Somewhere Else Writers (SEW) September 21 Sophie Livingston

Sophie Livingston

Sophie Livingston wrote this month’s featured poem, ‘Old Sodbury’, while walking the Cotswold Way with her husband Jo. She says: ‘We’d spent a lot of the 100 miles talking about the stress in our lives. Walking always helps us get things in perspective – but the moment described in the poem when we took tea in the graveyard was one of those miraculous ones when all your worries suddenly seem trivial.’

Sophie worked as a journalist for 15 years before turning to fiction. Her work appears in national magazines and has been broadcast on BBC Radio. She was long listed for the InkTears flash fiction competition in 2017, the Fish Short Story Prize in 2020 and the Bath Short Story Prize this year. She was also long listed for the Mslexia/Poetry Book Society Prize in 2019. Recent work has featured in ArtemisPoetry (sic) and two Black Bough Poetry anthologies.

During lockdown she founded the ‘Improbable Book Café’(www.improbablebookcafe.co.uk) a virtual coffee shop for people to unwind and listen to mood-lifting short stories and poetry.

To read ‘Old Sodbury’ go to cirenscene.com. You can listen to a recording, plus poems by other local writers, by visiting the café and clicking on the ‘Terrain’ logo.

Old Sodbury.

We took tea
With Hannah Stinchcomb
who died
aged 64
And William John
who died
aged eight.

The red tablecloth blew lightly in the wind.

We had walked all summer
passing Painswick,
climbing to the monuments
treading hollow and high places
Tired now.

‘Can I persuade you?’ the woman
by the tea urn said.

We unclipped rucksacks
Took our seats
Gazed across the
Valley to the
Gleaming Severn
And the sky was
And the sun does
And the land is.

So we rested
between thought
for a while.

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