Issue 21: The Matriarch

A letter from the editorial committee

Welcome to Issue 21: The Matriarch!

Bringing Issue 20 of the Flash Journal to publication last term was a very special moment for the Editorial Team. It was with Issue 20 that Flash ventured into the realms of print media, and to celebrate this fantastic achievement and to thank all of our contributing writers, we held a special event, combined with our regular Poetry by Candlelight evening. The team would like to thank all of those who attended- numbers were far higher than we had hoped for- and we offer a special thanks to those who purchased the landmark Issue 20. For those who would like to purchase this piece of Flash Journal history, copies are still available for £1, and can be requested by emailing us at

In-between issue publications, the Journal has been working in conjunction with Bailrigg FM to enable writers to take their work to the airwaves. The Editorial Team have recorded some of their own pieces, which should air shortly, and we hope that this project may be the start of an ongoing relationship with Bailrigg FM. If you have work that you wish to be considered for radio performance, let us know.

 To return to the present, the Flash Editorial Team has been working hard, yet again, with talented writers from the University in order to produce Issue 21. We have no doubt it will be just as successful as its forerunners. This issue, coincidentally, has come together as a printed poetry festival! The subjects of these works are diverse, and we are proud to present all of them in what we think has been a great issue. Hopefully you’ll agree.

All that remains is to present Issue 21, named after our stand-out favourite piece, The Matriarch, by Eleanor Watkinson.

The Flash Editorial Committee

Issue 21 Final certificate

The Editors’ Choice Piece:
The Matriarch
By Eleanor Watkinson, with commentary from Katie Simpson

‘Eleanor Watkinson’s The Matriarch is a sweet and sentimental poem exploring the effects of affectionate relationships. The nostalgic piece, addressed to a grandparent, not only prompts the receiver to recollect certain memories but it also allows for the reader to be swept up in an endearing narrative.’

By Bethany Lee, with commentary from Ruth Jones

‘Bethany’s poem Reconciliation takes an intriguing, honest approach to modern club culture, unafraid to explore concepts of regret and impulse. Her use of natural imagery adds a delicate dimension, creating a tone of beautiful melancholy that gives weight to our typical perceptions of nightlife.’

The Fossil Among us
By Oscar Payne, with commentary from Teodora Nikolova

‘Oscar Payne’s poem is a delicate and sentimental ode to a generic detail of our everyday life, giving us a glimpse into a softer, more lyrical side of reality, where the color of traffic lights opens a door to the world of the past. A contemporary sound, coupled with beautifully crafted rhythm, make this poem a delightful read.’

There is nothing more to me
By Nicky Wilson, with commentary from Srishti Kadu

‘Nicky Wilson’s poem is packed with beautiful, haunting imagery. Wilson explores the theme of the poem by playing with form and voice to conjure up a tone of despondency that leaves the reader wanting for more.’

By Michael Pritchard, with commentary from Jess Phillips

‘Michael Pritchard’s poems Sovereign and We Go To War present a rich focus on heredity; each concentrates on a different aspect of the past’s ability to affect us in the modern day, from the burden of inheritance on one person’s mind to the troubling history of another’s ancestors during wartime. These poems come together to create a powerful insight into the past and its influence on the present.’

We Go To War
By Michael Pritchard, with commentary from Jess Philips (see above)

By Dominic O’Sullivan with commentary from Alice Hiley

‘Dominic’s Posts is a simple yet elegant poem about two distant lovers. The language is subtly emotive, while the repetition keeps the poem centered as it meanders from the bed to the ocean.’