Frank McMahon’s poem ‘Long road home,’ has been accepted by online literary magazine ‘The Galway Review.’

Frank said: ‘This poem is quite autobiographical, a memory of a visit some years ago to find the farm where my mother was born and raised, in Southern Ireland.

‘I remembered going there when I was twelve or so and it resonated the first time I read Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas. I submitted the poem and the same day it was accepted for publication.’ You can read Frank’s poem here

It was as if

This month’s poem ‘It was as if’ by Frank McMahon was written several months into the first lockdown, during the wonderful Spring weather.

Frank said: ‘Images and memories of hill-forts, (some in the Cotswolds) came to mind and informed the first few stanzas, alongside the growing feeling of uncertainty when encountering people we did not know.

‘The absence of ‘plane and traffic noise took me back to childhood and the sense of an uncluttered natural world, enhanced now by greater knowledge of its complexity and amplified by people discovering it and its benefits for the first time.

‘In a way, the poem was a consoling counterpoint to the fear and hardships being experienced by many at that time.’

The poem features in the anthology, Can you hear the People sing? published by Palewell Press. Palewell is also the publisher behind Frank’s first volume of poems, At the Storm’s Edge. They will be publishing his second volume, A Different Land, in June.

To read ‘It was as if’ click here, or on the Poem of the Month logo on our website.

Iris Anne Lewis has had two poems published in Wildfire Words the ezine of Frosted Fire Press, the publishing partner of Cheltenham Poetry Festival. 

Deer at Hannington Bridge and The Dragon in my Attic, both inspired by true events, are published in the themed January feature ‘Backwards and Forwards’. You can read Iris’s poems here 

Somewhere Else Writers in Dialect Anthology

The first Dialect Anthology, featuring poetry by two Somewhere Else writers, has just been published. Based in Stroud, Dialect is an inclusive literary development platform for rural writers. The anthology showcases the work produced as a result of Dialect’s many activities. Amongst these was a writing workshop based in Stroud’s Museum in the Park, attended by Iris Anne Lewis and Frank McMahon. Using the objects in the museum as inspiration Frank wrote The Christmas Menu, while Iris wrote Piano. Both poems are included in the anthology alongside poetry by renowned writers Fiona Benson and Pascal Petit. A digital copy of the anthology is available for £5 here.

Long Day’s Journey

This month’s short story by Dave Walklett is based on a real experience.

In the early 1980s, Dave and his fiancée travelled to Germany to spend Christmas with his parents — his father was in the RAF. They were due to travel by coach but, somehow, they lost the information about where to board the coach in London.

‘On the morning of our departure, my fiancée was very ill. I, however, was determined to go and so we embarked on a trans-European adventure. We caught the train to Dover, the Hovercraft across to Ostend, and then the train to our destination.

‘When we arrived at the Air Force Base, I had no idea where my parents actually lived; I had never been before, and they had only recently moved.

‘I have been trying to find a way of telling the story ever since and am still trying to find an effective way of doing so.’

Dave, who is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing with the Open University, has chosen to write the story as a thriller. You can read his story here.

The Dawntreader

The Dawntreader belongs to the stable of magazines published by Indigo Dreams, an award-winning independent publisher. Iris Anne Lewis is delighted that her poem ‘Winter in Kempsford’ has been published in this winter’s edition alongside other fine poems. To find out more about Indigo Dreams click here.

The Power of Ritual

This month’s poem, by Tina Baker, was inspired by overhearing a woman saddened by the dwindling number of Christmas cards she received each year. It is a poem for those who still love the tradition and ritual of sending and receiving them, especially the elderly.

Tina’s work often focusses on memories, and the power they have, whether good or bad. She also writes short stories and was surprised and delighted to be short listed for the Stroud Short Story competition in 2020. Another love is play writing and one of her plays, a comedy, has been aired on Corinium Radio. On the back burner is a completed novel awaiting its fourth redraft.

When she is not reading or writing, Tina spends her time walking in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside and trying to tame her garden.
To read Tina’s poem, ‘Relics’ go here, or click on the ‘Poem of the Month’ logo on our website.