“There is no centre anymore. We live in a multipolar world, and culture reflects that." Fatima Bhutto
Poetry
Docta puella

Docta puella

“This book is about a poet who disappeared, about a woman who pursued her career in a blaze of publicity, while leading a secret life that eventually destroyed her, and who left such a legacy of lies and evasion that her true story can only now be told,” writes Lucasta Miller in the preface of...
Kitchen

Kitchen

What would you do if I died right now, here, you asked. Your hand still resting on my thigh. Your eyes focused on the ceiling – on the splash of curry sauce to the left of the light which doesn’t work. We could have been in a field. A wooden spoon dug into my back....
From The Country Between Us

From The Country Between Us

Carolyn Forché’s The Country Between Us bears witness to what she saw in El Salvador in the late 1970s, when she travelled around a country erupting into civil war. Documenting killings and other brutal human rights abuses while working alongside Archbishop Oscar Romero’s church group, she found in her poetry the only possible way to...
Phenomenal women

Phenomenal women

In Summer 2017, I decided I wanted to read an anthology of poetry by women that would cover writers from the ancient world to today. I had edited several anthologies myself, but the remit had always been to include the ‘greatest hits’. I had become uncomfortably aware how few female poets featured in most general...
Before all this

Before all this

Before all this there were phone calls, there were letters, there were postcards, there were badly printed posters in corner shop windows, there were crowded notice boards, there was proper conversation. There were names and numbers written in tipsy scrawl on the peeled-off backs of beermats. There was ink. There was paper. There were crossings-out....
from Passport

from Passport

Richie McCaffery’s second poetry collection is a vivid exploration of place and displacement, boundaries and borders, creativity and doubt. As he writes about anxiety, loss and dislocation, he asks us to consider what it means to belong, and how we find our place in life, in love and in language, and in our pasts.  ...
from Cyclone

from Cyclone

Robert Peake’s second collection of poems tackles the weathering of personal, political and psychological storms in our present-day climate of chaos. He conjures with life choices, personal loss, grief and its long, painful aftermath, and a world in turmoil, wild with unreliable news and terrible forecasts, where nothing is certain. Here’s a brief glimpse.  ...
Love in the time of hospital visits

Love in the time of hospital visits

for Andrew The first, I think, was my ankle, bandaged as if the nurse was wrapping flowers after it bloomed shamelessly when I’d leaped from a style on College Lane and danced in the Union Bar. Next, your face. A rugby boot tore it open like a love letter and a doctor sealed it, not...
from Flood

from Flood

Clare Shaw’s third collection of poems ripples out from the 2015 floods that engulfed huge areas of Britain, including her then home town of Todmorden. Flood offers an eyewitness account of those events, finely interwoven with the breakdown of a relationship and wider themes of loss, destruction, unravelling and recovery.   Weather warning The weather’s...
Marcia Daley-Ward aka 'mum'

Marcia Daley-Ward aka ‘mum’

had a slim waist (in the very beginning), soft hair a gorgeous smile (pearly arcs, those teeth. Shining church doors). Marcia had smiling eyes loose hips could dance as well as anyone on television lived with her grandparents in Kingston, Jamaica, and she was oh so kind, had some art about her. When told to...