Issue Two: Days Are Small Doors

Dear Reader,

Another toasty-warm welcome to The Kindling, our journal homing new poets and poetry from the UK and beyond! We were incredibly proud of our launch issue ‘Breath After Breath’ and – thanks to you, our lovely readers and contributors – here is Issue Two, an equal poetic-force to be reckoned with.

‘Days Are Small Doors’ opens with two beautiful unpublished poems by Helen Mort, five-time winner of the Foyle Award for Young Poets and, most recently, author of the brilliant PBS-recommended collection No Map Could Show Them (Chatto and Windus, 2016). Our theme for this issue takes its cue from her poem ‘Advent’, which points us not to the bold sweep of histories and years but the understated ‘threat’ and surprise of each small day.

We are also delighted to feature an interview with poet and academic Erica McAlpine, who gives us her wise words on juggling teaching and writing, and the blueprint for her debut collection The Country Gambler (Shearsman, 2016). Young poet Asima Qayyum shares a brief chapter from her unpublished memoir, Depressive Road, while Paul Stephenson writes about the process behind his poem, ‘What to Say’ – and the poet’s place in responding to crisis – from The Days that Followed Paris (Happenstance, 2016).

Finally, we are lucky enough to house 12 more Kindling poets who have inspired us in extremely varied and exciting ways. From Faith Christine Lai’s powerful ‘No Woman is a Country’ to Freya Jackson’s wry ‘Counterfactuals’, it seems to us that poetry is raising its fist (and dreaming the things we ought to dream) in these troubled times.

May one open door lead to another. Read on!


Helen Mort | Annie Hayter | Ben Ray | Buk Buko | Emily Pritchard
Faith Christine Lai | Freya Jackson | Jun Pang | John Tinneny | Mary Anne Clark
Mary Jean Chan | Millie Guille 


Erica McAlpine | Asima Qayyum | Paul Stephenson

Tash & Theo

Editors, The Kindling