Featured Publication – Something so wild and new in this feeling by Sarah Doyle

Our featured publication for March is Something so wild and new in this feeling by Sarah Doyle, published by V. Press.

In these inventive and adventurous collage poems, Sarah Doyle presents Dorothy
Wordsworth’s exuberant feeling for life and language in a fresh fabric of her own making.
Sympathetic and insightful, tactful, and imaginative, Doyle’s compositions refract the
energies of Dorothy’s writings through the subtle medium of her own sensibility, and the
result is at once daring and illuminating.
” Gregory Leadbetter

In Something so wild and new in this feeling, Sarah Doyle has taken Dorothy Wordsworth’s
journals and developed excerpts into poems, finding felicities of phrasing, musicality, and
ideas. Doyle’s skills in pacing, use of the line, and the possibilities of form help us appreciate
anew Wordsworth’s habits of thought and close attention to the natural world. With
Wordsworth and Doyle, the reader hears the birds singing in the mist.
” Carrie Etter

A heart unequally divided

My heart was so full that I could hardly speak.
Every question was like the snapping of a little
thread about my heart. I sate a long time upon
a stone at the margin of the lake, and after a flood
of tears my heart was easier. The lake looked
to me, I knew not why, dull and melancholy,
and the weltering on the shores seemed a heavy
sound. My heart dissolved. I could not help
weeping, I was sick at heart. In my walk back
I had many of my saddest thoughts, and I could
not keep the tears within me. My heart was almost
melted away. My heart smote me, prevented me
from sleeping. I was melancholy, and could not
talk, but at last I eased my heart by weeping.

At play chasing a butterfly

Upon the sunless hill, we saw miles of grass, light
and glittering, and the insects passing. The hum
of insects, that noiseless noise which lives
in the summer air. The bees were humming
about the hive. I saw a robin chasing a scarlet
butterfly this morning, flying all about us. I used
to chase them a little, but I was afraid of brushing
the dust off their wings, and did not catch them.

Among the mossy stones

When we were in the woods beyond
Gowbarrow Park we saw a few daffodils
close to the water-side. We fancied
that the sea had floated the seeds ashore,
and that the little colony had so sprung up.
But as we went along there were more
and yet more;
………………………..and at last, under the boughs
of the trees, we saw that there was a long
belt of them along the shore, about
the breadth of a country turnpike road.
I never saw daffodils so beautiful.

They grew among the mossy stones
about and above them. Some rested
their heads upon these stones, as on
a pillow, for weariness, and the rest
tossed and reeled and danced, and
seemed as if they verily laughed
with the wind,
………………………….that blew upon them
over the lake. They looked so gay, ever
glancing, ever changing. This wind
blew directly over the lake to them.

The distant prospect

The shapes of the nearer trees
and the dome of the wood
dimly seen and dilated.

The shapes of the mist,
slowly moving along,
exquisitely beautiful;

passing over the sheep
they almost seemed to have
more of life than those

quiet creatures.
The unseen birds
singing in the mist.

Sarah Doyle is the Pre-Raphaelite Society’s Poet-in-Residence, and co-author of Dreaming Spheres: Poems of the Solar System (PS Publishing, 2014). She is widely placed and published, being a runner-up in the Keats-Shelley Essay Prize 2020 and the Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize 2019, winning the Wolverhampton Literature Festival poetry competition and Holland Park Press’s Brexit in Poetry 2019, and being highly commended in the Forward Prizes 2018. Sarah is co-editor of Humanagerie, an anthology from Eibonvale Press, shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award in 2019. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway College, University of London, and is currently researching a PhD in meteorological poetry at Birmingham City University. More at sarahdoyle.co.uk or Twitter: @PoetSarahDoyle

Something so wild and new in this feeling is available to purchase from the V. Press website.

Post-mortem – Sarah Doyle


Place the steel of your scalpel – here –
in the hollow of my throat. You will
encounter resistance. So many words
caught there, the viscosity of my uvula:
layers of things unsaid, choked back.

And you thought I was thin-skinned.

Press – hard – and draw your blade
downwards, navigating my clavicles,
down, through the cleft between my
breasts, bisecting my midriff, towards
navel, that tiny pothole; down further,
through belly, to the privacy of pubis.

Do you see the beads of blood, fine as
seeds, like miniscule rubies on a wire?

Prise me open. The butterflies in my
stomach won’t hurt you: they atrophied
years ago, ruined gossamer balled tightly,
colours no longer discernible. I will
spread like wings for you. I am all ribs.

Dig your fingers underneath – deep.
Now this is archaeology. Unearth
my heart from its excavated cavity.

Slick as a new-born, see the heart glisten
weightily in your slippery palms. It wasn’t
on my sleeve after all. Keep it. It was yours
anyway, and I have no need of it anymore.

Sarah Doyle is widely placed and published, with a pamphlet of collage poems inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals – Something so wild and new in this feeling – due from V. Press in spring 2021. She is currently researching a PhD in meteorological poetry at Birmingham City University. Twitter: @PoetSarahDoyle. Website: www.sarahdoyle.co.uk  

Featured Publication – Humanagerie – Edited by Sarah Doyle and Allen Ashley

Our featured publication for March is Humanagerie, an anthology edited by Sarah Doyle and Allen Ashley, published by Eibonvale Press.

Inspired by notions of the animalistic, Humanagerie is a vivid exploration of the nebulous intersection of human and beast. From cities to wilderness, buildings to burrows, and coastlines to fish-tanks, these thirty-two poems and thirteen short stories explore emergence and existence, survival and self-mythology, and the liminal hinterland between humanity and animality.

HUMANAGERIE cover. October 2018


Animal Apology

Sorry if I fling zoos at you, and when I do,
forelegs spread, the bony tufts of giraffe heads
rip up kitchen tiles, elongations of neck vertebrae
swinging hard and fast like a blotchy orange 5-iron.

You should probably duck when lobbed elephants swirl
through the living room’s low-watt sky, Zeppelins deflating,
trunks dangling like loose grey guy-ropes, brushing the blinds.

And about the single-horned rhinos and hippos, yes, I know:
all that stomping, stampeding, at some small thing you say,
the mud-soaked noses, nostrils flaring up like fireplaces,

odd-toed ungulates charging into your hell-of-a-day,
unleashing the fury of a fenced and caged species,
the paying visitors peering and gaping, leaning in
to watch us both, not breeding here in captivity.

Paul Stephenson



Solace drove me to this place,
its green hollows,
searching again for your form, love,
for it has been seven years –
billy-witch, bewitcher, solstice creeper,
bold-blinded beast.

I went to the road, its ranks of shimmering carmine,
looking for you at the edges of belief –
you, a Da Vinci sketch
testing the limits of flight
ahead of your time
or back with the dinosaur brutes,
out of this world of nets and cables and glare.

I longed for you to cross my palm,
scarab – smooth as a knee cap,
complicated as a music box
held together with tiny pinions,
the intricate pins and tucks
of your mechanics
working the unforgiving air –

I took you apart in my mind, found nothing
but a mandible like a wishbone,
one serrated, iconic antler
of bravado, lost bravado.
I keep it for my rising son,
our last mid-summer walks,
his tender voice breaking in the dusk.

Sarah Westcott

The larvae of the stag beetle, which is becoming increasingly rare, lives in the soil for seven years before it emerges into a fully-grown adult


And Then I Was a Sheep

and really, what a treat to find myself
among these friend-shaped clouds or cloud-shaped friends
who breathe, who bleat, these lovely bits of meat
on legs, who take me as something to smell

and imitate. How nice it was to wake
and sing myself, to flounce and fling myself
down hillsides someone turned to trampolines
quite suddenly. While others keep their snouts

steadfastly to the ground I blink, I count
my gifts: this four-wheel drive and this cuisine
that grows, the way that I can sigh and mean
that nature is my playground, baby. True,

the farmer, shearing, has looked into my eyes
a little longer than I’d like, as if
he’s sussed, he’s twigged, and yes, the sheepdog nips
more keenly at my ankles than the others’,

but on the whole, I’ve found, it’s easy really
to blend right in, to not stand out. Sometimes,
I miss the feel of the settee beneath me,
a glass of something good, but all in all

I wouldn’t go back if I could. I’m less
lonely than I was when I was human,
the world’s less cold, now that my winter coat
is part of me, and what I really like

are moonlit nights: us lot, the whole, the flock,
how we all cwtch together in this field,
one living mass of white, one fluffy cloud,
the awesome power of our communal brains –

as if we’d turned the field into the sky,
like we could think it now, and it would rain.

Jonathan Edwards

Welsh                          English
cwtch                      cuddle or hug



She wishes not to be a jellyfish:
a lightbulb always flicked on,
unstoppable brain
dribbling thoughts
in tangled strands.

Not to have this heavy head
she can only hold up
in the dark

Not to flounder
on dry land:
ungainly blob,
tendrils trailing,

Not to be
this plucked eye,
always weeping:

“Do not touch me.
Please, do not
touch me.”

Megan Pattie


Buck and Doe

Little fleecy feet – velvet lucky paws dotty-dabble
moontide grass, hippey-skip, belly fuzzy-plump
from all the nibbling. Cowslip, comfrey. Busy teeth,
gnawy-gnash on root an’ stump, tasty tubers relished down
in tiny gullet swallows, sweet with sugar juice.

My baby coney-kins, my leveret kith – tufty bullets
quatting in the grass, long and blowy, perfect for this game
of hidey-seek. Coloured mud like groundling truffles,
otter brown, gravel grey, knobby flash of banderole behind,
linty white. Digging thigh-bones muscled strong, footing

on the earth with knock-knocks – thumpy-stamp for danger.
Mealy unders richly warmed with down, woolsome-snug and kittened
in the stomach of our nest, our darkling womb, our holey safe place
tatted cosy-soft with dandie grasses. Elder-rabbits sage us
with fine words. Beware the silver necklaces of snares an’ keep
away from Pink Eye with his winking froth of mixie tears.
Buck an’ doe, dancing under wedding skies, kissing
clefty mouths together – mothers innards full of litter dreams,
an’ hope for all her sweetly nipples hung with babbies,
sucking rich an’ growing hoppish strong, foxing clever.

They make their music – open up the mallow flesh
inside their throats, slither music round their teeth.
Un-soundable to human ear but heard by cloud
and earth – this creature-sing, the joy in field and sky.
the taste of welter-song turf-spun rich upon our tongues.

Jane Burn

Humanagerie contains both poetry and short fiction, and is available to purchase in either hardback or paperback directly from Eibonvale Press:

The Potato Chronicles – Sarah Doyle

The Potato Chronicles

Swathed in Adirondack Blue,
I am the Belle de Fontenay,
scented with Charlemont.
Do not call me Divaa.
Of the highest Estima,
I am the Foremost
Gourmandine on
the Horizon. I can dance
till Inca Dawn, sing
a Jazzy
Kennebec better
than La Strada. I shine
like Mayan Twilight.
Orwell – they all loved
my eyes. Even Picasso,
who called me his British Queen,
although Rembrandt painted
me better. I Sparkle
with Trésor, splendid
in my Urenika Heirloom.
How I grace Venezia, a pale
White Lady with
a fearsome Axona,
Yukon Gold streaking
my flowing Zohar.


Sarah Doyle is the Pre-Raphaelite Society’s Poet-in-Residence, and co-author of Dreaming Spheres: Poems of the Solar System (PS Publishing, 2014).  She holds a Creative Writing MA from UL Royal Holloway College, and is widely placed and published.  Website: www.sarahdoyle.co.uk / Twitter: @PoetSarahDoyle