Features and Interviews

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.… Continue reading Too Raging to Cheers



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… Continue reading Ferry

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?… Continue reading An Interview with Maria Sledmere


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.… Continue reading Postcards

The End of the Day

Marion and I sit half way up the dune while the boys run in different directions below. The tide is as far out as it will go. In the distance white horses tip and glisten on the water under the crisp line of Raasay and we watch the last families pack up and leave the beach. One has a sledge to pull all the shoes, the wet towels, changes of clothes across the sand. A couple walks ahead of their crying daughter while her protests are carried downwind. Another family peel off their matching wetsuits, deflate their dinghy, and walk inland in order of size. Our older boys have clambered out of sight past the headland. The youngest is near the water burying his truck, digging it up, burying it again. Let’s round them up, I say to Marion then run in deep strides down the dune. The turn‐ups of my jeans, full of sand, are weights bumping against my ankles.… Continue reading The End of the Day

An Interview with JL Williams

FGTS: JL, in a Q&A back in issue 23 of FGTS you said that the book you wished you’d written was The Metamorphoses by Ovid. In your collection Condition of Fire, you responded to those stories. What draws you to myths and old tales, and how do they interact with our contemporary world?

JL: Life is so fleeting. Beginnings and endings rush past. Human beings are natural storytellers. We have language, we have narrative, we have drawings on cave walls, we have time, we have fire. I had a baby seven months ago, and I can feel the story in her already even before the words take hold. Listening to the tales of the ancients… it is an honour to be able to hear some echo from their minds and beating hearts. It reminds me that we are all connected, that this experience of being human is a shared one. Even when it feels as if life is flashing by, or especially when it is, I draw comfort from the depth of experience of humanity. We repeat ourselves. It is nature, it is what we are. As a species on the verge of collapse, there is much we could learn from the myths and legends of our ancestors. … Continue reading An Interview with JL Williams

Liquorice Woman

by Angie Spoto I am a liquorice woman a fennel creature a saffron thing that doesn’t care for your opinions or your thoughts on the matter or your advice to me because I’m not asking I’m just here reading and that doesn’t mean I want to talk it doesn’t mean I want you in my ear or your fingernail running rogue across the grains… Continue reading Liquorice Woman

Writing Advice from Siam Hatzaw

Siam’s poem ‘October Skies’ was published in Issue 44, which can be read here. In this video Siam gives some great tips to help get you writing when you’re feeling stuck. How can Twitter bots, Google translate, and Ancient Hebrew come in handy? Watch the video to find out… Siam Hatzaw is a recent graduate… Continue reading Writing Advice from Siam Hatzaw

An Interview with Ryan Vance

FGTS: Ryan you recently published a digital pamphlet of poetry and short fiction called Minor Mishaps and you are working on your first full collection, One Man’s Trash. Where does writing start for you? What moves you to write?

Ryan: For me, writing begins at the end – knowing that when you send something creative out into the world, you’re setting up a moment of connection. We all hold these vast private universes inside ourselves, and for the most part our star-maps align, and that’s great, it’s reassuring. But every so often we discover constellations completely unknown, and exploring those uncharted territories can be intimidating and lonely. If you come out the other side with a story to tell, there’s a chance someone listening might say, hey, actually, I’ve been there too – and then this anomaly you thought nobody would ever be able to explain becomes a shared resonance. Being able to create that instant of discovery is really special.… Continue reading An Interview with Ryan Vance