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Unfolded by Olivia Dawson

As an added extra, today we celebrate the release of Olivia Dawson’s debut collection, Unfolded. Available from today, Unfolded is the 19th publication from our friends at Maytree Press and again features original cover art from Alice Parker.

A wonderful debut collection uniquely themed around a collection of exotic and mysterious fans where Olivia gently weaves together a series of intimate portraits as though the words were themselves revealing a secret message on the leaves of a fan.

Unfolded is now available direct from Olivia or online from Maytree Press https://maytreepress.bigcartel.com/

Mantelpiece

Sometimes I display a fan
of glossy invitations showy

as peacock feathers,
or my Rolling Stones badge

pinned to a shrivelled rose
for a conversation piece.

Once I laid out family photos
but they disturbed the space

curling like cellophane fish
in the heat. Today a naked figurine,

round as Botero’s ballerina, poses
between two bowls with silver rims,

a screen of dust dims their reflective glaze
which only shows glimpses of me.



Still Life with Chocolate Pot

Matisse owns a chocolate pot –
treasured wedding present, drop-bellied,
squat, with a walk-on part

into interior lives.
It poses as a curvy vase
alive with silk flowers

or hides in the design of a tablecloth
like an optical illusion,
sometimes it takes centre stage,

duckbilled on three splayed feet.
Recast as a paper cut-out
the pot looks for its finest angle

jaunty behind a neon apple
then goes missing
to return as a smaller version

of itself, where it lurks
in the background, lopsided,
unsure of the applause.



Olivia Dawson, originally from London, now lives in the Sintra hills near Lisbon, via Paris and Rio, where she worked as an EFL teacher. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and is the Poetry Society Stanza rep for the Lisbon area. Her poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies including Magma, Poetry News, Under the Radar, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, Time & Tide (Arachne Press), The
Chronicles of Eve
(Paper Swans Press) and longlisted for the National
Poetry Competition, shortlisted for Paper Swans Press Pamphlet
Competition and shortlisted for the Poetry on the Lake Competition. Unfolded is her debut pamphlet.

Catherine Edmunds

What Breathes

A penguin has moved in with me.
Tired of the bitterness of seas,
it longs for a walk in the woods,
and wails when I demur.

I pick it up and it shakes with anxiety.
The house hums
as an underground train passes,
I hold the bird close,
feeling its body, its warmth.

We look through the window.
A man cycles by pedalling furiously.
Alright, says the penguin. Alright.
You can take me back now. I’m ready.

But later that night, I can’t stop crying,
and long for the ocean, white bones, blue fish.


Catherine Edmunds is a writer, artist, and Irish folk/rock fiddle player. Her published works include two poetry collections, five novels, and a Holocaust Memoir. She has been Pushcart Prize nominated three times, Bridport Prize shortlisted four times, and published by journals including Aesthetica, Crannóg, and Ambit.

Kristina Diprose

Mononoke 

The boy says I am not a wolf
despite the keenness of my teeth, 
despite the blood I licked from my sister’s wound,
despite the nights I have prowled this forest. 

The boy says I am human
despite the howling in my heart, 
despite the thirst for my next kill, 
despite the goddess who raised me. 

The boy says he loves me
and I am human and not a wolf
because he cannot hear the music of the moon, 
because he cannot heed a warning.



Kristina Diprose is a writer and social researcher living in Saltaire. Her last major research project (Climate Change, Consumption and Intergenerational Justice: Lived Experiences in China, Uganda and the UK, Bristol University Press 2019) sparked an interest in climate change ethics and ecofeminism that is reflected in her recent poetry.

Clint Wastling

East of Zero

East gets less each year. The curse of stupidity,
like Cnut forbidding high tide.

We protect vital assets scourging softer land south
to its fate in the grey North Sea.

East Riding—it marks final landfall
before the Greenwich meridian touches The North Pole.

Long-shore drift erodes Easington, Kilnsea,
ground to sediment deposited at Spurn.

Earth is scooped away by the Holderness Ord,
a wyrm of water uncoiling, twisting, making land sea again.

Zero is imagined–a construct for longitude.
In one hundred years nothing will be east of here

and our house, twelve miles from the coast,
will become littoral.

Alisa Velaj

EXTREMES OF PERSIMMON TASTE

These days will soon elapse
and you will, thereafter, recall my hesitation
hanging from persimmon branches;
my suspense at realizing why, oftentimes,
shade or no shade, the sun burns alike.

You will recall the bite of time,
like the bite we take of a persimmon,
which may taste sweetly terrific
or astringent enough for a terrible choke.

You’re not there, though,
to figure all this out…

Translated from Albanian by Arben P. Latifi

Alisa Velaj was shortlisted for the annual international Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in UK in June 2014. Recent publications include Stockholm Literally Review, Lethe Literary and Art Journal, The Ofi Press Magazine, A New Ulster, Poetry Space, Haaretz, The Linnet’s Wings, Stag Hill Literary Journal, Orbis Magazine, The Quarterly Review etc etc. Her poetry collection, With No Sweat At All, will be published by Cervana Barva Press in 2020.

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