Here’s ‘Tantric Twister‘ by multi prize-winner Tracy Fells, who is also a very naughty girl! Lyn Jennings, who isn’t – here reading her poem ‘Heatwave’, and you know you need that as the nights draw in up here in the north!
There’s Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s gentle poem, ‘Mrs Moreno’, about grief and comfort, and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers’ insightful ‘Breastsummer‘, an awakening so many of us will recognise.
Rapture by Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, notable South African poet, performance artist, and PhD candidate with Lancaster university. Rapture was First published in the 2013 anthology For Rhino in a Shrinking World (Ed Harry Owen).
Shadow by Lyn Jennings, poet and past Educational Psychotherapist for children with learning difficulties. Shadow is ‘dedicated to our neighbours at Shoreham with respect and sympathy for all who died or suffered in the Air Show disaster [West Sussex 2015]’.
Ducks in a Row by Suzanne Conboy-Hill, short story and flash fiction writer. This was also written after a Hawker Hunter jet ploughed through traffic waiting for the lights to change or standing on the verge watching the display.
Wood by Tracy Fells, short story and flash fiction writer with novels on the production line. Wood is a relationship story that sheds a different light on the idea of going back to one’s roots.
All material taken from the Anthology Let Me Tell You a Story (contributing editor, Suzanne Conboy-Hill) available from Lulu (print and ebook) and Amazon(print only). Listen to Ian McMillan’s foreword:
‘Are you sure you want to go through with this?’ Hannah paused, giving Lou a moment to consider, her fingertips tightly pinching the edge of the paper strip.
With eyes tightly closed her best friend nodded. ‘Do it.’ As Hannah tore the waxed paper downwards Lou let out a shriek, the piercing cry of a doomed creature caught in a snare.
‘Told you it would hurt,’ said Hannah, suppressing a smile. ‘Do you want me to carry on?’
They both appraised the runway, a rectangle of white skin trailing from kneecap to shin, bounded by the remaining forest of chestnut hairs. ‘You’ve got to do the rest – I can’t go out looking like a half-skinned bear in a dress.’
Tracy Fells was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize in 2014 and Phoenix and Marilyn won 2012 ChocLit Publishing’s Summer Short Story Prize. Read the rest of this story and others by Tracy Fells in Let me Tell You a Story and hear Tracy’s own narration by scanning a QR code on the page. Available from LuluandAmazon.
@TheLiteraryPig, aka Tracy Fells, was one of the first who agreed to have her work included in Let Me Tell You a Story when it wasn’t much more than a twitch of an idea. In her blogshe asks the questions neither of us could even have framed in those early days and hopefully gets some answers. It starts with people facing eviction or criminal prosecution …
Tracy has an extensive catalogue of writing ‘hits’ and read her work regularly at West Sussex Writers. Her contributions include Tantric Twister, Wood, and Phoenix and Marilyn.
This anthology began as a small local project, which is why I find myself both editor and contributor, and it grew. The reasons behind it are hereand they have to do with literacy and privacy, and the indignity of having things read to you when you’re an adult. This book provides a model of what could be done to alleviate those problems. More.
Ian McMillan is a poet, broadcaster, and presenter of BBC Radio Three’s The Verb, a programme that celebrates the spoken (and sung, and chanted, and pounded, and whispered) word. Ian’s appreciation of language; its flows and rhythms and its very many forms are what drew me to listening weekly to his programme. His way of showing language as living thing that can dance on the page if you let it out of the reverential box it sometimes gets trapped in led to me ask if he would consider writing this piece for us.
“Sometimes I can read a poem on the page and I can’t quite make out what the author’s intention was: there’s something there, I can tell, but it’s hidden in the language-mist. When I hear the poem read aloud, (or accompanied by music, or acted out by a variety of voices: anything is possible once you start down this road) then the clouds are blown away and the poem does what it meant to say on the tin, to re-fashion an advertising slogan.”
Ian is a Yorkshireman; he writes the way he speaks, and he speaks with a voice like a pint of strong dark beer in a big dimpled glass. So ease yourself into the soft-padded fireside seat of your favourite minds-eye pub, take that big glass in your hand – both hands if necessary – and give your minds-ears a treat.