Self-Portrait without Stitches

By Safia Elhillo

after Tarfia Faizullah i was hurt      i wasn’t      i saw it on the internet      licked yogurt from a spoon while the girls described their blood      hot      seizing the cotton of a sheet      i am speaking from the cut place      from my other mouths      do not believe me for i was never cut      or      i was hurt but never sewn      or      i wasn’t      i want -ed it      i didn’t      i screamed      i […]

ode to oud

By Annabelle Fuller

Winner, BBC Proms Poetry Competition 2018 (Under 19 category)

sliced like a pear.             pips pop between the strings and frets                           and slide like incensed sand into my hair. stone-walled and mortar-bared,             black, dusty, spare, breeze-borne,                          like a rhythm running through a shadow, then ensnared. mouth closed, the breaths of agar trees               remember the strip of bark and splay […]

[the space within]

By Annika Cleland-Hura

2nd prize winner, W. S. Graham challenge

Listen. Put on lightbreak             like the loafers that don’t quite fit                         but will in time. Wipe the sands of shame                                     and other people’s expectations from your eyes and waken into miracle. The audience             has faded with the stars. Walk soundlessly                         through the forest that breathes and dreams                                      with you. […]

arrochar alps

By Alice Hill-Woods

3rd prize winner, Civilisation and Its Discontents challenge

my calves still ache from traversing                that gorgeous, ballooning pregnant                munro beinn narnain with her tufts of sheep opal curls slick from rain running from the threat of water breaking                beneath that storm cruach nam miseag and we were all                               alone bitten and bruised vowing to never return to the […]