Contemporary short fiction, poetry and more

Monthly Archives: October 2014

Review: Escape Kit by William Thirsk-Gaskill

This is a wonderful review of ‘Escape Kit’ by Sarah Gonnet, one of those talented and resourceful people at Sabotage Reviews:


You can read Sarah’s own blog, here:


The best place to buy the printed version of ‘Escape Kit’ is here:


New Age Wolf, poem by Gaia Holmes (Mythic Poetry Series)

A poem by my co-presenter on Themes for Dreamers, Gaia Holmes.

Silver Birch Press

by Gaia Holmes

He’s sanded down his teeth,
given up meat
for me.

Whilst packs of his shaggy brethren
rip the bellies out of badgers
and turn rabbits inside out
he’s in the moon-lit garden
planting basil and brassica,
biting back his howls.

He’s become a birdcage on legs,
all ribs and hollow belly.
“One cannot live on flowers alone”
I say as he chews his way through
his second plate of daisies.

He’s a changed beast.
Flesh hasn’t reddened his tongue
since I brushed the oily fur
from his eyes
and rubbed compassion
into his scratchy pelt.

He loves me gently as a lamb.
At night he wears mittens in bed
to buffer his claws,
Gaffa tapes the bite behind his lips
and dreams of blood.

IMAGE: From Little Red Riding Hood by Felix Summerly (1843).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gaia Holmes lives in Halifax, UK. She is…

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Don’t Be A Bird Brain

This is a lively review of ‘King Crow’ by Michael Stewart. It is encouraging to see something like this quite a long time after the work was published.

Funnylass's Blog

Followers will know that I like to blog about all kinds of stuff, but that I can become the gobbiest when it comes to the issue of ‘outsiders’. Yes, I get all crabby about those who are on the fringes of society (because of lack of income or birth right or connections) but I also get my knickers in a twist in relation to the way that people who are deemed to be a bit ‘different’, ‘quirky,’ ‘eccentric’ or who seem to be singing from a completely different song-sheet from the rest of us ‘normals,’ are treated.

Elvis falls into one of these categories.  Not only is his name un-cool (because most families don’t listen to Elvis obsessively as we do) but he also happens to be a budgie. And after Father Christmas delivered him to us last year I have lost count of the number of times people have…

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In in verse proportion: half the stress; double the delight!

A wonderful review, written by the crime-writing wife of my high school English teacher, of my accompanying performance to A Firm Of Poets at Rickaro Books in Horbury.

Christina James, crime novelist

Richard of Rickaro Books presents the Tracey Emin-endorsed Books Are My Bag bag Richard of Rickaro Books presents the Tracey Emin-endorsed Books Are My Bag bag

Yesterday I spent a superlative afternoon at Rickaro Books, Horbury, to celebrate three events: the launch of Holding Your Hand Through Hard Times, by A Firm Of Poets (some of whom are now also Firm Friends of this blog!) on the first day of this year’s Books Are My Bag festivities; the birthday of one of Rickaro Books’ regular customers; and last, but by no means least, the thirteenth birthday of Rickaro Books itself.  Toasts were drunk in sparkling wine while it rained outside: a wonderfully cosy and pleasantly decadent way of spending a Saturday afternoon!

The four poets who performed yesterday were Ralph Dartford, a founding member of A Firm Of Poets, accounts of whose at once tongue-in-cheek and poignant performances (‘Now then! / In November 1950 / Pablo Picasso / visited Sheffield /…

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