Issue 9 – September 2022


is where i’m from still there now?

Ghosts. Postcards. Eros.

Issue 9 is full of gaps. It’s full of creativity, originality and concision. It’s full of heartfelt cries and moments of silence. Issue 9 is full of meaning and meaninglessness… but it’s devoid of wasted words.

Across four sections, we bring you bold, succinct poems, photos and stories that all engage, in some way, with the theme of EMPTY SPACES. Our contributors construct spaces that invite reflection and exploration; provoke excitement and remorse; inspire rejuvenation and exclamation.

Solitude plays a starring role: sometimes blissful, sometimes agonising. Obscured by emptiness, the world becomes unhinged and imperceptible. But birds remain, as do trees. And mountains.

Inevitably, absence frames the issue. Between Tejaswinee Roychowdhury’s deserted paths and Ignatius Primadi’s swirling void, several gaping holes emerge that threaten to engulf the reader.

Empty spaces can be empty spaces. Or empty spaces can be spaces waiting to be filled. As Saleem Sinai, the serendipitous son of India’s independence in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, puts it: ‘Most of what matters in our lives takes place in our absence: but I seem to have found from somewhere the trick of filling in the gaps in my knowledge‘.

From the highest highs to the lowest lows, our contributors perform magic of their own to conjure worlds and non-worlds, places and non-places. We hope you enjoy your trip to nowhere.

Read the issue’s Content Warnings.


Tejaswinee Roychowdhury, ‘Deserted Paths of North Bengal’

Karen Macfarlane, ‘Kittiwake’

BT Barra, ‘Mulhacén’

Karin Hedetniemi, Two Photos

Alison Wassell, ‘The Space Between Us’

Frank William Finney, ‘Elegy for an Elm’


Fabio Sassi, ‘Flying Eros’

Frances Boyle, ‘Imperceptible’

Elancharan Gunasekaran, ‘ghost coast’

Emily Harrison, ‘Sally and her postcards and the death that comes after’

Shawn Ferrari, ‘Untitled’

Tracey Pearson, ‘Only do NCFE English Level 2’


Tom Frazer, ‘Green’

Irene Cunningham, ‘Atmospheric Froth’

Kara Dunford, ‘Out of Eden’

Christie Borely, ‘Grounded’

Lena Barton, ‘Untitled’

Sambhu Nath Banerjee, ‘The Bliss of Morning Solitude’


Katie Coleman, ‘My Son Who Dares to Climb a Crane’

bedfordtowers, ‘terrible ghost’

Ben Lockwood, ‘Wheretime’

Michael Penny, ‘Unhinge the World’

Samaré Gozal, Extract from ‘Here and There’

Ignatius Primadi, ‘Into the Void (Glasgow, 2018)’

And next?

Read it again. And again. And again. Consider dropping a few coins into our tip jar. Then read it again.

Look up our contributors. Follow them. And read more of their work. Read past issues of Briefly Zine. Browse Briefly Zone for writing inspiration; Briefly Read for book reviews and reading challenges. Check back in December for the third edition of Write 10, Win 10.

Then… wait for Issue 10. Our tenth issue is going to be BIG (in a brief sort of way). And we would love you to be part of it. Submissions will open in January 2023 for your best brief poetry, prose and photography. See you then!