Intermittent Fasting

You remember I held your pinkie
as we watched from the curtain?
Father’s hands tight in prayer
around mother’s soft neck. You remember
we thought he’d wring her like a chicken?                                                           

Your wedding day—Mother sat next to the empty
reservation, her quivering hands
giving you away. White knuckles
clutched the programme with bad print.
Remember as you danced
out of our father’s name,
mum collapsed—beautiful workhorse
with his broken world on her back. 

by Summer Young

The Poetry Centre’s International Poetry Competition for 2020 is open for entries! We’re delighted to say that our judge this year is the Forward Prize-winning poet Fiona Benson. As always, we have two categories: Open and English as an Additional Language. The winners in both categories receive £1000, with £200 for the runners up. The deadline for entries is 14 September. For more details and to enter, visit our website .

‘Intermittent Fasting’ is copyright © Summer Young, 2020. It is reprinted from Sylvanian Family (Bad Betty Press, 2020) by permission of Bad Betty Press. You can read more about the pamphlet and buy it here.

Summer Young is a poet from Norwich. She completed a BA in Creative Writing at The University of Winchester, and now lives in London where she co-runs Lemon Curd Magazine. Her work has appeared in Vortex Literary JournalAsterism Literary Journal, and Lemon Curd Magazine. You can follow Summer on Twitter.

Sylvanian Family is Summer Young’s first pamphlet. Reading it is like folding yourself into a deceptively miniature world, a cat’s eye view of a dystopian Wonderland. Here, shoe prints are rabbit snares, a mother is a mountain, the trellis-like family home encompasses a complex ecosystem of cockroaches and fireflies, mice and sea urchins. In this arresting debut, Young invokes the visceral candor of Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas, and confronts trauma with a fierce and virtuosic wit. Read more about the pamphlet on the Bad Betty website.

Bad Betty Press is an independent publisher of new poetry, founded in 2017 by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall. We love writing that is bad (in the Foxy Brown sense) and beautiful (‘a Betty’ in 90s slang). We love the strange, raw and risk-taking. We believe strongly in art’s capacity to challenge its own definition, to curve away from the norm, making space for more and varied voices. Find out more about our books here and follow Bad Betty on Facebook,  Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.