Caroline Gilfillan

Caroline Gilfillan: Featured Poet

Caroline Gilfillan laughing
Little gods

Little gods, we grabbed chalk boulders, tugged
till they capitulated with a belch of sea breath,
and lay on their backs, helpless, while we
rifled through the warm water
of the rock pool we’d excavated.

We hooted when a sea anemone waved
orange tentacles at us – a mini Titan throwing
bolts of brine. That drab shrimp
paddled right into the dip of your palm
and you pulled the sea-snail off its rock
with a laugh of triumph, though it
clenched its muscle foot tight.

Then came a day when a transparent crab
no larger than my thumbnail
dug itself into the wet sand with a flurry of claws
so furious, so determined, that I
wobbled, lost my balance altogether.

Small sea-salt creatures, you gave me
my first inkling of conquest and resistance
as I crouched in the blaze of the sun,
getting the seat of my shorts wet,
lifting the roof of the world.


Caroline Gilfillan won the Suffolk Poetry Society’s George Crabbe Award in October 2012. Her poetry pamphlet, Yes (Hawthorn Press, 2010) won the East Anglian Book Award for the best poetry collection. Her first full poetry collection, Pepys was published by Hawthorn Press in November 2012. She’s written and, with The Pepys Players, is now performing Meeting Mister Pepys, a spoken-word piece featuring poems from her collection, diary extracts and songs of the period.

As a member of Inprint, a collaborative group of poets and artists, she’s worked on projects combining poetry and visual artwork.  She’s also a songwriter and musician.  Born in Sussex, she lived in London for some time, and is currently writing a book in conjunction with the photographer Andrew Scott, celebrating London in the 1970s. She’s also a singer and musician, who leads singing workshops and performs with various bands.

Her poetry and fiction have been published in various magazines, including The London Magazine and Mslexia. For more information about her work, please visit her website   or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Anna Kisby

Anna Kisby: Featured Poet

Anna Kisby



You carry this one back in a Waitrose bag,
her mother’s rosary pressed against
her warrant for arrest, head south
to the archive vault like crossing
the Styx. Each twist

———of the Northern Line
jostles a love letter closer
to her father. His stern moustache,
unwilling, tickles the words –Eve, I shall
rig up a mosquito net for you under the stars –

This is what keeps you awake: the dead
who all day long press upon you
wordy concerns, sepia stares begging
to be read. You smooth an obituary,
shelve two diaries

——–close as palms in prayer. Ladies,
necks achy in over-ornamented hats, you slide
between acid-free sheets. Tonight
you will turn and turn again, and think:
it is her dust that I breathed in.


Anna Kisby is an archivist and mother of three, living in Brighton. After growing up in London she studied Literature and Film at the universities of East Anglia, Sussex and the Sorbonne, taught English in Prague and sold cowboy boots in Massachusetts.

Her poetry has appeared in anthologies and magazines including Magma, Mslexia and The Moth and been placed in competitions. Recently she won The New Writer single poem prize and was a finalist in Live Canon 2012.

Some more poems:

Ink, Sweat and Tears

Royal Collection Trust

3.AM Magazine

Writing East Midlands