2024 – Spring


Author: William Flores

Atchoom! With the start of Spring
My allergies start to ring
And yet I rejoice, for not before long
We shall embrace
Of that I am sure, it cannot go wrong
At our designated place

Atchoom! As Helios grows stronger
Zoom! Is our place no longer
Powered by electric spark
I’ll come home to continue our arc
Baby, your arms are my safe port
To be with you feels like a resort

Sunscreen we shall apply
And make love until we die

2024 – Spring

Extinction Gardening, Vol. 2

Author: Manuel Ferrazzo

The Last Flood

There is a house beside the sea,
Overlooking the shore. 
The waves come crashing on the sand,
Replacing each grain,
One by one. 

Each day, the waves climb the hill a little higher. 
Soon enough, they will lick the walls of the house,
And finally, its wooden boards will soak up and rot,
Until the water comes pouring inside.

The foundations of the house will collapse on themselves,
And the roof will come crashing down on our heads.
Yet, we will not move. 
Yet, we look the other way.

Because the other way, away from the waves,
The sun dances over the hills,
Promising treasures beyond our wildest dreams.

So when the waves come,
We will not see them.
We will only sink with our house,
Helpless and confused.

The Voice of Asphalt

The sky closes as dark-grey clouds
eat the blue of Heaven.
Thunder roars, and, as you look up,
a raindrop lands in your eye.
You blink; it’s raining.

Falling in torrents,
the water soaks you,
and the asphalt too.
The warm fumes of
the wet streets
caress your nostrils,
the perfume of pollution
intoxicating you.

A man runs to shelter in his house.
A stray dog walks under a wooden plank.
The homeless just let the rain run on their skins. 
The asphalt doesn’t mind either.

Every droplet, the tears of a cold, drunk universe,
wash the dreams away to leave you naked
in the echoes of hope that inexplicably linger
in the cracks in the streets.
You blink; it’s still raining. 

The wind roars between the tall buildings,
whispering stories to the forgotten.
The city speaks. You must listen.


Those hidden between the cracks in the pavement
can hear the soul of the city.
But now, it is quiet.
Just the rain.

The cars hum and screech.
The gunshots sing.
The sky does not care.
The city takes the wounds without a word. 
Only those hidden can decipher its silence.

You hear the thunder.
You feel the cold wind caress you.
A few drops of water hang on your chin.
You blink; the rain has stopped.

Boredom as Religion

the light on my face
is like a spooky story
but there’s nobody to listen
or look

it’s the only light in the room
it hurts my eyes
it isn’t the sun
yet it is

endless threads
ariadne would get lost
i get lost too
but I feel in control

images of double-speak snakes
they have the loudest voice
they have the whole world
they want to kill
they want to fuck

I want to kill

I want to fuck

i feel miserable.

a coward can’t kill
he just orders it
we obey

i obey

the light on my face
it lights up an invisible world
a parasitic world
i close my eyes
time to sleep

death of the voice of asphalt

life was just a mushroom cloud away.
divine wind dusts the City.

there is nothing left. 
no memories. no life.

ashes dance in the air,
rest upon the old houses.

the ones that remain.
the ones that break down, still.

no need for a graveyard
when the whole world is an urn.

the final ascension of the human spirit :: the face of god

Rust settles in.
I should be in pain.
I should feel old.

I am old.
Older than death.
Older than god.

Eternal life is ours.
We should feel like gods.
We should feel.

A brain of wires,
a mind of data,
a heart of metal.

We wear the face of god.
We war the way of nature.
We have become all.

We have become nothing.
A stream of data,
in a server slowly losing power.

Our achievements have scarred the earth.
And now, living as ghosts,
we have finally found our master.

The face of god
is a cum-stained plastic mask.
The face of god
is a chrome-steel plate.
The face of god 
is as lively 
as a graveyard.

the earth weeps

The world has grown quiet
Miles away the earth weeps
Looking at the corpses of skyscrapers

The Voice of Asphalt is silent
Her monument is an urban tombstone
Brother sky is blue again
The sun is smiling
But there is no life to light again

So the earth weeps
The ruins like fungi
On her body the mark
Of an abuser
A lover
A tenant
A friend
A nobody
A child
long gone.

The Road to Healing :: An Epilogue

When the godhead stops dreaming,
you will look at the world
and ask yourself:
why can’t I be happy?

The road ahead is tumultuous.
A broken path on a broken land,
infected by disease,
slowly dying,
yet, still here.

Do you wonder what is the place for you?
Where you belong?
You are here. Already here.
This is somewhere to be.
Under the rain, the silence and the fumes,
in the mists of your mind.
A face, in a crowd.
You’re still here.
You’re still alive.

You will heal.
You will love.
You will live.

This world, this life,
was never for us,
but it doesn’t mean it can’t be.
One day, I will be back at your side.

While the long, slow apocalypse is upon us,
we can still greet it with a smile,
laugh at the face of trauma,
embrace one another
while we all dance into Armageddon.

2024 – Spring

Crowd-sourced poetry

Authors: collective

Students in Kirsten Stirling’s MA seminar “Poetry and Public Life in Scotland” were discussing the Scottish national poet Kathleen Jamie’s outreach projects of crowd-sourced poetry. Jamie asked the people of Scotland to submit one line on a particular theme (the first theme was the environment) and then she “curated” the lines into poems. In the last 20 minutes of the seminar we experimented with crowd-sourced poetry on a smaller scale. Everyone in the class wrote one line (or in some cases two…). The theme was what we could see from the window in the classroom. Then the class split into two groups to “curate” the same lines, and the result was the two poems (two versions of one poem?) below.


Ten glasses full of hopeful colours;
Squared, bright, one eye can settle on the night.
Morbid branches and dancing green
Like octopuses and jellyfish waltzing in a grey, grey ocean.

The parking lot, buried in trees, covered in leaves
Shade the cars with their new summer gowns.
A trickle of shattered harmonies
Gentle movements, arise
The silent song of these sweet green fans
The windows filter out the sound.

Smells like rain, the prettiest green, fades to grey
I long for coffee, let me join that tall tree
Where are the birds, I said. Gone on a trip, they said.
Two windows for them to see.

Ten glasses full of hopeful colours;
Squared, bright, one eye can settle on the night
A trickle of shattered harmonies
Gentle movements, arise
Two windows for them to see
The silent song of these sweet green fans.

Morbid branches and dancing green
Like octopuses and jellyfish waltzing in a grey, grey ocean.

The parking lot, buried in trees, covered in leaves
Shade the cars with their new summer gowns.
Where are the birds, I said. Gone on a trip, they said.
The windows filter out the sound
Smells like rain, the prettiest green, fades to grey
I long for coffee, let me join that tall tree

2024 – Spring

My heart in my throat

Author: Andreia Abreu Remigio

Our first kiss happened in the dark,
In a twin-size bed in early October.
Love hits at first sight – lightning strikes a spark.
That Wednesday night, had we been sober,
You wouldn’t be longing for white tulip and barley now,
And I wouldn’t be lying in bed naked,
Practicing my vows.

Rain drops from the night and tears from your cheeks.
We drag our hearts through Vienna streets,
Through your childhood home. The floor creaks.
Two things rise and morning creeps under the sheets.
And even when the moon turned green,
You kissed my angered wound; you kissed it clean.

I know the secrets clasped between your blooms,
Twinkling eyes and tipsy, so we kiss in bathrooms.
Closed eyes and consuming, so we kiss again.
We make out and follow wandering hands…
And I make out every hushed and hurried love note.
We make out and I can feel my heart in my throat.

Our last kiss happened under runway lights,
In an airport terminal in early October.

2024 – Spring

A Tiny Funeral

Author: Salomé Emilie Streiff

Like a jazzman playing on a saxophone, she said. I came back in the class. Her dress moves above the scar on her knees. I notice her hands move to the pace of her voice in perfect sync. She continues to dance with her voice, her fingers run a well-executed choreography.   

Hopeful of something else, she said. I came back in the class.

How many of you underlined it in your text, she asked. I came back in the class again.

I went away and came back multiple times during the hour-and-a-half lesson. I failed to listen; I was constantly brought back to my body. The ache in my neck was growing louder. And the rash on my left elbow was calling for my full attention. The dead butterflies in my stomach were moving to the rhythm of my breath. I had in my body the unbearable weight of thousands of corpses. I wanted to cough them out of me, but it was pointless – their minuscule bodies were too decomposed to be ejected. It felt as if we already merged. I was partially dead. I wanted to move on. Have a wake or a funeral or something symbolic to put their tiny existence into a tiny coffin and bury them in tiny holes in a tiny graveyard right under a tiny oak tree. I was ready to write a profound and extremely long eulogy if it was the price to pay to get rid of them. I would try to make it profound and extremely long. I would put on a modest black dress, with a turtleneck and long sleeves, that would stop under my knees. I would not please the gaze of anybody but the grieving police. They would say: ‘What a sorrowful widow’, with a nod of approval. And I would have a tear ready to roll from my right eye, it would stand on the front line like an athlete. I would shake hands with strangers and relatives, I would have a nice word for everyone. ‘Thank you for coming’ ‘It means a lot, thank you.’ ‘Oh, it’s lovely, thank you so much.’ ‘I’m so sorry for your loss too.’ ‘They were so lively, I never thought they would leave.’ I would have the tip of my nose painted red as if I had blown it all night. My face would be puffed. I would stand and walk slowly to the altar, as a bride prepared to say her vows, her hands shaking. I would mention the first encounter I had with them. The surprise, the confusion. ‘Was I sick?’ I would talk about him. His gentleness. The kindness with which he talked. How his eyes caressed the world and captured its beauty. I would probably pause before mentioning his laugh and subtle jokes, the way he styled his hair and how he picked his socks from the drawer. I would not talk about his flaws, about his parents who talked too much or how his brother was their grandparents’ favourite. I would not talk about the friends who died along the way and the loneliness in some of his days. I would not talk about his difficulty in finding the words to express or know his own feelings. I would keep them in my heart, guard them like treasures and they would not hear it from me. Instead, I would stand tall, holding my hand, fingers crossed. I would say how I loved him and how he loved me, I would say how much he loved his friends and family, how he would smile when talking about his nephew and niece, how he would smile at my silly jokes, how he would dance with her head to cinematic music. I would probably tell in silence the memories that are too private to be shared. I would stop mid-sentence without telling its end. Through that silence, people would understand the weight of your love, the pureness of the scar on your hip, the strangled laughs when I awkwardly kissed his belly to mess with him, the intimacy of his hand in my hair, the joy of making love in the sofa of his apartment, the way he mended my soul, and I helped him to grow. I would stop there with silence. I would say that I loved him. I love you in a whisper. And they would all cry. I would use a tissue to blow my nose and touch my left cheek to erase the tears. I would leave my right cheek and her lonely tear to bear witness to my sorrow. If it was the price to pay, I would listen to everyone’s heartfelt eulogy and have even kinder words to the ones who ever hurt him, I would forgive them if it was the cost asked. I would thank God for the moments shared without anger. I would renounce it if it meant they would go away. I would pray religiously and with fervour until the last decaying corpse was out of me. I would be content with nothing. No other true love, just the absence of ache. I would not ask for happiness; peace would be enough. 

What did you underline, she asked. I looked at my text. 

The paragraph about grief and selflessness.

Did you agree with the author?

No, I said. I think there is nothing selfless about grieving. But I loved the metaphor of the butterfly.

2024 – Spring


Author: Salomé Emilie Streiff

I lie in bed for hours on end. I play pretend with the shadows. They wear your face and if I close my eyes, I cannot see any differences. He is unconventionally handsome. His eyes are the colours of dreams, everchanging. Sometimes brown like the darkest secrets, often blue like true hopes and now and then golden like first kisses. His hands are covered in scars, from glass shards he picks on the floor when every party ends. He cleans the sharp ends to protect the sleeping lovers who crash on couches and every surface that will accept the taste of infinity that lies in their brief arms. His arms are soft like plums and he tastes like candy. I fell in love with the kindness with which he cares for others. I see him in the dried tears of rest after a fight, in the yawn of kids in the park and in the naked trees whose hands touch the skies that wait for their snowy dress. I lie in bed for hours on end. I dance with the shadows with our favourite song on repeat. Do you kiss them thinking it was me? Do you wake up hoping it had been me with the guilt purring on your lap? I write my questions down, worrying about the pace of the earth in our universe. The sun rises before it sets again. He is back. His face looks like yours tonight. He puts the cover over our naked bodies, fixes my hair and lets me fall back in his arms. The sun rises, and in the shadows, I smell your perfume. I could swear it was real. In a sense it was. The space between the worlds, where love is never shared and memories are never frozen. The sun sets,and the earth pursues to chase itself on this never-ending carousel. One day, there will be a little girl. Her laughs will harmonize with yours, and her eyes will look like his. I will spend my nights praying until my breath becomes a psalm. She will grow with the bliss of ignorance that pushes children to look like their parents, she will ache and dance in the same dusty sweat that lives in the bedrooms. She will have your dimples, with treasures hiding behind each smile, but she will follow his steps to the rhythm of the stars. She will always call you dad, but she will spend a lifetime running after him, treasuring each encounter. She will be the daughter of love and dreams.

2024 – Spring

Things you can choose.

Author: H.S.

What can you choose? That is a question.
Here’s another: “What can you choose really?”
The subject of today is choice, which raises a question:
“What are some of the things you can choose?”

Birds can fly. Crows are birds, and so are doves.
Birds can choose to fly.
They can choose to fly in the day. They can choose to fly in the night.
Since crows and doves are birds, they can choose to fly in the day or in the night.

But you and I are not birds. But we can dream about them. I can. You can. You can choose to dream about being a bird (a crow or a dove) and whether you fly in the day or in the night.

There are many other things you can choose.

You can choose your height. You can choose to reach the upper shelf with your height. And if you outstretch your fingers, even higher.

You can choose your homeland. My point of origin is the sky when heaven is blue. And the sun when the sky is red. You can choose your motherland, and also your mother tongue. I chose to write “Things you can choose.” instead of “Brrrrt – tktktktktk pah!” which would be closer to what is happening in my mind.

All these words are fictional, but they are fun nonetheless.

You can choose your number of teeth.
That you can choose.

Making your face looking like your face.
You can choose.

Being bullied in school,
having ADHD,
growing up a boy,
That you can choose.

Being a boy or a girl.
That you can choose.

The shape of your sexual organs.
That you can choose.
You can choose the shape, the scent (or stench) it has, if it is bitter or sweet to the tongue.
You can choose how the veins slithers down the shaft, how hard it is when erect.
You can choose how moist it gets when wet, the aperture of the lips, is it more cauliflower or tangerine shaped?
All that you can choose.

Falling in love.
That you can choose.

You may ponder about choice, but in a poem about choice & being a boy & being a bird, my words bring me to love.

You can choose to fall in love.
Falling in Love with a Franco-American girl who grew in Cannes doing ballet school.
You can choose.

Breaking up with her.
You can choose.
Her breaking up with you.
That you can also choose.

One last thing:
Whether the rock reaches the bottom of the pond when you throw it in.
You can choose.

In a poem about choice my words take me to the colors of the sky, to birds, to sex, to love.
Those words were fun, but they were fictional.
Still, it is enthralling to think about the things you can choose.

2024 – Spring

Which Shakespeare Character Are You? – Quizzes

We have prepared three quizzes for you to find out which badass female Shakespeare character, which evil Shakespearean character and which drama-llama Shakespeare character you are. Enjoy!

Which badass female Shakespeare character are you?

What is your worst flaw?

A. What are you talking about, I’m flawless!

B. I’m too short.

C. I’m too faithful and dedicated to my husband who has trust issues with me.

D. I look like my brother.

Are you in love?

A. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

B. Yes, with my boyfriend but my father doesn’t approve of him.

C. Yes, with my husband but we’re having issues right now.

D. Yes, but he’s in love with someone else (sighs).

Do you believe in true love?

A. Honestly, what is your deal with love?!

B. Of course I do and I’d do anything to protect it!

C. I thought I did but my husband’s strange behaviour is making me doubt the relationship.

D. I truly do but things are a bit complicated with my crush right now…

Do you have any impressive skills?

A. I can beat your ass at a battle of wits.

B. I have all the men fall in love with me without me even trying.

C. My commitment to others is as firm as a rock.

D. I can pretend to be a man.  

What is your guilty pleasure?

A. Coming up with smart insults.

B. Provoking my father.

C. I’m afraid I have none.

D. Pretending to be a man.


If you got mostly A. you are Beatrice from Much Ado about Nothing! Beatrice is Leonato’s niece and Hero’s cousin. Unlike her cousin and most women of their time, she is feisty, cynical, witty and sharp. However, Beatrice also has a softer and more vulnerable side. During the play she is tricked into falling in love with Benedick, a soldier with whom she has a “merry war”, basically an exchange of witty insults. She is a strong character for she refuses to marry because she has not discovered the perfect, equal partner and because she is unwilling to eschew her liberty and submit to the will of a controlling husband. When Hero has been humiliated and accused of violating her chastity, Beatrice explodes with fury at Claudio for mistreating her cousin. In her frustration and rage about Hero’s mistreatment, Beatrice rebels against the unequal status of women in Renaissance society. She has often been described as a protofeminist character.

If you got mostly B. you are Hermia from A Midsummer Night’s Dream! Hermia is a strong-willed and brave young woman who at the start of the play stands up to her father to defend her love for Lysander. When things start to get rocky, the two lovers run away in the forest, followed by Demetrius and Helena and where Puck interferes and causes a heated mess between the lovers. In the end all turns out well and Hermia is allowed to live happily ever after with her beloved Lysander.

If you got mostly C. you are Desdemona from Othello! Desdemona is the daughter of Brabantio (a Venetian senator) and Othello’s wife. Desdemona is a courageous young woman defending her husband against her father’s racist disapproval and she remains faithful to her husband until her very last breath. She thinks the best of people and gives everyone a chance. She is also an extremely caring and empathetic character.

If you got mostly D. you are Viola from Twelfth Night! Viola survives a shipwreck at the start of the play which separates her from her twin brother Sebastian and she ends up on shore in Illyria. There she decides to cross-dress as a man and to take a job at Duke Orsino’s court. As the boy servant, “Cesario,” Viola quickly becomes Orsino’s favorite page and is given the task of wooing Olivia on Orsino’s behalf. As “Cesario,” Viola’s a little too good at her job and she finds herself in the middle of a messy love triangle when Olivia falls in love with “Cesario,” who can’t return the Countess’s favors because Viola is in love with the Duke. I promise you, it all works out in the end.

Which evil Shakespeare character are you?

What is your guilty pleasure?

A. Nagging my spouse.

B. Wooing my brother’s wife.

C. Manipulating people, duh.

D. Plotting murder. 

What are you most skilled in?

A. Pep talks.

B. Pathologically lying.

C. Gaslighting.

D. Turning someone into a hitman. 

What is your worst flaw?

A. I married a coward.

B. Murderous tendencies.

C. I have none. I’m perfect, don’t you see?

D. Jealousy. 

What is your biggest fear?

A. That I won’t become queen of Scotland (I deserve it).

B. That my nephew will come after me for murdering his father (my brother).

C. Failing to manipulate people, it’s so entertaining, mouahahaha.

D. Caesar ruling one more day. 

Do you believe in love?

A. There’s no such thing, I only believe in power.

B. Love? What is that?

C. In other people yes, and boy, don’t I love ruining romantic relationships.

D. Don’t have the time for the affairs of the heart. 

If you got mostly A. you are Lady Macbeth from Macbeth! Lady Macbeth is the wife of the play’s tragic hero, Macbeth (a Scottish nobleman). She encourages her husband to commit regicide and consequently becomes queen of Scotland. She’s got quite some power over her husband as she manipulates him to do as she pleases, especially when it comes to killing others. After he becomes a murderous tyrant, surprisingly, Lady Macbeth looses her cool and is driven to madness by guilt and as a result commits suicide.

If you got mostly B. you are Claudius from Hamlet! King Claudius is the brother of King Hamlet, whom he secretly assassinates in order to become king. He then marries his brother’s wife, Gertrude, and becomes Prince Hamlet’s stepfather. Prince Hamlet finds out about the assassination once his father’s ghost pays him a visit and plans to kill him. Claudius gets suspicious about Hamlet once he starts behaving all weird and hires his childhood friends to keep an eye on him. Claudius eventually comes up with a plan that will kill Hamlet but ends up slain by him right before he dies.  

If you got mostly C. you are Iago from Othello! Iago is Othello’s standard-bearer and trusted advisor but he hates his guts. He plans to destroy him through manipulation by making him believe that his wife Desdemona is having an affair with his lieutenant, Michael Cassio. Iago is one of Shakespeare’s most sinister villains, often considered such because of the unique trust that Othello places in him, which he betrays while maintaining his reputation for honesty and dedication. Iago is a Machiavellian schemer and manipulator, as he is often referred to as “honest Iago”, displaying his skill at deceiving other characters so that not only do they not suspect him, but they count on him as the person most likely to be truthful.

If you got mostly D. you are Cassius from Julius Caesar! Cassius is the leader and organizer of the assassination plot to kill Julius Caesar, the emperor of Rome. Motivated by his envy and jealousy over Caesar’s rise to power, Cassius manipulates others to join him. A keen letter writer, Cassius forges letters from dissatisfied citizens to influence Brutus, a fellow senator and general. Cassius had been Caesar’s friend for much of their lives; in addition, Cassius served as a capable general under Caesar.

Which drama-llama Shakespeare character are you?

You identify as:

A. A spaniel and a bit of an emotional roller coaster to be honest.

B. A hilarious person.

C. The worthy heir to the throne.

D. A master procrastinator.

Do you have any best friends?

A. I used to when I was little but my crush is now pining after her so we’re not on speaking terms.

B. Does plotting murder together make us best buds?

C. What is that?

D. I might have, like, two friends, but I don’t even bother remembering their names right.

What is your relationship status?

A. A situationship, I guess (sighs).

B. Single like a happy pringle!

C. I’m married to my terrifying spouse.

D. I have a girlfriend, but I have more important things to deal with right now! Stop distracting me!

When were you at your lowest?

A. When I slept with this dude who didn’t even love me back.

B. Whenever I have to deal with storms (they’re scary!).

C. When I lost my wife who was my rock whenever I freaked out about all the crimes I committed.

D. When I accidentally killed my girlfriend’s dad thinking he was my treacherous uncle!

In times of trouble you tend to…

A. Run after my lover in the forest, duh.

B. There’s no trouble anymore if you runaway and disappear, right?

C. I freak out to my wife.

D. I ruminate and wear black clothes (I’m in my emo era).

If you got mostly A. you are Helena from A Midsummer Night’s Dream! Helena is a young Athenian who at the start of the play is in love with Demetrius who is in love with another gal. Regardless, Helena stands her ground and remains committed to her lover. She’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and takes things to heart, but in the end of the day all she wants is to be loved back. And in the end she succeeds!

If you got mostly B. you are Caska from Julius Caesar! Caska is one of the conspirators against Julius Ceaser who assassinated him. He’s quite dramatic, terrified of the weather and extremely superstitious. Cassius describes him as smarter than what he appears to be and decides he will be the first to stab Caesar. Caska fled from Rome after the assassination.

If you got mostly C. you are Macbeth from Macbeth! You guessed it, Macbeth is the protagonist of his eponymous play. Now, he’s a bit of a mess: when he is told that he is to become king, he starts killing in order for that to become true. But it comes at a cost as his conscious awakes and he gets eaten up with guilt. Now, you’d think that he would stop killing after this, but nooooo, he continues doing just that in order to remain king. Lady Macbeth, his emotional support system in this bloody business is the only one that manages to make Macbeth stick to his plan whenever he’s about to lose it…until she loses it herself.

If you got mostly D. you are Hamlet from Hamlet! Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark and mourns his father at the start of the play, dresses in black and is kind of the equivalent of a teenager going through his emo phase. When he finds out his uncle killed his father and is required from his father’s ghost to avenge his death, Hamlet starts to slowly but surely lose it… He spends sleepless nights ruminating and going through one existential crises after another, harasses his girlfriend and mother, kills the wrong person, and so on.

2024 – Spring

Sweet Fair

Author: Claire Trotti

Candy floss all around, joyful melodies
We were moving in a colourful crowd
Our eyes shining like the yellow lights
Our hearts beating faster than the music.

I found him cool, cause he had a skateboard
I think we all did
So I was surprised when he asked me out
I said yes, I wanted to try churros !

He first took me to the ghost train
When he offered me his hand,
I held it to reassure him
I’ve known worse ghosts !

We laughed at children in their bumper cars
Made fun at the bashful lovers in the big wheel
Thinking we were too old to be like these kids
And old enough to copy the sweethearts

When the moon rose, he offered me churros
Sweet and greasy in their golden packaging
They were warm and comforting
Crunchy and soft at the same time

Then I looked into his eyes
He broke the distance
It was fast, soft, wet, and sweet
Then we just hugged.

Every time I taste churros
I remember his sweet kiss
My innocent joy, our delicious embrace
Of two kids discovering love.

2024 – Spring

Dear Felicity – A Literary Advice Column

Dear Felicity,

I have had a bunch of issues lately. It all started after dad died and his ghost paid me a visit to tell me that, wait-for-it, my uncle, his own brother killed him! And then ghost-dad asked me to avenge his death. Now, killing a man is really hard and I’ve been procrastinating on it for a while, but then, when I finally found the guts to do it, I accidently killed my girlfriend’s dad instead! Can you believe it?? Oh, and speaking of my girlfriend, she drowned herself yesterday… What am I to do Felicity?!

Yours truly,


Dear Master-procrastinator-killer-boy,

Wow, I must say, that is some rough stuff you have going on and I’m sorry to hear about all your losses! I heard two of your friends came to pay you a visit, which sounds quite nice of them. Maybe you should go and hang out with them. It sounds like you need a solid emotional support system to get you through this and prevent you from hurting anyone else in the process. And I know this will be hard to hear, but killing another person won’t make you feel any better about your father’s death, so perhaps you should set that quest aside.

All best,


Dearest Felicity,

I hope you are doing quite well. I’m writing to you because I have this huge dilemma. You see, my boyfriend and I have been given this wonderful opportunity to live freely in this exquisit, heaven-like garden, and honestly I could have never felt happier than I do right now. But there’s this one tree’s fruit that we’re not supposed to eat and all, but then I saw this beautiful and eloquent snake that kept tempting me to eat it and share it with my babe too! Now, I don’t want to upset the big guy upstairs, but that fruit smells sooooo goooood, I’m dying to taste it! Plus, it turns out that it might make me smarter! So why not go for it…? What’s the worst thing that could happen to me if I disobey?

Yours respectfully,


Dear Fruit-craving-girl,

I feel you, just by reading your letter I’ve been craving for that piece of fruit too! But are you sure you want to take advice from some random snake? I don’t know about you, but that guy sounds sketchy to me. Listen, you don’t want you and your hubby to get into any trouble, right? So, do the right thing, and listen to the big guy upstairs and continue living happily with your boyfriend! It would be such a pity if you lost what you have and, oh I don’t know, got kicked out of that scrumptious garden!

All best,


Dear Felicity,

My uncle has this fascinating naughty brother who I’m completely in love with even thought for a while I had never known him until today and we got engaged! But then I met this chick, who I thought was going to become my new best friend (other than the bees that I talk to and the trees I climb on) until I found out that she was engaged to my dear boy too!! What shall I do Felicity?? The bees are as speechless as I am!


The girl with the bees in the trees

Dearest girl with the bees in the trees,

This sounds like quite a situation! Are you two sure you are engaged to the same man? Perhaps it’s all a big misunderstanding. Why don’t you both try and talk to your fiancé(s) and see what they say? I’m sure things will work out just as they should. Congratulations on your engagement and say “Hi” to the bees for me!

Best of luck,


2024 – Spring

Yellow Streetlights


I don’t like to drive.
At least, not when there are people in my car,
Nor if the trio is too short.

I find myself liking long drives alone, with the music of my choice.
During the day, seeing the landscape evolve into something else
As time passes and I drive by. 
But at night, everything seems different.
When I pass through villages with yellow streetlights,
memories come flooding my mind.

Christmas was always at my grandparents’. We went midafternoon for a traditional walk
Followed by some songs, poems, and stories around the decorated tree.
Then the gifts and the copious meal: it took hours to finish the many courses and desserts.
We left after it was long dark outside,
My parents always played the same disc
The radio wasn’t entertaining that late at night.

The trip back was about two hours long, 
I usually ended up sleeping most of it.
But there always were those moments, some minutes after departure,
When the sleepiness hasn’t kicked in yet, 
I would listen to the music while absently looking at the lights outside.
The quiet sound of the car engine and the driving motion
Rocking me to sleep. Happy and content with the time spent with family.

Those are nice memories from my past.

Nowadays when we go eat at my grandparents, I drive on the way back,
While my parents sleep in the backseats.
Still listening to the same music.

2024 – Spring

Literary Crossword Puzzle

If you prefer filling out this crossword online, here’s the link: Literary Nerd’s Crossword Puzzle – Crossword Labs (but scroll down here for the answers)


  • 3. Nonfiction narrative writing based on the author’s personal memories.
  • 4. Last name of that famous American female author who wrote a famous novel about four sisters.
  • 7. Two successive rhyming lines.
  • 10. Pentameter of an unstressed stressed foot.
  • 12. The ___ Jar, novel by Sylvia Plath.
  • 15. Percy Bysshe Shelley belonged to this literary and artistic movement.
  • 16. Frederick ____ , African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, statesman and author of one of the most famous slave narratives.
  • 18. Last name of the poet who wrote “The Tyger”, “The Sick Rose” and “A Poison Tree”.
  • 19. John Milton lived during this century.
  • 21. Last name of the winner of the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature and author of The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying and “A Rose for Emily”.
  • 23. A closed form consisting of fourteen lines of rhyming iambic pentameter.
  • 24. Last name of female author who wrote I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, And Still I Rise, and Mother.
  • 25. Literary genre linked to fear and horror.
  • 27. This figure of speech is a deliberate exaggeration that adds emphasis, urgency, or excitement to a statement.
  • 28. First name of famous detective whose partner is Dr. Watson.


  • 1. Figure of speech that places opposite things or ideas next to one another in order to draw out their contrast.
  • 2. Jane Austen’s last complete novel.
  • 5. A ____ in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, title inspired by a Langston Hughes poem.
  • 6. This figure of speech assigns human attributes to nonhuman things.
  • 8. Capote’s first name, author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Cold Blood.
  • 9. This novel’s titular character often gets mistaken as the monster’s name. Name that novel/character.
  • 11. This Shakespearean character has the same name as that hot-headed talking parrot in Walt Disney’s Aladdin.
  • 13. Last name of Victorian Irish author of A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest.
  • 14. Toni Morrison’s 1987 novel about a dysfunctional family of formerly enslaved people whose Cincinnati home is haunted by a malevolent spirit.
  • 16. Probably the most famous short story about vampires you have ever heard of.
  • 17. What colour is the hat worn by Curious George’s owner?
  • 20. Last name of the author who wrote The Old Man and the Sea, The Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast.
  • 22. Musical style originated within African-American communities in the late 19th century; famous composition of this kind of music: “The Entertainer”.
  • 26. A ___ Named Desire, play by Tennessee Williams.

*Scroll down for the answers*


  1. Memoir
  2. Romanticism
  3. Blake
  4. Truman
  5. Raisin
  6. Antithesis
  7. Sherlock
  8. Gothic
  9. Couplet
  10. Persuasion
  11. Ragtime
  12. Sonnet
  13. Douglass
  14. Hyperbole
  15. Iago
  16. Seventeenth
  17. Hemingway
  18. Faulkner
  19. Iambic
  20. Beloved
  21. “Dracula”
  22. Frankenstein
  23. Personification
  24. Alcott
  25. Margaret
  26. Yellow
  27. Streetcar
  28. Wilde
  29. Angelou
  30. Bell
2024 – Spring

Blooming Sea

Author: Sabine Weyermann

As Adichie says: “your hands through
each other’s hair, his soft and yellow 
like the swinging tassels of growing corn.”

… and there are the hidden ladybirds on your arm,
the bumblebee, lost in wild flowers,
the quiet joy in your laugh.

The softness of the yarn on your shoulders,
and those ones over me, moving like tidal waves,
before I see the impact of water crashing
in your eyes. 

There is light, and there is Spring,
I hear the horses at the station for the first time,
it makes me grin, a fragment of you in my life, 
that cannot be withdrawn.

I smile, I kiss you goodbye, as it is stolen, too few,
but there, I smile, still full of that shock darkening
your eyes,
at that very moment the surge broke on the rocks, 
and I’m wishing you good night.

…but my hand in your hair says
Stay, let us navigate the rising tide again.

2024 – Spring


Author: Iris Low

It is funny what an individual might do to feel close to another. What lengths they will go to compensate for the lack of unrequited feelings and desires. Sometimes I will watch a television series with a character that resembles them. Or I will read a book that somehow vaguely reminds me of them and our situation. And other times I will remember the smell of their perfume, find a bottle of it in a shop and spray the tester on a bookmark and place it in that very book in order to always be able to smell them, even when they are not there. Obsessions are a funny thing. That time- and energy-consuming capacity of remembering a myriad of pieces of information on one individual; the ability to think of them countless of times throughout each day and never get bored of them; the constant desire to touch and hold them that never fades. It makes me think of the first night spent with a lover, when you both can’t fall asleep, out of fear of missing out, since every moment spent together, even while just laying down and listening to each other breathe, is so precious. Strangely enough, as much time and energy these little obsessions may take from us, it is simultaneously these very same obsessions that make us feel alive.  

2024 – Spring


Author: Iris Low

I passed through a place I have been numerous times before, yet it was not until tonight that I noticed the crickets’ chant. It must have always been right there but I forgot to acknowledge it. It reminded me of the sleepless summer nights I spent listening to the crickets sing in that whitewashed house on the sea shore. It was a peaceful place, and in the mornings, when the crickets seemingly went to sleep or took a break from their night shift, it was the sound of the water caressing the sand that comforted me. Up until ten o’clock. That is when the waves started to crash on the shore, that is when they began their fit that would last the entire day, until nightfall. And that is when the crickets started singing; or at least louder than during the day, as though to compensate for the sea’s moan. And that sea water that tasted saltier than the food my grand-father would make, as I lied down on it, would slowly rock my body to sleep. I felt so peaceful in those moments, when the sun would dry off my face the few droplets of saltwater. I cannot go back to that place anymore. That place that used to be my compass whenever I got lost. All I have left is the memory of the crickets’ terrible singing and the sea’s roar, and the feeling of the sun warming up my face.