Welcome to Issue 11

Hello and welcome to Cuckoo Quarterly issue 11!

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
Maya Angelou

The death of writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou back in May appears to have inspired some of this issue’s work: Meghana Mysore’s 76 in poetry and part one of periodical Bad Habit by Andre-Naquian Wheeler. Also over in the periodicals section we have the next instalment of Lewis Brown’s The Boy and the Storm – definitely one not to be missed.

This issue we asked our young writers what got them fired up – have a read of the story of Ayotunde in The Brave to find out what happened when rebels attacked her village in Rwanda, a heart-wrenching story that is the reality for so many youngsters in Africa threatened by rebels and national poverty. Jenny Whitfield explores gender roles in today’s society in Are You a Boy or a Girl?

As usual our poetry section is packed full of great new work by young poets. Check out new to the nest Micha Frazer-Carroll’s poems Thoughts and Bed Kisses. For something a little lighter, have a read of The Clouds’ Courante for the most delicate of imagery.

If you like what you’ve read and fancy submitting to Cuckoo Quarterly issue 12 we are asking our young writers to write on the theme of Voices.

Hannah Morpeth


Please be advised some of our submissions contain strong language and challenging themes.

Theme: Fired Up
This issue we asked Cuckoo Young Writers what got them fired up. Top of the agenda comes from The Brave, a short story written by Julia Seitz inspired by the struggle of national poverty and the rebel attacks that fill the headlines daily. Similarly, Meghana Mysore’s 76 was inspired by the life of activist Maya Angelou. Founder of No More Page Three Newcastle, Jenny Whitfield explores the notion of femininity and the gender expectations that are forced upon us whilst growing up in Are You a Boy or a Girl? In her poem Grading, Anna Humphrey wonders whether how we perform in school exams is so important and if there is a different way to assess people.

76 by Meghana Mysore
The Brave by Julia Seitz
Are you a boy or a girl? by Jenny Whitfield
Dear Little Sister by Katherine Liu
Fire Me Up by Marisa Salvia
Grading by Anna Humphrey
Catherine Wheel by Jake Reynolds
9/11 by Rae Stephenson

Issue 11 sees The Boy and the Storm return with part five of Lewis Brown’s serial. (Don’t worry if you’ve missed out so far – you can still read the earlier instalments in previous issues to catch up with Sascha’s story.) New this issue is part one of Bad Habit by Andre-Naquian Wheeler, and if you’re looking for a light and easy read head this way and you won’t be short of a few laughs either!

The Boy and the Storm (V) by Lewis Brown
Bad Habit: Part One by Andre-Naquian Wheeler
Figure of Eight: Chapter One by Marcie Winstanley

You’ve got your head in the clouds – perhaps you too have been mistaken for doodling whilst scribbling away your latest poetic masterpiece in the back of your geography textbook. This issue, we see poems from lyrical thinkers who take such accusations in their stride. Theirs is a view of the world inspired by its most ephemeral elements. Take your place in The Clouds’ Courante, join the roll and swell of Meghana Mysore’s Undulate or reach for the untouchable in Micha Frazer-Carroll’s Thoughts. Perhaps the clouds aren’t such a bad place to be after all.

The Clouds’ Courante by Madison Marshall
Museums & Mausoleums by Meghana Mysore
Undulate by Meghana Mysore
Thoughts by Micha Frazer-Carroll
Bed Kisses by Micha Frazer-Carroll
Inevitable by Wyatt Sugden
Consequently by Alicja Madloch

Thought you’d packed away your shorts at the back of the wardrobe for another year? Think again. Here at Cuckoo Quarterly we’re enjoying an Indian Summer and the shorts keep coming thick and fast. Whether it’s the surreal of Dust Paintings, or the sinister of Mrs Laquer, we’re sure we’ve something this issue to stave off those autumn blues.

Mrs Lacquer by Laurie Atkinson
Dust Paintings by Julia Seitz
Books, the New Invention by Ian Novak

Cuckoo Summer Programme
This issue features some of the excellent work produced during our Cuckoo Young Writers Summer Programme.

There was a week of songwriting in Sunderland at Pop Recs, and then the group went to lay down their tracks – which you can listen to here – before they performed at Split Festival. This was followed by a week of poetry and film-making in Newcastle, the results of which will be screened as part of Juice Festival during the October half-term. Finally Cuckoo rolled into Cramlington for a week of taster sessions with a host of professional writers, covering poetry, script-writing, dark fiction and more. Phew!

The Night of the Burning Head by Jacob Atkinson
Taken from Me by Jacob Atkinson
Reason to Breathe by Miranda Stephenson
The woman in the wardrobe by Lucy Miller-Trotter
Backstage by Laura Peto
Glitches in the Stream by Elspeth Reynolds Taylor
The Arrival by Milly Davis
A Hymn to a Cash Register by Will Jones

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