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By Dulcie Godfrey, Arts Digital Editor

In the wake of world poetry day (not there needs to be a reason to celebrate poetry)  Epigram Arts recieved loads of amazing poetry submissions.  Here is some of the amazing writing produced by Bristol students.

Ginny Darke is a second year English student. Her writing has been shortlisted for both the Foyle Young Poets award (2018) and Creative Futures award (2019 and 2020). Her work has been published with Poetry Northern Ireland, The Remnant Archive and Ink, Sweat and Tears. You can find Ginny's poetry collages on her instagram @ginny.darke


Take a small piece             a slither
of a half and think yourself a whole
Remind me again            would you
of the certainty of the ocean waves

Remind me                            to want
the same fate of a truant randy  
The evidence will be found with the
the malady of air.

Minuet pain

(hit me with those
                                Achilles feels)
to be blunted with rice paper   skin    
wet as a mop and              drooping
off my eyelids

after it will be too late

one hand is boxing
and i suppose the other one is watching
if it could. i wish that it could.
168 days later and it goes onwards.
and tell me what the girl next door does.
no one seems keen to tell me.
i saw her only last week
standing on her roof
a second chimney.
and im going to allow
you a couple more minutes.
did you see the role shift there -
he morphed into something
so different there.
your flesh is dented there
like flax.

Fourth month

I unhinged the parlour door.
My feet cold and bare on the green
which has been obliterated by the
boots of babies and toddlers
who were here, only last week.
You ask after me, to my mother,
my mother asks after me and
I choose not to reply.
You will not find me here
but I hope you are doing okay.
I saw a picture of you on my phone,
in a dream,
lying half flanked
on the floor of an underpass
(you are not okay and I will
still choose to ignore it).
The brown beneath my toes
is hardening
and locking me
into place
and I cannot wait to
grow out.
My toes are extending miles
into the ground to you.

Taylor Wright / Unplash

Alice O'Rorke is also a second year English student who loves to write. Alice takes prompts from issues in feminism, culture and the arts. A beautifully aesthetic collation of Alice's art and writing can be found on instagram @anorangeroom.

Finger Painting

Each generation chooses to paint its fingertips

Smears of acrylic

Generational shades of blue,



Spread onto the paper of society

like a child’s finger-painting

With no rhyme or regulation

Just passionate impressions of the moment;

Marking fleeting ideas and


Each generation chooses its colour

With a precision, an accuracy;

Impulses of the heart lead to




To print upon this sheet of culture,

Covering past imprints,

And replacing past fingerprints

With new


Each generation builds up the canvas,

Hiding past marks of regret,

Marks that now repulse them,

Combinations of colours that have turned




To create a three-dimensional


Of passionate moments;

Legacies on the page.

The Kite in a Tree

The tail of the kite wriggles in the breeze

Yearning to escape the claws of the leaves and branches

Which dance and laugh in response, cruelly grasping at the tail in constant


The kite sighs a heavy sigh;

Its longing to fly is hindered by the cruel mocking of its captor

Who grinds its teeth and crunches at the fabric, tearing and ripping

At the streaking colours;

How the kite suffers.

Its adorned surface becomes distressed,

The delight of the tree being the only purpose for such unhindered


Patches of red, blue, green, yellow become patchy,

the murky brown encasement of foliage

dirtying their vibrance.

The struggle causes some leaves to shed,

To fall to the floor,

And the kite longs to soar, dreams of height, but is caught

In this callous predicament.

At last a breeze begins to flurry, feeling sorry for the poor, stranded soul

Stuck in the tree.

And the kite wriggles forcefully in time to the billows,

and wills the laborious embrace to loosen

And let go.

But the tree taunts and teases,

Pulling the kite back, clasping the tail like a cat

And mouse

And still the kite longs to fly.

Cells Like Petals

Cells resembling petals spread across the expanse of her cheeks.

They appear pristine, polished and poreless,

Yet upon closer inspection a collection

Of small indentations are hinted at, peaks and troughs

on the skin surface, imprints from frowning, smiling, yawning, berating,

Evidence of past vexations

Creating veins of readable intimacy.

They state that the skin she embodies is not in fact the flawless perfection

She thinks the world craves,

she fixates on the textured surface, berates her experiences and

Sees herself as imperfect.

She desires to hide these fictional imperfections that carve out

the map of her existence; she hires pixies,

pretty, dainty, dishonest creatures who fill the nooks in her skin,

Who pull, prod, pluck and cover her features, who hide

The readable veins of intimacy.

One alteration at a time, they section her into society’s box of beauty,

She deems this as a necessity, the utmost propriety an acceptable punishment

For the natural grooves on her skin’s surface

That she deems deplorable,

So that the world can see her as pristine, polished, poreless,

A palette of cells to be worked and moulded.

Yet in her pixie-fixed state she truly hides away

Her natural side, her true self, and chides her desire to escape her box

And fire the dishonest pixies that pull and tug and pinch her petal-cells.

She craves to free the veiny truths that reveal

The emotions she has capsuled, the paths she has crossed, the people

She has escaped;

She longs to bathe her body, to nourish the petals that pave her cheeks

And embrace the peaks and

Troughs; She dreams of treasuring

The emotions, the paths, the people who engraved themselves on the veiny

Expanse of her cheeks and marked their existence,

She longs to reject the resistance within her.

She craves to reveal the truth of her face.

Trust 'Tru' Katsande / Unsplash

Review: Bristol Poetry Institute Annual Reading with Claudia Rankine
In Defence of Poetry: my tumultuous relationship with verse

What are your favourite poems?