POETRY & PROSE:
I am currently teaching a creative writing workshop at St Anne's College, Oxford. The workshop is designed for beginner and intermediate writers, for those interested in experimenting and developing both poetry and prose.
In 2009-10, I sat on the editorial board of the Queen’s Feminist Review. I have been most recently published in the Spring 2010 and 2009 issues of the Queen's Feminist Review as well as in the Spring 2008 issue of Ultraviolet Magazine.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a student of Classics was being able to practice and polish my own translations of my favourite Greek and Latin poems.
"Bronze in the mirror of form, wine in the mind."
Ingrid stood before her mirror in half-afternoon light. The mirror was long and oval, set in a frame of dark, intricately carved wood, with flowers meant to cascade down its sides and halting abruptly before the floor. The surface of the mirror itself was spotted and warped, often making her dark olive skin seem sick and sallow. She knew it to be only a trick of the light, though many before her had grown old too soon before this mirror. Beauty alone cannot save youth from time’s grasping dark claws.
She had never seen a naked woman before, never stood before the mirror revealing herself in this way. It was not permitted. Letting the sleeves of her shift fall down over her rounded shoulders, she pushed the stale, musty muslin down until it bunched about her waist.
She raised her skirts above her knees, her thighs, her hips, until she saw the small brown triangle of curls between where her legs met. Shivering, for it was often draughty between these stone walls, she resisted rubbing her arms, dropping her skirts, turning away from the mirror and returning to her goose down bed.
“Is this what a woman looks like?” she asked aloud, unable to study a form other than her own, not able to know her own body. What drove her to the mirror? she wondered. She could not look away, this woman with those jarring blue eyes. Her own reflected eyes held the power of the gaze over her. This other Ingrid seemed just as real.
Ingrid raised her hand to the cool surface of the mirror and ran her fingers along the reflection of her skin, seeming to forget it was only metal behind uneven glass. It was soft and smooth, not rough at all. It felt so hard and perfect, so totally un-deformed, this woman with sallow flesh and rounded hips.
(Queen’s Feminist Review, Spring 2010)
"Amaranths" by L. Ludtke. Watercolour and ink. Queen's Feminist Review, 2009.
* * *
"La poésie est la musique de l’âme, et surtout des âmes grandes et sensibles."
Poetry is the music of the soul, and, most of all, of great and sensitive souls
I am the empty inkstand,
The swell squill, the squid swill,
The eagle, and the quill.
When on high, first I climbed
Out from my imaginary fortress of pages,
It was proclaimed, mostly by me,
That I would devote myself
To the mythology of you.
No need for palinodes or Palmyran palm fronds
To decorate no charioteer;
No need for rhyme, for rhythm, for ecstasy.
For what Homer recited from memory,
I must write down.
My life is an empty husk,
An unploughed field, an unshared land.
Why are we separated by such narrow seas?
This I consider as my washer rattles to a halt,
My life interrupted, dreams not unfolding.
Crush me beneath youIn some pleasing-arched grotto
Give me some fruit from you cloak’s hidden womb
But I’ll never sit ever-weaving-waiting
At that damned wooden loom.
I’ll be the laughing girl
Revealed only too soon,
Hidden in the corner of the dark, empty room.
Not she locked away in that high tower,
Not she to receive Zeus’ golden shower,
Not she thrown in a chest to the dark, raging sea,
Not she with tongue cut out, bovine, free