Important changes to our funding plans and the future of Inside The Bell Jar.
Captain’s log, Stardate January 2011. Where unfortunately many have gone before. I’m twenty-six years old and thinking about dying… actually, I’m not being entirely truthful. I’m very much in the midst of a suicide attempt.
We have been publishing quarterly issues online for a year, but are now seeking to transition into print. Our first issue is due to be published in September. Want to submit? Read more to find out how.
‘Relapse’ by Natalie Holborow is the personal story of the writer’s struggle with an eating disorder, contrasting the beauty of the poem’s language with its harrowing theme. Through its remarkably strong imagery and almost magical tone, Holborow offers the reader an exceptionally rare and intimate glimpse into the life of a person living with an eating disorder.
Jessica Simonetti’s ‘Aliza n. she means joy’ is a complex, Virginia Woolf-esque story with a multitude of layers – so many so, that it had our editors arguing over its meaning, and includes a word from the writer as to her intention. Regardless, it is a beautifully-written, sorrowful look at depression and hope in the lives of two main characters – Aliza, and the lighthouse man.
‘Mirror Killings’ is a surrealist examination of skewed perspectives. Whether the unreliable narrator is struggling with depersonalisation or psychosis, the overarching theme of anorexia and the masks we wear is utterly well-written, and is brimming with dark, foreboding imagery and atmosphere.
Udaiyaathathu is a triumph of form and theme. In structure, it is named after the same Southeast Asia poetic form whereby the first word of every line must be the last word of the next line, and so on so that the poem is unending from last to first lines. In theme, it is a poem about victim blaming and ultimately strength, its portrayal unflinching from differing point of views. In short, this is one of the most powerful poems that we have published.
‘Small’ is a poem born out of solitude and beauty in nature. Rosie Sandler’s natural imagery is striking, its minute details following the writer’s own shrinking into a world that becomes smaller and smaller as the rhythm simultaneously becomes slower. Take a breath and read this one aloud.
Durre Shahwar’s strength lies in her strong form, the repetition of ‘I wanted to tell you’ throughout the poem a sorrowful rhythm, beating out the struggle that one feels at every turn of a life with mental illness. There is beauty in the darkness here, a mask that hides the truth.