RYAN VANCE was born in Northern Ireland and is now living in Glasgow. He is editor of weird lit zine The Queen’s Head ( and edits fiction for The Island Review ( while working in the print industry and as a freelance designer. His own work has appeared in Out There: A Scottish Anthology of LGBT Writing, Until Only The Mountain Remains, Homespun Threads and Crispin Best’s For Every Year. (

ROSS WILSON has previously appeared in Edinburgh Review, Horizon Review, Anon, Gutter, Agenda Broadsheet, Northwords Now and many other magazines, with poems forthcoming in Poetry Salzburg Review this autumn. A poem, Anithir Season, has recently been adapted into a filmpoem by artist Alastair Cook.


From a Problem with the Thickness of the Grease Inside the Body

Spectres shortcutting through the park at night.
Movements obscure and smoothly unpredictable,
they turn towards you:
a sweep of torchlight, a fright
of bell and chain.
Darker spirits, daredevils,
whisper up behind you razor thin –
take a piece of you onward
into the dark.


Some Dancers Inherit a Deficit
(To Ian Hamilton Finlay)

reserved by the speakers a space
     for those who choose to dance alone
     lights-up loneliness rightly deserved
     lousy talkers splash words on the floor
     all the better to slide up to strangers
     who may take them home    not us
spaced out    by the speakers    reserved

                                                                             Ryan Vance



I remember ticking no religion
in my first job application form.
‘Yir a Protestant,’ he told me.
‘No, Ah’m no,’ I told him.

At his funeral a Catholic neighbour
said, year after year,
he signed Christmas cards comrade.
Things aren’t always as they appear.

Escape routes connected the pits
in case of disaster.
That’s another thing he told me.
Years later I see disused routes

under the fields and streets
between men, and imagine
lifelines buried in fists
blooming into palms.

                                                   Ross Wilson


If you wish to read the poems in page view, the following link will take you to a PDF – Ryan Vance and Ross Wilson Poems

All works published by the Glasgow Review of Books are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License and the journal reserves the right to be named as place of first publication in any citation. Copyright remains with the poet.

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The Glasgow Review of Books (ISSN 2053-0560) is a review journal publishing short and long reviews, review essays and interviews, as well as translations, fiction, poetry, and visual art. We are interested in all forms of cultural practice and seek to incorporate more marginal, peripheral or neglected forms into our debates and discussions. We aim to foster discussion of work from small and specialised publishers and practitioners, and to maintain a focus on issues in and about translation. The review has a determinedly international approach, but is also a proud resident of Glasgow.

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