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Poetry / Prose


138 x 216mm


62 pages


£8.99+ P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-910834-91-6


PUB: 07 / 09 / 2018










Ever since Roland Barthes said that steak and chips mythologised Frenchness and that cars were the new Gothic cathedrals, the concept of myth has been peculiarly open to interpretation. The writers collected in this anthology give us timeless mythological topics like birth, death and relationships, animal-human shape-shifting, landscape and the seasons – but they do so in conjunction with very modern environments like festivals, the office and the cinema. By turns comic, tragic, celebratory or satirical, the stories and poems involve old favourites like Medusa and Persephone, and take us from the Vikings to China, via DC Comics and the Tír na NÓgh.  


This is the fifth in the series of anthologies under the Wordspace imprint with Indigo Dreams, and contributors are all involved with Leeds Trinity University in some way – students, staff, alumni, visitors to the Writers’ Festival and performers at our Wordspace Open Mic. In keeping with tradition, it is edited by two MA students and members of the English Department.  


Amina Alyal






a Space for Words


Edited by

Alexa Marie Russell,

Kate Kennedy, Amina Alyal



 Penélope welcomes the disguised hero – Alicia Fernández


She weaves a burial shroud slowly

on the set of Volver, in between takes,

secluded in her dressing room.

She is positive this film will win her the Oscar.

It will be worth the wait.

Penélope flicks the dog-eared corners

of time, slams the door on the lust-red

face of suitor #108. When night falls,

her faithful hands untangle her progress.

She undoes herself with each passing day.


Far from Don Quixote’s land, in Texas,

her lover hobnobs with the Coen brothers

during the filming of No Country for Old Men.

It has been too long now since he left,

and the tabloids are full of pictures of him

with a tall blonde Hollywood star.


She is woken by a knock one cold dusk,

opens up to an unrecognisable face

and hands she knows well reach out for hers.

The man’s fingers stroke her blisters, every cut.

In rags he comes to beg, but it’s too late for love.

Que te jodan, Javier – ‘You can fuck right off.’



Midas Touch – Leah Barron


How, where, and whenever death closes our eyelids …


Her hand takes mine,

cold and clammy, skin and bone

fused together by bruises and

gold. Her hand glitters

in the dull light of the Afterlife.

Her molten fingers, hot and cold, drip

over my forehead, my eyes, my lips,

my body welding shut with liquid gold.


Death closed my eyelids and took my hand,

my soul following her without a thought.

Her touch was ice,

numb hands leading numbing hands

away from the dull, dull light.




The Bull’s Shadow – Joanne Clement


Soon no hands held me but rope did.

Tethered to the bull, our hulls

converged, one resisting the other.

He didn’t hold me as much as I held him.

Slapped in the round, I clung

to his flank, to fight the slipping lariat.

Where he carried me, this bronco,

this barrel of meat, where he kicked

his shanks and shook, I cannot tell.

To be under him was his punishment

as much as mine, running to the headache

of bells, their bawling huzzahs.

Bull, you shouldered my weight away,

bowing as you cleft this body

from the hook of your horn. Beast

but not beastly, you looked so wild eyed

and earnest as you stamped me,

thunderous and gently into the dirt.

Legend – Joe Williams


It happened up by Hackwood Lane,

before the new estate was built.

It nearly made the national news.

That’s how the legend goes.


A still-repeated story shared

in taproom tattle over town,

though no-one seems to quite recall

the when, the why, the who.


The once accused denies his guilt,

and names another suspect, who,

it must be said, had form and fame,

and still his legend grows.


From testament by nameless friends,

recalled through twenty years or more,

in every pub you’ll find the soak

that swears the tales are true.


I knew him, yes. If forced to guess,

I’d picture him in jail, or dead.

He went to fight in Chechnya,

or so the legend goes



Medea – Kathleen Strafford



Jason      I can smell your thoughts.

  Did you forget I made the rivers

                      run backwards for you?

You loved me

        because of the steel  

                glint in my eye.

                    Now face down wind


of your children’s bodies

                        rotting in the corner.

 Let the whole house compose

                 a requiem

                           in the key of black.


This tune will fester

    in your bride’s poison dress

           and empty loins

             reeking of vinegar and piss

                        while my sweat

                                   smells sweet

                                       and I’ll


smirk at your balls swinging and colliding

as I lie with Aegeus

     growing big-bellied

                 as a bloated warrior.




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