Screams and Silences
Beside a lake, a boy draws the horoscope charts that determine his fate. In Hammersmith, paths cross – and then cross again – as immigrants navigate London. Somewhere in rural England, brother and sister share murderous secrets. Fathers go bad and mothers come clean; would-be lovers dream; biobots and cyborgs probe the limits between terror and beauty.
The poems, short stories and stage play that makeup Screams and Silences are as diverse as they are vivid, by turns confrontational and contemplative. The richness comes through in the different voices, from Mauritania to the Blackpool seashore: there in all their colours, textures and rhythms.
It was the Austrian writer and musician Alfred Brendel who pointed out that the words ‘listen’ and ‘silent’ use exactly the same letters. This second anthology of new student writing from the University of Roehampton offers a chance to listen to the screams in the silence, and the silence in the screams.
The Problem with Parallel Universes
The banker who won't open his front door, the infertile husband, an artist obsessed with the Lady of Shalott, the letter-writer with a bionic arm, and the essayist existing in several parallel universes: these are some of the characters and situations that we meet in the first published anthology from Fincham Press at the University of Roehampton, full of writing that is witty, sharp and often dangerous.
Writers are often asked: ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ And we always tell our students – it’s not the idea, it’s what you do with it, that counts.
So why not ask a different question: How did writers choose their form, and why? Is it a haiku, a sonnet, or a prose poem? Is it forty thousand, eighty thousand, one thousand, one hundred words long, and how did that help express an idea? Is it fifteen seconds of footage or a feature-length film?
This, our third student anthology, includes explicit sexuality, swearing, madness, fragments of the apocalypse, the fine art of serial killing, and a very troubling clown. It also includes a tender treatise on old age, a story about parents lost to tragedy, sibling love, and a father so worthless, you could hit him. There is prose that is really difficult to read and poetry that is really easy, and much in-between.
'A beautifully edited anthology – some real gems.’
Rebecca Swift, Director, The Literary Consultancy