Updated: Oct 7
Hey all! This summer as an intern for EH*V, I helped organise the Creative Writing Contest which we launched in August 2020. We welcomed all entries under 500 words (prose or poetry) in response to the prompt we provided : “Reflect on a recent victory or loss.” The theme was kept fairly broad to encourage a wide range of writing in response. We received entries offering deeply personal and powerful insights into our prompt from talented writers around the world, which will be included in a forthcoming summer collective exploring identities. Below are the top three pieces of writing, as determined by the wonderful Bee Rowlatt. I’m so so grateful to everyone that participated, and I really hope you’ve enjoyed having an outlet to practice your creative writing. See you next year, and lots of love!
A guide to finding yourself (in the kitchen) – Freya Child
I could come to love you.
Barefoot in the kitchen at 2:33 am,
clearing up glass shards.
You turn to look at me. I’m sorry.
Your voice betrays you,
a victory dance in the fragments
of what this glass used to be.
I’m taken back. Confused,
peeling the dry skin from my fingers.
You move slowly,
perfectly. You know me.
You are me.
Confident and courageous.
I love you for everything you’ve lost
and everything you searched for.
Your place in this world is for me.
But the reflection disappears
as I throw away the remaining glass
tiny mirrors in the black bin.
I am you.
Barefoot in the kitchen at 2:34
on a cold Tuesday morning.
Walking – Daniela Mayhew
I jump between patches of streetlight, fearing the dark- not for its tentacled, grizzly monsters but the shadows of human figures echoes of footsteps which make my heart shake and my step race. Keys in the front door feels like a victory - to have returned home and somehow kept my body as my own; to have escaped lewd words thrown at me; stares which claim me, hold me underneath- and for this to feel like power, like freedom I realise I must have none.
I’ve forgotten my name – Tamilore Clinton
I often forget my name
I forget how the letters are arranged, how they lay side by side to become a melody, sometimes misfortune often a memory
I forget why the name exists perhaps if I even exist
I wonder why it follows me like a shadow at evenings o’clock, why it tails me when I’m mad, and when I’m sad and when I’m happy and I’m crazy and when I’m mundane
Most times I laugh in the mirror when I forget, I see my black skin, my guided pleasures, my unbridled spirit and I just laugh
I laugh cause I’ve forgotten my name
I’ve merged her into languages I can’t even recognise
Given her accents to make her more palatable, put her in scripts to make me a version of myself I do not recognise
A new normal that frankly isn’t just me
Tonight I will attempt to remember my name
To remember the melody it creates when it forms on my tongues, the little intonation when it goes ah or oh
Tonight I will sleep knowing I remember the meaning of my name