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Index: Poetry & Fiction

The Wise Child.

Laura Potts was a BBC New Voice for 2017. Her first BBC radio drama was ‘Sweet The Mourning Dew’ and aired at Christmas 2017, and she received a commendation from The Poetry Society in 2018.


Martin Thom: ‘The Arms Fair prospers yet, and Rudd
Has curtained off a mire of blood
Which the Few, the Good, the Great
In ermine gowns may contemplate.’

Men with women.

Michael Buckingham Gray: ‘The phone rings. He lets out a sigh and does not move. Recalls his wife saying she did not want anything drawn out. Studies the rug on the floor. Notices the elephants.’

Seven sonnets.

Keith Hutson: ‘Chaplin called movement liberated thought.
No words required. Action is all. But what
if you distil a lifetime’s liveliness –…’

‘The man who turned to paper’ — and three more new poems.

Simon Perril: ‘There are worse things
than the tumble of gravel/seeping down the tunnel
of the inner ear.’

Two poems from ‘Hushings’.

Peter Riley; ‘These spectres are no more than thoughts
but they are international. So I go to
the International Restaurant in Bradford’

Two poems from ‘Pennine Tales’.

Peter Riley: ‘To arrive, to stay, to become old, to learn
the details, the stone paths strung over the hills,
the football record, when the goods trains pass through.’

Five new poems.

Judith Willson: ‘Fragile as old film, the miners whistle their names’ thin tunes –
John Newton, Cageman. Tom Evans, Shaftman – lines of them
rising from the archives, red dust on their backs. ‘

Once More with Feeling.

Michael Buckingham Gray: ‘Fluorescent tubes replace the moonlight, and a bed supports him instead of a driver’s seat. A doctor looms over him.’

Three poems.

Colin Honnor: ‘Readied for the Push in drizzle
of Flanders in a blind November
they heard the music of the brazier
singing the chorus of the ember…’


Yves Bonnefoy: And always to quays at night, to bars, to a voice saying I am the lamp, I am the oil.

Nine small fictions.

Ian Seed: ‘They pointed up at us and laughed, but the laughter had anger in it. I led my wife by another alleyway back to the hotel. I hoped they would not follow us, but a large crowd soon gathered outside and began to shout and shake their fists.’

The Vanishing.

David Rea: ‘My life in the time-span of Edith Piaf’s ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’: sun-lit childhood days; my father vanished. I spent years with a variety of counsellors and psychotherapists. I became estranged from my mother. Intellectually, I rebelled against the hard sciences, turning to the social sciences; I became a reclusive academic, specialising in anthropology and folklore.’


D. H. Lawrence: ‘The glow of beauty, like every other glow, dies down unless it is fed. The idealists still dearly loved their things. But they had got them. And the sad fact is, things that glow vividly while you’re getting them go almost quite cold after a year or two. Unless, of course, people envy you them very much, and the museums are pining for them. And the Melvilles’ “things,” though very good, were not quite as good as that.’


Steve Ely: ‘The pagan origin of the pre-Islamic qasida is reflected in the fact that Æcerbot is a not merely a poem, but a spell …’