Solstice Shorts has been going since 2014, and has always been about short stories – sometimes flash (Shortest Day, Noon) sometimes longer, and quickly took up with poetry too – partly because poets were complaining that they wanted to play.
We are still crowd funding – a few days and few hundred pounds to go so I’ve been thinking about how to give you a flavour of the book without revealing too much, and thinking about those poetry books that index by first lines, because they are sometimes more memorable than the title. So I thought I’d have a stab at that. (If it grabs you, you can contribute to the crowdfund here – you have til Halloween!)
Starting with the poets!
Alison Lock, Sisterhood Of The Seas: We meet under the spire of St Nicolas’s church/where the waterfront used to be.
Angel Warwick, We Dig The Pig: In the hull of a silt-clad/ oyster smack, we dig the pig
Carl Alexandersson, Tulpaner Och Liljekonvaljer: The tulips made me think of you
Christine Ritchie, Clearance: Edging the darkness of the land, a gleam of grey
Claire Booker, Fisherman’s Daughter:My Dad was an artist with a needle – and How Women Came to Tristan da Cunha: Too late for second chances,/ they catch the island humpbacked on the sea line.
Elinor Brooks, Woman from North India on Bostadh Beach:
Elizabeth Parker, Overlord With Declan: At Arromanches, the Channel clouts concrete caissons,/ gaps the line of Mulberry B and The Watchers: Crosby Beach yearns,/ desiring feet, paws; hungriest sand/ churning slithers of light.
Emma Lee, Casting A Daughter A Drift: The earth tilts again and I stop. And When You Regret Wishing For Something Thrilling: “Should be frightened, I should be frightened.”
Holly Blades, Delivery: Labour was like this:
Ian Macartney, Mother Fish: and Ovčice, Croatia: On this slim torso of a beautiful man/ called Earth we slip palms/ under beaches of coin,
Ivonne Piper, No Tearaways: Son of a Greek/ disobeyed his father
Jane Aldous, In The Shadows, On The Shore, Leith: Why do they always arrive/ at such awkward times,
Jenny Mitchell, Church Mary Sounds The Sea, Bend close. I’ll say this once, tired from the weight of words.
JN Nucifera, City Of Water: I have always sailed on easterly winds
John Richardson, False Light: All is night fog.
Joy Howard, When Will We See The Sea: Feeling we know you/ we rush to your side
Julie Laing, Modality: Overarching wind/ drops
Kate Foley, Verticals: Knobbly concrete crustaceans,
Laura Potts, First Light: It is somewhere in a sometime/ that a long late light
Lynn White, Paddling: No one swam in the seas round Britain/ when I was a child.
Mandy Macdonald, Frocks Of Passage: Papyrus-white/ baby smocks of smooth Egyptian cotton, and Half A Dozen Oranges: ‘Hexi portokali, parakaló’,/ I was taught to say
Math Jones, The nth Wave, There’s an old man who sits on a rock by the shore/ Says he’s counting the waves coming in.
Melissa Davies, Bird Wife: Otter belly brushes snow/ filling wood gaps/ with warm otter smell. Halibut:Fifty-six halibut tails. Lookout Men:Her father’s father was a lookout man on Løksøya, Seaweed: So black against the snow/ I can taste the summer tang. Værøy: It’s the weight of the mountain/ forcing them to stay on the edge
Michelle Penn, The Sinking Of Mrs Margaret Brown: Silk elbow gloves.
Ness Owen, Sea Lessons: She tells you everyone/ born by sea is brave.
Nick Westerman, Napoleon: stares at his captor the sea, calm to the horizon, belying/ its enormity
Olivia Dawson Points of Interest: Every morning I open my front door and step out into a stuccoed world.
Susan Cartwright-Smith, Open Water We are all shapes and sizes.
Reshma Ruia, Crossing the Black Water: My son he crossed the black water
Sarah Tait, Bosun’s Locker: Lots of things would be better, I think,/ than being slapped round the chops/ with a wet fish, and Hawser: rope-caught/ snake-chained/ heave-stretch/ twist-fight
Savanna Evans, On A Day Like This: She pressed every fingertip on her/ last child’s shoulder,
Simon Whitfield, A Conjuring Poem: By primal life, dividing in the deep
Thomas Tyrrell, Of Grainne Mhaol: To weave by hearth-fires she disdains,
Valerie Bence, Arrival: It starts by not sailing on a Thursday or Friday
Vivien Jones, I Nearly Drownded, Daddy As a child, one of three, play-swimming