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Bodies and Other Haunted Houses

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The winning entry of the Poetry Wales Pamphlet Competition 2021, as selected by Matthew Haig, Nia Morais, and Taz Rahman. Described by judges as 'strong and self-assured', 'sheer gorgeous', and 'a dark and brooding collection that combines the visceral nature of the body with the ephemeral and supernatural', S.L. Grange's collection bodies, and other haunted houses, is a beautifully crafted exploration of identity which queers time as well as self. Speaking from and for LGBTQIA+ communities, S.L. Grange gives a voice to lost transcestors, celebrates acts of resistance, sings a gender-fluid love song, and hosts a tender-angry conversation with the ghosts of the personal and political histories that inhabit us.

In true haunted house tradition, the non-human and the supernatural are also given rooms of their own; personal demons are summoned, we are entangled with our wilder sides. Witchcraft, seance and prophecy are invoked and brought up against sharp slices of reality.

S.L. Grange is a queer writer, theatre-maker and multi-disciplinary artist. Their recent work includes A Note to Mary Frith, commissioned by Shakespeare’s Globe for the Notes to Forgotten She-Wolves series; of his family commissioned by Improbable for Fly the Flag 2020; Wou D’Ulzecht, an audio-walk project with composer Catherine Kontz commissioned for European Capital of Culture 2022. They are currently engaged in a PhD exploring more ethical ways that we might ‘do’ Queer history, and in turn how that history might do us, which involves a conversation across 400 years with cross-dressing performer and trickster Mary Frith.

The Poetry Wales Pamphlet Competition is open only to writers living in the UK aged 18+ who have not previously published a collection and are currently under-represented in publishing in the UK, including working-class writers, writers of colour, disabled writers, neurodiverse writers and LGBTQI+ writers.