New Work by P.W. Bridgman

Two new poems by P.W. Bridgman which are published in the current issue of The Bangor Literary Journal.  Read other new poems and flash fiction by other writers in the current issue for free.


Poetry by P.W. Bridgman Biography:

P.W. Bridgman writes from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He has earned graduate and postgraduate degrees in psychology and a degree in law as well. His poems and short fiction and have been published in The Antigonish Review, Grain, The Honest Ulsterman, Ars Medica, The Glasgow Review of Books, The Moth Magazine, Poetry Salzburg Review, Litro Magazine (UK), Litro Magazine (NY), Praxis, Pif Magazine, Ascent Aspirations, The New Orphic Review, Easy Street, London Grip, A New Ulster, Section 8 Magazine, Mulberry Fork Review, Aerodrome and other literary periodicals and e-zines. Bridgman’s writing has also appeared in anthologies published in Canada, Ireland, England and Scotland, and his first book—a selection of short stories entitled Standing at an Angle to My Age—was published in 2013. You may learn more about P.W. Bridgman by visiting his website at <>.


Not the Way a Bullet Leaves a Gun


Ruth leaves Jim the way a hand leaves a glove,

with five gentle thumb-and-forefinger tugs from right to left.

Each of the fingers comes partly free,

then the thumb:

each tug a little more confident,

each causing the gentle, leathern grip of wedlock

to relax a touch more until, at last,

it comes full away

with a sound

like a sigh.


She leaves him the way a ferry leaves a dock:

with four short soundings of the ship’s whistle,

spaced months apart

(their import unmistakable to anyone but him),

followed by a long one

(the one that signals imminent departure).

Her hull begins to shudder,

engines churn inside it,

water boils up in the widening

space between them,

between loading ramp and dock.

Going nowhere and everywhere, she waves.

He waves back.


She does not leave him the way he had always feared,

the way a bullet leaves a gun (all trajectory and target,

with a bang and a puff of smoke,

gone in a trice and forever buried,

deep in another’s heart).

At least not that.


At least not that.


Don’t Touch That Dame


P0T 2W0: September 1960


On my deathbed my thoughts shall return

to eight-year-old Gloria Dye.


Red-faced, rough-skinned, tousle-headed, scrappy,

perplexed by unkindness, tormented by eczema,

resolutely rejecting of pity.


Strong yet vulnerable.  Enigmatic, so very enigmatic.

On my deathbed I shall wonder:

whatever became…


On the schoolyard they said: “Don’t touch that dame

or you’ll die.”  “We can’t touch her or else we’ll die,”

they said.


Not my words. From me, no words at all—

kind or unkind, helpful or hurtful, comforting or cruel—

were spoken to, or for the benefit of, or to the detriment of,

Gloria Dye.


On my deathbed I shall remember tears withheld,

her fierce beauty.  I shall be galled by my own

faltering silence.


I shall take not even hollow comfort from knowing

that I showed her no active unkindness.


No active unkindness.


On my deathbed I shall plead for forgiveness,

not from God but from Gloria Dye.


On my deathbed I shall yearn to reach out

and touch that dame.

Call for Work: Easter/ Spring Themed Submissions


Do you have any Easter or Spring themed poems, flash fiction, art or photography that you would like to send us to be published on our website in a small online publication? Work that has been previously published is fine as long as you tell us where.

Send up to two pieces with the heading EASTER to including a short biography and an image of yourself by Thursday 29th March to be considered. Either attach your work in a Word Document ore else copy it in the body of the email.


This is a separate call from the call for work for issue two- so you can submit to both!




We are delighted to announce the winners, runners up, highly commended and commended writers in each category of The FORTY WORDS Competition.


Thank you to everyone for sending in your fantastic work.  We had 243 entries in total, of an extremely high standard and it was a very difficult job to select our winners.


Winners will be contacted by email this weekend to confirm availability for reading and presentation.


Congratulations to the winners and thank you so much to everyone for allowing us to read your work.




Winner- Sherry Morris-‘Reckoning Day’

Runner-up- Ed Broom- ‘Every Penny Warms the Sea’

Highly commended- John Holland- ‘Iodine’

Highly commended- Lynda Kirby- ‘Wishing’

Commended- Eilise Norris- ‘Three days, no sightings’

Commended- Martin Parker- ‘Fabulous’

Commended- David Atkinson- ‘My Father Cut My Hair Until I Was Fifteen’

Commended- JL McCavana- ‘Target Practice’

Commended-Ingrid Jendrzejewski – ‘Hyperbolic Geometry’

Commended-Marilyn Timms- ‘First Frost’




Winner- David Braziel- ‘Snails’

Runner-up-Nick Allen- ‘Salt’

Highly commended- Peter Adair- ‘Open Chapel’

Highly commended- Richard Hough- ‘Ambiguity’

Commended- Anne Casey- ‘Final Offensive’

Commended- Patricia Bennett- ‘Rewrite’

Commended- Kevin Reid- ‘Four Walls and an Absence of Livestock’

Commended- Angela Graham- ‘View-finder’

Commended- Aine McAllister- ‘How to Take the Next Step’

Commended- Diane Jackman- ‘A comparison of cows’

Young Verses Poetry Competition

A free poetry competition for young people and students who currently live in Northern Ireland.

There are three categories:
Group 1- Age 6-10 years
Group 2- Age 11- 15 years
Group 3- Students aged 16-21 years

Each young person can enter one previously unpublished poem for free- no longer than 20 lines long. (not including the title) Poems can be in any style and on any theme.

Poems must be typed onto a Word Document and attached to the email. No name should be included on the Word document. In the body of the email, please state the poet’s name/ age/ contact phone number/ email address.

Please send your submission to and state in the heading of the email- YOUNG VERSES- (and the category 1, 2 or 3). The deadline for submissions is: midnight 15th April 2018.

First Prize in each category:
A framed certificate/ an opportunity to read your work/ publication in The Bangor Literary Journal/ a writing book and pen

Join the Facebook Event to keep up to date.


Keep sending us your best work!

Thanks to everyone who has submitted their work for the first issue of The Bangor Literary Journal so far. I’m just confirming receipt of today’s submissions now.

Keep emailing us your best poetry, flash fiction, photography and art on the theme of ‘Firsts’ for issue one of the journal which will be available online on 28th Feb. You have until midnight of 31st Jan to submit your work.

All selected contributors shall also have the opportunity to read and show their work at The Bangor Literary Journal Launch Event.


Facebook Event: The Bangor Literary Journal Launch- Join Now!



Deadline for Submissions to our First Issue is 31st Jan. Theme: ‘FIRSTS’

We are on the hunt for outstanding poetry, flash fiction, photography and artwork!

Submit by email to

You may submit up to two pieces in total (for example- one poem and one image)

For Issue 1

Launching on: 28th February 2018

The Theme for issue one is ‘Firsts’… interpret this as you may! Take it literally or turn it on its head.  Just send us your best work. 

The deadline for submissions is midnight on 31st January 2018.