Issue 5: Black

Black is a colour of mystery, of darkness and often of evil. Animals, insects and birds that are feared are invariably black in colour – cats, ravens, crows, bats, beetles and so on. Black is seen in charred ruins and the aftermath of burning. Black can also be beautiful and stylish – the tuxedo and little black dress are timeless classics, the basalt landscapes of volcanic Northern Europe against the white skies in winter are a wonderful sight. We associate black with many things and it is one of the most interesting colours to write about.

Not surprisingly, we had a record number of entries for the prompt of black and it took us longer than usual to sift through the wonderful pieces of writing we received. Being honest, most of the entries happened to be poetry but this is probably unsurprising given the colour. There were 15 times the number of poems than pieces of fiction in total. Picking a winning piece of writing is certainly not black and white, and it was particularly difficult to choose between the top three poems, each of which were totally different.

In the poetry section, the poem that won did so because the poet managed to capture the sound of blackness in the calls of the raven. The poem, Corvus, written by Wicklow native, Pauline Flynn, was extremely clever in the interruptions of raven calls, even making the poem jar at just the right moment before bringing the reader skillfully back to the landscape she is describing. It is sparse, dark and black. The end of the poem is a list, which reads like a catalogue of ink. A wonderful piece of work. However, as the standard was so high this month, I am giving two honourable mentions to Alice Kinsella and Colin Dardis who wrote two excellent poems on the theme. Alice’s poem was about a black dress and touched me with its humour as an original way to record the eternal problem of never having anything to wear. Colin’s poem was a well-crafted piece of poetry and contained only 45 words and not one was out of place. Read the Poem here >>

Our featured fiction writer is Emmaleene Leahy with her 100 word piece of Flash Fiction called Gone. Rozz Lewis, our fiction editor said: “I really like the way this story was written. The switch and pace of the “you” and “I” throughout matches the jumpiness of the flame and the striking of the matches. The colours of piece are connected well to our theme this month. I loved the shortness and the need for its voice to be heard. It’s a risky take on words. Loved!” Read the story here >>

About the author

Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis' first collection of poetry, Jewtown, was published by Doire Press in 2016.

One Response to Black

  • A Black Day for Poetry

    […] of the world, though that might happen four days later … On 16th January it's the deadline for Sixteen Magazine's submissions for issue 5, on the theme of Black. Click on the link to read more about the theme and […]

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