Prole reader and writer group

Prole reader and writer group

Reader and writer blog.

This blog is for readers to share their reflections about the poetry, stories and essays published in Prole. Our writers are encouraged to pop in from time to time and contribute to discussion threads.

Brief biographies of our writers can also be found here.

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Issue 14

Cover artPosted by editor Thu, August 14, 2014 13:45:55

Marcel Krijgsman

Cover art

Sue Pace

Sue Pace has over 120 short stories, personal essays, poems and non-fiction articles published in regional and international formats. This includes not only literary journals in the USA, but also journals in Australia, the UK and Canada.
Her poems may be found in several Open To Interpretation coffee table books. Her plays have been produced in Seattle, Portland and at the West Coast Ensemble in Hollywood, CA. She was a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Seattle University and recently received an Honourable Mention in NIMROD'S Katherine Anne Porter competition. Most recently, her work may be found in CALYX, SKIVE, PROLE and EP;PHANY, and she has work forthcoming in NIMROD.
Sue has been a presenter at several writer's conferences and workshops in the United states and is excited to be making a trip to the UK this fall.

Anna Maconochie

Anna Maconochie is a writer, filmmaker and DJ living in London, England. Her short story, Derma, was published last summer in Erotic Review.

She is currently writing other short stories and a short horror film.

Suvi Mahonen

Suvi Mahonen is a former journalist now turned freelance writer. Her non-fiction has appeared in various newspapers and magazines in both Australia and Canada including The Weekend Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and Practical Parenting. Her fiction has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies including in The Best Australian Stories 2010 and Griffith Review. A portion of a longer work-in-progress was nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize. To learn more about her work and keep up to date you can visit her writing page at:

GC Perry

GC Perry's fiction pieces have appeared in Fractured West, Hobart, Quick Ficiton, Litro, Open Pen and elsewhere. He lives in London.

Victoria Briggs

Victoria is originally from the north west of England but now lives and works in London. She previously won the Asham award for women writers and had her winning short story published in a Bloomsbury anthology. She has also had other short stories and journalism features published, and is currently trying to summon the courage to attempt a novel.

Gary Budden

Gary Budden is the founder of independent publisher, Influx Press, where he is editor-in-chief. He works as fiction editor for Ambit magazine. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Quietus, The Journal of Wild Culture, The Cadaverine, Dead Ink Books and more. His story Knotweed will be appearing as part of the Galley Beggar press singles series in 2014. He lives in London.

Emma Deanston

Emma Deanston is a journalist who grew up in Germany before moving to the US. She has won several awards for her non-fiction writing. Emma Deanston is the pseudonym she has adopted for her new adventures in the short story genre. It’s not her real name.

Stuart Pickford

In the past, Stuart Pickford received a major Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. His first full and only collection was The Basics that was shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection prize. He has had work published in many magazines and journals including Acumen, Agenda, Ambit, Fire, Iota, Oasis, Orbis, Poetry Review, Rialto, The North, Smiths Knoll, Staple, The SHOp and New Writing.

Marilyn Francis

Marilyn Francis lives, works, and writes poems near Radstock in the wild south-west of England. She has had one collection of poems, red silk slippers, published by Circaidy Gregory Press. She also has some other poems out and about in the world, though she has even more lazing in her notebooks.

Pat Borthwick

Pat Borthwick is a Lincolnshire Yellow Belly by birth and writes short stories and poetry. She has twice been awarded Hawthornden International Writing Fellowships. Competition successes include winning the Amnesty Human Rights Prize, the Keats-Shelley and Basil Bunting Poetry Awards and the Templar pamphlet competition. She is currently completing OPEN, her fourth full-length collection and a pamphlet, Wavelengths, themed on things sea. Pat is a Creative Writing tutor and Stanza representative for Rural Yorkshire.

Gareth Writer-Davies

Gareth Writer-Davies is a gardener from Letchworth Garden City. Widely published over the last couple of years, he was shortlisted for the Erbacce Prize in 2012 and Highly Commended in the Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize in 2012 and 2013. He is working towards a pamphlet, but then aren't we all...

Kevin Hanson

Kevin Hanson retired to Sheffield in 2003. Since then he has self-published three collections of poetry, with a fourth in the pipeline. His work has appeared in several other magazines, including The Dark Horse, Pennine Platform and The Interpeter's House.

Martin Zarrop

Martin Zarrop started writing poetry in May 2006 and has published in various magazines: Reach, Prole, Carillon, The Journal, Poetry Monthly, Poetry Cornwall, Never Bury Poetry, Envoi, Kaffeeklatsch. In 2011 he completed the MA in Creative Writing at Manchester University and is aiming to generate a collection (sometime). Meanwhile he just wants to continue the love affair and to keep on writing.

Jennifer A. McGowan

Jennifer A. McGowan obtained her PhD from the University of Wales. Despite being certified as disabled at age 16, she has published poetry and prose in many magazines and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, including The Rialto and The Connecticut Review. Her chapbooks are available from Finishing Line Press. Her website can be found at and handwritten versions of her poems can be purchased at .

Stephanie Arsoska

Stephanie Arsoska’s work has appeared in An Anthology of Motherhood published by The Emma Press and is due to be published by Iron Press and Mother’s Milk Books later this year. She is the poetry blogger for Word Bohemia, Co Poetry & Prose Editor for BritMums and Paperswans and runs a Virtual Open Mic Night through her blog Find her on twitter @StephArsoska

Tobi Cogswell

Tobi Cogswell is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. Credits include or are forthcoming in various journals in the US, UK, Sweden and Australia. In 2012 and 2013 she was short-listed for the Fermoy International Poetry Festival. In 2013 she received Honorable Mention for the Rachel Sherwood Poetry Prize. Her sixth and latest chapbook is Lapses & Absences, Blue Horse Press. She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review (

Rebecca Gethin

Rebecca Gethin lives on Dartmoor in Devon. She is a gardener and runs writing workshops in Devon, having been a teacher in various situations all of her working life, including a prison. Cinnamon Press published her second poetry collection, A Handful of Water, in 2013 (Oversteps Books having published her first, River is the Plural of Rain). Her first novel, Liar Dice, won the Cinnamon Press Novel Writing Award in 2010 and her second novel, What the horses heard, was published this year. Brett himself recommended the book, saying it is ‘unsentimental yet moving, an easy read (that is a compliment to its style) yet full of powerful scenes and imagery.’

Wendy Pratt

Wendy Pratt was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire in 1978. She now lives just outside Filey. She studied Biomedical Science at Hull University and worked as a Microbiologist at the local NHS hospital for some years. She is recently completed a BA in English Literature with the Open University and is hoping to study towards her MA in creative writing this year.

She started trying to fashion a career out of her writing in 2008 and has since enjoyed publication of her poetry in many journals and magazines including: Interpreter’s House, Pennine Platform, Prole, Envoi, Other Poetry, Acumen, The Frogmore Papers and The English Chicago Review amongst others.

Wendy’s first poetry pamphlet, Nan Hardwicke Turns into a Hare was published by Prolebooks in 2011 and was well received, being reviewed favourably in the TLS. The collection centred on the loss of Wendy and her husband’s baby daughter, who died during an emergency C-section in April 2010.

Her first full size collection, Museum Pieces is also published by Prolebooks. It was launched in Leeds, in January 2014. The concept of the collection is that of a museum where memories, events, objects, thoughts are touchstones for something deeper; the poems artefacts to be observed.

Flarestack Poets will be publishing another pamphlet by Wendy in 2015. Entitled Lapstrake, it is a collection of poems that revolve around the movement of the sea, and the movement of love.

Wendy is the poetry correspondent for Northern Soul, where she writes a regular column called ‘Northern Accents’. She is also part of the womentoring project. Wendy was recently invited to read at the Bridlington Poetry Festival in 2014.

Fiona Sinclair

Fiona Sinclair is an ex-English teacher. Her first full collection will be published by Lapwing Press in November. She is the editor of the on-line e-zine Message in a Bottle.

Maria Isakova Bennett

Maria Isakova Bennett lives in Liverpool, graduated with an MA in creative writing in December 2012, and since then has had work published online and in print in the UK, US, and Ireland including previous work in Prole, Crannog, Boyne Berries, Envoi, Orbis, Ink Sweat & Tears and Abridged. During 2014 Maria was highly commended in the Gregory O’ Donoghue Poetry Competition, shortlisted in The Munster Literature Chapbook Competition, and in July she was awarded first prize in the Ver Poet’s Open Competition Maria is currently working on a collection of short stories, poems, and associated art work.

David Olsen

David Olsen’s Unfolding Origami, winner of the 2013 Cinnamon Press Poetry Collection Award, will appear in 2015. Between 2012-14 he has placed poems with Acumen, Envoi, The Journal, Interpreter’s House, Orbis, Prole, SAW Poetry, and anthologies from Cinnamon Press, Templar, Belgrave Press, and University of London’s Human Rights Consortium (UK); Vermont Literary Review, Bloodroot, Aurorean, Pinyon, Deronda Review, Scintilla, Strong Voices, and Touch: The Journal of Healing (US); ROPES (Ireland); and French Literary Review (France). A holder of an MA in creative writing from San Francisco State University, he has lived in Oxford since 2002.

Neil Elder

Neil Elder has had work published in Prole, Acumen, Envoi and The Journal among others. He lives and works in NW London and belongs to Herga Poets in Harrow. He hopes to be hit by the perfect opening line somewhere along the A40.

Kathryn Daszkiewicz

Kathryn Daszkiewicz was brought up in the north east of England but now lives in Lincolnshire. Kathryn did not start writing until her early thirties and since then has been widely published in good poetry magazines. She was awarded a writer’s bursary by East Midlands Arts in 2001 and was selected for their 24-8 project. A selection of her work appeared in the 2001 Shoestring Press anthology of New Writing that same year. In the Dangerous Cloakroom, her first full length collection, was published by Shoestring Press in October 2006 and her second, Taking Flight, followed in 2012.

Robin Muers

Robin Muers has been interested in poetry for as long as he can remember, but it was only after his retirement from the civil service some years ago that he’s been making serious attempts to write his own. He enters a number of competitions, partly because that is an incentive to add that little extra attention or polish. In the rest of his life, he gardens and rides bicycles

J. J. Steinfeld

J. J. Steinfeld is a Canadian fiction writer, poet, and playwright who lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published fourteen books, including Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), An Affection for Precipices (Poetry, Serengeti Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), and A Glass Shard and Memory (Stories, Recliner Books). His short stories and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals internationally, and over forty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in North America.

Stephen Payne

Stephen Payne lives in Penarth, South Glamorgan and teaches at the University of Bath. His pamphlet, The Probabilities of Balance, was published by Smiths Knoll in 2010. His first full collection is forthcoming from HappenStance.

Sue Millard

Sue Millard lives in Cumbria. Her website, showcases her published output of novels and non-fiction which tend to feature horses, carriage-driving, romance, rural life, history and artistic but inept dragons. Her poems have been published by, e.g., The Interpreter´s House, Pennine Platform, Pirene´s Fountain, Butcher´s Dog, Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, and Prole. Her recent collection, ASH TREE, is published by Prolebooks,

Mark Connors

Mark Connors is a 44-year-old writer from Leeds, UK. His poetry and short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines, ezines and anthologies, both in the UK and overseas, and he regularly performs at open mics and literature festivals, particularly in the north of England.

D A Prince

D A Prince lives in Leicestershire and London. Her second collection, Common Ground, will be published by HappenStance Press in September 2014.

Keith Hutson

Keith Hutson farms a windy hillside in Halifax. Having read and written
poetry for many years, he has just started performing and submitting
his own work, and has been published in several journals. He coaches
boxing too, and is a member of The Flying Poets running team.

R. M. Francis

R. M. Francis is a poet from the Black Country. He is currently living in Leeds and studying for his MA Creative Writing at Teesside University. He has placed work in many online and print publications and is an active contributor to the spoken word scene in the North of England. He regularly collaborates on music and spoken word projects.

Rachael de Moravia

Rachael de Moravia has written features for national newspapers, edited business and lifestyle magazines, and has worked as a broadcast journalist and presenter. She now writes fiction and poetry and in 2013 was long-listed for the Lightship International Poetry Prize. She has a Masters with distinction in Creative Writing.

Stephen Giles

Stephen Giles was born in east Yorkshire and now lives in the east Midlands. He has been shortlisted for several poetry awards including the Virginia Warbey and the Plough, and been runner-up for the Troubadour and Ware Festival prizes.

Elaine Taylor

Elaine Taylor lives in Devon and has worked for many years in the helping professions. She writes both poetry and prose and in 2011 completed the MA in Creative ebsite. She is a member of the online poetry group 52. Writing at Bath Spa University. She has had poems accepted for publication in The Broadsheet, The Journal and Obsessed with Pipework and on The Stare’s Nest w

Tim Youngs

Tim Youngs is Professor of English at Nottingham Trent University and the author or editor of several books on travel writing. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Staple, Quartz, Moving Worlds, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter's House and Hinterland.

Michael Crowley

Michael Crowley is a poet and playwright and was for six years writer in residence at HM YOI Lancaster Farms. His first pamphlet of poetry Close to Home, published by Prolebooks in May of 2012, is in the words of Sarah Hymas, “an invitation to experience life elsewhere, in another skin.” As a playwright, he has written for stage and radio, and is currently commissioned to by Burnley Youth Theatre to write a play to mark the centenary of World War One.

Howard Wright

Howard Wright lectures at the Belfast College of Art. Recent poems have appeared in Arete, Magma and Poetry Review. His first collection, King of Country, was published by Blackstaff Press in 2010; Blue Murder (Templar Press) appeared in 2011.

Kate Wise

Kate Wise fits poetry in around being a solicitor and mum to two under-threes, composing on her commute. She has recently been published in New Trad Journal, and edition 12 of Stepaway magazine. She was commended in the 2013 Cafe Writers competition, and placed third in the 2014 Ware Poets open competition.

Stella Wulf

Stella Wulf was born in Blackpool, brought up in North Wales and now lives in South West France with her husband and a menagerie of animals. A retired interior designer, she now spends her time painting and writing. Her poems have appeared in The Sentinel Literary Magazine (after gaining third place in their competition) and The Screech Owl. She recently had a poetry article published by a Nottinghamshire newspaper.

Dominic Stevenson

Dominic Stevenson is an English-born writer with his roots in the post-industrial north of England. His aim is to take part in the global discussions surrounding societal, gender, sexual and educational equality.

Marilyn Hammick

Marilyn Hammick writes at home in England and France, and is also found stitching, and on her yoga mat. Her poems have been published in Prole, The Glasgow Review, The Camroc Press Review, The Eunioa Review and Writers Abroad. Follow her on Twitter @trywords and at

Robert Harper

Robert Harper is the founding editor of Bare Fiction Magazine. Robert runs the Shrewsbury Poetry Stanza and is currently collaborating with composer Zakiya Leeming on a new piece for four voices which is based on his poem Hush. Robert is studying part time for an MA in Creative Writing and has had poems featured in The Interpreter’s House and Wenlock Poetry Festival Trail.

Paul Surman

Paul Surman is a member of Back Room Poets in Oxford. He has been widely published in magazines such as Acumen, Magma, Envoi, Orbis and Smiths knoll. His website is at

David Mark Williams

David Mark Williams has won prizes for his poetry both in the UK and New Zealand. His debut collection, The Odd Sock Exchange, will be published by Cinnamon Press in 2015.

Michael Swan

Zelda Chappel

Zelda Chappel writes because she has to and often on the backs of things. Her work has been published in several magazines and anthologies, both online and in print. Most recently her work can be found in The Interpreter's House, Belleville Park Pages, Popshot and HARK.

Seth Crook

Seth Crook taught philosophy at various universities before deciding to move to the Hebrides. He dislikes cod philosophy in poetry, but likes cod, philosophy and poetry. His poems have recently appeared in such places as the Rialto, Magma, Envoi, Gutter, New Writing Scotland, Orbis, The Interpreter's House, Southlight, The Journal, Prole; and on-line in Snakeskin, Ink Sweat and Tears, Antiphon, Message in a Bottle, Streetcake and Far Off Places.

George Korolog

George Korolog is a San Francisco Bay Area poet whose work has been widely published in over fifty print and online journals such as Word Riot, Forge, The Monarch Review, Naugatuck River Review, Blue Fifth Review, Poets and Artists Magazine, The Journal of Modern Poetry, Red River Review, Connotation Press, The Chaffey Review, Thin Air Magazine, Grey Sparrow Journal and many others. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His first book of poetry, Collapsing Outside the Box, was published by Aldrich Press in November 2012 and is available on Amazon. His second book of poems, Raw String was published in October, 2013 by Finishing Line Press.

Susan Evans

Susan Evans is a Brighton-based Arts Therapist (Drama) Lecturer and Performance Poet, born and raised in North East London, of Anglo Indian and Anglo Irish parentage. Susan is currently developing her solo `scratch' show, A bit of Oral. Click here for irregular news on Susan's poetry progressions:

Roger Elkin

Roger Elkin has won 45 first prizes and several awards internationally, including the Sylvia Plath Award for Poems about Women, and the Howard Sergeant Memorial Award for Services to Poetry (1987). His 11 collections include Fixing Things (2012); Marking Time (2012); Bird in the Hand (2012); Chance Meetings (2014). Editor of Envoi, (1991-2006), he is available for readings, workshops and poetry competition adjudication.

M. Krockmalnik Grabois

M. Krockmalnik Grabois’ poems have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He is a regular contributor to The Prague Revue, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, most recently for his story, Purple Heart, published in The Examined Life in 2012, and for his poem, Birds, published in The Blue Hour, 2013. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for 99 cents from Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition.

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes is a cartoonist/artist living in Abergele, North Wales. Self-taught, his drawings are a combination of twisted observations of the world around him and the outpouring of his wild imagination. His influences include Ralph Steadman, Goya, Bosch, Robert Crumb, Picasso, Van Gogh, Dali, Scarfe, Giles..

He works quickly in ink on paper and complains that most of his work takes longer to dry than it did to draw.

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