in folds, or homes on hilltops, built and burned. 

Be still, and listen for the quieter traces
too, of play and laughter children heard.

Phil Vernon

Ribs of the Afterworld
driving past Stonehenge on the way to Cornwall 

Temporarily our bald Neolithic selves 
were engaged, staring at the sun for answer, 

praying for warm weather so we don’t have 
to enrol in blankets in a running melancholy  

of cold feet. The stones, standing on their ones
and twos, are the ribs of the afterworld,  

it’s corpse rotting into a cottage industry 
of gift shops and tea rooms, whilst the henge 

is an island with no immigrants, sainting earthworms.
We move rocks of boiled sweets from front seat to back.

Grant Tarbard


The woman with the forgiveness
is out there in the world somewhere.

Maybe she's in a coffee house,
sipping her latte, reading the local
free weekly arts newsletter.

Or she could be busking
on the London streets,
hammering out those old
tunes of hers, playing for loose change.

Maybe she met someone, married,
raised children, bought a house
near Lake Lucerne or Colorado,
some place where everywhere
she looks there's mountains,
water, snow.

I know she has it because
it once was both our property
and she left and it's not with me
so, wherever she is,
that's where my salvation lies.

It's not easy knowing
the key to my clemency
could be in Shanghai or Budapest,
might work in an antique store
or a Dude ranch in Wyoming.

I still need the mercy.
Ten years later, I am aching
for the absolution.

So come on, Czech Republic,
Bering Strait, Caspian Sea...
a pardon would work just fine.

I've got the guilt. What about the amnesty?
This woman and I both know its history.
But only she knows its geography.

John Grey

In the slot for tracks the time between trains
is your last address though it's the station
that's waiting for the years gone by to return 

the way this unwanted newspaper is already seated
as if it was going further and at the border
would spread as the grammar all travelers learn 

from each other to put the minutes in order
before reaching out to hand some conductor
the death certificate that has no period 

for the hole to be dug by the silence
reaching out from so many tears
night after night for it to end.

Simon Perchik

Cranes at Airport Lake

Their spirals go
upwards but
as though
some pliers didn't know
which way to twist and cut.

Switching between two tones,
the squawk's
their own:
the topic of their talk's
migratory zones.

Slightly awry,
their corkscrew
eases through
the unseasonal February sky's
consistent blue.

Whatever height
displays of flight
attain, the cranes fly on,
hunters gone
before the northern starlight.

Alistair Noon


ghost white windmills
scar the ridge:
a spinning Calvary

Kelley White

Twenty-First Century Maths

You must know distance?
D= x/t. Elementary.
Where x is a word or a person
or x was a word or a person.
Time          time.
Don’t let the is of = fool you:
Distance knows no tense, memory inheres
in every known and unknown
variable. Mathematically visible.

Watching the swallows spool out
around infinity, you are
safe till the pixelated apocalypse, when
the screen space becomes time travelled
to hear your mother say
                                        I have cancer.
The universe expands tight as a balloon,
a distended Atlantic-sized tumor.
Through the flattened dark,
I could not pull her to me.

It's best to hide.
Snot-sob a voice message in the bedroom
to your sister-friend in Denver
oceans and prairies and five thousand miles
removed from you. You must know distance?

Kristine Johanson


The Cathedral in Seville 


I take her to the Cathedral fountain 

and wash her hair in water that glitters 

with sun and coins. 


She shoots her head up from the water 

like a diving duck. 


“Who lives in that church?” she asks, pointing to the Cathedral. 


“The faceless giant,” I say.


“Where are all those people going?” she asks. 


“They are going inside to worship his ankles,” I say. 


“Is Columbus buried inside the Cathedral?” she asks.


“His bones are inside the Cathedral,” I say.


“How do they know they are his bones?” she asks. 


“I don’t think they are. I think they are the bones of every dog that has gone missing in Seville,” I say.


“I believe Columbus is really God. I believe God is buried in that tomb,” she says. “Do you believe in anything?” she asks.


 “I believe a good flamenco song is lit like a match and the flame wavers before touching the front of the cigar. If the flame is still, the child will not leave the womb.


 I believe the women of Seville wear eyes of sorrow for the day and a pair for hunger at night. 


When their backs give out and their knees swell and their toes cave, their bones are tossed in the tomb. 


I heard some old men say a woman is no longer needed in Seville if she no longer dances,” I say. 


The child with the wet hair starts to dance a solea in front of the fountain. 


“They will not have my bones,” she says. “I have just begun to dance!”

Chris Pellizzari


Tailor made

The Chilterns are upholstered. Hills
buttoned round by villages.
Hipbone flints stud corduroy drills
and the walls of cottages
called Hollybank and Willow Barn.
They have security alarms
and gravel drives
to hear you coming.

Stenciled signs point sandwich-packed
walkers along tended tracks,
through beech-wood bluebells
there and back
in time for tea.
This cut of cloth, this map we make.
The paths that stitch and decorate
the fields. The lanes that lead to gates
where care is careful, tucks its shirt in,
checks for snags and strangers lurking.
The lights come on. We close the curtains

Joe Crocker

View from Wittenham Clumps


Who needs to go to Egypt

when I have these

pyramids of my small world?


Two hills with trees carved

by wind as if they were stone,

as if the trees are ancient.


I do not begin to draw at first.

Better to think and absorb,

feel the spirit of the place emerge.


My thoughts wander over the hill

to the shooters, to lunch, yellow farm butter,

thick slabs of brown home-made bread.


I watch and wait until my hands

take on a life of their own

flow over furrows of ploughed fields.


The rooks circle the clumps of trees

and I take flight to join them

with black eyes, out-stretched wings.

Caroline Davies

Around We Go
ged fourteen, in a Geography lesson 
in a Technical High school in 1959  

This is not Art, not a race, or done free.
Here is paper for tracing accurately. 
You’ll see your country through it, softened 
to grey. Pencil-in the coastline. More 
pressure, please; but control your passion.  

Flip like a pancake, and see where you’ve been;
it shows clearly but cloudily through. 
Go round the line again, even and crisp. 
Turn over the paper. Use your left claw 
to hold it firm. Scribble. That’s an invitation!   

Practical tasks extended to Geography 
and the “map pen” was de rigueur;
its tapered nib, thin and as two sewing pins,
would be dipped in ink, set to draw
over the pencil borders of home nations.  

I made an accurate stab (at least for me). 
I kept up, did a thorough Cooks Tour
but rendered England back to front. It was binned.
Dyslexic reversal was not known at this address.
The teacher drew out his cane. 

Philip Burton 


Spring Equinox in Leeds

It’s 8.08 and I have British Summer Time jetlag,
pacing groggily by the hotel espresso machine,
before heading distractedly up the hill to visit friends,
through what they later tell me is a “bad” part of town. 

I pace groggily near the hotel espresso machine.
The earth has woken up to spring, but I have not.
My way takes me into the “scary” part of town –
but I walk unmolested past its once-grand houses. 

The earth wakes into spring, but I’m still sleepy,
yawning as I walk up the hill to visit friends.
The once-grand houses are indifferent to me –
perhaps they also have summertime jetlag? 

Paula Aamli 

Taking Leave 


The weather is fine, it hasn’t rained all day.
Out back the compost heap breathes life 
into itself made of all the dead old things. 

The garage sits there in its completeness––
stone clad painted magnolia, crazy paving 
runs parallel to the rotted green wooden door. 

I wait for the ice-cream man to arrive
to buy Ten Benson and Hedges––
nobody talks about what has happened. 


Devils leap, Sandy Bank 
all the places we’d go
as kids to jump rivers  

We’d build dams––
flood the landscape
in the shadow of Tandle Hill 

I still have the fossil I found—
imagine a small lizard
as it tries to escape itself 


We walked to Alexandra Palace
–– do you remember and back,
left the night club drugged up
night before I left for Italy. 

Which time was that–– first
or second, you at the airport––
I can’t believe you’re leaving
me–– just go I said, welling up. 


There is still enough time to die
believe me, I did everything
I could, but some things
I am just not that good at. 

Stuart Mckenzie 


Does the mapmaker of the Mersey Estuary know the Mappa Mundi? 

I imagine his urge to draw in the margins, sciapods, unicorns and griffins
brought home by sailors in sea-chests 

each beast, each attribute, tinted in earth colours, etched into its own dry dock. 

A mapmaker’s life lives-on in the hand-drawn line, muscle and thought pressure on the page. 

Did he have close at hand a Chinese Globe or Ottoman sailing chart?
Every plotted point and line speaks of the habits of ships, a crossing of tides over time. 

Balance spring clock for longitude, the North Star for latitude. 

Calculations can position you for good or bad, the winds and weather
can roll and pitch you. 

Did he recall the Nile, triangular slave-trade through Africa, journeys
through the high latitudes to the southern ocean, routes to the land of giants? 

Here is my own map, a lacework of hand-made lines
each with its own unique geometry. Some stop short, one fades to nothing.
Another pauses, it seems for years. Others recall the lines on the palm of my hand
that I look at wistfully now and again.

Toby Jackson 

From the Sky

As an Eagle soars, I ride on the wings of the wind. As a Bat hangs up side down, I watch the wonders that blossom as a legion of roses/ under the laps of the blues.

I see the companies of shrubs that are united & medusas of leaves– the trees that are waving at me, are as green as a precious pasture with a pleasant posture.

I see the stretch marks– drawn across the faces of the soil– the pedestrian rails.

The rivers are mirrors of liquid. As clear as crystals. The oceans are chameleons– they bear the images of the sailors with every Canoe that sits on their faces.


Timid waters are the wrappers the Islands tie while the deserts thirst. They lack water so much that crying is impossible.

Psalmuel Benjamin Oluwasheun


Golden Girl


She wears a gilt dress from the clothing bank.

It shines like a coin in the sun.

The hem ripples in a breeze squeezed up from Ladbroke Grove Station.

She traps the silk with her knees, giggling at its life beyond her.

Above her, the barrelled belly of the underpass is like the ceiling of a ballroom.

She walks towards the vacant units strung out beneath the buzz of the Westway.
Forcing herself up tight against the cold metal of the cages she snaps the neck of the vial.

Pressing the broken end to her nose she sniffs up.

She lies still for a while, black cobwebs and litter hang off the thin dress.

Sitting up, her face is loose and her head bobs as she calls out.

Her voice and her body are thick with it.

She moves across the precinct to Portobello Green, legs heavy and low.

Yellow poppies nod in the verge as she sits boneless on the grass.

Coming down, she checks herself like a soldier after an engagement.

She knows there is no secret.

Kris Spencer

The Map Maker  

The map maker cultivates curves, 
Charts each contour, 
Co-ordinates ridges, rivers and roads 
Yet is indifferent to ice, flow and potholes, 
Cannot plot the daily grind of erosion, 
Cannot predict where the land will lie after high tide 
And just like that, faith is cast amidst the flotsam.  

A thimble, a fish hook, a comb, 
Pendula agitating oceans, 
A pair of ivory coffin handles,
Fruits de la mer: an extravagance of scrap 
And a map, ink in flux, bleeding new coastlines 
Into the swell of crest and trough until 
All that prevails is the watermark. 

Cathryn McWilliams

Navigating by Walls 

They are the spines of the fell; struggling out from the muscles
of the ridge, backs broken open by the wind and brittle cold,
exposed grey nerves reaching into the distance. 

And they are never dry – on the top, even on clear days
water-saturated air glazes the lichen-painted knuckles
displaying them in lines of packed beauty – each stone 

a decision, palmed and fingerprinted, place determined,
two sides leaning towards each other, locked with through
stones, hearted and capped – remote galleries 

left a hundred years ago by men of few words, their legends
recorded in the thinnest of black lines on paper, crossing
the contours in signatures of loops and dead-end curves and we know 

that when the mists come down, they’ll handrail us to safety.

Ilse Pedler

Forgotten school lessons 

Miss Morris would hand out worksheets
purple-inked and damp at the edges
absent-mindedly sniffing them
as she set our morning’s task.
‘Miss, you’ll get high,’ we’d say
but we didn’t know if she was high
or lost in dreams that morning
she handed us Portugal. 

With a spare worksheet wafting her face
Miss Morris pointed out the river Lima.
‘It runs into the sea at Viana do Castelo,’ she said.
‘I spent a summer there with a good friend.
We lived on caldo verde
and at night we slept on the beach.’
We giggled - only twelve but we knew
what ‘a good friend’ meant. 

Miss Morris had been everywhere
and I had been nowhere
except for the wind-swept Skegness beach.
I imagined her strolling the world’s every lane
and peeping into its every corner.
She brought us purple-inked worksheets
of each country, each region,
with lists of rivers and cities to discover 

but all that talk of famous sites,
of people, food and culture
are long forgotten.
I only remember Viana do Castelo
and how she spent the summer there
with a good friend
living on caldo verde
and sleeping on the beach.  

Rosalind Adam


Portuguese Cliff 


The Hottentot fig, the information board tells all,

is not indigenous to these cliff parts but was introduced to the area.


Picture some sea voyager bringing

this stray home to proudly introduce to his mother.


Look at this new lovely, it’s come from far away, says he.

Bed it down there, it will take the bare look off the place, says she.


Sure enough its roots thrive in the topsoil, 

seed is spread within a season. No native bird or mammal 


likes its taste, preferring to eat their own, they leave it be.

It gives purple flowers to cover the cliffs in generous reverie.


But the botanist wants to remind any admirers that much and all as it 

looks good, the Hottentot fig is not native to these parts.


Loretta Fahy


We meet by the river
on a Wednesday lunchtime,
to the disapproval of your dry wife. 

Sandwiches are eaten
from square lunchboxes,
and we talk about the shapes we used to make -
but not all of them. 

“Do you remember,” you say,
“how you used to come out with my words
before I’d even thought them?” 

And I think about the river, and how,
when it curls round and finds only itself,
there is a reckoning.
A cutting of the slack.

Nina Parmenter


The Stag in Lockdown 

Sooner than we thought
the animals came to our cities.
Light-hooved on polished marble 
the stag gracing the domed cathedral
has ample space to swivel his antlers. 
As he turns his gaze on empty pews
he consecrates the amplified silence. 
There’s no recent play of sacrifice
on the altar, no traffic on the streets.
His herd ruminates on nearby lawns
whilst his tines out-majesty
candelabra and tinkling chandeliers.
Curiosity and calm are more sacred
than gold, crystal and stone. 

Chris Kinsey

Green Cards 

My first green card showed me/
full-face view/ someone stole
this green card/ from my workplace
on Profanity Hill/ Skid Road/ Pill Hill/
site of the old goal/ old courthouse/
new Harborview/ stole while I worked. 

The new green card showed/
hair-behind-one-ear/ three-quarter
face view/ demanded by the US
Citizenship and Immigration Services/
USCIS/ the great US of A/ CIS. 

I sat on a seat/ seat fixed to concrete/
in a warehouse for silent aliens/
waited to be processed/ waited
all day in the cold/ to be issued
with a new hair-behind-one-ear/ 

green identity. The new me
thought in American/ but spoke
in South African/ although she
thought in a foreign voice/
she dreamed in her own voice/
of Joburg summers/ before green cards.

Gwen Sayers


The Divine Moon

Do you remember when we used the Moon
To measure menses, measure time by month?
We’d found the Moon determined tides and blood,
So planted crops and children by its tides.

From tribal gods of weather, waves and war
We groped, pre-Science, through theology,
Trying to grasp the world and life and death,
Leaving the worship of the moon behind.

The atheist Gagarin, first to heaven,
Noted he didn’t see a God up there.
American believers, first to the Moon,
Quietly said nothing, and moved on.

Now city kids may never have seen stars...
Soon satellites will blanket the night sky...
With skyless nights, why should we still use months?
And when in space, why months? Or days? Why years?

Not knowing where we’re headed, all we know:
That god or goddess Moon’s left far behind.

Robin Helweg-Larsen


Late Bus from Dublin to Derry

The engine's gentle shake reminds the eyelids of their weight.
The lights on the few cars we pass declare no allegiance,
shift-workers return home from the same long day.  

These are the hours when the mind craves nothing more
than a walk in its own established territories

and as a tired man will sleep in any bed
darkness does not name the land it rests on.  

The early light like an opening eye expands
its gaze; morning will not negotiate its approach
and all fields will be claimed by frost. 

Katie Martin


Panthalassa to Pangaea*

But we have been here before

have we not?


All things drift apart

then are drawn closer together again.

Little Mother,

let drop the peninsular hand,

make tectonic travellers of them all.


Heave the dirt from your belly

draw the waters from your eyes,

for they will return

to you, those feverish toddlers of clay

one day.  All reach for your kiss,

Little Mother.


If you scatter your children

then I will be your family, will hold

you afloat in grey and blue and green.

I will watch them too

as they dip their toe in;

let them know they cannot ever

truly rule over me.


Time will recover all

for you, Little Mother.  Do not fret

as your newborns jostle and test

their shifting borders. 


What is a million years

to you


An exhalation?


A welcome nights rest?


Jennie E. Owen

* Panthalassa is the name given to the Super Sea that surrounded the Super Continent of Pangaea before it split.



Crossing to Lerwick

On any roadmap of the British Isles
you’ll see these islands, not in their right place
but cut and pasted to an empty space
somewhere near Aberdeen: two hundred miles
adrift. If you can find a map that’s true
you’ll be unfolding square after blue square
scattered with skerries or entirely clear
of any sign of land before the view
of Shetland’s fretted coastline: the black cliffs
looming at Bressay’s southern shore, sea-caves,
the Light at Kirkabister, capes and bays,
Lerwick’s long waterfront: warehouses, wharfs.

Off the map, the ferry ploughs its white
widening double furrow through the night. 

Ama Bolton


Behind Bars

The gorilla stands at the grille
and stares at his human cousin,
we who have cramped his style
and sentenced him to prison.
is habitat on the map
was a patch near the equator.
Ours is an empire shape
infecting every quarter.  

Duncan Forbes

The Vicar of Watford Gap

Years ago we sat up half the night,
got through a litre of whisky, talked of God
knows what. Now he’s a vicar, white-haired,
rounder, plying his trade across four parishes.

Today he’s at Watford Gap, slip road to limbo,
official start of the north. I imagine his parish
proceedings, drive-in confirmations
at Costa, quick-stop baptisms with Happy Meals.

Sung Evensong, all Gloria and Sanctus,
to the beeping of slot machines, stations
of the Cross at M&S, a glimpse of eternity
in the queue for the loo, last rites performed at KFC.

Julian Dobson

No More Bob Grahams

No more night runs, no more traversing
forty-two fells in twenty-four hours.
This is a challenge they’ve dreamed of,
planned for, a different kind of peak.
Now with a fair wind at their backs
they’re off again: a new home cragged
on the side of a fell; a family once two,
then three, now four; beside them
a brace of dogs running at heel.
Here, on the cusp of the village – a church,
a school, a shop with a twice-weekly post office –
they can pause long enough to put down roots,
to breathe the Lakeland air, to know
this is their place, this is where they belong.

Angi Holden

 (The Bob Graham Round is a fell-running challenge of 42 specified Lakeland peaks to be completed in 24 hours.)


Paula Aamli is a Humanities graduate with a Masters in Sustainability. Paula completed her Organisational Change doctorate, “Working through climate grief: A first-person poetic inquiry”, in February 2021. She has had poems published online in Allegro Poetry Magazine, Dissonance Magazine, and Shot Glass, a poetry journal of short verse. 

Rosalind Adam is a Leicester poet and author with an obsession for nostalgia and Richard III. Her publications include poetry, articles and children’s books. In 2018 she won the G. S. Fraser poetry prize and was awarded a distinction for her MA in Creative Writing at The University of Leicester.

Ama Bolton, former member of The Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun, convenes a Stanza group in Somerset, where she lives with a sculptor and two hens. Her poems have featured at festivals, on Radio 3’s The Verb, on local radio and in magazines and anthologies.

Philip Burton
concurrently held four poetry competition First prizes in 2019, including: the Jack Clemo, the Sandwich (Kent) Poet of the Year, and the Barn Owl Trust. Philip received a commendation from Heidi Williamson in The Poetry Society Stanza poetry competition, 2020, for his poem on the theme of dyslexia. His poetry publications include The Raven’s Diary (joe publish 1998), Couples (Clitheroe Books Press 2008), 
His Usual Theft, (Indigo Dreams Press 2017) and Gaia Warnings (Palewell Press 2021). 

Joe Crocker lives in Yorkshire. He is a little old to be starting out in poetry but succumbed to the muse during the Covid lockdown and has had a some things published, mainly in Snakeskin magazine, LightBewildering Stories and in New Verse News.

Caroline Davies has an MA Writing Poetry from the Poetry School, London and Newcastle University. Her books are Elements of Water (Green Bottle Press), Convoy Voices from Stone and Bronze (Cinnamon Press)She co-hosts Ouse Muse in Bedford, which is currently meeting online. She is occasionally on twitter

Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield. His work has appeared in journals including Ink, Sweat & Tears, Acumen, Magma, and Under the Radar, and on a bus in Guernsey. 

Loretta Fahy
, a native of Co. Sligo and graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. Her poem, ‘Offerings of Recompense’ was published in the Irish Times, in April 2019, ‘Mullach Summers’ was shortlisted for the Strokestown Competition, 2019. ‘Peony’ due to be published in the upcoming issue of An Capall Dorcha. 

Duncan Forbes’s poems have been published by Faber, Secker and Enitharmon, who brought out a Selected Poems in 2009, drawn from five previous collections. For his most recent collection of poems, Human Time (2020), see He read English at Oxford and has taught for many years. 

Rebecca Gethin  has written 6 poetry publications. She was a Hawthornden Fellow and a Poetry School tutor.  Palewell Press published Vanishings in 2020 and Marble published a chapbook in 2021. Messages was a winner in the inaugural Coast to Coast to Coast pamphlet competiton.  She blogs sporadically at

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and the Round Table. Latest books, Leaves On Pages and Memory Outside The Head are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner and Hollins Critic.

Robin Helweg-Larsen has had over 300 poems, mostly formal, published in the UK (Allegro, Ambit, Snakeskin, etc), US, Canada and elsewhere. Some favourites are in The HyperTexts. He is Series Editor for Sampson Low's "Potcake Chapbooks" and blogs at from his hometown of Governor's Harbour in the Bahamas. 

Angi Holden
is a retired lecturer, whose published work includes adult & children’s poetry, short stories & flash fictions. Her pamphlet Spools of Thread won the Mother's Milk Pamphlet Prize. She won the Victoria Baths Splash Fiction competition and was placed in the 2019 and 2020 Cheshire Prize for Literature.

Toby Jackson has spent most of his professional life in galleries of modern and contemporary art, curating public programmes and writing on art and museology. He has written poetry most of his adult life and has had work published in many poetry magazines and journals including Magma, The Lake, Borderlines, Other Poetry, Fire and The Coffee House.

Kristine Johanson is an Amsterdam-based writer and academic. Her first film, Fever Dreams, has been screened at festivals in Europe and the US and won Best Film at the 2020 Amsterdams Buurt Film Festival. Her co-written play about Brexit, The B Word (2018), had a sold-out run at the Westergastheater.

Chris Kinsey fell in love with the Mid-Wales hills as a toddler and imagined that her future would be amongst them. She has lived in Powys since 1979 and has had five collections published. Her most recent: From Rowan Ridge, was commissioned by Fair Acre Press and explores border geography.

Lynne Lawner has published two collections of poetry, Wedding Night of a Nun (Atlantic Little-Brown) and Triangle Dream: Poems (Harper and Row). Her various awards include the Oscar Blumenthal Prize from Poetry magazine. She has been a resident at Yaddo, a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute, and the recipient of many grants. She has published books on art with Rizzoli, Harry N. Abrams, and other houses. Many of her translations of Italian poetry have appeared over the years, including the volumes Painted Fire: Selected Poems of Maria Luisa Spaziani (Chelsea) and Letters from Prison of Antonio Gramsci (Harper’s, reprinted FSG).

Stuart Mckenzie is a London based visual artist. He was one of three poets featured in the 2016 Laudanum Chapbook Anthology series Volume 1. He was the featured poet in Magma 63 ‘The Conversation Issue’ and also published in Sounds of the Front Bell anthology by ‘The Group’ featuring poets from John Stammers writing group.  

Cathryn McWilliams, born and raised in Northern Ireland, is an Associate Professor of English at the University of South-Eastern Norway. Her children’s book Who Ate All the Pies? was published in the UK in 2010, while her poetry has appeared in The Honest Ulsterman. 

Katie Martin is a poet from Dublin, Ireland. Her poems have been previously published in CrannógSkylight 47Abridged, The Bangor Literary JournalThe Irish Times and Humana Obscura. She is currently a participant on the Words Ireland National Mentorship Programme.

George Moore’s poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, North American Review, Colorado Review, Orion, and Stand. His most recent collections are Children's Drawings of the Universe (Salmon Poetry 2015) and Saint Agnes Outside the Walls (FurureCycle 2016). A seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and finalist for The National Poetry Series, he taught with the University of Colorado, Boulder, and now lives on the south shore of Nova Scotia. 

Alistair Noon has published two collections with Nine Arches Press (Earth Records, 2012, and The Kerosene Singing, 2015) and a dozen chapbooks from various presses. His translations from the Russian of Osip Mandelstam, Concert at a Railway Station: Selected Poems, appeared from Shearsman Books in 2018. He lives in Berlin.

Ruth O’Callaghan a Hawthornden Fellow, has 11 poetry collections, an Arts Council award to Mongolia, residencies in Europe,  a gold medal at the XXX WCP in Taiwan, she leads workshops, co-organises festivals and reads throughout Asia, Europe, U.S.A.  Her two London poetry venues, where famous and unknown read together, raises money for the homeless. 

Psalmuel Benjamin Oluwasheun is a young Christian poet, short stories writer, dramatist, artist and inspiring lawyer from Nigeria. He is a round writer with the fear of God. If he is not doing the above mentioned exercises, he's praying.

Jennie E. Owen’s writing has won competitions and has been widely published online, in literary journals and anthologies.  She teaches Creative Writing for The Open University and lives in Lancashire with her husband and three children.  

Nina Parmenter has appeared in journals including Ink, Sweat & Tears, Snakeskin, Light, Better Than Starbucks and The Lyric. In 2021, she was the winner of the Hedgehog Poetry single poem competition and was nominated for the Forward Prize. She was also highly commended in the 2021 Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize. She lives in Wiltshire with her husband and two boys.

Ilse Pedler has had poems published in Magma, Stand, Strix, as well as several anthologies. Her pamphlet, The Dogs That Chase Bicycle Wheels, won the 2015 Mslexia Pamphlet competition.  Her first collection Auscultation was published by Seren in June 2021, she works as a veterinary surgeon in Kendal.

Chris Pellizzari’s work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Allegro, The Lake, Gone Lawn, Softblow, and Not One Of Us. 

Simon Perchik’s poetry has also appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.

D A Prince lives in Leicestershire and London. Her second full-length collection (Common Ground, HappenStance, 2014) won the East Midlands Book Award 2015. A pamphlet, Bookmarks, also from HappenStance, was published in 2018.

Gwen Sayers has an MA Creative Writing. Her poetry was nominated for the Forward Prize single best poem, and shortlisted for the Flambard Prize. Her poems appear in numerous literary magazines including: AllegroTears in the FenceUnbroken JournalUnder the RadarDream CatcherOrbisObsessed with Pipework. 

Finola Scott's poems are published widely including in Gutter, Alchemy Spoon, PB and Lighthouse. A Makar of the Federation of Writers, she is a winner of Speculative Fiction's Morgan Competition. Her work was selected as Cafe Writers' Poem of the Month. Red Squirrel Press publish her pamphlet Much left Unsaid.

Kris Spencer has written seven books. He has been published in Acumen, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Orchards Poetry Journal, Fenlands Poetry Journal, The Balloon Literary Journal, Nailpolish Stories, Bluepepper. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is a Head teacher living and working in West London.

Grant Tarbard is the author of Loneliness is the Machine that Drives the World (Platypus Press) and Rosary of Ghosts (Indigo Dreams). His new pamphlet This is the Carousel Mother Warned You About (Three Drops Press) and new collection dog (Gatehouse Press) will be out this year.

Phil Vernon lives in Kent, in the UK. His collection Poetry After Auschwitz was published by Sentinel in 2020, and a further collection Watching The Moon Landing is due in autumn 2021 from Hedgehog Poetry Press. More of his poems can be read at

Kelley White, a pediatrician, has worked in inner-city Philadelphia and rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books). She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.