Issue 47 Lift Off!

Dear Readers,

We are delighted to bring you Issue 47 of From Glasgow to Saturn, which also marks the return of the journal to print after two years of existing solely online (much like us!) We would like to thank all of the wonderful and talented contributors who made this issue possible. We hope you love this issue as much as we do. Enjoy!


Issue 46: ready to launch!

After a long old lockdown, we’re very excited to say there’s finally just 24 hours to go until Issue 46 launches! Packed with precise, astute, creative work, it’s a collection of beautiful pieces which we hope will take you on a journey above the clouds.

Come join us in celebrating our wonderful contributors – there’s still time to get your hands on a free ticket to the Zoom launch party tomorrow evening. You can register through the Eventbrite link below.

We look forward to seeing you in the Zoom room where we’ll lift a virtual glass, hear readings from our Issue 46 contributors, and maybe even open up the floor for a wee open mic at the end.

See you there!

Too Raging to Cheers

by Iain Maloney

Let’s get this straight from the start. The Kirin Cup isn’t a cup. It isn’t even a tournament. It’s a marketing exercise by the Kirin beer company. Two international football teams are invited to Japan for a round-robin with the winner awarded the Kirin Cup. It isn’t a real trophy, it isn’t a real tournament. But in our 148-year history (the first international football game was Scotland v. England in 1872, a 0–0 draw) it is the only tournament we have ever won, the only trophy in our cabinet, and in the last twenty-two years, the only tournament we’ve even been in, so we’re claiming it. It’s ours. Scotland, Kirin Cup winners, 2006.

            I was in Japan then, and watched it on TV, the distance to Saitama being a bit beyond my budget at the time. Scotland, in an echo of that first ever match, ground out a boring scoreless draw but after beating Bulgaria 5–1, it was enough. So when Scotland returned in 2009 for the even-less-like-a-real-tournament Kirin Challenge Cup (literally a one-off friendly with the fallacy of a trophy at the end dangled like a limp carrot in front of an apathetic donkey), I wasn’t going to miss out on the glory.

It’s like the in-laws meeting. Japan versus Scotland. A friendly.
            The Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, site of the 2002 World Cup Final. We travel through to Yokohama and check in, ten minutes from the stadium. Far enough to enjoy the crowds on the approach, close enough to escape. We get dressed up; it’s a special occasion after all. Minori’s in a Scotland top, with a Japanese flag around her shoulders. On the way in, we stop at a face-painting stand and each get a hinomaru – the Japanese rising sun – painted on one cheek, a saltire on the other. I’m sporting Shunsuke Nakamura’s number 10 top from the 2006 World Cup and an enormous saltire tied round my waist, hanging like a Highland sarong, and a Lion Rampant cape, flying in the wind like Marvel’s William Wallace. We look good, an advert for multiculturalism.

On the way out of the hotel we take the lift with some Japanese guys. ‘Scotland?’
            ‘You don’t wear skirt?’
            ‘I forgot to shave my legs.’
            Beers, photos, cheers and chants. We bought our tickets in the country so we’re in amongst the Japanese fans, main stand, far from the tiny pocket of Tartan Army, a little village of indomitable Gaels in the corner. In Japan there’s only a vague attempt at fan segregation because there’s no violence, no atmosphere of threat. Football is a family day out; you bring the wife and kids, your packed lunch and your noise- makers. Saying that, they’re getting cannier with foreign fans. I was at the FIFA Club World Cup at Toyota Stadium in 2011, an infamous game amongst those who were there. The authorities were in no way prepared for the Espérance de Tunis fans, fresh from ousting Ben Ali earlier in the Arab Spring. They were rowdy, they were dancing, they were singing, they were drinking. They would not take their seats and they were in no way intimidated by the teenage ball boys deployed to stop a pitch invasion when dodgy refereeing handed Al Sadd of Qatar a 2–1 win. It was hilarious, by far the most fun I’ve ever had at a sports event. The following year, there were fences and guards and much less fun.

            Back in Yokohama, the teams come out, line up, and it’s anthem time. The Japanese one, sad, interminable, slowly fades into life and people start singing mournfully. I maintain this anthem is to blame for much underperforming by Japanese teams. An anthem should be rous- ing, bordering on martial, certainly in a major key, and ideally with a bit of bombast, something to get the blood flowing, the adrenaline pumping, something, well, anthemic. What it shouldn’t be is a dirge that would make Radiohead go ‘fucking hell, cheer up, mate’. Still, everyone sings along. A round of applause. Then it’s our turn, ‘Flower Of Scotland’. That’s more like it. Rousing, bloody, even has gaps perfectly suited to a gloss of swearing. I feel a bit self-conscious, the only one in the main stand giving it laldy, but you’ve got to represent, and it really is a very rousing anthem.

They start to boo. The people around me. And with each boo I sing a little louder. And a little louder. Then I stand up, flag up. Alone. I can barely hear the fifty outriders of the Tartan Army at the other end, but the indignation, the anger, makes me add my voice to theirs. I try to drown out the booing. I fail.
            I sit down in a purple rage, fists clenched.
            ‘Good job,’ says the man two seats along. ‘Good singing.’
            ‘Fuck you,’ I say. ‘Fuck you. Why did you boo?’
            I show him.
            ‘To show we support Japan.’
            ‘You hate Scotland?’
            ‘To boo means you hate something. You all said, “I hate Scotland. Scotland can fuck off.” Well, you can fuck off, too.’ He says nothing, looks at the pitch.
            Minori breaks her silence. ‘Leave it.’

A drubbing. 2–0. Should have been more. None of the regular first team have travelled, Japan is at full strength. Honda scores both. Smirks around me. I’m not singing any more. Scotland isn’t well known in Japan. Now they know something about us. They know we’re crap at football. My students are going to rip the piss when I get back to work. We leave. The crowds mix, and the kids are fascinated by these massive guys in skirts. Up ahead one is teaching them English.
            ‘Say fuck.’
            ‘No, not FAKU, Fuck. Fuck.’
            ‘FAKU. FAKU.’
            ‘Better. Not great. Now. The.’
            ‘Not za, the. The.’ And he makes this sound like a snake with a lisp. ‘Thrpp,’ the kids say, blowing raspberries.
            ‘Together. Fuck the.’
            His mates are in stitches. A father says to me, in Japanese, ‘What’s he teaching them?’
            ‘A football chant.’
            ‘Is it bad?’
            ‘It’s not good.’
            He looks like he wants to intervene, to say something. I shake my head. ‘Leave it.’
            Is this how they see me? They’re like the goons in the Popeye cartoons. Huge slabs of flesh, knuckles hanging low.

‘Hey, pal, vodka Coke, eh.’ We’ve gone into a bar for some food and drink, see what the craic is.
            ‘Vodka fuckin’ Coke, capisce?’
            ‘Fucksake, this is Bacardi, no fuckin’ vodka. Hey, pal, Ah said vodka. V-O-D-K-A. Understand?’
            I intervene.
            ‘Wokka cora?’
            ‘Wokka nai.’ Cocktail bars have vodka, but not a regular place like this. No one drinks vodka Coke here. I translate. The kind of attitude that would vote for Brexit rises, outraged that what you can get in Barrhead you can’t automatically get in Yokohama.
            ‘Come on, let’s get out of here. We’ll go to an izakaya. There won’t be any fans there.’
            As Minori finishes her drink I go up to pay. There’s fear, exhaustion, something in the guy’s eyes as he watches me approach. What hassle am I going to give him? Relief when I ask for the bill in Japanese, hand over the money without any problems. As he gives me my change, I say,             ‘Gomenne. Konya, ganbarre.’ Sorry about this. Good luck tonight.
            He grabs my hand and starts shaking it. ‘Arigatō. Thank you. Good night.’
            We go home.

An extract from the memoir The Only Gaijin in the Village: A year in rural Japan out now on Birlinn/Polygon.

Iain Maloney is the author of “The Only Gaijin in the Village”, a memoir about moving from Scotland to rural Japan. He has also published three novels and a haiku collection, and is an editor and lectures on writing in Japan. He has degrees in English (Aberdeen) and Creative Writing (Glasgow) and writes regularly for a number of publications including the Japan Times.

Originally published in Issue 19 as ‘Homegame’ which can be read in our Archive.

Call for Editors

Call For Editors

From Glasgow to Saturn, the literary journal based in the Creative Writing department at the University of Glasgow, is looking for editors. Be a part of this exciting publishing endeavour, and gain valuable experience! 

We’re looking for people interested in all aspects of putting together the journal, from selecting and editing pieces to design and marketing.

Open to all postgraduate students and 3rd-5th year undergraduates. 

How to apply: Tell us (max 500 words) why you want to be an editor and what you would bring to the team.  

Email your application to by 1st November. 

Image says:

From Glasgow to Saturn, the literary journal based in the Creative Writing department at the University of Glasgow, is looking for editors. Be a part of this exciting publishing endeavour, and gain valuable experience! 

We’re looking for people interested in all aspects of putting together the journal, from selecting and editing pieces to design and marketing.

Open to all postgraduate students and 3rd-5th year undergraduates.

How to apply: Tell us (max 500 words) why you want to be an editor and what you would bring to the team.  

Email your application to by 1st November. 

Issue 45 Launched!

The newest edition of From Glasgow To Saturn is now available for you to read and download, for free.

Keep an eye on the Issue 45 page, or our Facebook and Twitter, as across the day today we will be uploading video recordings of some of the contributors reading their pieces from the new issue.

This evening we will also be hosting a zoom launch night, featuring a chat with the editors and readings from contributors, as part of the Stay-at-Home Fringe Literary Festival.


by Samuel Tongue

The ferry has brought me this far,
slow, rocking gently on its patches

of salt-rust, its broad bellyful of cars.
Cormorants are drying their wings

like dark angels resting from the hunt;
humpback mountains fall over

themselves to fill the horizon,
dusted with snow and ancient

words that have turned to dry bracken,
or are caught, mirrored in the loch’s dark shimmer,

reflections of how this place was once thought into being,
strange and somehow familiar, guessed at, untamed.

Later, along the wet coast road,
I watch seals blubber themselves onto boulders,

heavy on bellyfuls of fish, and envy them their balance,
the way they rock gently on the point between two worlds.

Samuel Tongue is a widely published poet with his first full collection, Sacrifice Zones (Red Squirrel), published in 2020, which can be bought here. He also has two pamphlet collections: Hauling-Out (Eyewear, 2016) and Stitch (Tapsalteerie, 2018). He held the inaugural Callan Gordon Award as part of the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards 2013. He is project coordinator at the Scottish Poetry Library and in addition, holds a PhD in Religion, Literature, and Culture and lectures at the University of Glasgow. Website: and Twitter @SamuelTongue

This poem was first published in Issue 12, which can be read in our Archive.

An Interview with Maria Sledmere


A baby lay dead among bracken and apples.
This the harem of the senses, soft,
succulent apples; apples that knit
and bead the ground
with delicate red and palest, glassiest green.

An ache behind the eyeballs
burns from the other place.

Did it come here, once, in a shroud of glory,
misting the lawns with its rain?
Did the white horse grumble
in its paddock of fool’s gold, waiting
to hear the death knell in vain?

This the scratched-out earth,
which loosens every time
the formula for lost chlorophyll.

A field plough picks the ripest of leaves
for his sweetheart, guessing her name
like an emerald. The rest
shrivel and wither a terrible yellow.

She kindles the snow swirls of another dream
which brightens the sphere of his sleep;
she lifts herself, she says
never mind; in the morning
we will have the sunlight.

[…She dies in the night
like a bay’s cot death, her hair spun gold
on the snow of the pillow.]

He rolls her over
where she has choked
and presses the coldest wax of an apple
gently to those ashen lips.

In the orchard, later, he listens to the wind
with its sullen, rhythmic lisps, lifting
the last seeds from their pods
and sprinkling the grass with pearls of life.

He finds the babe, buried
among the leaves of the sugar maple.
It is light in his hands, like a shell.

He carries it for miles, watching
the skin of it fade to a colourless grey,
where the twilight unveils
its half-finished trellis of muscle and veins.
At home, he sets it on the table
with his Ploughman’s sandwich and pitcher of cider.

He hears it crying in the night;
the still breath of love alive
like vapours of ice

This poem was first published in Issue 38, which can be read in our Archive.

Maria Sledmere is working on a DFA in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. She is an occasional music journalist, member of A+E Collective, editor at SPAM Press, Dostoyevsky Wannabe and Gilded Dirt magazine. She co-hosts a podcast, URL Sonata, and workshop series, Pop Matters. Recent publications include nature sounds without nature sounds (Sad Press), Rainbow Arcadia (Face Press) and infra•structure (Broken Sleep), with Katy Lewis Hood. Her poem ‘Ariosos for Lavish Matter’ was highly commended in the 2020 Forward Prize, and her work was included in makar / unmakar (Tapsalteerie, 2019), an anthology of contemporary poets in Scotland. With Rhian Williams, she is co-editing the forthcoming anthology, The Weird Folds: Everyday Poems from the Anthropocene (Dostoyevsky Wannabe). 

FGTS: You’re one of the highly-regarded editors of SPAM Press, which brings poetry into the post-internet age through a fine-tuned balance between irony and sincerity, online and IRL (or as IRL as anything can be these days!) How did your involvement with SPAM begin, and how does your work as an editor feed into your writing?

MS: First of all, thanks for inviting me to answer the questions, and for your description of SPAM which is so spot on! The difference between the online and IRL definitely feels more like an oscillation between these days, more than ever, and the fact that we had to launch issue ten of SPAM zine (Millennium Megabus) on Zoom after nine previous parties (in an actual nightclub, wow, remember those) is testament to that. SPAM was founded in 2016 and I joined a few months later. The story (practically a meme at this point) is that the issue theme I’d submitted poems to, ‘Glitch’, encouraged Tom McCarthy rip-offs. Tom McCarthy, as in the pinstriped author of Remainder and devotee of words such as ‘buffering’, ‘Orpheus’ and ‘aeroplane’. In my cover letter I’d expressed my adoration of Tom and then not long after that Denise Bonetti, the editor-in-chief, tracked me down via the socials and sprung upon me one IRL afternoon outside the Glasgow Uni Library. After she’d confirmed my TC fandom was authentic and equal to hers, I was asked to join her and co-founder Maebh Harper as an editor. I remember getting this Facebook message on Christmas Eve, I was at work, and I was so chuffed I knocked over about twenty wine glasses I’d just spent an hour polishing. Many publications, emails, meetings and parties later, the rest is history and a very cute and tumultuous collection of browser cookies. 

Editing has taught me a lot about putting work together, curation, structure, ethics, publishing and design, marketing, reception and criticism, as much as it has about paying attention to textual detail (which I am apt to neglect, being quite a fast and impatient writer who cut her teeth blogging incessantly). When we’re choosing work for the zine, anthologies or the new online magazine with SPAM, we work as a team entirely and every final decision on what gets included is a group effort. So I’m learning how to read a piece different ways: say Max (Parnell, fellow SPAM editor) wants to fight to include a poem we’re otherwise not too keen on, he’s going to share his reading of it with us and I’m going to see the poem in a whole other way. Sometimes that sways the decision, other times not. Talking through a range of possible readings with others affects how I see my own writing: I’ve never really been precious about my work, but I’m even less so now. You write it and then you sort of give it up to others, maybe you write some more. I like it when someone critiques my lines or has comments, suggestions; the sense that the process of writing and reading is always collaborative, even when the work is out there. 

Being an editor for presses like SPAM and Dostoyevsky Wannabe affords me the great privilege of reading such a range of new work (often as it is with SPAM, from the sublime to the ridiculous – Mallarmé translations by Peter Mansion alongside meme-poems and cruise liner reviews, I love it all) and that feeds into my own writing, the sense of newness, experiment, possibility. Mixing of cultural forms and materials. There’s an energy to editing and an energy required of it. I’ve read over 100 full-length manuscripts in the space of a month. The email exchanges with contributors and poets really sustain me — I still love the generosity and vulnerability of sending someone work and being sent work — I think we all learn a lot from the dialogues involved in finalising a manuscript. Sometimes it’s a sense of sheer joy and privilege to work with writers I admire and that definitely feeds back into my own ideas and practice. For example, recently I’ve been working with the wonderful Jane Goldman on her forthcoming Dostoyevsky Wannabe manuscript, SEKXPHRASTICS, which has really challenged and opened up my understanding of what ekphrasis and innovative citation practice can achieve through prisms of queer intimacy, friendship and intersectional feminism. And reading Samantha Walton’s Bad Moon, forthcoming with SPAM, was such a treat and inspiration – I’ve long admired Sam’s poetry, its engagement with the ecopoetics and politics of voice and form. 

You recently ran a workshop series called ‘Pop Matters’ with Conner Milliken, you’ve been a co-host on SPAM’s podcast URL SONATA, and you’re working on your DFA at the University of Glasgow. Every time we look, it seems as though you’re up to something new and exciting! How do you make time for all your different projects?

Pop Matters is so much fun! We started it as a lockdown project to make weekly contact with people and provide an informal space, a kind of virtual studio, for people to vent their anxieties, thoughts and hopes. And each week in the midst of quarantine stress I’d see the faces of friends, writers, musicians, artists, colleagues, comrades, all of us writing together. It was such a treat to work with Conner – I’m constantly inspired by his kindness, humour, vehement spirit, political attentiveness and enduring solidarity – and that’s the crux of it really. I like doing all these projects because it’s an excuse to work with people whose work I admire and who I otherwise love – writing can be so solitary! For example, being in A+E (Art + Ecology Collective) with Finn Arschavir, Ane Lopez and Lucy Watkins means I get to constantly be in touch with and learn from practicing designers and artists, I get to situate writing in these art spaces, to think more collaboratively across forms. I learn a lot from their thought process and there’s a lot of informal skill swapping. Like with SPAM we are always developing the dynamics of working as a team – on projects ranging from speculative performance, installation, film, reading groups and workshops. The podcast has also been such a lifesaver in lockdown: an excuse to stay in touch, do light reading, reminisce and pick the brains of special guests in the virtual studio. I tell you, I’ve not had to do one single Zoom quiz in lockdown!

I waitressed for most of my twenties, often juggling this with full-time undergrad and postgrad study. The thing about waitressing, I was talking to Denise about this recently, is that when you’re given a task it’s often on top of a to-do list that’s already six, seven, eight tasks long. Can you run food to table 5, get the pepper grinder for table 3, there’s plates to clear outside, you need to go sign the req, the phone’s ringing, someone’s asking about the rota, tables 10-11 need reset, where have the napkins gone?, there are walk-ins approaching your section, you need to check tonight’s bookings, you really need to fucking pee. I think I’ve transferred some of that constant task-juggling to my otherwise life of academia, editing, journalism and writing. It’s just that all that sociality and complication is more or less on twitter, Google Drive or my inbox now. I’m still learning to slow the pace and appreciate that stuff doesn’t need to get done as urgently as it often does in hospitality. I guess being a Gemini with a low attention span also helps; I procrastinate one thing with another. Can’t work on the conference paper? Try writing an album review, reading submissions or answering those order queries. I wish I had a more advisable, healthy and sustainable answer. I want to spend time getting into a work and slow down for it; I’ve been writing more by hand and reading more physical books in lockdown. There’s a point where pdfs just blur into a migraine highway. It’s getting harder to parcel out time and structure the day, in the absence of other places to work or play. I really miss gigs, trains and IRL seminars! Mostly I end up awake at 3am trying to write poems about communist hedgehogs. 

What have you been reading recently, and what excites you in new writing these days?

So after finishing the incredible Wayward Lives by Saidiya Hartman, I’ve been delving into my Fred Moten back catalogue, including all his lectures online. There’s something in the grain of his voice, this warmth, openness; the interest in the vernacular, a turn of phrase, a fragment of something remembered or passed down. It’s a much more generous, expansive and collaborative practice of study – a whole musical thing. Everyone in a university or otherwise institution should read his book The Undercommons, with Stefano Harney. But also the poetry, it’s brilliant. Blue, blurry, warm. The landscaped shape of the books also – that sense of a score or horizon, the length. I’m loving All that Beauty right now.

Everything Verity Spott does blows me away, I can hardly explain it. She’s fierce and hilarious, sharp as hell, and her writing is stunning and magical and sometimes tender. You should watch some of her epic performances on YouTube, especially this one – a full-length reading of her book Click Away Close Door Say (Contraband Books). People should do more full-length readings, no? We have all the no-time in the world now! I’d love to hear more people read their whole pamphlets, especially if it’s recorded so I can pause and come back to it, the way I often do with films.

I’ve been going through a bit of a New York phase, rereading Eileen Myles’ Chelsea Girls and then Inferno. Something about the pace of their writing always excites me, and the richness of voice, documentation and self-reflection in the prose especially. I’m always so carried. The drama of life right now, even as we sorta come out of lockdown, is still pretty confined to the news. Reading Myles you wanna drink beer in bed, have lots of sex, write poems. Take permission. Light. I’m also devouring everything I can find of Bernadette Mayer’s, as I have been in the last couple years since the brilliant Colin Herd introduced me to her. There’s a reprint of her book/installation Memory that’s just come out in hardback from Siglio Press and it’s beautiful – the poems and the photographs, the stuff on colour (Bernadette is a synaesthete, which I can partially relate to). Also Alice Notley’s Certain Magical Acts and the recent For the Ride, which is this wild, refracting trip around a much more exciting chaos and world’s end than the one in which we are living. Or maybe they’re augmentations of each other. 

Every now and then I also dip into these gorgeous little pamphlets of sonnets that Ian Heames (editor of Face Press) does. There are these startling moments of presence and intensity: whether it’s a helicopter being flown through the poem or lines like ‘Now I am really standing in the road / and want to overspend on cashmere’. But again a sort of lightness of matter and gatherings. I read the amazing Peter Gizzi for that also (and so much of his book Sky Burial in recent months, the elegy and beauty of it, has meant the world to me). I think I’m looking for work that can really push what is understood by the Anthropocene, beyond the established bounds of ecopoetics and nature poetry, and this sense as a mediated condition. And the everyday. Poetry being written that acknowledges its post-internet condition through innovative registers and form, but also poetry that feels in a lyric or Romantic tradition somehow, that fucks about with space and time, that really has a faith in voice and song and that potential to communicate or find intimacy in a word, a space, a line. I want portals in poems, as well as exits, and flight. Refusal.

FGTS published your poem ‘Metempsychosis’ in Issue 38. Do you remember what led into the making of this poem?

I seem to remember it was based on a dream I had, at a time when I was having quite narrative dreams. I wasn’t sleeping very much at the time, maybe averaging four hours a night. In Chelsea Girls Eileen Myles says ‘Dreaming is like getting drunk alone, the less you live the more you dream, the more fantastic and outrageous the dreams get’. Maybe I was going through a dry spell socially. It’s kind of disturbing to read back, but I remember it came out all at once, as these poems often do, a sort of unfurling of actions and scenes. I don’t write narrative poems so much but maybe this sorta counts. And Anthony Daly was my editor; he had some really nice advice on polishing the poem up to bring out the music and imagery. Reading it back now, it’s funny how a lot of those ideas still haunt my work: a sort of weird ecology, necropastoral, dream imaginaries and twists of surrealism, scorched earth, the weather, foliage and chlorophyll – I mean, Chlorophyllia is the title of my next pamphlet (forthcoming from OrangeApple Press)! I remember at the launch I was doing a reading wearing this kind of long vintage dress and the light in the pub was really pale and later someone commented that I resembled an undead Brontë heroine, which I guess fit the vibe of the poem somehow. I went through a phase of reading all those strange kinda mystical, lovely lyrics that Emily wrote; I had a little copy that I carried around on walks for a bit.

Finally, could you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on these days?

The next part of my PhD thesis, which is practice-based and titled ‘Hypercritique: Towards a Lyric Architecture for the Anthropocene’, is looking at the material poetics of glass and glasshouses. I am thinking of broken glass and light and breath, of space within spaces, prisms. I’m reading Derrida, Layli Long Soldier, Sean Bonney and Clarice Lispector. I’m also finalising a couple of my own pamphlets that are coming out this year, alongside some editorial work for SPAM (we’ve got some really exciting titles from Oli Hazzard, Sam Walton, and Lizzie McCreadie still to come this year) and Dostoyevsky Wannabe. With Rhian Williams, I’ve been co-editing an anthology titled The Weird Folds: Everyday Poems from the Anthropocene which is forthcoming from Dostoyevsky. That’s been so exciting and such a privilege to work with Rhian, who is such a shining intellectual light for me, and pull together loads of UK writers who I absolutely love and admire — too many to name! A+E Collective are working with solarpunk/petrocultures academic Rhys Williams plus anthropologists Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe (who run the Cultures of Energy podcast) on a project for COP26 on the topic of ‘low-carbon pleasures’. A collaborative poem, sans soleil with fred spoliar and a panel, ‘”To spill the frame”: Reimagining Intimacies in Anthropocene Poetics and Citational Practice’, with Fred Carter and Katy Lewis Hood for ASLE’s Out of the Blue conference. Oh, and growing my hair, getting better at yoga. Putting together my first lecture. Painting more.

‘You write it and then you sort of give it up to others, maybe you write some more… …the process of writing and reading is always collaborative, even when the work is out there.’ – Maria Sledmere


by Richie McCaffery

He collected postcards, old ones,
particularly from places bombed
or bulldozed, where street names
were just the hearsay of ghosts,
their stamps colourful shibboleths.
He’d vanish for days with no word
in search of those lost addresses.
Nowadays we wait for postcards
he sends second-class from the night.
They always say wish you were here.

Richie McCaffery is from the small Northumbrian village of Warkworth. He now lives in Alnwick, Northumberland after four years spent abroad in Belgium. He studied English and Scottish Literature at Stirling University and received a Carnegie grant to do a PhD on the Scottish poetry of World War Two at the University of Glasgow, which he was awarded in 2016.

He is the author of two poetry pamphlets: Spinning Plates from HappenStance Press and Ballast Flint from Cromarty Arts Trust and two full poetry collections, Cairn and Passport, both from Nine Arches Press.

This poem was first published in Issue 24, the rest of which can be read in our Archive.

Fantasy Writing Advice from Madalena Daleziou

Madalena’s poem The Boy Who Hated Yellow was published in Issue 44, which can be read here. In this video Madalena passes on some tools that she has found useful when writing. Hear how she uses Pinterest, playlists, and an animated forest app to build fantasy worlds and beat procrastination…

Madalena Daleziou is a postgraduate student pursuing the Fantasy MLitt
at the University of Glasgow. She is currently editing her first fantasy novel.
Apart from writing, her interests include animation, theater, photography,
and language learning. She can most often be found in a bookshop or
behind a keyboard, writing stories with too many ghosts.