A thousand Wednesday protests pass in Junghak-dong,
But still they call you liars.
Your aged backs bend beneath their hate.
Why is it easier to believe that you are whores,
Than to believe soldiers become beasts?
Who are these deniers of history?
Look at every nation, I say to them,
Show me an army that does not rape.
Sierra Leone—there is no end.
The truth of war is known: ‘And I will gather all nations against Jerusalem for battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered, and the women ravished…’ At least Zechariah documents his shame.
To you grandmothers, I say, Bend no more, the shame is not yours to carry.


Come out for a night of poetry at the Duke of Wellington Pub in Dalston.

The Birkbeck Poets host our fourth event Sunday, 23 November, at this wonderful pub. Readings start at 7pm. Join us for a pint (or a glass of wine) and an intimate night with poets in East London. Details here.

A must read for all who write! Toby Litt offers words of wisdom and encouragement.


The first thing you need to write a novel is… Time.

The second thing you need to write a novel is… More Time.

And the third thing you need to write a novel is… Even More Time.

This perhaps seems a bit obvious. But let me explain.

Time, More Time and Even More Time are all necessary.

I’ve divided Time up into three because you need Time for different things.

The first lot of Time is, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, Time to write. Time to sit at the desk with words coming out of you.

The second lot of time, More Time, is… Time not to write. Time to do stuff which doesn’t seem to be writing but which, in the end, turns out to have been writing all along. To the uninitiated, this may appear to be window shopping or people-watching, taking a nice long…

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Blue sky, green pastures
A slice of yellow light
Cuts through the cold winds
Warms my goose flesh skin
Until the light fades away
Alone in quiet shadow
Except for Poe’s lonely raven
High in a black clawed tree
Neck stretched toward me
As I pass beneath
One eye cocked downward
Watching, watching
Waiting for the end of night
To call the lost ones home