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New Writer 2022: Agata Maslowska


Agata Maslowska is a writer and translator. She grew up in Poland and lives in Scotland. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Edinburgh Review, New Writing Scotland, Gutter, amberflora, Blackbox Manifold, Interpreter’s House, –algia, and Tentacular among others.

She is the recipient of the Hawthornden Writing Fellowship and the Gillian Purvis Award for New Writing. Her submission was highly commended in the Emerging Writer Bridge Award competition. She holds a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow.

Writing sample

Figs Wounded with a Straw Ripen Sooner

The cut sweetens the tissue; saccharine laceration. Pressing a leaf against the wound won't help it heal. Some flesh is meant to keep its wounds open. Festering sensations mistaken for love, an underdone cliché. Ripening can be as raw as gaining understanding. Experience doesn't sweeten the bitterness, but turns the tongue upside down. We cut the inflorescence into crescent moons to prevent choking. Chewing produces more saliva and aids digestion. The movement of the seeds and flowers in our mouths isn't as expressive as the movement of our bodies. Drinking juice without a straw increases the risk of acid and sugar damage to our teeth. Biting into a ripe fig is ecstatic.

Agata says:

'I am immensely grateful to the Scottish Book Trust for the award and I'm looking forward to the opportunities it brings. The award will allow me to focus on working on the first collection. It is a great feeling to have my writing recognised in this way.'

Photo credit: Alicja Dybowska