Issue 5 – Commas and Cocktails (May 2017)

Issue 5, Commas and Cocktails, was printed and released for sale at the University of Bolton on 3rd May, 2017. To get your hands on a physical copy for only £4 (plus P&P), contact Simon Holloway at the University by email —

ISSN 2398-1938 (Print)

Editors Note:

What do you get when you mix two Creative Writing students? Arguments about punctuation and capital letters. And of course, The Bolton Review. The name of the issue pretty much sums up the last few months. We want to thank everyone who submitted to this year’s Bolton Review. We received over 200 submissions! We honestly couldn’t have achieved this without all of you. We are sorry to those not in this year’s issue, the amount of work we received was so difficult to judge. We would also like to thank our sub-editors, Cara, Jeni and Warren for all their amazing hard work and dedication throughout this process. We would not have survived this process without you lot. We would also like to thank Simon for putting up with our constant questions and offering support when needed.

Lastly, and by no means least, deserving a paragraph of its own, we want to give our most gracious thanks to our social media genius, Shirley-Anne. You have boosted The Bolton Review’s platform higher than anyone else. You have made the blog absolutely gorgeous. The cover is perfect. We honestly could not have broadened this issue without you. We cannot thank you enough for all of your hard work. May you take over the world with your powers of Twitter and Facebook.




The Beach Body as a Symbol of Patriarchal Desire: Adam Foley

Sea of Trees: Jodie Boast

Sleeps in Pyjamas: Jordan Roberts

Seahorses: Seamus Kelly

A Child’s War: Lauren Carroll

Ratatouille: Emma Swiatek

Required Life Falls Away: Elaine Speakman

The Wood Pigeons: Mathew Robinson

When the Sun Fell Down: Kezia Hughes-Iznerowicz

Ice Cream Van Man: Jordan Roberts

Buzzards Bay: Mickela Sonola

Sukiyaki Elegy: Jemma Shaw

What Home is to Me: Katrina Fletcher

Brother Football: Ben Wilkinson

I Come From China: Jemma Shaw

Grey: Jodie Boast

Daffodils in the Snow: Elaine Speakman

Who Needs All 26 Anyway? Stuart Beveridge

Black Lives Matter: Dorothy Katamba

Midnight Fortress: Jodie Boast

Lindow Man: Elaine Speakman

Goodbye Goodnight Kisses: Jodie Boast

There’s a Bath: Elaine Speakman

Home is Where My Head Rests: Sally Holland

Wedding Planning: Anabela Valerio

Role-playing: Adam Foley

What Are You Doing?: Lewis Foster

The Songbirds Have No New Songs To Sing: Lene Nyland

Two Young Men, Aged 23 or 24: Evan Jones

Poetry from The Bolton Hospice: Phil Isherwood


Mankind: Aminata Sow

A New Life: Becky Fryer

Anxiety is a Bitch: Colette Wiseman

The Village People [Extract]: Harley Cunningham

Flowers and Feelings: Amy Carden

Pale. Green. Fire: Louise Ashon

Short Stories

Melodia: Rebecca Robinson

Paper Mache Sobs: Jason Winstanley

The Road to Oblivion: Aidan Matear

Extract of Genesis 22:2: Cas Fletcher

Days Without Incident: Sam Edney

Modern Love: Frankie Kerfoot

Mondays: Emma Swiatek

The Most Important Hug in the Universe: Christopher Moriarty

Getting Out of Bed: Paige Beresford

The Sistine Chapel: Neil Campbell

Where the Other Half Live: Sarah-Clare Conlon


Bradford: Heather Grundy

~ Arran Greenwood

Umbrella Sky: Emma Swiatek

By Any Other Name: Emma Swiatek

~ Rachael Fletcher

Reflections: Emma Swiatek

Smoke: Heather Grundy

On the Edge: Emma Swiatek

~ Rachael Fletcher

Holding Hands: Emma Swiatek

Reflection: Daniel Edmondson

Juicy: Emma Swiatek

~ Seamus Kelly

~ Carly Jones


Freedom of Speech: Stuart Beveridge

Illustration by Diane Emmason

Koifish: Diogo Carneiro Fernandes

Rainy: Poppy Willock

Memory: Poppy Willock

Jellyfish: Diogo Carneiro Fernandes

Train: Poppy Willock