Alicja Maria Kuberska


Alicja Maria Kuberska (1960) born in Świebodzin a small picturesque city in the midst of woods and lakes, close to Zielona Góra and one hundred kilometres from Berlin. I now live with my family in the beautiful city of Inowrocław, which is a health resort. My full time occupation is working for a local bank and in my free time I carry out welfare work in society Pro Arte and in the Society of Sisters -Cities Inowrocław (Poland) and Bad Oyenhausen (Germany) whilst also actively engaging in charity work.

Poetry is an essential part of my life allowing me to release emotions and thought’s, they are my second, subjective, secret life.

My poems are mainly published on the internet which allows for live and spontaneous contact with their readers. The internet is something that I would describe as a miracle of life and I am always interested in hearing from people and appreciate their remarks and comments. The honest exchange of thoughts is very inspirational and assists me with my ongoing personal development in poetry.

I am a member of a poetical society E-literaci,Poezja and E-poezja London and sometimes collaborate with a Polish poet called Barbara Mazurkiewicz, who is also my friend.

Occasionally I insert my poems on my profile on facebook written both in Polish and English and I am happy that my poems are read in the USA, Republic of South Africa and other countries. I am very thankful to my friends from the United Kingdom, USA and Republic of South Africa who help me to translate my poems.


I do not remember exactly when I started to write my poems but it was about twenty years ago when I started writing as a means of relaxation. My approach to poetry changed a few years ago as a result of my illness and other personal experiences. During this period in my life I changed my approach to life and found great satisfaction in other past times like participating in charity work. During this period of life I realized that my poems were an important part of who I am. It was also at this time that Barbara Mazurkiewicz the Polish poetess ,encouraged me to publish my poems and become more active in this field.

2. My poetry allows me to write about myself and express my feelings, observations and deepest thoughts. I am interested in music, art, philosophy, psychology and contemporary scientific discoveries. People and society fascinate me. All of these elements are included in my poems. My style of poetry is too often written in the simplest way possible, focusing the attention of readers on social problems or different aspects of human life. Sometimes I would like people to notice the beauty of the world around them.

3.Leo Tolstoj, Honore de Balzac, Aleksander Puszkin and Wislawa Szymborska are my favourite writers. Tolstoj and Balzac wrote about society in the XIX century and I find their books personally fascinating. I am very interested in this period of history. My favourite book is “Anna Karenina “.It is special for me because it is directed against the rules of society. Karenina was punished by her class of society as she decided to show her real feelings and emotions. Aleksander Puszkin wrote wonderful poems. I can speak Russian ,so I am able to notice and feel their beauty .The poems of Wislawa Szymborska are very wise and they force me to think about my life and things ,which are important for me. She writes about ordinary affairs but her poetry allows me to see them in the new light .

4. As I mentioned above I am interested in the modern society and I try to fight with the prejudices through my work. It would be simply fantastic if people could begin to know and understand other customs, cultures and religions. The lack of knowledge causes intolerance. Some bad myths still exist as a result of wars and conflict that that have taken place over the course of history. Today we are trying to change it with Polish and German families becoming friends. I also help musicians and artists to create performances and arrange the exhibitions. This activity is not connected to my profession and it is work that I undertake to make the world I live in a better place.

5. I often like to chat with people who write to me about their feelings and how my poems can affect their emotions and I really enjoy their spontaneous reactions and as such I would like to write for many different people. Some of the topics in my poems come directly from other people who have inspired me. Their positive opinions encourage me to continue writing and give me real satisfaction. The internet opens a whole new world of possibilities and contacts and thanks to internet my poems will be enclosed in New Mirage Journal. I doubt if the internet will cause the disappearance of hard copy books and believe that the e-books and printed books will exist alongside each other. They individually fulfil different needs. I love books and in my opinion the classical book can be like a piece of art. It is a real pleasure to keep a book in the hand and I intend to print my new poems this year.

6. I do not particularly like group meetings preferring to meet with individuals so that I can concentrate on the person and their emotions. I like to have a presence on the internet so that I can be in touch with other writers. Whilst we live in different cities and internet help us to discuss our poems and exchange our views, I am closely connected to Barbara Mazurkiewicz and her group.

7. All poems live in my mind and I don’t think that it is hard work to write them down as long as I write them down as and when they come to me. Inspiration can happen at any time and as a result I often find poems that I have written on different pieces of scrap paper. I try to have a pen and sheet of paper with me at all times but when caught short I will write on wrapping paper or serviettes. Sometimes I can write a few poems in a day and sometimes none.

8. I would be happy to make personal recommendations of other poets from my country to American readers, I hope that they will like the contemporary Polish poetry.
repost from NMJ 2011


Afric McGlinchey

Afric pic for New Mirage

Irish-born Afric McGlinchey grew up in various countries in Africa, returning to Ireland in 1999. She was the 2010 winner of the prestigious Hennessy Emerging Poetry Award. Her poems have been published in seventeen journals, including the SHOp, Acumen, Magma, Moth, Southword, the Independent and the Sunday Tribune.
Other achievements include being awarded a Fellowship by the Faber Academy, having poems shortlisted in several other competitions and being nominated by New Mirage Journal for the Pushcart Prize.
A poetry reviewer for Southword and for Sabotage, Afric also reviews books for the Irish Examiner. She is a book editor and teaches poetry online at Her début collection, The Lucky Star of Hidden Things, to be published by Salmon, is forthcoming in May.

Which genres do you write?

I write poetry, but I have also written one thriller (I’m working on a rewrite before sending it out) and one book of non-fiction, called Through Ireland’s Revolving Door, which tells the stories of immigrants.

How many books have you published?
Salmon will be publishing my first poetry collection in May of this year. It’s called The Lucky Star of Hidden Things.

How long did it take you to find a publisher for your first book?
I was very lucky – I won a prestigious award in Ireland, and was promptly contacted by two publishing companies for my manuscript, which I was still working on. I think it’s the best way to attract the attention of publishers – to enter competitions and hopefully win one!

Have you ever or would you consider self-publishing a book? What advantages do you see in self -publication? What disadvantages do you see in self-publication?
I have self-published two small gift books, called Advice to a Daughter and Advice to a Son. I’m already on the third reprint for both, so it has been worth it in my case. I’d still prefer to find a publisher for them though, because I’d get a wider distribution and better marketing. There is a stigma to being self-published, but on the other hand, you have complete control, and also all the profits go to you. I heard on the radio yesterday that one self-published author had just sold her millionth book, so it’s definitely an option worth considering.

How many awards have you won for your writing? Has this honor(s) helped you develop as a writer?
My first break came in 2010, when I received a Fellowship from the Faber Academy to do a six-month poetry course, which was equivalent to a Masters in focus and intensity. After that, I won the Hennessy Award for Emerging Poetry, and that opened up all sorts of opportunities for me. I was invited to read at festivals, not only in Ireland, but in England too. I’ve also been asked to adjudicate competitions, and it’s helped my work as a poetry tutor. As well as these awards, I’ve been shortlisted in a number of other competitions, and come second in one. And thanks to New Mirage, I’ve also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize! Thank you so much. It’s all helped to raise my profile and create opportunities for me.
What is your new collection of poetry about? When will it be available for purchase and where?
My début collection, The Lucky Star of Hidden Things, will be published by Salmon Poetry in May this year. Their website is
The poems are essentially about the experience of growing up and living on two different continents, about being nomadic, and how that affects my perceptions, relationships and identity. The title is a translation of the name of a star called Sadalachbia. Traditionally, when this star appears (in spring), it signals the end of hibernation, and prompts nomads to pack up their tents and seek fresh pastures. I relate to it as I have moved about forty times in my life, and have even lived in a tent for three months!

What do you hope people will take away with them after reading this new book?
I hope readers will gain a sense of what it is to be displaced, and feel an increased interest and empathy for those who have left their place of origin. The advantage of experiencing other cultures, of course, is that you gain insight about different ways of living and being in the world. I feel immensely privileged to have lived such a life. As a writer, being an outsider is quite an asset – you can make more acute observations.

Would you call yourself a professional writer? Or Is writing more of an emotional/spiritual calling? Why?
In the sense that I am also a freelance journalist, yes, I would consider myself a professional writer. But where my poetry is concerned, it’s definitely a calling. It’s a compulsion for me to write, and when I’m not writing, I’m editing. Writing poetry, for me, clarifies my responses to what I see and experience. It also gives me the opportunity to inhabit a world of my own creation, and no matter where I am, this is the constant in my life.

Who are your favorite Irish authors? Why?
I returned to Ireland in 1999, so it’s only since then that I’ve been reading Irish poets. Yeats, of course, for his imagery, rhythm and diversity of content; Derek Mahon for his exquisite control, purity of language and the fact that he too, is in exile from his home place – I feel a strong connection especially with his later work. Younger poets who inspire me include Leontia Flynn, Leanne O’Sullivan, Grace Wells, Pat Cotter, Michael O’Loughlin. And of course many other poets from all over the world!

Do you spend time each day writing? What do you need to write?
I write at various times of day and night – sometimes I wake up out of a dream and jot things down. I have ideas all the time, so the problem is selecting which one to focus on! I sit down to write every day. If a poem doesn’t flow immediately, I will do some editing. Most poems are redrafted at least a dozen times before I’m happy with them. What do I need to write? My notebook and a pen if I’m on the move, or my computer at home. It’s easier to edit as you go when you can delete, cut and paste etc.

What advice (given to you by a teacher, mother etc.) has helped you develop most as a writer?
It was Derek Mahon who told me not to write so much, to slow down and take longer with each poem! To redraft ruthlessly and make each word earn its place in the poem. That was a big help. I received similar advice from Ciaran Carson. Paul Perry, who was my tutor on the Faber course, also advised me to be more sparing with my images – less is more, I’m discovering!

Red letter day
(i.m. three unknown refugees)

Sky and light
from this height
so startling and clear

Tied by tribe
and fear,
they stand on the ledge

choose a final freedom –
fly through a hundred
feet of air

catenated by the wind-
slowed red tape
of final warnings,

to slip
the net closing in
on their safe haven.

All that’s left,
dusty footprints
on a window sill

torn safety net
on Red Road.

wraps round
a Glasgow morning.

Did the outweighed sun
close its eyes
for that brief moment?


It has been drifting in icy tides,
its feathers peeling,
like stitches unpicked

from a mucky cloth,
dangling from the lip of a wave
before dipping below water.

Our rudder rubs against
the skinny corpse – to find its life
not quite extinguished.

Further out, we discover others;
a trio, clustered
up against a rock,

butting bodies, beaks and orange legs;
scrambled concoction
fetched up by the slick.

A quiet curse.
Bent heads droop over the side,
trail nets, scoop flesh.

There is no rescue. Just silence in a boat
in the black heave of water,
men and their staring eyes,

one arm reaching with a boathook;
another arm holds mine, while I film:
collecting scraps.

They call us
in the tokoloshe hours

to take mrs jimmy
to have her baby

but mrs jimmy has already
had her baby

by the creaking gate
where the cattle come in

grief-witted, arms tight
as rope, she rocks;

baby fingers curl in the dirt,
pale as a bleary sun

No need

No need to tell me
that endings
are a moment of transcendence,
and all that is solid melts into air;
no need to remind me
of the eyeblink tales of life,
like furniture and fridge snacks that stack up,
then vanish in a flame-lick.
No need to challenge me
to walk the high wire,
or to drag me to a party with all the wrong people,
where men take up space with knuckles on hips,
and there’s barely elbow room.
No need to show me
I’m in safe hands –
I’ve seen your scar
and know what you’re made of.
No need for you to hold up
a cardboard cut-out sun:
I remember how it looks, how it feels.
Or to suggest
that I’m more stone than heart:
what do you expect?
I’m still half a couple from ark days
pickling memories in a jar.
No need to say
that love will return some day
like speech after long silence;
that’s dirty talk.
White sky

Outside, the sky is white as snow,
but there is no snow in Africa today,

not in Accra, Djabouti, Entebbe,
Addis Ababa or Zanzibar.

It’s an impossibility, the idea
of blizzards, gales, aberrations

of cold and ice, while we sit here,
hugging the heat to our pores.

The board flicks names: Brazzaville,
Lilongwe, Kinshasa, Babouti…

Umbali wa mwisho wa safari-
Have a safe journey –

says my screen. On the map,
our destination, engulfed in white.

Newsflash of an earthquake in Haiti – all over
our spinning planet, weathers, shudders, rocks, cracks.

Fields of cloud, banquets of pattern
hiding the stories below.

you’re right, and I do
rose-tint life;

don’t want to
face the shadow side: seals
stockpiled on a pier;

a pregnant woman’s
bayoneted womb;
vehicles bouncing over

corpses; skinny kids
split in the dark,
twisted with gin and dagga,

then sent out
to vent their hurt
with matches, fuel and guns…

when you smile at me
I feel my blood suffused

and all weight lifts:
front page, clouds,
the day, my heart,

and I hope
that’s not too flowery,
my Valentine.

reposted from from NMJ 2012

A River, A World

Take your time in Dubai,
take your turn in Kabul or Jerusalem.
In seven rooms that face the river,
I pace my panic.
Uncapped paints pile table and desk.
Arrival Ceremonies, The Hangman’s Departure
are panels settled in a painter’s gallery.
Mystery lines, bruised hands that won’t heal,
assemble portfolios furtive with contrition and conjecture.
Asking my question twice,
I’ve heard no answer.

For each day, you own a different smile:
courtesan lilt, business bright,
modest mistress of the sewing room.
There is a conceit harbored by each city’s lover
that your restless grace leaches a world pale,
your gravity in sleep commissions a meteor’s demise.
I hold your husband’s wary note,
a check, a pair of airline tickets.
I attempt no offense. I leave easy.

The evening turns late, light-hollowed,
suitcases lined like rifles in a barracks.
Framed by river bank and cliff walls,
water’s fall blooms to the moon,
splashes white as it falls, as it flows.
Car lights, heat lightning slice the window panes.
Town car idling, we argue destination and direction.
Opinions hold, bitter and bearing gifts.

Widow First Day

Light peeps through the blinds
Must be a couple of hours since her daughter’s family came.
She pushes back the covers, heads for the bathroom,
Stops to pick up the usual crumpled black socks.
Today there are no socks.
His yesterday’s clothes are in a white plastic bag
Marked “Patient Property”

When she returns to bed, she glances over at
his side still perfectly made up. No crease in his pillow.
No smell of coffee wafting up from the kitchen.
She curls up and covers her head with the sheet. What now?

From the next room she hears her grandson whimper,
feet hitting the floor. That would be her daughter, of course.
Why can’t husbands take their turn?
She sits on the edge of the bed hugging herself,
hears the doorknob click. The arm that holds her
shaking shoulders is her son-in-law’s spare arm.
The other one cradles his son, his wrist cramped around to hold the bottle.

She smiles up at him, rests her head on his chest
and lets the tears flow. They cry it out together.
The bottle gurgles. “He’s full, Mom. I have to change him”
He rises. She follows him back into the spare room.
Her daughter, on the edge of the bed, crying.

She goes to her, stepping over the crumpled black socks on the floor.
When her daughter rises and reaches for the socks, she says, “No.”
“Let me do that. Please?”


I see Sister Midnight, Gena Olivier
Hauntingly beautiful
Smiling laughing
Singing dancing
All around
And I wonder
Clapping my hands
And my prick going whoop whoop
Remembering the Women of Bohemian
Greenwich Village
And Harlem
Particles of Love
Lliving in New York
With Andrea Barret
Chronicles of her “hood Glory days”
Smiling laughing
Singing dancing
With dadaíst Marcel Duchamps
Futurist Filippo Marinetti
With exciting
And frightening forces of Nature
Like the irresistible
Modernist Mina Loy
And the creative lunatic Baroness
Elsa von Freytay Loringhoven
As bees trapped in
Between curtain and glasses
And I wonder
I mean
Even if it did blow over
Just being able
To pick and gho.

Burro Doctor Horse

We laugh at first, too
Then curse
All night hearing thrss thrss rounds Ears to Earth
Under frosty rotating nebulae
As in War
Expecting to listen “mi arma” my mind And “mi vida” my life
What ¿
Gamblering prospector
Burro doctor horse
Trader prostituyes
Turned to dust Gioia
With opened skirt Gathering wood in the sand of Arabs Privileged to see
The union of Sky and Earth
As the Great Gatsby
Sitting in its living room
And playing through the night With “The Start of Things”
By Ali Smith
Breaking up like having to lock Someone out in the asking
And not in the answering
Of her “The Whole Story” Because we live at the Edge
Of the rays of Moon
Bronzed with small exclamation
Of the tongue:
“Pretty good
Go on with all
It s too immense.