Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

My writing has waxed and waned ever since I was a child. It has always been there thrumming along under the surface of ‘me’, but I didn’t always give it enough space to thrive. Sometimes that was because life just got in the way. I also wasn’t aware how much giving space to my creativity mattered. But, the truth is that no one but you is going to be as passionate about your creative life.

It took me many years and some tumultuous circumstances to realise that I needed creativity in order to live my best life. …

Deep Time: Volume 1 by Black Bough Poetry is a powerful collaboration that immerses the reader into an underworld that stretches into the soul. Inspired by and dedicated to Robert Macfarlane, this anthology, edited by Swansea poet, Matthew M C Smith, with support from Guest Readers Laura Wainwright, Jack Bedell and Ankh Spice, resonates with the ethos of his award-winning book, Underland. In the first volume we are also treated to music composed by Stuart Rawlinson, which is available online on the ‘Deep Time’ Soundcloud playlist; a free resource that combines the book’s poems and music, curated by the Composer.

This anthology is currently a bestseller on Amazon UK- #1 for Poetry Anthologies!

Photo Credit: HoliHo at Pixabay

“And you? Girl with the words, what reason will you give?”

AP English Lit, sometime in the 90’s

The first day of school was better than Christmas and I could hardly sleep the night before. Backpack stuffed, new outfit laid out, pencils sharpened — I was always ready. Most kids hated the end of summer, but not me. I was ready for sweaters and school shoes and late night study sessions long before anyone else. I think I had a few close friends that felt the same way, but we never discussed it. We were like some erudite fight club.

Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

“If you understand Anne Shirley Cuthbert, then you probably understand me.”

-Juliette van der Molen

Mirror, Mirror

Photo by Deepi Goyal on Unsplash

Medusa’s Daughter, by Jane Rosenberg LaForge, is a shedding of poetic skin where the mythical gives way to modern and seeds a new narrative. These poems are filled with treasures of syntactical prowess that leave us with a sense of wonder and awe.

We All Have Our Snakes

Photo by Pranjall Kumar on Unsplash

Content warning: This review contains discussion and mention of sensitive topics such as domestic and sexual violence and may be triggering to some readers.

To Fall Fable, by Alice Wickenden, reminds us that those with the power to tell stories can shape enduring legacies. In this pamphlet of poetry, Wickenden re-imagines the story of Adam and Eve in a way we’ve never heard it. These accomplished poems cover a wide range of themes and seek to put into language the emotions that sometimes defy description. In breaking down and remaking one of the world’s oldest stories, she challenges gender roles, ideas of consent and sends us into the universe of ‘what if‘.

What if everything we think we know is wrong? …

Photo by Brian McMahon on Unsplash

Fly on the Wall Press has published Issue 8 of their fantastic in-house magazine, with the theme of “Alien”, just in time to add some adventure to the grey days of winter. This edition is full of everything from little green men to dreamers wandering in alien landscapes. There is so much variety in the careful curation of this issue, that it would be hard not to find something that speaks to each reader. …

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

On Borrowed Time, by Graeme Hall, is a novel that took me on a journey between Hong Kong and Shanghai without need of a passport. I first read Hall’s work in his short story collection The Goddess of Macau and I was intrigued by his ability to create characters with such depth in a compact space. I was excited to receive his debut novel and see how this would translate into a larger narrative. Hall weaves a tale full of intrigue and all of those details that immersed me in his shorter stories.

  • Warning: this review contains spoilers*

Photo by Lea Böhm on Unsplash

Diaspora Child, by Ciona Nankervis, is a book of poetry that explores the idea of what it means to belong and to hope to find a place to call home. Nankervis is a Birmingham-born British woman of Punjabi lineage who is unflinching in her descriptions of what life has been like for her as she navigates these turbulent waters.

The cover art is comprised of an image of a painting by the author. Through nearly transparent lines intersecting one another and the hints of red and blue dropped into a few crevices, the complexity of self and nuance is clear…

Photo by Ivan Vranić on Unsplash

Our Beautiful Scars, by Jane Seabourne, is a powerful examination of emotional fracture and a champion of the possibility that these things do not have to shame us, but instead lead to more beautiful spaces as we work to heal. In poetry that is neither overwrought nor spare, full of humour and reverence, this beautiful book published by Offa’s Press invites the reader to consider the benefits of embracing our whole selves, without reservation.

Juliette van der Molen

Author & artist living in Wales. Her work has appeared widely both online and in print. She is the author of four poetry books & is currently working on a novel

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store