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Issue 47/December 2020

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Brittle Star magazine is 20 years old in 2020. Issue 47 is hot off the press and the last issue in our 20th birthday year. It’s also the last in this format!

Issue 47 of Brittle Star includes poems and stories by Peter Arscott, Ben Banyard, Ace Boggess, Max Cavitch, Kathryn Daszkiewicz, Holly Day, Jane Devoy, Jo Dixon, Brian Docherty, Charlotte Edwards, Lara Frankena, John Haynes, Becki Hawkes, Emma Hellyer, Hannah Hodgson, Louisa Hooper, John Kaufmann, Lisa Kelly, Christopher Lanyon, Kik Lodge, Mark McGuinness, Devon Miller-Duggan, Jacques Moulin, William Millar, C.P. Nield, Evanson Njuki, Michele Pollard, Liz Proctor, Mohammad Razai, Shloka Shankar, Kat Siddle, Jean Stevens, June Wentland.

Column by Sarah Pasingham – Rising to the Top of the Pile: Lockdown 2

Short fiction Reviews by Fawzia Muradali Kane – “Never put off for tomorrow what could be put off for the day after tomorrow.”

Issue 46/June 2020

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Whisky, Tango, Foxtrot […] We are living in unprecedented and strange times; times of political change and upheaval, violence in our streets, times of mistrust and no confidence in the people who should be protecting us – politicians, police, military. These are times in which the people who are actually protecting us in very real terms were, until recently, considered low-skilled. They are in fact low-paid – somewhere along the misguided way lack of money has been translated as lack of skills. This is baffling. And the backdrop to this is a global pandemic. I’ve called this editorial ‘Whisky, Tango, Foxtrot’ because the language of the times is startlingly militaristic amongst all the chaos – we are at war, we must stay alert, we will win, we will beat this, we are warriors and heroes, battling on the frontline!

Footage, postings and news reports make it feel like we’re living through one disaster movie after another. Our leaders appear to think so too. However, when they don’t like the direction of the movie they tend to fire the directors, if the directors are scientists, that is. Or in some countries they abandon the film altogether in favour of an action flick with bible wielding would-be hero protecting his property from angry mobs (with no regards or empathy for why they might be angry in the first place). Or in the UK, maybe the movie is the tale of a man so desperate to protect his family in the midst of a plague he’s willing to sacrifice anything – and everyone else – to travel half-way across the country to reach his parents and find sanctuary for his children. But we’re not living in a movie, this is real life. Narratives are played out in real time and by people’s real actions and reactions – they aren’t fiction or film scripts. And, although we’ve been mostly locked in doors draining Netflix of its content, we can tell one from the other. Even if our leaders can’t.

But what has this got to do with art and literature? […] (Editorial extract by Jacqueline Gabbitas)

Issue 46 of Brittle Star includes poems and stories by Janina Arndt, Edward Avern, Heidi Beck, Alison Binney, Ama Bolton, Jo Brandon, Justine Louise Budenz, Peter Burrows, Tamsin Cottis, Tina Cole, Jane Devoy, Philip Dunkerley, Maia Elsner, Madison Feshler, David Frankel, SK Grout, Karen Green, John Greening, Janet Hatherley, Louisa Hooper, Annette Iles, Fawzia Muradali Kane, Joan Lennon, Stephanie Limb, Simon Maddrell, Cara L McKee, Valeria Melchioretto, Julie Mellor, Jesse River Dylan Merry, Shan Mukhtar, Max Mulgrew, Jane Pearn, Kenneth Pobo, John Pucay, Rebecca Shore, Jill Townsend

Column by Sarah Pasingham – Epistolary Un-lockdown

Poetry Reviews by Paul Blake – Family Trees & Other Dark Woods

Issue 45/Nov 2019

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[…] FOR THIS ISSUE, we read a lot of darkness. Graphic violence – especially against women – aggressive sex acts, bodily-fluids – a lot of snot and blood – war-metaphors, broken bodies, broken souls. Too much to read at once, too much to carry around in our heads. The reason for the sheer volume of it is unclear: it could be a witnessing of dark times, a presaging of times ahead of us, it could be that writers, especially poets, think this is what will get them published (and there is some evidence for that), it could be that the season calls for such things, it could be a mass expulsion of a shared anxiety – a sort of collective scream to relieve the pressure of living in our world, it could be desperate voices trying to speak to our dying planet, it could be humans needing to speak to other humans, to say ‘I’ve lived through it too’. It reminds me of Don Paterson’s poem ‘The Scale of Intensity’ building from the ‘Not felt […] Sea like a mirror’ of the first verse to ‘Damage total […] Sea white’ of the twelfth and final verse. As editors we work with what you send us, and you sent us darkness. Not all the stories and poems in this issue are dark, and those that are have their own windows to be opened. And if the reading this time calls up the Paterson poem it doesn’t mean the world reflects it. Not yet.. (Editorial extract by Jacqueline Gabbitas)

Issue 45 of Brittle Star includes poems and stories by S.P. Hannaway, Stuart Charlesworth, Kitty Coles, Anna Robinson, Katherine Gallagher, Kenneth Durham Smith, Eva Hibbs, Robert Etty, Brian Docherty, Tina Preston, Anna Seidel, Diana Cant, Paul Blake, Kae Banner, Steven Taylor, Trish Kerrison, Di Slaney, Bianca Jaros, Miles Larmour, Anne Ryland, Eleanor Page, Sheila Martin, Sue Johns, Michael Loveday, Yuko Minamikawa Adams, Marcus Smith, Jim Conwell, Katherine Meehan, Daniel Bennett, Pascal Fallas, Sue Wallace-Shaddad

Column by Sarah Pasingham – Short Stories Don’t Have to be Short Fiction

Gavin Jones – “We With Wisest Sorrow Think” – On Ghosts, Loved and Spurious

Fawzia Muradali Kane – Cherrywood and Special Brew: Short Fiction Review

Brittle Star Issue 44 coverIssue 44/June 2019

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SO MUCH WATER: Sometimes themes arrive when we’re putting a magazine together. It happens organically. […] We like the poems and stories in Brittle Star to live with one another no matter what they’re about, to love one another, build houses together, wage wars, form community gardens, go on rallies, shout out loud about a million things, whisper about a million more. We like the magazine to reflect something of the variety of the worlds in which our writers and readers live, the relationships they might have with other people and things. […]

One thing we do know is that, if this watery work does anything, it does the thing we, as editors, want it to – what I spoke of at the beginning of this editorial – it reflects strongly the world in which we live. It’s a world where the ice-caps are melting, water levels are rising, shorelines disappearing, where plastic bags choke whales. And it’s a world where creatures made up of almost 70% of water respond to it with art, passion, and care for the other creatures made up of water. The next issue may be very different. We may have poems about deserts, stories about nuclear winters, or we may have nothing at all. It will be interesting to see what comes in. (Editorial extract by Jacqueline Gabbitas)

Issue 44 of Brittle Star includes poems and stories by Avril Joy, Ben Verinder, Ciaran Buckley, Gill McEvoy, Gillian Somerscales, Haley Rice, Howard Wright, Ian Patterson, Jack Houston, Jeremy Page, Jill Townsend, Joe Cullen, Jonathan Totman, Jonny Wiles, Josephine von Zitzewitz, Josh Ekroy, Julie Mellor, Kitty Coles, ky li, L Kiew, Lydia Harris, Miriam Patrick, Morgaine Davidson, Phil Knight, Ruth Esther Gilmore, Sarah Passingham, Serge Neptune, Sophie Hopesmith, Stuart Charlesworth, Zoe Mitchell

Column by Sarh Pasingham – Titles are the writer’s shop window

Article by Jacqueline Gabbitas – And the Poems Came

Issue 43/November 2018

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Issue 43 of Brittle Star includes poems and stories by Ali Pardoe, Brian Docherty, Cecile Hendriks, Christopher Williams, Daniel Bennett, David Harmer, David Lukens, Denise Bennett, Di Slaney, Frank McMahon, Fred Johnston, Gail Harland, Heidi Beck, Howard Wright, James Lewis, Jean Stevens, Joanna Ingham, John Michael Mouskos, John-Paul Burns, Joshua Judson, Kostya Tsolákis, Krishan Coupland, L Kiew, Laura Reinbach, Lauren Garland, Mahdi Ranaee, Mahdi RanaeeTranslation: Simindokht Dehghani, Paula Kaufman, Robin Lindsay Wilson, Sam Reese, Sarah Barnsley, Stephanie J Angelini, Sue Riley, Suzannah V Evans, Terry Trowbridge.

Column by Sarah Passingham – The Benefits of Long Term Memory-Mining

Article by Lucy Hamilton – Festivals & Exchanges: Rich Readings with the Chinese

Issue 42/June 2018

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Issue 42 of Brittle Star includes poems and stories by Dan Spencer, Di Slaney, H Alder, Ingrid Leonard, J Mellor, Jim Conwell, John Greening, Josep Chanza, Julie Burke, Julie-ann Rowell, Kathy Pimlott, Kenneth Pobo, Kitty Coles, Miriam Patrick, Patricia Leighton, Pippa Hennessy, Ray Malone, Robert Etty, Sarah Whiteside, Sue Spiers, Tina Preston, Victor Buehring, Zhanna Sizova.

Columns by Wayne Burrows – Rainwater Puddles on a Crazy Golf Course and Sarah Passingham – Finding Flow

Articles by Robert Chandler on Vasily Grossman & an excerpt from ‘Stalingrad’ and Joolz Sparkes and Hilaire – London Undercurrents


Issue 41/November 2017

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Issue 41 of Brittle Star includes poems and stories by Anna Robinson, Daniel Bennett, Daniel Licht, Ed Cottrell, Greg Forshaw, Jacob Braun, Jean Stevens, Kittie Belltree, Lauren Mason, Lisa Kelly, Martin Reed, Mary Gurr, Myra Barrs, Natalie Whittaker, Olivia Walwyn, Philippa Matthews, Robert Ford, Sam Reese, Sarah Wimbush, Wayne Dean-Richards.

Columns by Wayne Burrows – A Thousand Empty Bowls and Sarah Passingham – When a Comfort Zone is not the Goal

Poetry Reviews by Paul Blake – Psychodramas: Graham Mummery: Meeting my Inners, Maxine Linnell: This Dust, Soundswrite, Shivanee Ramlochan: Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting

Short fiction Reviews by Fawzia Muradali Kane – Walls, Primates, Gods and Tea: Krishan Coupland: When You Lived Inside The Walls and Other Stories and Erinna Mettler: Fifteen Minutes

Issue 40/July 2017

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Issue 40 of Brittle Star includes poems and stories by Alexandra Melville, Barbara Cumbers, Brian Docherty, Charlotte Baldwin, Christian Wethered, Clive Donovan, Dan Spencer, Daniel Bennett, David Greenslade, Ilse Pedler, Jack Houston, James Aitchison, James Costello O’Reilly, Jen Emery, Jennifer Johnson, Joan Lennon, Joanna Ingham, Joe Carrick-Varty, Jonathan Greenhause, Judith Taylor, Kate Hendry, Kitty Coles, Lara Frankena, Linda Kunhardt, Norbert Hirschhorn, Paul Surman, Penny Ayers, R. S. Stewart, Robin Houghton, Rosamund Brown, Sam Kemp, Steve Xerri, Vicky Morris and Yvonne Eller.

Columns by Wayne Burrows – A Metaphor Backed by Law and Sarah Passingham – Runners, Writers and Support Groups

Reviews by Paul Blake – Fun and Games; first collection reviews – David Clarke: Arc (Nine Arches Press) and Peter Ebsworth: Krapp’s Last Tape – the Musical (flipped eye).

Articles by Anne Holloway – Peer Publishing in the Shed

BStar-cv-39Issue 39/December 2016

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The latest issue of Brittle Star includes some wonderful short stories and poems, a fascinating article on poetry and song in light of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize win, an instructive piece on the structure of short fiction, reviews of three first full poetry collections (we only review first full collections), and articles on Traverse Poetry Trading Cards and Arkbound publishing.

In this Issue, poems and stories by Julie Mellor, Michael Farry, Edd Ravn, Julian Cloran, James Aitchison, Richie McCaffery, Graham Mort, Jenny Booth, Peter Ebsworth, Stuart Nunn, Julian Flanagan, Sue Burge, Ingrid Leonard, Jayne Marshall, Rodney Wood, Hilaire, Marija Smits, Rachel Thanassoulis, Belinda Rimmer, Stephen Mcnought, Jenny Booth, Miriam Patrick, Sue Dymoke, Laura Seymmour, Kitty Coles, Jay Whittaker, Sarah Marina, Michael W Thomas, Brian Docherty, Dharmavadana, Edd Ravn, Kaye Lee, Sarah Marina, Howard Wright, Clive Eastwood, Dominic Fisher, Kaye Lee, Jeremy Page.

Columns by Wayne Burrows – The Lyric Mode and Sarah Passingham – Not Getting to Grips with Structure.

Reviews by Paul Blake – Vicky Arthurs: Limehaven, Iron Press, Jill Munro: Man from La Paz, Green Bottle Press and Di Slaney: Reward for Winter, Valley Press.

Articles by Stephen Mcnought – Publishing for all: An Introduction to Arkbound and Jacqueline Gabbitas – Put a Human in Your Pocket

Layout 1Issue 38/June 2016

In this Issue, poems and stories by Anne, Diane Mulholland, Terrence Dooley, Donna Berliner, Jonny Wiles, Gill McEvoy, DA Prince, Christine Curtis, Diana Powell, Paul Blake, Naydin Rowland, Lisa Kelly, Elizabeth Newman, Jessica Mookherjee, Kieran Setright, Maggie Sawkins, Rosie Breese, Yannis Sarigiannidis, Pedro Salinas, SP Hannaway, Robin Houghton, Rowena Warwick, Robin Thomas, Shirley Wright, Allen Ashley, Richard John Davis, Jean Harrison, Fred Johnston, Jørn Otte, Julian Dobson, ky li, Martin Reed, Elizabeth Horsley.

Competition poems and stories by Jennie Carr, Jeremy Galgut, Kathleen Bell, Ren Watson, Sue Spier, Nicola Warwick, Kay Harrison, Ella Frears, KM Elkes, Tanya Royer, Sally Jubb, Natalie Whittaker, Polly Tuckett.

With columns by Sarah Passingham – No laughing matter and Wayne Burrows – Full Spectrum Poetry.

First collection reviews by Paul Blake – Myra Connell: House, Christy Ducker: Skipper, Zelda Chappell: The Girl in the Dogtooth Coat.

Issue 37

Issue 37

Issue 37/October 2015

In this Issue, poems and stories by Polly Tuckett, Alan Dunnett, Anne Stewart, Stuart Pickford, Philippa East, Philip Beverley, Jonathan Totman, Beth Somerford, Brian Docherty, Ali Lewis, Vishvantara, Zoe Mitchell, Lee Nash, Hugo dos Santos, Cat Woodward, Rebecca Gethin, Peter Ebsworth, Howard Wright, Ilse Pedler, Kitty Coles, C M Buckland, D A Prince, Paris Morel, Patri Wright, John Newton Webb, Nick Norton.

With columns by Sarah Passingham – When support is lacking… get onto Twitter and Andrew Bailey – Gaps.

First collection reviews by Paul Blake – What makes a collection? James W Wood: The Anvil’s Prayer and Matthew Hedley Stoppard: A Family Behind Glass.

A Message of Welcome, an article by Jacqueline Gabbitas.

Issue 36Issue 36/May 2015

In this issue, poems and stories by Robin Houghton, Di Slaney, Fawzia Kane, Robert Etty, Terence Dooley, Gill McEvoy, Jocelyn Page, Ian McEwen, Peter Phillips, Julie Mellor, Alan M Kent, Kathy Pimlott, Nicola Warwick, Jonny Wiles, Jenny Danes, Kate Taylor, James W Wood, Stuart Pickford, Gordon Scapens, Simon Collings, Joolz Sparkes, Hilaire, Jack Houston, RG Foster,

First collection reviews by Paul Blake – The Problem of Pain. Bobby Parker: Blue Movie and Karen McCarthy Woolf: An Aviary of Small

With columns by Sarah Passingham – Reading as Performance and Andew Bailey – Something Small and Wonderful.

Issue 35

Issue 35/November 2014

In this issue, poems and stories by John Sibley Williams, Jake Campbell, Katherine Reeve, Kyle Cooper, Jennie Carr, Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, David Frankel, Kay Buckley, Jack Houston, Rose McDonagh, Estill Pollock, Clive Donovan, Simon Robson, Nat Newman, Terence Dooley, Dharmavadana, Mark Carson, Kate Woodward, Jonny Wiles, Karen Leeder, Sue Norton, Mary Maher, Dan MacIsaac, Joe Woodhouse, Mandy Haggith, Gary Budden, Kitty Coles, Stewart Carswell, Ruth Stacey, Veronica Barnsley, Jonathan Doering.

With columns by Andrew Bailey – Unfrustrated and Sarah Passingham – Self-Belief.

First collection reviews by Paul Blake – Jemma Borg, The Illuminated World and Angela McCabe, Honeymoon in Coalisland

With an article by Michael Bartholomew-Biggs on London Grip – the inside story

Issue 35 extracts

Click the cover to make it full screen (press esc key to come back to the page), use the arrows on the right/left of the cover to flip the pages.

Issue 34

Story: Tick Tock – Gus Gresham –

Story: Babel – Adam Nathaniel Furman –

Brittle Star: Issue 33 Nov. 2013 (extracts)

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3 thoughts on “Inside

  1. I love this! Really smooth and funky! And the story’s great. I love a fairytale twist. Thank you!

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