Julian Stannard is the author of Rina’s War (Peterloo, 2001), The Red Zone (Peterloo, 2007), The Parrots of Villa Gruber Discover Lapis Lazuli (Salmon, 2011) and The Street of Perfect Love (Worple, 2014). A new book – Hotel Magnificent – is due out with  CB  Editions in 2016.  Recent work appears in the Best British Poetry 2014 (Salt); he reviews for TLS, Guardian and Poetry Review. He teaches at the University of Winchester.




After years of silence
my ex -wife sends me
a salami through the post.

I have to sign for it
and then  I take it
into the flat and put it

in the fridge. And then I remember
a Calabrian  neighbour
who  hung  his salamis

in  every room  in  the  house.
He was a doctor,  or had at least
acquired some kind of

medical qualification –
no luck  finding a job.
He practised Buddhism

and  this endowed him
with  patience and good feelings
especially towards the  salamis

which,  it has to be said,  gave
the apartment a particular  aroma.
I like to  keep my hand in,

he said. And he took out
a knife and began to chop  the salami
in the hallway. I take my ex-wife’s

salami out of the fridge and spend
much of the day looking at it.
Years of silence and then a salami!

And I look for a sharp knife
and slice off a piece which,
a little  nervously,  I eat.  Delicious.






Bethany W Pope is an LBA winning author, and a finalist for the Faulkner-Wisdom Awards, the Cinnamon Press Novel competition, and the Ink, Sweat and Tears poetry commission. She placed third in the Bare Fiction Poetry Competition, second in this year’s Bristol Poetry Prize, she was long-listed for the Bare Fiction short-story contest, short-listed for The Arianne’s Thread Poetry Contest and she was recently highly commended in this year’s Poetry London Competition. Bethany was nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize. She received her PhD from Aberystwyth University’s Creative Writing program, and her MA from the University of Wales Trinity St David. She has published several collections of poetry: A Radiance (Cultured Llama, 2012) Crown of Thorns, (Oneiros Books, 2013), and The Gospel of Flies (Writing Knights Press 2014), and Undisturbed Circles (Lapwing, 2014). Her first novel, Masque, shall be published by Seren in 2016.

Blending In

A deer, glimpsed fleetingly through the trees, or
the red flash of a fox, even scattered cairns of bones –
another body rotting on the forest floor –
made the world reveal itself. Our walking tour
through Mt Pisgah taught me many things.
A deer, glimpsed fleetingly through the trees, or
the iron blood-taste of a spring, even sour
huckleberries gained a strange significance.
Another body rotting on the forest floor
provided totemic decorations for
my cousins and I. We became birds,
deer, glimpsed fleetingly through the trees, or
a ragged wolf-child. They played; I lost myself for
hours, days, in true-seeming imaginings.
A body rotting on the forest floor
sprang up to life. The world reduced to four
earth-colours. As I hunted, I couldn’t tell if what I saw was
a deer glimpsed fleetingly through the trees, or
another body rotting on the forest floor.