Category Archives: Guests

Terry Quinn

oldbury1 (2)

In June 2013,Terry and I met for the first time at Digbeth Bus Station, Birmingham, as joint winners of the Geoff Stevens Poetry Prize (Indigo Dreams) and on the eve of launching our big collections.

I’d come from Melbourne, Australia. He’d come from Preston, Lancs, although he told me later he was born in Brum, a few streets away from out launch pad. I’d been at teachers’ college with a recent honorary degree from Brum Uni so all a bit of an uncanny coincidence. I hated Brum in my youth-a shithole of a city, all concrete and horrible accent.The day Terry showed me the new Brum I was brought to my knees. I loved it.

We’d been emailing our hopes and fears for months organising out joint launch at the Oldbury Rep. By the time we met I felt like I’d known Terry all my life. We met again in Bristol, my home town, in June this year, the day after Banksy’s latest was posted in Bristol Museum. We had a great day when I got to appreciate and love my city for the very first time. Terry is the kindest and funniest poet at a time when humour is at a premium in the poetry world. On the eve of launching my second collection and remembering our joint win of the Geoff Stevens prize, I am very happy indeed to bring you the wit and wonderful whimsy of Terry, friend and co-poet.


And she’s gone.
I can’t tell you where
or when she’ll be back.
But here’s a few clues.
Here’s her ski boots,
there’s her woollen sweater,
here’s the scarf I bought in Prague
and there’s the ballgown
I’ve to take to the cleaners,
precise instructions attached.
Well you don’t need a ballgown
when you’re off to fight in the wars.
Not that she’s fighting.
She’s there for the wounded,
she’ll strip the bloody clothing
from any bloody skin
and stripping an assault rifle
was taught as a precaution.
A precaution against what?
I know against what.
All those jerks finding themselves,
shooting into manhood,
those guys know what they want
and it’s not TLC from a blonde.
I wandered into the kitchen
getting a feel for emptiness,
putting her mug away,
it’s only a few months.
Finding themselves for god’s sake,
and then finding her,
ten quid in a tin hat lottery,
she just won’t get it.
And then I found the envelope,
under the phone,
the last Will and Testament,
left when I left her alone.


Getting the Point

It’s getting to the point
of a small rearrangement
in how things were.
Not exactly a lie,
I did have a girlfriend,
she was called Eileen,
and she did, does, live in Hammersmith.
But she didn’t,
as far as I know,
drive a Ferrari
into the lake at Kew Gardens
after an argument
about a duel I’d fought
with Simon Armitage
about her honour
or the placing of a comma
in the Dead Sea Poems.
One or the other,
it doesn’t matter.
The point is that these days
you need an edge,
a little something
that’s hard to find
in another poem
about finding your Father’s pipe
or a lost letter from a lost love
about snow falling on Blackburn
or a night spent talking
about that Al Gore film.



2 sheep plus
3 goats plus
1 bushel of wheat
equals what?
I don’t know,
I don’t even know what a bushel is
and neither did these guys in Uruk
who had a bit of a problem
explaining that one of their goats
had already been sold
to a bloke from Lagash
and they only had enough tokens left
for three jars of oil
and this stupid sod from Kish
still didn’t get it
till they pressed them down
on a bit of clay
which seemed to help
so they did it again
just to show off
to their mates in the pub
and would you believe it
it caught on
and the next thing is
they’re selling the farm
doing whole tablets of the stuff
so their neighbours
could count whatever
while they charged a fortune
then putting in security
after the not so stupid
son of the sod from Kish
scraped a sheep shape
off the waxy surface
which they couldn’t prove
so they baked them
which stopped that nonsense
and then got a bit cocky
adding symbols they made up
for this girl in Umma
they both fancied
till her Dad replied
using even clearer signs
that he’d also made up
so they made some more
and before you know it
there’s scrabble and lawyers
and Carol Ann Duffy.

Terry Quinn born in Birmingham and is now living in Preston, UK, has travelled widely through the UK, Europe and the Middle East. A former engineer he is the author of ‘Away’ and ‘The Amen of Knowledge’ (published as joint winner of the Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize; Indigo Dreams). In 2014 he was one of the winning entrants to the Royal Academy’s Ekphrasis poetry competition, the Guernsey International Poetry Festival competition and the BBC Proms Poetry Competition. He co-presents the Arts Scene Show on Preston fm. He follows Birmingham City Football Club.

Anne M Carson

Whenever I see Anne’s name in a poetry journal I know I am in for a treat. Her poetry is elegant and edible, sparse and thoughtful. I always enjoy the human perspective in her observations of the natural world. She paints with words which isn’t surprising since she’s an accomplished visual artist.

We met over coffee when she was poet in residence in Kew, a suburb familiar to us both. We talked about many things; of her life rich in teaching, writing, art and collaborations and of the pain over the loss of her life partner which would later galvanize her beautiful and well-received first collection, Removing the Kimono. Anne is my guest for October.


Mother-stone is womb
i.m. EK, remembering a friend, Lake Mungo (Willandra Lakes), NSW

Ankle-deep in history, following your receding, check-
shirted back. Landscape scraped and gouged out of the
rock of the planet – long-dry lake-bed, lunettes pitting
the terrain with moon-shaped hollows. Heat makes it
harsh, rises in blurry waves. The sun has flayed the pelt
right off the land, leaving it leather-like; baked and cured

with patches of spilling sand. Trees have no foothold –
there’s no shade to shelter under. All I can see is pristine
nature – nothing tells me a human story. Each time I lever
a buried foot free I peel back another decade, another
century, another contested millennium – to you too
short an estimate. Part park-ranger, part hierophant, you

turn and say: our technology, swinging your arms in an
inclusive 360 arc, it’s all around us! Your words conjure
modernity, electronica, bamboozling what I think I know.
Underfoot the sand slips again. You’re already squatting
ready to give the next lesson. You pick up a hand-sized
rock, point to a mound shaped like the heel of the thumb

on a palm. Bulb of percussion you say proudly, triumphantly,
anointing the bulb with its true technical name. So much
force, you say, and precision to flake a chip the shape and
fineness you want. You’re introducing me to an Aboriginal
Rosetta – text notched and nuanced by human hand, ancient
translation tool. Portal to the long-gone past. You hold

out a handful of flakes, show me how convex fits into
concave, as if mother-stone is womb to flake, containing
it all in nuce. Now I see pieces of worked stone all around
us, stone dedicated to specific uses – knives, points, axes,
blades. This a kind of awl for piercing, this a blade for
scraping and this would be tied and glued to a spear!

What I took to be sand dune and random rock has turned
into a quarry with work-stations and knappers plying their
trade, like a cartoon – while I watch it comes to life, morphing
into three dimensions, gaining depth of field, veracity.

This poem was long-listed in the inaugural Canberra University, Vice Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize

Two green parrots

Two green parrots wing across a granite sky.
Grief and hope together again, as close as
fingers on a hand, feathers on a wing.
They don’t fly straight as arrows do into
a standing target, they are not ammunition
fired out of the sky’s dark mouth. They dip
and rise, weaving sinew and delight into
strands of effortless grace, calling as they go.
What do humans know of the calls of birds?
But it sounds like liquid pleasure, it sounds
like they laugh and make merry against
the backdrop of the approaching storm.

First published in Plumwood Mountain

The marmalade fox

The fur on the marmalade fox is as bright as the jam
sent back to Paris from the orange groves of Marrakesh.
The globes of thousands of Moroccan suns squeezed
into jars. All that compressed bitterness and sweetness
casbahs the colour. Hold a jar up to the light, see pith
swimming in amber transluscence.
So much life still in him, dead and maggoty
by the side of the road. Wind riffles his fur, sun combs his
marmalade coat.



Anne M Carson is a Melbourne writer and visual artist whose first full-length collection of poems, Removing the Kimono, was published by Hybrid Publishers in 2013. She has won and been commended in numerous poetry prizes including most recently being long-listed in the inaugural Canberra University, Vice Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize. In 2014 she established the SecondBite Poetry Prize.  She has curated two programmes for Radio National’s PoeticA and hosted a series of poetry and music soirees, most recently the River Soiree on Herring Island which raised funds for the Melbourne River Keepers.   As a Creative Writing Therapist she has edited and facilitated the group process which has resulted in the publication of three books. She teaches Poetry Writing and Appreciation to adults.

Her visual art is based on photography and botanical specimens.  Her photographs and art panels have been exhibited in galleries and florist shops and used as greeting cards, a literary journal cover and book-mark.

Removing the Kimono is available from Amazon US and her website:

Reviews of Removing the Kimono available at:

Pascale Petit

Les Murray says, No other British poet I am aware of can match the powerful mythic imagination of Pascale Petit, and a comment that particularly resonates with me is from David Morley, Magma when he writes, ..her poetry never behaves itself or betrays itself….

Portraiat PP

When I read The Wounded Deer I was hooked. And as soon as I heard about Pascale’s residential in Ventenac I rushed to book my spot in 2013 with a room overlooking the Canal du Midi. Bliss. This was in the same week that my first collection was being published so I was in a state of high anxiety and not at my best, but it was Pascale in one of our one – to – one sessions who put me at ease me with her tranquil mien and who taught me a vital lesson when she wisely and gently posed the question of one of my poems, What are you trying to say? I have never forgotten it.

I never tire of reading and revisiting Pascale’s dazzling and heartbreaking poems. She invests so much of herself in each work.This recent radio broadcast, Poetica, highlights her depth of spirit, humanity and artistry.

Pascale is the most generous and indefatigable poet I know. She tutors regularly and intensively, often posting sessions from the Tate on her blog. There is a series of workshops on the Mslexia website. She has a punishing schedule on the reading circuit yet still finds the time to keep up with social media and, most surprisingly, finds the mental space and energy to write. In Ventenac I was pleased to see that she enjoys a glass of vin du pays between stanzas and that must help.

I’m very excited to bring you four poems that appear in Fauverie, published early September by Seren. My copy is winging its way and I can’t wait. And what another unforgettable front cover by Dragana Nikolic.

Welcome! Pascale Petit.

pascale Fauverie front


Arrival of the Electric Eel

Each time I open it I feel like a Matsés girl
handed a parcel at the end of her seclusion,
my face pierced by jaguar whiskers
to make me brave.
I know what’s inside – that I must
unwrap the envelope of leaves
until all that’s left
squirming in my hands
is an electric eel.
The positive head, the negative tail,
the rows of batteries under the skin,
the small, almost blind eyes.
The day turns murky again,
I’m wading through the bottom of my life
when my father’s letter arrives. And keeps on arriving.
The charged fibres of paper
against my shaking fingers,
the thin electroplates of ink.
The messenger drags me up to the surface
to gulp air then flicks its anal fin.
Never before has a letter been so heavy,
growing to two metres in my room,
the address, the phone number, then the numbness –
I know you must be surprised, it says,
but I will die soon and want to make contact.

Black Jaguar at Twilight

He seems to have sucked
the whole Amazon
into his being, the storm-

clouds of rosettes
through a bronze dusk.
I’ve been there, sheltered

under the buttress
of a giant, felt
the air around me –

its muscles tense,
stalking me
as I stumbled

through dense fur,
my father’s tongue
wet on my neck

as I fell into a gulch,
the blackout of his mouth.
And when I woke

I thought I heard
the jungle cough – this jungle,
the jaguar safe

behind bars. I lean over
and touch his cage – his glance
grazes me like an arrow.


Sleeping Black Jaguar

A solar eclipse – his fur
seems to veil light,
the smoulder

of black rosettes
a zoo of sub-atoms
I try to tame –

tritium, lepton, anti-proton.
They collide
as if smashed inside

a particle accelerator.
But it’s just Aramis sleeping,
twitching himself back

to the jungle, where he leaps
into the pool of a spiral
galaxy, to catch a fish.

Later, the keeper tells me
Aramis has had surgery
for swallowing

a hose–head
where his hank of beef
was lodged. But

what vet could take
a scalpel to this
dreaming universe?

What hand could shave
that pelt, to probe
the organs

of dark matter, untwist
time’s intestines
and stitch

night’s belly
together again, only
to return him to a cage?

 A Tray of Frozen Songbirds

For our last meal together
my father takes out of the freezer
a tray of frozen songbirds.
He’s saved them up, these delicacies
with ice crystals in their beaks,
wings stuck to ribcages.
There are skylarks, blackbirds, doves.
He tells me how some were plucked
while still alive,
about the mist net at dawn,
how one nightingale was thrust
into a sack of discarded heads
and cried, then the poacher licked
the sticky lime from its plumes
tenderly, before slitting its throat.
He pours champagne as if it’s
the river of life.
We eat like two drunks
woken from dreams of flying,
me on his lap, singing the song
I’ve just learnt at school – Alouette,
gentille alouette, alouette je te plumerai.

Back cover PP

Pascale’s mini biography
I’m a French/Welsh poet living in London, UK. My latest collection is Fauverie (Seren, 2014). A portfolio of poems from the book won the 2013 Manchester Poetry Prize and the manuscript won an Arts Council England award. My fifth collection What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo, published in 2010 by Seren, 2011 by Black Lawrence Press, US, was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and Wales Book of the Year. I tutor poetry courses in the galleries at Tate Modern and for The Poetry School. Two previous books, The Zoo Father and The Huntress, were also shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and my books have been books of the year in the TLS, Independent and Observer. Literary SupplementIndependent and Observer. She tutors courses at Tate Modern and for The Poetry School.


Andy Jackson

Andy was one of the first people to give me the encouragement to keep writing when he judged one of my poems in a competition in 2010. Since then I’ve tracked his career as a poet and it’s clear that it continues to be a rich and full one. It’s exciting to see that his next collection will be published by Whitmore Press and it is a beautiful book to hold and to read and savour. The poems featured here give you a sneak preview of the works in The Thin Bridge which gives you an insight into how it is to love and live with a rare physical condition that informs a whole being and creative life.

As winner of the Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize, The Thin Bridge will be launched by Dr Kevin Brophy – poet, writer, academic, on Friday 5 September at Collected Works, First Floor, Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne. 6 for 6.30pm. Andy’s blog is at

Two portraits, no black rectangle

In a basement – Relax, he says, so I
hide the tension somewhere in the stomach.

Move your hands away from your sides, thanks.
This isn’t about aesthetics, but diagnosis.

Can you move your boxers down just a little?
What does it matter what I felt?

Lift your chin up.  That’s it.  Just one more.
There were plenty more, but who’d prefer

the truth to relief?  Years later,
my file arrives with a thump on the mat.

I’d remembered a black rectangle that wasn’t there.
In the photo, my face is visible and a touch out of focus.


Hugo Williams wrote, Given that poems themselves are metaphors,
I find overt metaphors more and more embarrassing in poems,

                        which is interesting because it seems to
he’s also talking about photography,

clocks, chairs, a green lake somewhere, memory
and association, the unstoppable neural flares and leaps –

the white space
of the mind which can never be empty.


This is different, singular
or trying its best to be – lenses facing off

at close range.  Camera-sound,
an automatic sprinkler.  I squint into

a brilliant sun that loves
and ignores us.  One of the garden’s pigeons

tilts her quizzical silver head.
In the beds, the fresh stink of fertiliser.

I remember now the continual labour.
Lines dug into soil.  This face

that looks back at the world that is making it.
The background is a blur.

 First appeared in Land Before Lines (photographic portraits of poets by Nicholas Walton-Healey, 2014)

Fact and resistance

The monthly open mic begins with two bearded men
wheeling Clancy of the Overflow through the room,
the audience mostly chairs.  In the Lancefield Mercury,
I read how Dennis Edwards plans to return to Nui Dat.

In ’69, kept awake by heat and detonations, they build
playground equipment for the local orphanages.  Later,
teachers and nuns are raped and killed by the Viet Cong.
Horse with No Name.  Dirty Old Town.  A song I don’t know.

The guitarists swap mics.  A cough-induced stumbled chord,
their laughter fills the room.  Elderly parents settle
the restless hands of their two disabled adult daughters.
All day, the tables are cleared and wiped clean.

Outside town, small herds of cattle feast on drought grass.
Stones and boulders sit arranged on nearby hillsides
as if miraculous, but what isn’t a collision of fact
and resistance?  Even home, even breath.

First appeared in Unusual Work, (PiO) 2012


Andy Jackson’s collection Among the regulars (papertiger media 2010) was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize and Highly Commended in the Anne Elder Award. His new collection the thin bridge won the 2013 Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize and has just been released. He has performed at literary events and arts festivals in Australia, India, USA and Ireland, and his poetry has been featured on Radio Australia, 3CR, 3RRR-FM, Radio National’s Poetica, and at the Melbourne Museum. Andy and Rachael Guy won the Most Innovative Work award at the 2009 Overload Poetry Festival for their poetry-puppetry collaboration Ambiguous Mirrors. He is currently working on a series of portrait poems of other people with Marfan Syndrome.

Alexis Rhone Fancher

“I want to write poems that people want to roll around in, get dirty, and come out the other end tarnished, spent, and a little less alone.”

Image -Alexis

Alexis is another exciting poet I met via social media.  It was over an American GI we both ‘unfriended’ the instant we sniffed a scam. We started talking poetry and I found her bold and sassy style refreshing. At the same time I discovered her photography and passion for the arts. There’s a great interview and photos here where I learned a lot more about Alexis, including what we have in common; we both saw Hendrix live on stage in the Sixties and acknowledge how much music and art informs our writing.
And speaking of the man, Alexis was the first person in the US to buy my collection, When I Saw Jimi, and she generously featured my work in Cultural Weekly soon after.

Congratulations are in order right now because her first collection, Losing my Virginity to Michael Cohen is about to hit the world, and I know it will arrive with blood and heart. Alexis has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. If you want to know who Michael Cohen is, just ask.

virginity picon


I want Louboutin
heels with those trademark red soles,
I want them sexy, I want them high.
I want them slingback and peep-toed
so I can flash the purple polish
on my tootsies.

I want to wear them out of the store, just
you try and stop me.
I want to wow them on
Washington, saunter past C&O Trattoria
and Nick’s Liquor Mart, those bottles of Stoli
stacked in the window, calling my name, past the
summer-clad tourists in December, shivering,
barefoot, like LA has no winter.

In those shoes I’m hot,
stop-a-truck hot, prettiest
girl in school hot, and this
time, I know it.

Flaunt it. Hell, I own it. In those shoes I can
pick and choose, not settle for some loser.
Not drink away regrets, pound back Stoli at
Chez Jay’s, flash their scarlet bottoms when I kneel.

I’ll wear them like my own flesh,
like hooves, like sin.
I’ll keep their secrets, won’t spill
where they’ve been.

Better those shoes with their lurid soles
than you with yours.

first appeared in BoySlut, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, 2013


Now the splinter-sized dagger that jabs at my heart has
lodged itself in my aorta, I can’t worry it
anymore. I liked the pain, the
dig of remembering, the way, if I
moved the dagger just so, I could
see his face, jiggle the hilt and hear his voice
clearly, a kind of music played on my bones
and memory, complete with the hip-hop beat
of his defunct heart. Now what am I
supposed to do? I am dis-
inclined toward rehab. Prefer the steady
jab jab jab that reminds me I’m still
living. Two weeks after he died,
a friend asked if I was “over it.”

As if my son’s death was something to get
through, like the flu. Now it’s past
the five year slot. Maybe I’m okay that he isn’t anymore,
maybe not. These days,
I am an open wound. Cry easily.
Need an arm to lean on. You know what I want?
I want to ask my friend how her only daughter
is doing. And for one moment, I want her to tell me she’s
dead so I can ask my friend if she’s over it yet.
I really want to know.

first appeared in RATTLE


Alexis Rhone Fancher’s work can (or soon will) be found in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Carnival Literary Magazine, Fjords Review, Cliterature, The Chiron Review, Good Men Project, Deep Water Literary Journal, Broadzine!, Poeticdiversity, This Is Poetry: Women of the Small Presses, Gutter Eloquence, Slipstream, The Mas Tequila Review, H_NGM_N, and elsewhereIn Australia, her poems have been published in several anthologies put out by Blank Ruin Press, as well as in Fierce Invalids, A Tribute to Arthur Rimbaud, published by Blind Dog Press, and she’s been a repeat guest at Little Raven. Alexis’s photographs have been published worldwide. In 2013 she was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.

          click on “poetry.”

BAZ took that hot shot of Alexis.



Tricia Dearborn

I met Tricia via Facebook in 2012 when I was panicking about launching ‘Jimi.’ We found that we’d both been in The Best Australian Poetry (UQP) in 2008 and she’d written a fabulous poem where ‘Women are sea creatures’  which happened to coincide with one of my obsessions at the time – seals. Her take on it was much sassier than mine with her missing ‘that brine-lapped cleft, the way that sealskin glides on sealskin’. It’s one of those poems I wish I’d written.

Her advice on launching a book was spot on: don’t trust Facebook, invite people you know and it will be fun however many people turn up. We swapped books and last week I used one of her taut and beautiful poems, ‘The Long Goodnight’ in a tango poetry workshop which went down well. I love Tricia’s sparse and yet sensual and sensuous poetry and I love her wry and sharp observations of the familiar. I bring you Tricia Dearborn…


Tricia Dearborn pic


The quiet house
for Scarlett Vallence, 7.9.2008

i. Family portrait

At the top of the photograph,
J’s face. Grief pours off him

like a glacier, monumental.
My eyes move down to you,

your gaze on the child
who lies across your ribs.

Your face a wall. Behind it
the gathering tsunami.

ii. Nightmare

on the drugs that are meant
to help you sleep,
you dream —

a camera pans along a row
of fat pink wriggling infants
the line is long, the camera

moves swiftly
you struggle desperately to wake —
you know your small still baby’s

last in line

iii. Small comfort

At the wake, champagne in hand,
J and I amuse ourselves inventing
more offensive ways of swearing­ —

J’s brother poses our family photo,
tousling your hair and mine,
dragging our brothers’ ties askew —

I’m handed a cigarette, inhale
the small comfort of an old habit.
It ends

when J sobs in our arms
then struggles free. Your urgent whisper:
What do you want? What do you want?

iv. The quiet house

I sit in the cool leather chair
in your back room

looking out to the morning garden
with my cup of tea.

Such peace — when what I want
is her, here

squalling against my chest
while you have a grateful shower.

v. Ashes

My suitcases
stand in the hall.

I hesitate, but when I
finally ask

you say Of course.
I bend to lift her

from the cot.

I rock her, pat
the quilt-wrapped box.


What to wear at five

I avoided the wedding cake hat —
tiered, hard and white. But wore
the coat with the brown velvet collar

as long as I could, until it encased me
like a sausage skin.
I was not allowed to wear

my purple overalls every day.
Was cheated of my brothers’
airy shirt-free summers.

I sat on the front steps with the Sun,
black cotton thread, a needle.
Sewed myself newspaper wings.


Both poems are from The Ringing World, Puncher & Wattman, 2012

Tricia Dearborn’s most recent collection of poetry is The Ringing World (Puncher & Wattmann, 2012). Her poetry has been widely published in literary journals and has featured in anthologies including Australian Poetry Since 1788 (UNSW Press, 2011), The Best Australian Poems 2012 and 2010 (Black Inc.), Notes to the Translators (ASM Poetry, 2012) and Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets (Puncher & Wattmann, 2009). She has been a featured reader at many events, including the Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2012, and has received several new work grants from the Australia Council’s Literature Board. Tricia has degrees in biochemistry and arts, worked briefly in a research laboratory and now earns a living as a freelance editor. She lives in Sydney.

Poems available online

Four poems in Polari Journal’s ‘Strange Stars: Bright Lights in Queer Poetry’ issue:

Eleven poems featured in Caught in the Net #79:

Someone else reading my poem ‘Come in, lie down’ rather sexily on Poetica (at about 16:20):

Videos of a reading and an interview — part of the Red Room’s The Disappearing project:

Reading ‘Are we there yet?’ (from my first book, Frankenstein’s Bathtub) and ‘Scan’ for Varuna’s ‘Writer-a-Day’ blog and app:

‘Making pipettes’, from Frankenstein’s Bathtub, for National Science Week 2013:

‘Fig’ and ‘Mapping the cactus’ in Mascara Literary Review #9:

‘Canary’ in Snorkel #11:

‘Night vision’, ‘At the laundromat on rue St Florent’ and ‘The answer’ in Bluepepper:

‘Everything we’re made of’ in Holding Patterns: Physics and Engineering Poems:

Puncher & Wattmann author page:

Review of The Ringing World in Famous Reporter #44:




June-Marion McCready


I was wowed by Marion and her poetry when we met on a week’s residency last year. She would go out into the dark in her ballet flats to find inspiration in the village churchyard. Her poem about iris petals would bleed before our eyes and some of her readings brought us to tears. At the launch of Tree Language this year, the heartbreak ‘Ben’ poem she read to us one evening in Ventenac so impressed Don Share that she was invited to record three poems for POETRY.

I was so pleased and not altogether surprised to hear that Marion had won the Melita Hume Poetry Prize. Her dedication to poetry and the energy it must take to think, write and raise two small children leaves me in awe. And she keeps a great blog. Above all, it is her way with words and images, the way she surprises and delights in the sensuous and sensual. I am always looking to see what poets do with the moon. Marion’s moon breaks all the rules…


Marion McCready lives in Argyll, Scotland. Her poetry pamphlet collection, Vintage Sea, was published by Calder Wood Press (2011). She won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2013 and won the Melita Hume Poetry Prize (2013). Her first full-length collection, Tree Language, was published by Eyewear Publishing (2014). Her website can be found here – and she blogs here –

Drovers’ Loch

Munro and Corbett
climb into each other’s pockets,

birthmarked by tree patch
and sun-tattooed.

The sheer blue of the laundered sky.

The brute cry
of the drovers’ oxen

as they ferry the cattle
across the loch.

Thick skins blackening
and glistening;

cloven hooves swimming
through plankton, fossil coral,

peacock worms.
When the darkness comes

it brings with it
an oxen moon.

Which is the memory bank
of the land.

(published in Poetry Salzburg Review)

The Black Art

The black art of the shore
strokes the gills behind my ears

The black art of the shore
rises around us.
Mussels crackle-comb the air,
rocks jostle with sea drift,
our conversation takes place
in my hair.
I am a lampshade of a girl;
I light up the rocks
with the whirl of my skirt.
You may think I am a sort of fish, you may
stroke the gills behind my ears.

(published in Gutter Magazine)

Both poems in Tree Language