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Lesley Saunders

Lesley Saunders is an educational researcher and a founder member of the Bloody Poets. Her poem in this issue won first prize in the Woman Writers’ Network/Guardian Poetry competition in 1994. It was due to be published in the Guardian, but was killed when it was decided that the women’s pages would now run political, ‘harder edged’ articles, and that poems would be ‘strangely out of context’.

Poem: ‘Monster’

Lesley Saunders, 3 August 1995

monstrum: any occurrence out of the ordinary course of nature supposed to indicate the will of the gods, a marvel.

These back streets are an oven, I’m sweating like a fountain – my master uses me on market days to tell fortunes. I could tell yours, little pretty one, easy as winking – look in the mirror, there’s a dainty face floating above all those pots of kohl and...

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