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Quilled Ink Press - Publishers
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The Quilled Ink Review

The Quilled Ink Review Vol 1 - Hard Cover and Ebook.png

Quilled Ink Press is proud to present the inaugural edition of The Quilled Ink Review, the new international literary journal featuring poetry, essays, and short stories.

Being a self-funded, pure labour of love, we could think of no better way to begin than on that note. So, the theme of volume one is: ‘Ode To Love’, which has been beautifully captured in our cover art by Adiela Akoo.

Submission was open from 20 September – 20 November 2022 (now closed)

Criteria and guidelines can be found here

We look forward to receiving your submissions interpreting this formidable force

An insight into small press publishing:

Man proposes but God disposes!

 

Such has it been with this project. Our initial plan was to launch in February 2023 - what better month to launch an Ode to Love? Well, so we thought. But Fate stepped in with one crisis after another (including the brutal murder of a close relative, which left us reeling in shock). And no matter how much effort we put in behind the scenes thereafter, there seemed to be a brake on the whole project - a baby refusing to be born prematurely. So we stepped back and allowed it to gestate...

 

What transpired over the following months was something completely unplanned yet presented as a fated 'nudging' that culminated in a wonderful new line of merchandise! But there was still no sign of any baby...

 

Until now! (3 Dec 2023)

 

The water has finally broken and this beautiful baby has been birthed, crying loudly at the top of its lungs that the world needs LOVE, now more than ever!

 

So without further ado, Quilled Ink Press is proud to officially announce the talented writers who made the shortlist for Ode to Love, the inaugural edition of the Quilled Ink Review literary journal. With well over 200 submissions to choose from, whittling it down to the shortlist was not easy. Then came the mammoth task of getting 69 poems to converse with each other so that if one reads the book from cover to cover, the poems tell a combined story as well, while traversing the different phases of love and concluding with two delightful short stories.

 

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The Quilled Ink Review Vol.1 Short List:

Adesiyan Oluwapelumi, Alisa Gillenardo, Ananya Jay, Anne Mikusinski, Annie Kile, Ann Privateer, Bob McNeil, Brenda Gunn, Carl “Papa” Palmer, Carol Edwards, David Agyei-Yeboah, David McVey, E. Martin Pedersen, Heidi Kasa, Hiram Larew, James Evert Jones, Jay Rose Ana, Jennifer Elise Wang, Joseph A Farina, J R (Judy) Turek, Koshy AV,  Lee Eric Freedman, Linda M. Crate, Lynn White, Marianne Tefft, Melissa Chappell, Naser AlShaikhAhmed, Ojo Olumide Emmanuel, Odediran Olamide Deborah, Raj M. Isaac, Sergei Gogin, Sreekanth Kopuri, T. A. Niles, Tony Dawson, Tumwesige  Emmanuel, Victoria Elizabeth Ruwi, Vincent J Calone, Vyacheslav Konoval, Yanjanani L. Banda - meet them here  

 

Founder, Director, and Editor-in-Chief: Adiela Akoo

'Within these pages, you will find a wonderfully eclectic mix (including Poet Laureates) of accomplished writers from across the world, some of whom we have the honour and privilege to publish for the very first time. And yet, the language of Love, in all its shades, remains the same. It begs you to pause for a moment, reflect, and bathe in its beauty. It begs you to see that poetry in itself is an act of Love, an act of healing, and that the stories too urge you to dance despite the darkness.

 

Our breath and focus are best spent on Love for what is Love but tapping into the music of our souls.

 

Welcome to this Ode to Love. ' 

 

-Adiela Akoo

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Quilled Ink Review Vol 1

If you'd like to know what we look for, here is a sample from Ode to Love

Memory

 

I hold water at your feet and stir three cups of remembrance

Hoping you will walk into this ocean I bring to your doorstep

We danced once under the light of brokenness

Until our feet bled, gushing fever picks

It was love, but you said I whittled it gracelessly

My ocean ignited

Scorching the world I raised with bandaged dreams


 

Memory

 

We will walk back into love with a little more heart 

And jars full of ready to forgive

We will scrub at our past with tenderness 

Arranging the pages where our lives unfolded

And spilled over into edges

We will hold paper-thin hearts, rubbing salt on their creases

We will love what we are from the potter's vantage

Serving our hearts on a platter of fire and roses


 

Memory

 

We have learnt to take one step after another

To breathe and occupy spaces

We were never meant for the thriving

But for dying in awkward places

 

-Yanjanani L. Banda

A Burden

 

As a bubble bursts in silence

somewhere in my blood, the

 

veins of some dying violins

tighten to play their last voices

 

and my eyes softly wink back

the salt into its noontides

 

of melted clocks that wash

only some cracked shells

 

ashore on these sprawling

sands where the unseen

 

footprints of seasons ask

something the sky pours

 

down on the sea to burden

it with more stillness.

 

-Sreekanth Kopuri

Desiderate

 

One warm night.

Desire unfurls out of

the deep earth

where memory curls,

and uncurls at a

spark, the way the

light falls, stolen

seconds, the fear of

stolen memory.

The serpent sky

coils around us,

lights incandescent

floating above

in their watery spheres.

A wakeful crow

watches from a nearby

gathering of trees.

Our breath,

tattered wind,

our hands,

old cartographers,

making maps that

burn skin,

touched only now,

after all this time.

No one sees,

but the voyeur crow.

He sees

inhibitions

crumbling,

falling to the

dirty concrete

where we hide

in a store front,

abandoned

to us.

I cling to you

in this meadow

of asphalt,

rusted chrome,

and broken stone.

The sullied air

around us sleeps.

 

-Melissa Chappell    

'Pledged'

 

Long, long ago

you pledged your heart

etched your eternal love

causing you to constantly

keep washing up at my feet

like a half-forgotten

mystical message

in a bottle, cast into the sea

of souls, centuries ago!

 

Our paths constantly, curiously crossing

in a predetermined puzzle of perplexities

leaving us pondering, on the part played

by Providence - and the most loving hand

on a heart, etched with initials

carved into an ancient, magical tree

that still stands somewhere, bearing witness

long after the bodies, bearing initials

became fodder for its roots!

 

Lifetime after lifetime

we're magically, momentarily

drawn together, to decipher

soul memories, we vaguely recall...

 

-Adiela Akoo

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