Wednesday, 29 June 2011



Lupus UK International Poetry Competition 2011
This competition is administered by Excel for Charity in aid of LUPUS UK – a national charity helping people with the presently incurable immune system illness lupus. Lupus UK currently supports some 6,000 members through their Regional Groups and advise many others on the symptoms prior to diagnosis.
Open theme. Maximum 40 lines long.
Prizes: £150, £75, £40 and 2 x £10 Commendation Prizes. Plus publication in the Excel for Charity website.
Entry Fees: £4/1, £7.50/2, £10.50/3, £12.50/4 and £14.00/5 (a third of entry fees goes to Lupus UK).
Judge: Jim Bennett – award-winning author of The Man Who Tried to Hug Clouds, Managing Editor, Poetry Kit.
Go to competition page


Monday, 13 June 2011

The Poems of Barbara Sinead Smith

From Sentinel Poetry (Online) #25     2nd Anniversary Issue    December 2004

Barbara Smith lives on Ireland's eastern seaboard. Poems recently published, or pending includes: Riposte, Electric Acorn, Ireland; and The Coffee House, UK; Garm Lu, Canada; Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, US and TMR, India. Essays recently published include west47online and VirtualWriter, Ireland. Smith has published two volumes of poetry: Gnosis and Poetic Stage; the latter enjoyed moderate success both inside and outside Ireland.



(After Kavanagh and Heaney)

My granny used to soak the spuds too
making it easy to peel them later.
Part of morning's ritual was topping
their pot with water . Later, after
fowl were fed and tae and bread were eaten
she'd peel them slowly; humming all the while
Moore's medley of almanac songs.
Steeping my potatoes now, as she did,
brings her four green fields down the years to me.
Scaly and red, my Roosters, instead of
her soft Queens; mine tattle of tractor harrow;
long scars that I smooth away with stainless
peeler. I rinse them down, split them with a
long broad knife and leave them by for dinner.

1. Roosters, Queens - types of potatoes currently grown in Ireland.
2. Moore's Old Almanac - an almanac giving tides, moon dates and other info. useful to farmers.
3. Four green fields - an Irish Ballad.


As the focus shifts onscreen,
layers of fat and bladder give
way to an image; teeth buds, skull,
arms, hands. A curlicue spine
all turned out from one fertilized
nucleus; one zygote.
And the focus shifts -
the factory needed workers;
they came in droves, with
builders and roofers all tumbling after.
No call was made; they just came.
The suburbs rose from
one side street, one city.
Another slide show shows
the glass house exposed;
it's inhabitants have been
here fifteen years, watched
by a greater being. Their queen
laid a future (after a one night
stand - and he died!)
that emerged howling
into the man-made storm
of tomorrow's world.
So, we prod that mass,
manipulate the medium;
watch flora atrophy from
the empty vessels fulcrum.
We share a future grown
by mould, fledged onscreen;
reduced to zero and one
and all the fractions
in between.


SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY POETRY & SHORT STORY COMPETITIONS, Every 3 months. Deadlines June 20th, September 20th, December 20th, March 20th. First Prize £150, Second Prize £75, 3rd Prize £50, Commendation Prizes 3 x £10. Entry Fees: £3 per poem, £12 for 5 poems. Judges, competition rules and how to enter online or by post at



May 2011

Sentinel Champions #6

In this issue of Sentinel Champions #6

Short Stories

The Scream - Samantha Symonds

Mayday - Andrew Campbell-Kearsey

Love at First Site - Andrew Campbell-Kearsey

A Way with the Kids - Sharon Birch

Crown of Burrs - G.H. Zitzelsberger

The Green Gators - Joey C. Aglasi


Getting Married with Gertrude Stein - Nicholas Y.B. Wong

Teaching English Poetry in Hong Kong - Nicholas Y.B. Wong

Thoughts on a Bad Day - Emanuela Puosi

Spock - Christian Ward

Tastes of Blue - Warren Paul Glover

Edinburgh - Warren Paul Glover

Voice in the Night - John Cooper

Leaving Day - John Cooper

The Age of No Dog - Mandy Pannett

Move On - Mark Borg

Please Destroy - Catherine Pitt

When Kieron Came - Heather Buswell

Dorm - Ilya Meylakh

Lines - Kate Barnett


Adventures in Writing Competitions Administration - Nnorom Azuonye

Sentinel Champions #6

Winners & Commended work from the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry & Short Story Competitions judged and selected by Geoff Stevens (Poetry) and Ivor Hartmann (Fiction)

Perfect Bound: 60 Pages

£4.95 (UK), £5.95 (Overseas)

Buy now at

Monday, 6 June 2011

Poems Damien Fehrenbach

We continue to share work from the Sentinel archives. These poems by Damien Fehrenbach are taken from Sentinel Poetry (Online) #25 2nd Anniversary Issue December 2004



Jazz like rain
cool against my skin
as sit here
the memory of your lips
We jumped night trains
In the autumn rain
you smiled at my soul
And for the first time
I knew you meant it
That moment is acid
In my skull
For eternity
of course
Eternity is only the length
Of one life,
Yours and mine


He who once had visions of Blake,
dead 7 years now, gone
and still without him the world goes on,
In your words I heard blood,
King of May, son of the silent scream.
Someday that will be me,
6 feet below the earth you once walked upon.
Saint, now in the stars, holier than most,
Shining down as I rode in American cars,
I know
I felt it
They will call me crazy for saying so
but that is the risk we take for being honest.
Are you with Neal now or is there another?
Its funny
I never met you but I miss you anyway
No more obscene literature
from you bottomless well

Damien Fehrenbach is an American studying in the UK. He attends Bournemouth and Pool College while currently living in Sway.

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Saturday, 4 June 2011

Sentinel Poetry Movement Newsletter June 2011

Sentinel Poetry Movement Newsletter June 2011

Poems by Gill McEvoy

We continue sharing gems from the Sentinel archives. These poems by Gill McEvoy are from Sentinel Poetry (Online) #25     2nd Anniversary Issue    December 2004


"Don't go," I begged, but you would,
so I did too.
I watched the soles of your shoes escape
from the thin beam of my torch
and knew it was my turn
to learn to burrow in the dark.
I'm sorry I let you down:
when I felt the Earth's great weight
against my ribs I knew I couldn't do it.
I'm sorry I screamed so loud:
I'm glad that nothing fell
on anyone down there.
We don't speak of it; the subject's
locked inside the tunnels of the mind.
Sometimes the weight of it
squeezes me so hard I must speak -
but you just squirm away
in a squeak of rubber shoe. 

As you gently take my breast,
ready to sink your needle in,
I shudder, not from fear of pain,
but where the loneliness begins. 


"Give it time," they said
and so she did: she gave it
minutes, hours, days.
He never gave it
a second thought.

There are seven skylights now
set into the roof and, probably,
over the old beams a planked floor slung
to make a sleeping platform.
No stained glass in the old rose-window now:
everything done to let in light.
At night when you lie like a
snug rat in your undisturbed,
uncurtained loft, do you sometimes
marvel at the moon? 

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