Judith Taylor




The dog

in the early hours
the dog’s toenails click on the passage lino.

That dog has been gone
two decades, nearly:
sometimes one of them hears him, sometimes both.

Though they never say
they both remember
the night the boy died:

how the dog crept in
that one time
where he wasn’t allowed;

hollowed himself
a sleeping-place by the bed.




Judith Taylor lives and works in Aberdeen. She has written two pamphlet collections – Earthlight, (2006), and Local Colour (2010) – and her first full-length collection, Not in nightingale country, will be published this October by Red Squirrel Press.

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Kevin Reid





Victorian Sisters

Hardy. Well preserved. She mothered them.
They found her alone. The rose still kind
on her lips, olive still ripe
on her skin. It was winter.

Her fun faded. Her shadow grew bolder
than her former self. Pale and wasted
with rough play. Her mouth torn,
twisted. Her pallid curls sad pink.

She survived the attack. The loss broke her.
She couldn’t speak about it.
Her trust frozen. Grey. Her love cracked.
The family had kept a pet crow.





Kevin Reid‘s work can be found in various online and printed publications including: Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House and Domestic Cherry. Wordless, an image and text collaboration with George Szirtes, is published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press.

Note: I was fortunate enough to be guardian of these three genuine Victorian dolls, which are part of the Angus Council Museum collection. They have never been displayed and only kept in storage and I was granted permission by the collections manager to photograph them while in my care and share in whatever way I want. They have since been returned and will probably remain in storage forever.




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George Aird



The Doctor Will See You (As A Piece of Meat, Until You Start Bleeding Everywhere)

Measured in syllables,
the distance between the kitchen door and table
is not enough to
avoid the question.
The way that silence
makes a mess of you
if you really bite into it.
The way the bone
celebrates a break
with a crack of applause.

The surgeon looks at his handiwork
and is pleased by the naked flesh.




George Aird is a postgraduate student at Durham University, as well as an assistant editor of poetry at Butcher’s Dog Magazine. He is currently based in the North East of England, and can be found on Twitter at @G_Aird.

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Andrea Bowd





when my red-haired mother was found.
Lying still,
insect-thin, sleeping. Though

her lips were the
bluest they’d ever been.

Neighbours called: offered broth.
I’d ran, hidden amongst reed grasses,
gripped thistle heads and blackberry thorns, let them sear my skin.

I’d inhaled smells of damp earth and decay,
exhaled snot and tears.

Watched the wind move
the garden gate

made it creak in hollow invitation
made the rowan leaves twitch

like witches fingers, casting red spells
through stolen night.




Andrea Bowd is a recent graduate of Nottingham University achieving a first class degree in Creative and Professional Writing. She is now studying for a Masters Degree in Creative Writing. Andrea has some success as a poet, having some of her poems published in Dreamcatcher, Skylark, Mud Press and Snakeskin. Her latest published poem is available here, courtesy of Snakeskin:  http://www.snakeskinpoetry.co.uk/240may.htm

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Daniel Pearson



This is the cry that hollows the walls,
that shrinks like evening Primrose
clicking on window frames, rapping
out the ticks of post-nocturnal gloom,
the accepted hour of life. It is afraid
its words are meaningless, rattling
the bannisters
umbral enunciation
that swam, amphibious and strange
in its meticulous waddle to land,
glassy eyes suspended, the black
hearts of them quivering frogspawn.
This is the queer, ribbitting chalice
webbed in the throat, the blank cry
that shakes in its paperloose skin.







Daniel Pearson is originally from Sunderland and studied English Literature at Lancaster University. After spending several years living in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia he now lives in Cardiff.

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Longlist Announced for IS&T/Café Writers Pamphlet Commission Competition

After nearly two months of deliberation and consideration we are pleased to announce the longlist for the Ink Sweat & Tears/Café Writers Pamphlet Commission Competition. Please click on Pamphlet Commission Competition 2017 Longlist in the menu above or go here.

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