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A big thanks to those of you who have been following our experiments with augmented reality and poetry over the last few months. If you've enjoyed them, we'd love to know what you thought.

We're returning to normal business this month by showcasing some of the exciting new writing coming out of Sheffield Hallam. Our usual pick of the best bits of Sheffield's live literature scene is below too.

The South Yorkshire Poetry Festival has rebranded and emerged as the Sheaf Poetry Festival and will be happening across the city from 17-25 May. Watch this space next month for full listings.


Biffa Bill and Little Mick Both Loved Alice Crust

I'll tell you now a tale that's true,

a tale of nightshift lust.

Of Biffa Bill and Little Mick,

their quest for Alice Crust.

The canteen's where she serves the stew

to midnight Rivet Squads.

By shipyard moon she plates and pouts,

and serves her chips and cods.

Red kiss-me lips and swiv'lin hips,

Alice was built to tease.

A sultry smile was their reward,

along with extra peas.

But love and lust caused such a rift

t'wix pals so long and true.

The Rivet Squad could work no more,

O' such an awful to-do.

Good sense prevailed and hands were shook.

Dear friends I urge you cautions.

True love did bloom and fade because

Rose Bilge served bigger portions.

David Greenwood


Commuters pass a pile of tat,

Some rubbish that they might have thrown,

Old blankets, cups, a grubby hat,

One shoe unlaced all on its own,

A box, a bag, a bottle smashed,

A mound of fags only half smoked,

A wallet robbed of all its cash,

A wire loose from something broke.

One T-shirt stained, one treasure gained,

The man collecting scraps alone,

A pane is missing from its frame

Once on the wall of someone's home.

Jack Paul


I can cope with many things, in-laws, divorce, death. But nits are definitely not one of them.

In our household there have been sickness bugs, broken bones and all manner of midnight trips to our local A & E department. But of all the things I have had to deal with, this really is the worst.

I know that I'm selfish not letting my daughter kiss me goodnight. But I don't care what anyone says, I bet they can jump.

This morning she came to lay with me in bed. That made me freak. A person's bed is sacred at the best of times. Never mind when you've got tiny itchy creatures eating your head.

I'm pretty certain that I coped with my son's adolescent rebellion better than these nits. At least then I wasn't ambushed unexpectedly.

'What purpose do they serve?', queried my daughter as we began the extermination process.

I had to admit defeat on this one. Maybe I'll google it. Maybe not.

Tiny little dots of dirtiness. Skin creeping and crawling. Wriggling and jiggling. I can see her head moving.

I think we might need to move house. Maybe I'll just get a new daughter.

Vikki Acornley

Your Page

Redundancy refurbishments

and pension extensions; expansion. "A mansion,"

the handsome husband croons, balloons

her half-an-hour-pub-walk hills

to eight-day-expedition thrills. And still

he takes his pills.

The handymen come in and out

for licks of paint, for mold release.

Their boxes brandish bolts and screws

to unhinge doors, to lubricate

away the squeaks.

Spreading bedding between rooms

and tiles for miles. A while, she's waited

to finish the book. Where chapters

are floors and pages are doors. So

you can't really blame her for opening

yours. Of course

she catches you, wood in your hand.

It writhes about your knuckled bite

which fast outgrows her child's skin.

Her face burns bright as she escapes

and you, through sighs, continue

to write.

Kate Griffiths

These pieces showcase current writing from Sheffield Hallam students studying on their BA (Hons) English and BA (Hons) Creative Writing degrees. We're delighted to publish our students' work in Now Then.

Our creative courses are designed to develop your professional practice and identity as a writer and help you engage with industry-focussed opportunities whilst studying in a supportive environment. Notable graduates from our courses include the Sheffield-based poets Kate Garrett, James Giddings and Lydia Allison. Writers who teach on the courses include Yvonne Battle-Felton (recently long listed for The Women's Prize For Fiction 2019), poet and novelist Conor O'Callaghan, environmental poet Harriet Tarlo and award-winning scriptwriter Hattie Naylor (Ivan and the Dogs).

If you want to find out more about Sheffield Hallam's English and Creative Writing communities and degree opportunities, contact our team on [email protected] or follow us on @SheffHallamEng.

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Next article in issue 133

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