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New Writer 2023: Eloise Birtwhistle
Eloise Birtwhistle's poetry has been published in New Writing Scotland; Mslexia; Gutter Magazine; SPAM Zine; The Edwin Morgan Centenary Collection; Wet Grain; Algia; From Glasgow to Saturn; and Reclaim: An Anthology of Women's Poetry.
She received a Distinction in her Creative Writing MLitt from the University of Glasgow, graduating in 2018. In 2019, she was selected as a St Mungo's Mirrorball Clydebuilt apprentice, where she benefitted from mentorship by John Glenday. Her writing has been exhibited by the John Byrne Award and she was a Finalist of the 2019 Mslexia and Poetry Book Society Women's Poetry Prize.
Eloise also delivers community arts projects and has hosted public readings and conversations with writers including Claire Askew and Nadine Aisha Jassat. Her creative writing workshops have been run with organisations including Glasgow Women's Library, the Survivor Arts Community, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow, and the Inverclyde Homeless Centre. Through this work she has edited zines and two book-length anthologies.
Smell cut grass as you cross the motorway;
grow your nails; grow your hair;
have several nightmares in which your speech
has no sound;
dress out of season; misread the word
enclose as your own name;
walk the same routes; sweat;
on the night she dies, dream
that a loose knot unravels the floorboards;
sustain a headache from the smell
of your perfume; stumble
across the plump body of a rat;
goad a seagull as it feeds
its chick; throw
bread to the nest;
let bathwater redden your limbs;
phone your mother until it rings out;
in a city you don't know, ignore
a catcall, hear that even a dog
answers when it's called;
observe as a mosquito probes your arm;
extend invitations without
sincerity; sleep in and lie about
'I'm really looking forward to a period of focus and absorption in my writing. I'm grateful for the New Writers Award's encouragement to do this and I'm excited to meet the other awardees and to get to know their writing!'