Saboteur Awards 2017

Delighted and honoured that I am not a silent poet is on the shortlist for the Wild Card this year. Voting is open now – just click on the link and then on ‘Vote’. You’re not obliged to vote in more than one category. You are asked to say why you think whatever you vote for deserves to win.

4th International Festival of Poetry, Marrakech – Reuben Woolley

I´ve been invited to participate in the 4th International Festival of Poetry in Marrakech, Morroco in April. I’m going to take mostly poems from I am not a silent poet.

The Festival covers hotel and catering costs but doesn’t pay anything towards transport. Like most poets I’m rather poor and therefore I’ve set up a crowd funding to cover the flights.

If you can contribute, I would be extremely grateful. If you can’t, don’t worry, I’m sure I go with your best wishes.

Here’s a photo of the invitation so you can see it’s not a con trick (the Mrs is a typo and they say it will be corrected!)


The necessity of anonymity – editor’s note

I know there are many countries, such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, China, etc. which control or try to control people’s (especially writers’) activity on the social networks in an attempt to prevent dissent becoming public. If anyone wishes to submit their work to me for possible publication and actually finds a way to do so, in a message on Facebook, via email, in any way what ever… I should like to assure them that I will respect their anonymity in an effort to protect them from any repercussions that publication might have if the real authorship were to be known by the authorities in their country.

I can’t do much, but I can and shall refuse to reveal these brave writers/artists to any and all authority.

Forgotten First by Scott Edward Anderson

I don’t even remember her name.
Is that terrible or beautiful?
I don’t know.
She was older than me, maybe four years.
I wasn’t her first.
The way she took my hand
and ran it along her breasts,
as she brushed my hair
with her fingers, calmed me down.
She was gentle, even loving.
And when she saw or felt my jeans
she was clearly pleased.
When my zipper stuck,
she was careful even with that.
Over as quickly
as she touched me with her lips.
She smiled, wiped her chin,
said, “It’s okay,
it happens the first time,”
that I’d learn control.
We could practice, she said,
holding back, if I’d like.
She kissed me on the lips;
hers tasted of salt.
I didn’t feel dirty.
She made me feel whole.
You’re such a man, she said,
tousling my hair.
I never saw her again.
We moved 400 miles away,
where I would celebrate
my 12th birthday come fall.

Editor’s Note – Publishing Frequency

I’m going to reduce the publishing frequency to once a week for chronic abuse (probably between Thursday and Sunday). Specific and horrifying cases, however, such as the killing of the schoolchildren in Pakistan, will always be responded to immediately.

Please keep the poems and artwork coming in.

Note from the editor – Poetry after Auschwitz

In 1949, Theodor W. Adorno said that “to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric. Then why do we continue to write? Why, indeed, has so much brilliant poetry been written since Auschwitz?

Perhaps it is because Auschwitz continues – the name has changed but the abuse goes on. Adorne later said, in Negative Dialects, ” Perennial suffering has as much right to expression as a tortured man has to scream.” People still suffer, people are still tortured and people still scream.

I am not a silent poet sets out to provide a space for those screams, for descriptions of and protest against abuse in all its forms:

  • The police killings of blacks and abuse of important sectors of the population in the USA.
  • Gender abuse everywhere.
  • Child abuse everywhere, not just Rotherham and Ireland.
  • FGM
  • Our Girls in Nigeria
  • The increasing impoverishment of vast sectors of the population to save the banks and businesses which got us into the greatest economic crisis ever.
  • the dismantlement of the Welfare Services.
  • The privatisation of the Health Service.
  • Making physically and/or mentally disabled into the culprits and scapegoats.
  • The rape culture.
  • The ‘colateral damage’ in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, etc.
  • The abuse of our planet by drilling for oil in Alaska, fracking, the destruction of tropical rainforests, the destruction of the Australian coral reef, the killing of dolphins in Japan, etc.
  • Anything else you would care to add.

Please send your contribution: poems or artwork to me,

Let us make ourselves heard, contribute in some small way.