Sea Between Us

'Sea Between Us', the third Nine Series anthology brings together the work of poets Catherine Gander, Georgia Hilton and Anna Kisby. 

In 'The Pelican' Catherine Gander describes how the bird folds 'the mythspan of her wings' as she waits for 'time/ to unruffle the sea', an image that becomes eerily prescient in its description of the work of all three poets. Each unfolds their own 'mythspans' throughout the collection. Georgia Hilton invites us into the mind of  'Cinderella'  who contemplates drowning 'just downstream / of the Curraghower' and of the 'Harpy'  who turns 'the cold black penny / of her eye upon the world' and Anna Kisby evokes memories of 'Americana' where on the 'Edge of the freeway, weaving like a drunk man, someone is lost' while at the Vermont State Fair a lion-tamer 'pushed my hand clean though the bars, held it there while the lion took a lick.' 


These poems  examine our place in the world, not just physically, but through shared histories, myths, stories, place and understandings, declaring, as Catherine Gander writes in 'Self Portrait as a Flood Plain' that

This is what happens                      when a landscape            


is both bed


and confluence                 source


and floodplain                   one body

Catherine Gander

Catherine Gander is a poet and scholar. She was born in England, has lived in many countries, and now resides in County Kildare, Ireland. She is the author and editor of several academic books, and her poetry, art, and criticism have been published and anthologised internationally, including in Palette, Poetry Ireland Review, Juniper, Los Angeles Review of Books, Bad Lilies, Ink Sweat and Tears, On the Seawall, One Hand Clapping, Dedalus Press, and many more. Her poems have placed in competitions, most recently for Prole Poetry Laureate, Live Canon, and Verve. She is completing a chapbook called Matches and working toward her first collection.

The Plunge


Slack little lump punctured by pin feathers,

rain-speckled, muted wings pitched back by


the tarmac’s solid shock. Near passerine, perhaps,

eye rimed with dirt, fixed on some distant point in air


the coordinates of its mistake. It’s not the first

I’ve swerved the stroller to avoid / broken breast-


bone, milky gaze / how suddenly the stride of a day

changes tempo and a moment turns to matter


granular and sharp as roadside grit. I’ve cast my body

into hope and returned fulfilled and emptied,


fearful still of what lasts and what is lost. Like

hollow bones, a thing will always carry

its own absence.

Georgia Hilton

Georgia Hilton is an Irish poet and fiction writer living in Winchester, England. Her work has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, such as The Rialto, Prole Magazine,192 Magazine, and Perhappened. Georgia has a pamphlet, I went up the lane quite cheerful (2018) and a collection, Swing (2020), both published by Dempsey and Windle. Her poem, Dark-Haired Hilda Replies to Patrick Kavanagh, won the Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize (2018) and her short poem The Lost Art of Staring into Fires was a runner-up in the Briefly Write Poetry Prize (2021). Georgia lives with her husband and three children. She tweets sometimes at @GGeorgiahilton.



Her body might be

in a provincial town,

yet some part of her even now

is in the North Atlantic,

where she likes to imagine

the spirits of her ancestors

inhabit the sea foam.


The stone-coloured water

ripping through her cells

reshapes them, until she is

no longer a human woman

with a pouch on her belly

where her babies grew,


but instead, a herring gull –

quizzical, fearsome, raucous –

plunging into the riptide

like a furious earthbound comet –

turning the cold black penny

of her eye upon the world

as if to say – ‘what of it?’

Anna Kisby

Anna Kisby is a poet, archivist and author of the pamphlet All the Naked Daughters (Against the Grain Press, 2017). Her poetry is widely published in magazines and anthologies, she won the Binsted Arts prize 2019, BBC Proms Poetry competition 2016, and was commended in Faber’s New Poets scheme. She has tutored a Poetry School course on writing from historical sources, co-written a textbook on creative history and a play about historical magical practitioners. Originally from London, Anna spent part of her childhood in the USA, and now lives in the rural south-west of England. 

Fireflies Unlimited


We’re in the half-built house

in Vermont – me and the man

I nearly marry, but don’t – unroofed, holes

where windows will fit. In sleeping bags

on untreated boards, night falls and fireflies

arrive – a quickstep, a certainty, a flute added to

flute they synchronise. This was the dreamtime,

the simple time, that time between schooldays

and real life. Do you remember such a time

of firsts? We were living hand to mouth –

dollars counted into palms,

money soft as moth-wings.


In those days we went looking

for what we didn’t know was there.

Our reward: fireflies without borders –

un-tame, a coming-together-last-minute plan.

We watch them sandpaper the sky, they jerk for joy,

they jagger, god’s own migraine. In lightning-tongue

they sing to us Forget your sad cities of light, we are

our own ferris wheels. Now the roof must be on,

the forest cleared for lawn, each patio slab

a square of extinguished light. Anytime I want

I can catch them there, fireflies in a jar –

a torch-full of past, banging at the sides of this glass.