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Featured New 28 May, 2024

Walking Together

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We have just launched our annual fiction writing competition for poems and stories of 250 words and under. Sampson Low will be publishing the fourth edition of WALKING, our chapbook anthology of shortlisted poems and stories, and two lucky winners will receive cash prizes as well as artwork created by Alban Low. The winners are also invited to become our writers-in-residence, and have the task of choosing the theme for the following year’s competition. So we asked Shani Cadwallender (poetry) and Amelia Hodsdon (prose), our current writers-in-residence to tell us more about their choice of this year’s competition theme of “Walking Together“.

“My fellow writer in residence Amelia had the great idea of making the theme of this year’s poetry competition ‘walking together’, and her turn of phrase is perfect for purpose, evoking as it does such a range of possible angles for creative response.

The first thing that occurred to me was how often I walk alone, and the feeling of being observed that can result from this for me as a woman, as contrasted with times I walk partnered. I wondered how the embodied experience of walking together affects different marginalised groups. Can we truly walk together if our walks of life are different? What would such a thing look like? 

A recent bank holiday weekend in the countryside involved not only walking together with other adults, but with children, horses and sheep; in London, my walks are punctuated by the approaches of friendly dogs and occasionally stalked by hungry squirrels, wary foxes or the curious rattles of crows. I wondered how different creatures walk together, as well as considering walking together as a metaphor for care and compassion- walking in another’s shoes, or down another’s path. How do we walk with the natural world? With our loved ones? 

Then I thought of lockdown and how, in London, even alone and two metres apart, there was a sense of community- everyone walking together, evenings measured out by dystopian promenades. For others in Britain, their privilege and local landscapes insulated them from harm, but isolated them from such interactions. How do we walk together when divided by systemic inequalities? 

Many of these prompts stem from literal experiences made metaphorical, which is the basic strategy of much of my poetry, though it should not, of course, limit yours. Send in your entries, and walk (with) us through your own ideas!” 

For further entry details and to submit your written pieces please go here.

APA style reference

Cadwallender, S., & Stuck, A. (2024). Walking Together. walk · listen · create.

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To walk with long, purposeful strides: Here’s Robbie comin stendin up da rodd.

Added by Janette Kerr

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