Waterloo & City

Ilias Tsagas

A tiny part of a vast network
with no intermediate stops
yet a line of its own
running straight to the point.

Ilias Tsagas is a Greek poet living in London and he writes poetry in English and in Greek. His poems have appeared at the Sand Journal, The Shanghai Literary Review, the Away With Words Anthology (Vol 4) and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter (@Ilias_Energia).

Telling my Granddad I Like Girls

Nadia Lines

The truth lines my throat like a cold.
My round mouthed nan is being
mildly homophobic in that

product-of-their-time kind of way.
My granddad leans to me, a willow
arching over a river, and whispers

‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol
is the saddest poem I’ve ever read.’
‘Yes,’ I say ‘Yes’.

Nadia Lines is a nineteen-year-old poet from Hertfordshire. She is currently reading English at the University of Cambridge. She was a 2019 Foyle Young Poet of the Year, and a winner of the 2019 Orwell Youth Prize and the 2020 Tower Poetry Competition. She loves Keats.

The Lost Art of Staring into Fires

Georgia Hilton

When we were kids, we practised this:
the lost art of staring into fires.

There was no need to break the silence
– no one said, ‘hey kid, what you up to?’

it was obvious we were staring into fires.
Watching coals collapsing into embers

is the only lesson in mortality I ever needed.

Georgia Hilton is an Irish poet and fiction writer, now living in Winchester, England. She is published widely in magazines and anthologies and has a pamphlet, I went up the lane quite cheerful (2018) and a collection, Swing (2020), both with Dempsey and Windle. Georgia lives with her husband and three children, and tweets sometimes (@GGeorgiahilton). 

When You Speak

Adeleke Deborah

and when you speak to the woman
who weaved a basket of history
with the strands of her ancestor’s hair,
she will tell you about the masquerades
with bleeding gums who found science
in their ritual of burning flesh
with woods thralled by strange fires
she will tell you about the virulent gods
who spoke and made gestures with magma,
ashes, chaos, yoked in the sprout of winds.

Adeleke Deborah is a Nigerian writer and teacher. She is passionate about using her artistic skill as a tool for change and impact. Her work has appeared in Okada books. Find her on Instagram (@debbyhife).

Steel City

Creana Bosac

Son of an immigrant,
my grandfather worked in
the steelworks of Sheffield,
white heat paring his frame
to sparseness, sharp angles.

A proud man, foreign-tall,
hallmarked with honesty
and shining with kindness,
day by day he forged the
steel of my heritage.

Creana Bosac hails from the UK, where she has worked as an Open University Associate Lecturer and now edits and writes creative writing critiques. Since joining a writing group last year, she has had a number of pieces published and has authored a guide to giving and receiving feedback.