Stephen the Phlebotomist is about vampires, Jesus, and a year spent locked indoors. Written with unimaginable tenderness and humour, Lines’ poetry explores the turbulence of student life and the love it facilitates.

In this debut pamphlet, teenage trips to Claire’s Accessories are treated with same unwavering reverence as queer desire and lost crucifixes. Lines offsets the everyday with potently emotional in a meditation on mental illness, blood donation, and love. We sneak inside Lines’ heart and grow to understand her devotion to being devoted.

Nadia Lines

Photo credits to Genevieve Badia-Aylin

Nadia Lines is a 20-year-old poet living and studying in Cambridge, UK. She was a Foyle Young Poet of the year in 2019, and has won the Orwell Youth Prize and the Tower Poetry Prize. Her work has been published by The Mays Anthology, Epoque Press, The Keats-Shelley Review, Modern Poetry in Translation and perhappened, and extensively by The Young Poets Network. Nadia’s Foyle prize winning poem also features in Chris Riddell’s anthology ‘Poems to Save the World With’. She loves medieval mystery plays, instant noodles, and her dogs – Freddie and Smudge. Stephen the Phlebotomist is her debut poetry pamphlet.

For Keats 

When I make my bed I think 

of the women weeping in your

bedrooms, sighing through 

those windows – your windows –

the ghost of the cat curling 

about their ankles, your auburn 

hair in a locket in a cabinet

next door. I wonder how splendid 

or normal you looked in 

the sun, looked under a candle, 

looked out at the plum tree, 

the steps, that sky. It’s raining, 

John, bring a coat. Do you 

have the same circle of parched 

skin on the pad of your finger 

that I do? When I was locked 

in a little room I thought

of you relentlessly. The bells 

at midnight. The bells

at 1 a.m. Can’t you see who it is

weeping in rooms for your 

spooled up soul; for your 

pent up genius; for your poor fiancée; 

for preventable deaths; for death; 

for you, John, for you?