World Book Day

Far from simply being an opportunity for school children to dress up as book characters, World Book Day is an opportunity for us to share our favourite books. Therefore, we are sharing our ultimate reading list here. Our reading list is not an exaustative list of our favourite books but they are, in our minds, the best universal reads.

Joshua’s reading List

Hamlet – William Shakespeare

The Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac

The Outsiter – Albert Camus

Down and Out in Paris and London – George Orwell

The Lesser Bohemians – Eimar McBride

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter – Carson McCullers

The Complete Poems of Allen Ginsberg

The Collected Dylan Thomas

The Selected Poems of Frank O’Hara

The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chobsky

Feral – George Monbiot

Reece’s List

Spring and All – William Carlos Williams

Player of Games – Iain M. Banks

Trainspotting – Irvine Walsh

Master and Margarita – Bulgakov

Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick

Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata

Songs of Innocence and Experience – William Blake

The Overcoat and Other Stories – Gogol

HHhH – Laurent Binet

The Outsider – Albert Camus

The Tempest – William Shakespeare

Woody Allen’s Short Stories

Volpone – Ben Jonson

Publishing opportunity

This is just a reminder that if you would like to be considered for publication in the next issue of Foxtrot Uniform, you need to send us an email with some work. We are accepting poetry, prose and art.

We are looking for new and exciting ideas, forms and images for publication in our upcoming print magazine. We want to see your work!!

If you’d like your creativity published send it to us in the next 3 weeks. The email address is

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:
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:
Delain’s Hands of Gold:
The Glass Prism’s The Raven:
Bowie’s 1984:
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?


The Uncanny Enigma of a Segmented Soul – a poem

Words and Picture by Holly Royle

Emily Brontë’s only novel Wuthering Heights, published in 1847 explores the restraints of society, distortion of identity and the significance of death – despite many labelling the novel simply as a love story. This is my favourite novel as it explores such dark themes, I find it both fascinating whether reading for pleasure or academic study. The following poem is based on the character Catherine Earnshaw.
The Uncanny Enigma of a Segmented Soul – by Holly Royle
Midnight arrives,
by the witching hour: expiration.
We are told you were unconscious, insensible, unresponsive,
but was that purely their perspective?
Those two voices that narrate your life, choose what will be heard
and what will not.
One of them knew you in your infancy,
The other in a childhood nightmare,
what audacity! He must claim to understand your mind
in vain attempts to obtain your future daughter.
A child of nature, a creature of freedom
not confined to supposed, beneficial rule.
Your heart yearned to return to your humble home, yet you lay in luxury sorrow.
Your mind was judged and treated accordingly, when will they learn
that what they think
is not always so.
How you haunted him.
Did you let him invade your grave?
Or maybe it was all a dream inside his head?
Oh dearest Catherine, what your life should have been
without interference.

The October Review

Words by the Founders; Photo by Rafe Usher-Harris

Each month Foxtrot Uniform will be reviewing new books, poetry, plays, music or events that we have experienced over the passing month. October has held a lot: Catalonia declared independence, ending in Spanish arrests and crisis; Hollywood and Westminster have been gripped by sexual assault allegations. Yet, the month has been a good one for us, with the publication of the first issue of our magazine. It’s also been a good month for the literary community as you’ll see in this month’s review:

Penguin Modern Poets 6: Die Deeper into Life
By Claudia Rankine, Maggie Nelson, and Denise Riley
Published by Penguin, 26th October 2017

A reboot of the 1960-70’s series, this sixth volume of the Penguin Modern Poets series bridges the gap between poetry and prose with long and short pieces by two American and one English poet. An amazing place for the seasoned poetry reader to rekindle a passion, Modern Poets is also a great way for new readers to delve into the world of poetry. With sweeping poems that fall onto both portrait and landscape pages, this really is the world of contemporary poetry. Each of the poets in this collection have jobs outside poetry ensuring that the poems are truly ‘real-world’ poems; from history and philosophy to Marxist politics this really is poetry for the world.

From Here To Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death 
By Caitlin Doughty
Published by. W.W. Norton & Company, 3rd October 2017

In a search for the ‘good death’, Caitlin Doughty explores different cultures’ ways of treating their dead. She discovers and participates in powerful death rituals, that are mostly unknown in the Western world, and discusses a topic which society usually avoids.

Coupled with beautiful illustrations, and Caitlin’s own experience of being a mortician and running a funeral home, it is a book which allows you to explore various different cultures ways of treating their dead. From Japan, Bolivia, Indonesia, Mexico, to Spain, it is both eye-opening and wonderfully intriguing. Definitely one for those interested in the treatment of death and cultural differences.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing
By E.K. Johnston
Published by Penguin Young Readers Group, 3rd October 2017

Set in the near future, That Inevitable Victorian Thing follows the princess of the empire, Victoria–Margaret, who is a descendant of Victoria I. The princess, due to marry, first has a summer of freedom.

Johnston inventively explores the significance of Queen Victoria as a strong, powerful figure who made significant changes in the course of history with a futuristic twist. The novel involves Victorian values of marriage in a postmodern setting using DNA to create suitable matches. This exploration of the nature of relationships and attitudes towards social conventions is applicable to our current society.

A Glossary of Years
By Linda Rose Parkes
Published by Under The Radar, Issue 19, Summer 2017


A poem in fragmented structure discussing the struggle translating German words learnt from her years spent in Germany into English.


Structuring the poem with very little punctuation and harsh gaps between sentences represents the gap in translation between German to English in a very broken way, almost saying ‘these are German words, not perfect in English but why must they be?’. The narrator comes across as breathless in the first part of the poem, compressing definitions and historical artefacts together, making the reader uncomfortable on purpose (and I suspect I feel something very different to a reader who could speak both English and German.) The one stanza that stands out is the smallest: ‘die Scheide vagina / Separation   die Scheidung’. Such clever use of form, space on the page and translation in just six words: a perfect microcosm of the poem that I think sums up what the poet is trying to get across.





Hot Off the Press!

Today is the day: Foxtrot Uniform becomes a physical entity! We have picked up our magazine from the printers. The paper is still warm and the ink is still drying.

You can order your hard copy online by emailing us ( or if you know one of the founders contact them and they will give you a copy; printed copies cost £1.50. Or as an introductory offer we will send you a digital copy for free. Again just email us.

Yours creatively,

Joshua and the rest of the Foxtrot Uniform team.

Sweden Bound

Our very own Reece Merrifield is off on a study year abroad to Sweden. Although he will still be on the Foxtrot Uniform team he may not have as much time to post as he always does. So here it is Reece, GOOD LUCK and See you soon!

Here is his poem ‘On Reading’:

On Reading
A writer builds a ladder out of words for eyes to climb and transcend towards
A multitude of clouds
Clouds of Victorian romance
Clouds of feminist breakthroughs
Clouds streaming in and out of consciousness
Clouds of sonnets, clouds of haiku
Clouds of Orwellian warnings
Clouds that reign over distant solar systems
Clouds that precipitate in more than one way

The eyes are captured within the shape of a teardrop and
land in a barren ocean
swimming back to shore to search for the feet of
authors, essayists, poets,
take a trip to the floor so they can hold your hand,
lift your senses,
exchange awkward, brisk

Hello’s and goodbye’s
Mentioning a name in-between
Jump on the rungs once more.


Ears in Cafés pt. II

Words and Pictures by Holly Royle

Later than usual, but here is the second instalment for our Monday Special written by Holly Royle…

The Café and I

I walk through the door and leave behind reality. I enter a universe of imagination and wonder. The shelves filled with books from floor to ceiling, each contain another world.

I sit down with my cup of tea at the wooden table and start to flick through a newspaper. It makes reality seem like just another world to read about.

I finish my tea and walk down the spiral staircase to the basement. I browse through the ongoing bookshelves. The oddities carefully placed among the books make me smile. The raven shaped book ends, Gothic candelabras, trinket boxes and tarot cards. I am not at all surprised by the skeleton leaning against the wall in the corner of the room. He smiles at me and I smile back.

I head back up the spiral staircase. The number of people in the cafe have increased. I see the wonder on the faces as the browse the shelves of different worlds. I smile to myself as I head through the door into the sunshine, and I see the world in an even better light.

Personal Libraries

Words by Jade Hainsworth-Walsh. Picture by Joshua Cialis

‘A bookshelf is as particular to its owner as are his or her clothes; a personality is stamped on a library just as a shoe is shaped by the foot.’  – Alan Bennett

As an avid reader and book collector, I am particularly interested in other people’s book collections. How are the books kept? Where are they kept? What kinds of books? How many books? Very true to the quote from Alan Bennett, I believe that the books people buy and read are very unique to them as a person. In relation to this, I am also fascinated with looking at famous author’s book collections, and how many books they have. I decided to do some research and look into what books particular authors had, and how many they had collected.

Here is a list of examples:
Ernest Hemmingway: 7,418 books
Lewis Carol: 2,600 books
Graham Greene: 2,522 books
William Butler Yeats: 2,284 books
James Joyce: 1,400+ books
Sylvia Plath: 1,001 books
Bram Stoker: 810+ books
Anne Sexton: 766 books

To acquire this information, I used a section of the website ‘Library Thing’ called Legacy Libraries. The Legacy Library is a source where famous historical people’s books are catalogued, and are there for public viewing. You can find many more different authors’ book collections here on their website:

I looked at our own personal book collections here at Foxtrot Uniform.
Foxtrot Uniform’s Libraries:
Joshua: 250 (approx.)
Jade: 300 (approx.)
Reece: 200 (approx.)
Holly: 200 books (approx.)
In comparison to the other list, it looks like we have many more books to buy! Let us know how many books your personal library has in the comments.