What’s in my Bag – The Content Writer

Following our series of looking in the bags of writers this week we look into the bag of student and content writer, Holly Royle:
I manage to squeeze quite a lot in my Gothic Victorian style handbag. Most importantly, pens and my Victoria Frances diary which helps me to stay reasonably organised and has space for noting down any inspiration I may acquire whilst going about my day. This is my favourite diary which I purchase every year. The artwork it contains by Victoria Frances is in itself, a good source of inspiration for writing. I often carry a book for any spare moments I may have during the day. My current favourite read is ‘How to be a Victorian’ by historian Ruth Goodman. I usually prefer fiction however, I find this book very enjoyable to read. Goodman explores the everyday life of a Victorian and provides information which is not always told as the focus is often on the upper-classes and royalty. As you can probably tell by now, I have a great interest in Victorian literature and culture. As well as these items, I often have my earphones and iPod with me for blocking out background noise when writing, or to provide inspiration. I find certain songs can evoke memories or ideas that can assist with my writing. It is not uncommon for me to have some snacks and a drink with me, especially if I am going to be out and about for a while. So, this is my bag… what’s in yours?

What’s in my bag? – The Poet

Words and Picture by Joshua Cialis

The lives of poets have always been interesting to outside viewers so this article may shed a light on the what some poets carry around with them. Obviously not all poets carry the same things but there are some tools of the trade that are needed all the time.

Today we will be looking in the bag of Joshua Cialis a student and poet:

I carry quite a lot round with me on a regular basis normally in my Red Wing tote bag which I bought while on holiday last summer. The obvious notebook and pen is in there but also a pencil to underline circle or annotate notes. I use an A6 plain Waterstones notebook as my rough field notebook and then have a neater notebook for developments and journal that I leave at home. I almost always carry two books with me; whichever novel I’m reading and a book of poetry. I am currently reading Visions of Cody by Jack Kerouac and my poetry of choice today is Gold from the Stone by Lemn Sissay. Both these books feel very contemporary and fresh, even though the Kerouac was written in the 50s and the poetry spans the later half of the last century up till now. I also always carry a recycled bottle of water for those longer walks and to prevent me going in to buy a coffee. Generally I’ll carry some headphones too, but these are generally kept on my head. I find it easier to shut out the world and write – unless of course I’m writing about the sounds. These are what I carry everyday however, I sometimes add a camera into the bag, or a snack, or any other books I might want to read.


Don’t worry Foxtrot Uniform isn’t on the way out so carry on sending your poetry, prose and art to our email to get published in the Spring Issue. However, Jade, one of our founders and editorial staff has decided that she can no longer continue working for Foxtrot Uniform due to personal commitments. We wish her luck in the continuation of her studies and we look forward to any poetry she sends us in the future. Here’s what she has to say:

Dear Readers,
I have decided to finish working here at Foxtrot Uniform. I have too many other responsibilities regarding university, and I am also leaving for various personal reasons; so I shall now not be working for Foxtrot. This announcement is to make my departure official. I have had several gaps in my work here due to complications in my personal life, and therefore intend to make this final.
I have enjoyed working here, and it has been an experience that I have learned from. I wish the magazine all the best for the future.

In the meantime carry on sending work to foxtrotuniformpoetry@gmail.com

Music and literature: two creative mediums that go hand in hand.

Words by Holly Royle, picture by various (contributors referenced in pictures) edited by Joshua Cialis

One of the first merges of music and literature that I imagine most will think of is, or course, Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights. This is an example of how literature can be reinterpreted into a form of music. But did you know? There is a Danish heavy metal band in existence who go by the name of Wuthering Heights? Here is a link to their website for those of you interested in discovering more: http://www.wuthering-heights.dk/
Another link between music and literature which many are aware of is Bob Dylan winning the Nobel prize for Literature in 2016. This was covered significantly at the time so I will not be going into extensive detail, but it is a prime example of the overlap between music and literature. Song lyrics often have a narrative, tell a story and can involve some very descriptive language. Of course, this varies between music genres and individual song writers.
There are far more literary influences in music than perhaps expected for example, Dutch symphonic metal band Delain have taken inspiration from Oscar Wilde. The track Hands of Gold from their latest album Moonbathers (2016) contains a verse based on Wilde’s poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven was transformed into a psychedelic rock track in 1969 by The Glass Prism. The verses of the poem work incredibly well as sung lyrics with the instrumentation, although I personally think it would be interesting if interpreted in the genre of Gothic rock. Another example is David Bowie’s 1984, based on George Orwell’s novel.
Music and literature are two mediums that both allow for the telling of stories and creative expression, hence why they work so effectively together and can be interchangeable. The advantage of literature is that it allows for greater description, character speech and can be any length. Song lyrics do not always work so easily with inclusion of speech, and long descriptions would cause very lengthy tracks. However, music gives an added dimension through the auditory senses. Atmospheric music can add so much detail to lyrics which may be difficult to portray in words. As a lover of literature and music I find the ability to combine the two is fantastic. The combination of mediums and reinterpretation of literature across the two can create some fascinating results.
You can listen to the tracks mentioned in this article through the following links:
Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW3gKKiTvjs
Delain’s Hands of Gold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n4Jh7r28cM
The Glass Prism’s The Raven: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7tQHZqotvA
Bowie’s 1984: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KByxC7B9WH0
I am curious to know if you agree with my love of the two creative mediums and also what do you think of the songs I have provided as examples?


2018: Just Another Year?

Words and Picture by Reece David Merrifield

2017 has gone and I doubt that many of us will forget it so quickly. It has been a turbulent year, mainly politically, across our planet and one would suspect that many writers, fiction or nay, will be revelling in the prospect of hoovering up the messy house of last year and redistributing it into our bookstores.

But is that it for now? Can we keep up this ferocious, perpetual wheel of major news, chaos and the like for another year? Well, all I can say is I’m here hoping that it will, as through all the strife and insecurity that we have seen hit us, it gives myself and others time to sift through the idiocy and bewilderment and pinpoint how we can make our lives and that of others just that little bit better, even on a small scale. As we see the world separating, there can also be a seven degrees of separation, a dissemination of bright new ideas, cultural revolutions and burgeoning prospects; to learn from not only our mistakes but all others as well, and even further from that, to learn what is right about the world and to value that which is already there, so as not to lose it.

Here’s to fun, continual personal development, and a Belated Happy New Year.




Writing Resolutions

Happy New Year!

The beginning of a new year is usually the time that a lot of us choose to make changes to our life. Whether our resolution is to get fit or stop drinking alcohol or to make some other grand change. Just a little change could make all the difference though. Choosing to write just a short poem or short story could be step towards a year of happiness and clear mindedness.

It has been proven that writing just a little a day can help us to understand what it is that we’re thinking and that this little poem or story is actually a little nugget of our mind that we have written down and now can potentially understand a little better. It has also been proven that writing can help us to relax – and who doesn’t need that in their life.
For those trying to find themselves in 2018 poetry can also be a way that allows you to understand and forge the identity that you want, writing also helps for you to share that identity if you want to show your poetry with someone.

So maybe this is your year to become the next Yeats, Kaur, Ginsberg, just add your name to the list. Make writing your resolution and send us some work to get it published.