Impspired Issue 4

Here it is… Issue 4. Thanks to all the incredible writers who have submitted their work so far. This issue will run between 1st April 2020 and the end of May 2020. All of the work you find here along with those pieces published in Issue 3 will form the Volume Two (print anthology), due out at the end of May 2020.

Find the writer you want to read. Click on their name and enjoy their offerings.

Issue 5 is now open for submissions. Send your submissions to along with a short biography and a head shot photograph of yourself.

The Writers


Ruthie Adamson (AKA The Wonky wordsmith)

Award Winning and published performance poet Ruthie Adamson, AKA Wonky Wordsmith, is wonky because it wasn’t her fate to be straight so she is homosexual and asymmetrical and a wordsmith because she wows with words about those things and other very varied subjects. She is self-taught Liverpudlian literata. Her famous fans include singer-songwriter-playwright-poet Suzanne Vega who describes her as an eloquent natural performer, The Scaffold’s John Gorman who calls her a poetic tour de force and human rights activist Peter Tatchell who gave her post performance praise when she recently opened for him. Scotland’s equivalent of poet laureate Jackie Kay advised her to have faith in her poetic prowess and that faith has propelled her from grassroots gigs to performing for festivals. She recently performed for Chester Pride where her host described her as the Maya Angelo of the queer world. She was recently shortlisted for a performer of the year award but she says her richest reward is when those who jump aboard her rhyming roller coaster rides feel inspired. She is neither famous or infamous herself but she is working on being both so watch this space!


Anna Blasiak

ANNA BŁASIAK is a poet, translator, journalist and literature co-ordinator of the European Literature Network. She has translated over 40 books from English into Polish and some fiction from Polish into English – by Mariusz Czubaj, Wioletta Grzegorzewska, Jan Krasnowolski, Kaja Malanowska, Daniel Odija, Mirka Szychowiak, Irit Amiel and Renia Spiegel (mainly as Anna Hyde). She has also translated poetry by Maria Jastrzębska, Mary O’Donnell, Nessa O’Mahony, Vesna Goldsworthy, Martina Evans, Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese, Tishani Doshi and Pascale Petit – and, into English, by Mirka Szychowiak, Radosław Wiśniewski, Edward Pasewicz and Rafał Gawin. In addition to her book-length translations, her work has been published in Best European Fiction 2015, Asymptote, The Guardian, B O D Y Literature, Modern Poetry in Translation and York Literary Review.

Charlie Brice

Charlie Brice is the author of Flashcuts Out of Chaos (2016), Mnemosyne’s Hand (2018), and An Accident of Blood (2019), all from WordTech Editions. His poetry has been nominated for the Best of Net anthology and twice for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta Review, The Main Street Rag, Chiron Review, Permafrost, The Paterson Literary Review,and elsewhere. 

Bill Burk

I am an emerging author working on a manuscript. I have a minor in Literature a hundred years ago from Grove City College in Pennsylvania, but am more or less completely self-inspired to share the written word. I have been published in my local newspapers with short sport-related essays, and have a WordPress site at where I post some of my writing. I am anxious to get my writing out there for people to read.

David Butler

David Butler’s novel City of Dis (New Island) was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, 2015. His play Blue Love was published in 2018 in the Kenyon Review. Literary prizes for drama include the Scottish Community Drama, Cork Arts Theatre and British Theatre Challenge awards. His radio play ‘Vigil’, broadcast on RTE Radio, was shortlisted for an Irish Writers Guild ‘ZeBBie’ in 2018.


Damien Carroll

Damien Carroll is a child of Dublin. As he was born in February his horoscope suggests that he is honest and known for being one of a kind. That line says everything about Damien, never believe in your horoscope.

Damien has been writing poetry for about 3 years and recently become a member of the Dublin Writer’s Forum in Dublin to share his work and be guided by the wisdom of the group.

He likes to keep fit by talking a lot and is mostly found trying to generate a smile, like his profile pic.

Adrienne Christian

Adrienne Christian is a poet & writer, editor, and fine art photographer. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Hayden’s Ferry Review, CALYX, phoebe, The Los Angeles Review as The Editor’s Choice, and dozens other journals and magazines. She is the author of two poetry collections, 12023 Woodmont Avenue (Willow Books, 2013) and A Proper Lover (Main Street Rag, 2017). She is a fellow of both Cave Canem and Callaloo Writing Residencies. In 2007, she won the University of Michigan’s Five Under Ten Young Alumni Award. In 2016, she was a finalist for the Rita Dove International Poetry Award. In 2018, she won the James Gaffney/Society of American Poets Outstanding Poetry Award. In 2019, she won the Marie Sandoz/ Prairies Schooner Short Story Award.

James Croal Jackson

James Croal Jackson (he/him) has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in indefinite space, SHARK REEF, and Pacifica. He edits The Mantle Poetry ( Currently, he works in film production in Pittsburgh, PA. (

Ken Cumberlidge

62 year-old prize-winning* poet and recovering actor Ken Cumberlidge was born in Birkenhead and cut his performance teeth on the Liverpool pub poetry scene of the 1970s.  His work has appeared variously in print and, more recently, in numerous online journals.  Since 2011 Ken has been based in Norwich, but can be lured out of cover by good company and an open mic – a proclivity that has led him to become an habitué of the fetid underworld that is the slam poetry/spoken word scene.  He likes it.  A lot.

* the prize was a chocolate cake.  He guessed its weight.



DAH is a Pushcart Prize and Best Of The Net nominee, and the lead editor for the poetry critique group, The Lounge. The author of nine books of poetry, DAH lives in Berkeley, California, and has been teaching yoga to children in public and private schools since 2005. His tenth poetry book, Waking Love With A Kiss, is due for publication in September 2020.

Holly Day

Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Grain and Harvard Review. Her newest poetry collections are Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), and The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press.

Maurice Devitt

Maurice Devitt, after thirty years plying his trade in the world of Insurance & Banking, decided he wanted to be a poet, so he retired. Now eight years and 200 poems later he has recently published his debut collection, ‘Growing Up in Colour’, with Doire Press.

During those eight years he also completed the MA in Poetry Studies at Mater Dei, won the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition and was placed or shortlisted in many other competitions including The Patrick Kavanagh Award, The Interpreter’s House, Bangor Literary Festival, Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Competition, The Listowel Collection Competition and Cuirt New Writing Award.

Philip Dunkerley

Philip Dunkerley is an active member of open mic communities in Peterborough and Stamford. He is the Poetry Society representative for the Stamford Stanza and runs a U3A Poetry Group in Bourne, where he lives. His poems have been published in Magma, Orbis, Dream Catcher, The Fenland Reed, Ink Sweat and Tears, Obsessed With Pipework, The Blue Nib, and elsewhere. His translations from Portuguese and Spanish, and poetry reviews, have been published in Orbis. His work has appeared in several anthologies, including Poems for Peace with a forward by Benjamin Zephaniah.


Gordon Ferris

Gordon Ferris is a sixty-two old year Dublin writer living in Ballyshannon in Co Donegal for the past thirty-six years. He is a member of the Dublin Writers Forum and has had many poems and short stories published in A New Ulster, Hidden Channel and The Galway Review. 

Caron Freeborn

Caron Freeborn is autistic, perseverating on details others discard. A novelist until gradually she became a poet, her poems have been published in magazines and journals, both with and without her collaborator, photographer Steve Armitage.  As part of winning the Earlyworks competition, her first full poetry collection, Georges Perec is my hero, appeared in 2015. She regularly does spoken word gigs and in 2017, was commissioned to produce an hour-long performance piece in response to the Phantom exhibition at the Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge, curated by artist Jane Boyer.  With Presenting…the Fabulous O’Learys, she has also recently returned to prose fiction. Full-length books:  Novels:Three Blind Mice (Abacus, 2001) Prohibitions (Abacus, 2004) Presenting…the Fabulous O’Learys (Holland House, 2017) Poetry:Georges Perec is my hero (Circaidy Gregory Press, 2015)


Chitra Gopalakrishnan

Chitra is a New Delhi-based journalist by profession, a social development communications consultant by profession and a creative writer by choice.

Her work has been published by Celestial Echo Press, Black Hare Press, Me First Magazine, Reedsy Prompt, 50-word stories, Friday Flash Fiction, Terror House Magazine, Unpublished Platform, Literary Yard, Truancy, Spillwords, Fleas on the Dog, Literati and Runcible Spoon, among others.

John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Transcend, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Blueline, Hawaii Pacific Review and Clade Song.

Michael Griffiths

Michael A. Griffith teaches at Raritan Valley and Mercer County Community Colleges in central NJ. He is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, Bloodline, Exposed, and New Paths to Eden (forthcoming). Recent works appear in Ariel Chart, Impspired, Miletus Literature Review, Pangolin Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, and The Lake. Mike lives near Princeton, NJ.

Michael Grotsky

Michael Grotsky currently lives in Montreal where he is completing his first collection of short stories, Spinning the Sensualist, which will appear in 2020. He has written fiction and non-fiction for various literary reviews, including the Berkeley Fiction Review and the Berkeley Poetry Review. He wrote the introduction to Dah’s “Something Else’s Thoughts.”


John Higgins

John Higgins is a 23-year-old Irish writer. His work has been featured in The Blue Nib, New Pop Lit, and Honest Ulsterman, among others. He lives in Galway. You can find his work on Twitter: @JohnhigginsW.


Jason Irwin

Jason Irwin is the author of the forthcoming collection The History of Our Vagrancies (Main Street Rag), A Blister of Stars (Low Ghost, 2016), Watering the Dead (Pavement Saw Press, 2008), winner of the Transcontinental Poetry Award, and the chapbooks Where You Are (Night Ballet Press, 2014), & Some Days It’sA Love Story (Slipstream Press, 2005). He has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. He lives in Pittsburgh.

Ilhem Issaoui

Ilhem Issaoui is a 27-year-old Tunisian researcher and writer. Some of her poems and short stories have appeared both online and in print.She is also the author of a collection of poems entitled Fragments of a Wounded Soul.


Gaynor Kane

Gaynor Kane lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She came to writing late in life, after finishing her Open University BA(Hons) degree with a creative writing module in 2015. Mainly a writer of poetry, she has had work published in journals and anthologies in the UK, Ireland and America. In 2018, Hedgehog Poetry Press launched their Stickleback series with her micro-collection ‘Circling the Sun’, which is about some of the early women pilots. Gaynor has just released her chapbook ‘Memory Forest’, also from Hedgehog Press. That is a thematically tight collection about burial rituals and last wishes. She is currently putting the finishing touches to her debut full collection, after receiving an Arts Council NI grant in 2019, which allowed her writing time and mentoring and editing services.

Sarah Mackey Kirby

Sarah Mackey Kirby is a poet and writer from the United States. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Connecticut River Review, Dream Noir, Punk Noir, Rat’s Ass Review, and US News & World Report. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Louisville. She and her husband live in Kentucky.

Michael Kroth

Michael Kroth is an Associate Professor in the Adult, Organizational Learning and Leadership Program at the University of Idaho – Boise.  He has written or co-authored five books including Transforming Work: The Five Keys to Achieving Trust, Commitment, and Passion in the Workplace (2001); The Manager as Motivator (2006); Career Development Basics (2009); and Managing the Mobile Workforce: Leading, Building, and Sustaining Virtual Teams (2010). Stories of Transformative Learning is his latest book. His latest project is Profound Living with Michael Kroth (, an online site with essays, photos, and poetry dedicated to contemplating what it means to live a profound life.


Edward Lee

Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His debut poetry collection “Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.
He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.
His blog/website can be found at

Claire Loader

Claire Loader is a New Zealand born writer now living in County Galway.  Her work has appeared in various publications including Crannóg, The Cormorant & The Cabinet of Heed.


Julia McNamara

Julia McNamara is an emerging writer and poet from southern Ireland who received her BA in English and Psychology from University College, Cork. When she isn’t writing she is applying make-up as a form of inexpensive therapy/temporary disguise, while ruminating on where it all went wrong. Her favourite whiskey is Jameson. @JuliaMcNamara_x


Chad Norman

Chad Norman lives beside the high-tides of the Bay of Fundy, in what is known as the hub of Nova Scotia. 

He has given talks and readings in Denmark, Sweden, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, America, and across Canada.

His poems continue to appear in publications around the world and have been translated into Danish, Albanian,  Romanian, Turkish, and Italian.

His latest collections are Selected & New Poems ( Mosaic Press, Oakville, Ontario, Canada), and Waking Up On The Wrong Side Of the Sky (Grant Block Press, Truro, N.S., Canada). A new collection, Squall: Poems In The Voice Of Mary Shelley, is due out Spring, 2020.


Edward O’Dwyer

Edward O’Dwyer’s poetry collections, The Rain on Cruise’s Street and Bad News, Good News, Bad News (Salmon Poetry, 2014 & 2017) have drawn frequent comparisons with Raymond Carver and Billy Collins. They’ve been Highly Commended in the Forward Prizes, and the latter contains the Michael Hartnett Festival 2018 award-winning poem, ‘The Whole History of Dancing’. His third book is a dark comedy flash fiction collection, Cheat Sheets (Truth Serum Press, 2018), which featured on The Lonely Crowd journal’s ‘Best Books of 2018’ list. Donal Ryan refers to them as “wicked little gems”, while Tanya Farrelly compares them to “Woody Allen at his best” when referring to the collection as “a side-splitting study on the absurdity of human behaviour.” Exquisite Prisons, his third collection of poems, is due from Salmon Poetry in Spring 2020. A sequel to Cheat Sheets is already finished, and he is currently working on a first novel. Edward lives in Limerick.

Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

Abigail Elizabeth Ottley (formerly Wyatt) writes poetry – and some short fiction – from her home in Penzance in Cornwall. Since 2009, her work has appeared in more than 150 journals, magazines and anthologies including The Blue Nib, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Atrium Poetry and Words With Jam. She was also one of the poets featured in Wave Hub: new poetry from Cornwall (2014) edited by Dr Alan M Kent and published by Francis Boutle. In 2019, 12 of her poems were translated into Romanian for Pro Saeculum and Banchetul. For this, much gratitude to translator and bilingual poet, Mariana Gardner. In the same year, Abigail’s poem ‘Bull Male, Sleeping’ was chosen for ‘Poems on the Move’ at the Guernsey Literary Festival. (formerly Wyatt) writes poetry – and some short fiction – from her home in Penzance in Cornwall. Since 2009, her work has appeared in more than 150 journals, magazines and anthologies including The Blue Nib, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Atrium Poetry and Words With Jam. She was also one of the poets featured in Wave Hub: new poetry from Cornwall (2014) edited by Dr Alan M Kent and published by Francis Boutle. In 2019, 12 of her poems were translated into Romanian for Pro Saeculum and Banchetul. For this, much gratitude to translator and bilingual poet, Mariana Gardner. In the same year, Abigail’s poem ‘Bull Male, Sleeping’ was chosen for ‘Poems on the Move’ at the Guernsey Literary Festival.


Ivan Peledov

Ivan Peledov lives in Colorado. He loves to travel and to forget the places he has visited. He has been recently published in Goat’s Milk Magazine, The Collidescope, iō Literary Journal, and Wend Poetry.

Linnet Phoenix

Linnet Phoenix is a poet based in Bristol in the South West of England. She has been writing poetry for years. She also enjoys riding her Icelandic horse in the countryside.

Andrea Potos

Andrea Potos is the author of nine poetry collections, including Mothershell (Kelsay Books), A Stone to Carry Home (Salmon Poetry), Arrows of Light (Iris Press), An Ink Like Early Twilight (Salmon Poetry), and Yaya’s Cloth (Iris Press).  Her poems have been published widely in print and online, including in The Sun, Poetry East, Peacock Journal, and   She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.


Matt Spittles

Matthew has written since an early age and recently published ‘Beginnings’, a collection of his more recent poetry. Drawing inspiration from the countryside
his work explores the wildlife and wonders of the natural world. Matthew moved to Lincolnshire eight years ago and attends writing groups in Sleaford, Lincoln and Stamford. He also qualified as a Hill & Moorland Leader earlier this year.


Robbie Taylor

I don’t write for therapeutic reasons, or as a means of catharsis.

My dad had  a  Toyota Catharsis  and it was a terrible ride, so I write for the simple reason that writing is easy, writing is a bumpless road paved with good inflections… once you don’t concern yourself with quality… or critique… or self-awareness… manage that, and writing is easy, honestly, so simple that even I can do it. Plays are hard though, as in technically, as in remembering who said what and to whom, that sort of thing, and poems, poems are hard, not just the rhyming, but the non-rhyming ones as well, and novels, they are sooooooo long and you have to be careful you don’t forget what they are about, and short stories are really hard, harder than novels because you have to say as much but not write as much… yeah, writing is really easy, really really easy.

Ron Torrence

Ron Torrence published his first short story at age 50 and his first poem at age 80. Even so his firction, non-fiction and poetry is pretty widely published. He’s also written five novels and a screen play, all unpublished. Much more to do. His work has appeared in American Writer’s Review, Crack The Spine, The Dirty Goat, Dos Passos Review, Existere Journal, Forge, The MacGuffin, Menda City Review, Nassau Review, riverSedge, Orange Willow Review, Slipstream, Eureka Literary Magazine, Oxalis, Ash, Potent Aphrodisiac, Rockhurst Review, The Tower Journal, Thereby Hangs A Tale, Typo, Sour Grapes, Circuit Traces, RE:AL, Reflections Literary Journal, way station magazine, West Wind Review, Wild Violet, Yellow Mama and Pleasant Living.


Robert Walicki

Robert Walicki’s work has appeared in and is forthcoming in a number of publications including, Chiron Review, The City Paper, Fourth River, Signal Mountain Review, Red River Review, and others. A Pushcart and a Best of The Net nominee, Robert currently has two chapbooks published: A Room Full of Trees (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014) and The Almost Sound of Snow Falling (Night Ballet Press, 2015). His first full length collection of poems, “Black Angels” is currently available from Six Gallery Press, and his most recent collection. “Fountain” is now available at Main Street Rag Press

Patricia Walsh

Patricia Walsh was born and raised in the parish of Mourneabbey, Co Cork.  Her first collection of poetry titled Continuity Errors was published in 2010, and a novel titled the Quest for Lost Éire, in 2014.  Her poetry has been published in Southword; Narrator International; Third Point Press, Revival Journal; Seventh Quarry; Hesterglock Press; The Quarryman; Unlikely Stories; and Otherwise Engaged.  A further collection of poetry, titled Outstanding Balance, is scheduled for publication in March of 2020.  She was the featured poet in the inaugural edition of Fishbowl Magazine, and is a regular attendee at the O Bheal poetry night in Cork city.

Amy Wyatt

Amy Louise Wyatt is a poet from Bangor, Northern Ireland.  Her work is published in a range of Irish and international journals.  Amy was shortlisted for both the Seamus Heaney Award 2018 and The Dempsey and Windle National Poetry Day Competition 2019.  She was a finalist in The National Funeral Services Poetry Competition in 2017; and was nominated for 2019 Best of Net.  Amy won the inaugural Poetrygram Prize in 2019.  She is the founding editor of The Bangor Literary Journal. Her debut poetry pamphlet ‘A Language I Understand’ is forthcoming in 2020 with Indigo Dreams.