WRITING

I've taught creative writing for Visiting Students at St Anne's College, Oxford. My poetry and prose has been published in ORbits: weekly shorts from the Oxonian ReviewHead's Up, Queen's Feminist Review, and Ultraviolet Magazine. Most recently, I was shortlisted for publication in The Mays 2015.

My current fictional work-in-progress, Myth and Reason, is a satirical look at academia, parental relations, and love in the twenty-first century. 

Ariadne and I

ARIADNE––. The island is small and I am alone.  I can stand on the hill beneath the tree and, shielding my eyes from the sun, see straight across this barren land from shining sea to sandy shore.  

ME––.  I always imagined your island prison as one great sandy shore and, as silly as it sounds, I never quite got beyond the little tuffs of tropical grasses at the top of dunes.  You would sit on the beach in your dark woven robe, shattered, crying into your hands.  I never thought you would actually get up and explore.

ARIADNE––.  This is exactly what I have been ranting against for all these years!  Pity the poor abandoned Ariadne but don’t imagine she has any sort of life for herself after she is dumped so unceremoniously on that strange shore.  Yes, I masterminded Theseus’ escape from the minotaur.  Yes, I abandoned my own family for the possibility of one with the man I loved, who I thought loved me.  Yes, I am an adventure seeker, not one frightened by the possibility of nothing, but why can no one allow that I might want to explore the island or try to make a life for myself here in the middle of the ocean?  I was neither meek nor helpless.  I am not one of those Greek women.  

ME––.  I always wondered why you and Theseus stopped on Thasos.  Was it just to resupply, or was it a part of Theseus’ quest–cum–adventure?  Or was it even more sinister? Premeditated abandonment.

ARIADNE––.  Myself, I have often wondered the very same things, though in all this time I have never had the opportunity to ask him.  Was it an accident?  I suppose I could forgive that, unlikely as it is, though he should have waited until the winds were right and sailed back.  And as to whether it was premeditated, remember that I only knew Theseus for a few weeks before we left Crete.  I barely knew him and he was hardly a man.  Did he consider the implications of bringing me home to Athens?  Probably not.  I was a foreign woman with an independent mind.  You know Medea’s story.  She was quite unpopular and in the end had to resort to rather extreme measures to preserve her independence.  As for the heroes, they are not always of sound mind, if you follow.

ME––. I follow. Not much has changed.

(Untitled)

The crunch of snow beneath my feet echoes
across the still, lamp-filled night
as the silhouettes of skaters
dance across the frozen pond.
Above, the spidering wires are lit
by the eclipse of a pregnant red moon.
Trapped in winter’s eternal shell,
I long to burrow down, against the cold,
warm in my double duvet.
In the half light, only the shapes of shadows
seem to matter – not the red-barked dogwood,
tall against my window, not the burst of sun,
dying in the late afternoon grey.
In my dreams, the shadows of your shape
are noticeably gone.