Tuesday 13 February 2024

Amateur Hour

Congratulations to all of the University of Leicester students and alumni involved in producing this beautiful new Creative Writing zine, Amateur Hour!


Photo by Freya Louise

About Amateur Hour and the editors
Amateur Hour is a writing group based (more or less) in Leicester. The purpose of the group is to provide feedback and encouragement to members and to improve each other’s writing. This zine is a collection of some chosen works from the group’s first active year. 

The group was formed and is run by Nina Walker, Matt Walton and Sam Bouch who are all UoL English and Creative Writing graduates. Missing the benefits of university Creative Writing modules, they decided to create a group that mimicked the function of Creative Writing workshops so that their journeys as writers could continue post-graduation. All of Amateur Hours members contributed to the editing process. Nina, Matt and Sam collaborated to collate, design and edit the zine, and are proud of their first foray into publishing! 

The inaugural issue of Amateur Hour features poems and prose by Madeleine Bell, Laura Besley, Saarah Katib Bhalwani, Jonty Bouch, Sushma Bragg, Geeshma Govindan, Freya Louise, Annabel Phipps, Isaac Plant, Benjamin Steer, Nina Lily Walker, Matt Walton.

They plan to publish their second zine in the summer of 2024. If you have any inquiries or interest in the project please get in touch at amateurhourpublications@gmail.com. You can read a sample poem from the first issue of Amateur Hour below. 

From Amateur Hour


There is a fruit inside my head.

It is a lime.

It nudges me awake each morning.
Then thumps me.

I have grown used to its presence,
like a tiresome friend.

It compresses my thoughts.
Jostling for space.

Pressed for time, it quickens 
like sand through a wide-neck collar.

I retch and spit.
But I cannot cough it out.
It is solid, sour, and stuck fast.

Waiting for the last laugh.

My mother’s arms cannot rock me here.
For she is in a different hemisphere. 
Where the sun polishes her fruit.

They are her babies now.

They stretch and yawn.
Languishing on branches that groan.

They are reluctant to leave her.

Her pearls warm the Orient Sea, 
but cannot stretch to this cold place …

Or me.

All my thread, unravelling.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with thee.

I weep for her as I think of my lime.
Wishing she could pick it from me.
Pour its sharpness into my mouth.
Comfort me with communion.

Heal me.

- Annabel Phipps

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