In this edition we are delighted to feature for you a range of work including a short film, animation, artwork, a music video, spoken word, photography, short stories, and poetry - with some of the contributors combining more than one medium.
We are honoured to feature the short film ‘Book Lovers’, written and directed by Lisa Fulthorpe, which in the opening sequence features one of the characters taking a book from a shelf and inhaling its aroma. The film was shot in a dusty bookstore in Brighton and it brings a whole new meaning to the process of withdrawing a book…be careful book lovers, for you may just have more withdrawn on your next visit to your local bookshop.
William Greene, from Charleston, South Carolina, provides us with an original song and music video called ‘White Light’, about the sense of withdrawal one experiences after being dumped by a lover. The video represents the awkward and painful effort of trying to recover, it takes us backward through time, giving us the feeling of what it is like to try to recover the sense of the person before such a relationship whilst at the same time highlighting that, although now alone, things have to move forward.
In terms of artwork, we have a selection of images by Nick Green, which capture a sense of individual withdrawal through the blurring of structure and form in depicting people’s faces. These images remind us of the black and white photographs of Bog Bodies, how the withdrawal of life itself can still leave behind an imprint, an image, that challenges us to interpret and find meaning in it. We also have the otherworldly images, and animation, by George Bailey, who seeks to depict our inner thoughts and narratives showing the confrontation that occurs between the world lived in our minds and the physical one which we often seek to withdraw from.
We are delighted to welcome back Kip Harris and to feature a series of his photographs which encapsulate a sense of individual withdrawal, whether the subject of the image being withdrawn, or the subject challenging the photographer to withdraw from the location and from taking the shot. We also have a series of evocative photographic images from Anna Battersby, which sit alongside two of her poems, providing a sense of visual poetry in their own right. Anna trusts in creating poetry of the moment, experiencing her own state of withdrawal akin to being in a meditative state, or to being a conduit through which emotions are channelled. The poems featured here were created whilst undergoing a painful withdrawal from her relationship with a long-term partner and the father of her daughters.
Elinora Westfall's, video poetry titled ‘I am Winter’, is an autobiographical spoken word piece inspired by the withdrawal and destruction of the self that happens when an individual is trapped within an emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive relationship with a narcissist. A piece in which Elinora highlights the often invisible and ignored effects of narcissistic abuse within the LGBT+ community, and which gives voice to those who need it most. We have a spoken word piece of poetry by Frances Pope, titled ‘Exp’, about the bitter feeling of non-forgiveness, and the realisation that something’s been fundamentally withdrawn and lost. Gary Beck, whose work we have featured in previous editions, gives us the poem ‘Gentrification’, which covers the gentrifying effects experienced in Harlem which has led to the withdrawal of previous residents who can no longer afford spiralling rents. Hesse Phillips gives us the poem ‘How We Became Gods By Disappearing’ which conveys the many forms withdrawal can take in response to oppression and violence, and how there can often be a fine line between evanescence and escape. Clara McShane’s poem, ‘Withdrawing’ looks at the experience of withdrawal from a relationship, romantic or otherwise, and how remembering the person as they were can often be compromised by painful emotions, time, and cognitive biases. We also welcome back Alicia Turner, whose three poems included here cover the feeling of withdrawal that we can experience when confronted by specific situations and events, or occurrences that may appear to be random, but which leave us with an unshakeable sense of detachment and withdrawal.
We also have a whole range of short stories for you to savour, including one from our very own author Christopher Boon, whose novel ‘The Passing Of The Forms That We Have Loved’ we published in September 2021. In the Kafka inspired story ‘Salad Leaves’, Christopher harnesses the concept of withdrawal as experienced when going through puberty by charting a very specific form of metamorphosis experienced by the main character. Laurence Klavan’s short story, ‘Simultaneously’, looks at the process of withdrawal from life itself, and the constructs we can build to help us deal with and rationalise loss. ‘When Your Name Means Snow’, by Emma Lee, charts the experience of a girl, who has withdrawn and shut herself off from the world, showing how past experiences can shape our present realities. Margaret Cahill, in the story ‘Battle Lines’ takes us into the relationship between a mother and son, showing us how quickly and easily people can become withdrawn from each other. Mike Harmer, who we also welcome back having featured his work in a previous edition, in his story ‘There is Sea and See’ explores how we can all too readily withdraw from the problems of the world that are around us every day, problems of great magnitude which we can too easily find ourselves looking away from. Effie Black, in the story ‘TW’ documents some of the feelings and thoughts she experienced when her father passed away from COVID early in the pandemic, her response to the sense of grief and withdrawal that she experienced during an incredibly difficult and unusual time. In ‘Pilonidal Cyst’, Michael James gives us a graphic account of having to experience the withdrawal of an unwanted and unpleasant matter from one’s own body and how we can sometimes create a distance between our sense of self and our sense of our own bodies. Gavin Weale, in his innovative short story, ‘My Predictable Life’, focuses on the ultimate sense of withdrawal, showing how technology and algorithms can ultimately replace what it means to be human.
We hope you enjoy delving into all of the content we have featured in this edition, so happy reading, viewing and listening!
the époque team.
é-zine // withdrawal // editorial
Welcome to the 11th edition of the époque press é-zine
on the theme, Withdrawal. Once more we have been overwhelmed with the fantastic response we have received. The process of working through the submissions, to settle on the final content featured here, has been extremely difficult due to the volume of excellent and thought-provoking work we received.