Book Review: The Midlands

‘The Midlands are crying, crying for haslet and bacon/crying for bridges where railways falter’. Williams personifies the Midlands in his anaphoric opening poem of the same title: they are speaking to him.  As a lad who grew up in Matlock in Derbyshire, his surroundings have clearly had a direct impact on his art. He re-envisions […]

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Book Review: Opera di Cera

Threaded through the twisted physiology of Opera di Cera is a fairy tale of the most fluid sort. It’s as if all the latent symbolism of the venerable story type has been set in a pot and put on a long simmer. The reduction is the concise yet flavoursome verse form of Kelley Swain’s unique […]

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Basking Shark

Miriam is on acid and laughing hysterically on the bottom deck while me, Melissa and Abbi are sat drinking on the top deck. Doug isn’t really socialising and is sitting on the front of the boat smoking Mayfair cigarettes and has a fishing rod that he brought with him dangling in the water, although he […]

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Zanzibar or Loop-de-Loop

He’d taken a year off.  Just like that.  At forty-two years of age.  Lost half his client base.  He’d tried to shift them over to long-term investments, but some people never learn: they want karma in this life-time. “I’ve been out of the loop,” he said. “We don’t say that anymore,” I said. “Jim does.” […]

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Myths of the Near Future – Money

The Tale of Jacob and his Ladder And then, as it was late and he had no where else to go, he fell asleep on stones, by which he means a small Medusa shared his bed: her nipples pebbles and her forehead slate. Her breasts his pillows for the night. When they had sex, he’d […]

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Wake Lost Wake Found: An interview with Steve Dearden

Steve Dearden is Writer in Residence for the 2013 and 2014 Wakefield Literature Festivals. His last residency was at Bluewater Shopping Centre for the ARCHItexts project. His short story collection Single Skin is published by Smith Doorstop, and he is currently trying to interest publishers in Chaos Cafe a novel about the Somali civil war […]

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