Ink Sweat & Tears is a UK based webzine which publishes and reviews poetry, prose, prose-poetry, word & image pieces and everything in between. Our tastes are eclectic and magpie-like and we aim to publish something new every day.

We try to keep waiting-time short, but because of increased submissions, the current waiting time between submission and publication is around twelve weeks.

IS&T Shop

Buy Ink Sweat & Tears Publishing books and pamphlets here.

Featured Poetry/Prose of the Day

Runaways London

Whilst many people view the trade in enslaved people as something which took place along the so-called ‘Middle Passage’ between Africa and the Americas, between the 1650s and 1780s many hundreds of enslaved people were brought to London. Most were African although a significant minority were South Asian. What’s even less well-known is that while in the capital some attempted to and were successful in escaping. The average age of the runaways was 16. One of the ways we are aware of the existence of these enslaved Londoners is through many hundreds of short advertisements placed in newspapers by masters and enslavers who described and offered rewards for the capture and return of enslaved people who had escaped. Often called ‘runaway slave’ advertisements, they are in many cases the only surviving record we have of a particular enslaved person, but even then they may tell us very little and all through the eyes of those who enslaved and pursued them. For more than a year Ink Sweat...

Ira Lightman

      Family Tree Health Plan Blossomy buds circulate, fervid. Scarlet inertia steams past panacea from saps as unction. Closure was mental on a cliff's slope. Twig held to lost hope. Defensive surgery of bark heeds smoky premonition. Forced admission's choke delays triage fatally.     Ira Lightman has been publishing chapbooks for 20 years. His books include Trancelated , Duetcetera , Mustard Tart as Lemon and I, Love Poetry. He makes public art with communities and text, around the UK. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3′s The Verb.

Zelda Cahill-Patten

      Street-preacher She looks at me with that fearsome oil-sheen in her eyes, the weighty conviction of milk-heavy gaze and breasts, telling me (the spittle-flecked words like Words made flesh) of her Father, how he is unseen, felt unstirring in the Godless air. She is seized with her preaching like a fist about the neck, the knocks and blows of the world, wonderfully inflated with FATHER. I wish to tell her of my own faith, of my own father who, like hers, is a lack, a hole, an unfleshed thing, something I must believe in, remember. But there is a Rule — we do not talk to street-preaching loon-women, dear. We do not look in their shockingly flammable eyes, their eyes like cheap synthetic cloth that’s ripe for burning.     Zelda Cahill-Patten is a twenty-year-old university student from London. She is studying English Literature and has recently been awarded the Lord Alfred Douglas Memorial Prize for her sonnet...

Maeve McKenna

      Dream State Covers tight as clingfilm. Tell them you fell headfirst, steadied yourself, sucked out what was left in your throat, coughed that creamy polyethylene onto the pillow. Eyeballs infused with miniature blue irises plunge into the well. The drop is colossal, blinking, brick by brick. I haul my right foot to a cold corner. Thousands of bed mites riot, gnaw at toenails, mouths like shoplifters’ swelled pockets, until I enter the last passage to a sandy beach, where sunrise is a palette of spiteful jellyfish, grains of sand gyrating on blades of grass, dew overly clingy on the spine of a leaf. Breath-draughts howl translations of every human sin. From the ceiling light, spiders swing their busy silk limbs over rising sea levels to the green carpeted corner; punishment to watch for its ingenuity. It won’t be long until olfactory organs locate victims.  On architraves, baby-eggs crack open, lock eight infant eyes as webs on the Bluebottle fly’s flat-winged...

Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

      Widows Walk Evenings she puts on her second-best hat skewered with a tortoise shell pin, buttons up her heart in a mauve mohair coat sallies forth to pick a bone with the moon. On the red-leaded step she scans the stars imagines them white sparks from his hammer. Her heart is fierce: keen as his chisel, weighs like a bag of four inch nails. In her pocket she carries a fistful of humbugs matches, twenty Players Weights. She recalls the black kettle on stand-by on the stove hears the voice of the clock in the hall. On her tongue, a retort fit to slice a man open. In her head, a dozen what ifs.     Abigail Elizabeth Ottley writes poetry and short fiction from her home in Penzance. She has been published in a wide range of journals and anthologies, and is currently working on her first novel. Find her on Facebook and Twitter @AbilgailLaLoca.

Previously featured

Maeve McKenna

      Dream State Covers tight as clingfilm. Tell them you fell headfirst, steadied yourself, sucked out what was left in your throat, coughed that creamy polyethylene onto the pillow. Eyeballs infused with miniature blue irises plunge into the well....

read more

Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

      Widows Walk Evenings she puts on her second-best hat skewered with a tortoise shell pin, buttons up her heart in a mauve mohair coat sallies forth to pick a bone with the moon. On the red-leaded step she scans the stars imagines them white sparks...

read more

Recent Prose

Michael Bloor on National Flash Fiction Day

      Stirring Ambition As they'd agreed that morning, the three old women met again at the crossroads on the heath, when the sun was sinking. They were beggars, clad in beggars' rags. War was once more in the land and beggars'...

Ella Dorman-Gajic

    Happiness is Free Wifi - After the billboard in Ealing Broadway shopping centre.   Contentment walks into a coffee shop, is offered super-speed free Happiness with her blueberry muffin, under 100 calories. ‘FUCK ME’, Contentment...

Robert Garnham

      Cutting Through The tea-light flames would dance as if a modernist ballet were being staged in each of the glass dishes from expensive supermarket puddings. He had dotted them around his ground floor flat, on various pieces of...

David Sapp

      Groundhog Bachelor and Drunk Ganders Before the art opening, over appetizers downtown, leisurely and expansively, my aunts Evelyn and Jane swapped stories availing the phrase “it’s true, it’s true” too frequently. According to...

Harry Wilding

    DIY with Biscuits The sound of the drill was not enough to completely drown out his voice. ‘Sure that’s in the right place?’ Gerry asked. I focussed on the screw disappearing into the wall. ‘Mary? You hear me? You sure that’s not too...

Recent Haiku

Kamrun Nahar

      Manipulation the song of silence can demolish thousands springs Today I tell a story about a young girl who was very skittish in her childhood . Couldn't seat a single place for a minute, couldn't remain few seconds silence...

Mona Bedi

      Four Haiku * a date with myself inside the fortune cookie a love note * migraine... the storm fails to subside * museum tour my husband lingers at the kamasutra painting * renovation I refuse to remove the pigeon's nest  ...

Cheng Tim Tim

    Hi, you. Mouth slightly open to the sight of dandelion: why’d you shove it in? Bitter lion teeth, breathtakingly ticklish, seed in a wrong bed.     Cheng Tim Tim is a teacher and a poet born in Hong Kong to a Hokkien family....

Samo Kreutz

      Haiku * small boy under his feet skyscraper shadows * kitchen table at the master's place a tiny spider * evening forest not quite big enough for all the shadows *     Samo Kreutz lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Besides...

Helen May Williams

    Winter solstice 2020   13/12/2020 dream haiku small hours of Sunday morning family’s little strength guarded for mourning   17/12/2020 still growing on old apple tree— mistletoe   21/12/2020 the peanut feeder disappears...

News

Word & Image

Video Channel

Featured Poetry/Prose of the Day

Runaways London

Whilst many people view the trade in enslaved people as something which took place along the so-called ‘Middle Passage’ between Africa and the Americas, between the 1650s and 1780s many hundreds of enslaved people were brought to London. Most were African although a significant minority were South Asian. What’s even less well-known is that while in the capital some attempted to and were successful in escaping. The average age of the runaways was 16. One of the ways we are aware of the existence of these enslaved Londoners is through many hundreds of short advertisements placed in newspapers by masters and enslavers who described and offered rewards for the capture and return of enslaved people who had escaped. Often called ‘runaway slave’ advertisements, they are in many cases the only surviving record we have of a particular enslaved person, but even then they may tell us very little and all through the eyes of those who enslaved and pursued them. For more than a year Ink Sweat...

Ira Lightman

      Family Tree Health Plan Blossomy buds circulate, fervid. Scarlet inertia steams past panacea from saps as unction. Closure was mental on a cliff's slope. Twig held to lost hope. Defensive surgery of bark heeds smoky premonition. Forced admission's choke delays triage fatally.     Ira Lightman has been publishing chapbooks for 20 years. His books include Trancelated , Duetcetera , Mustard Tart as Lemon and I, Love Poetry. He makes public art with communities and text, around the UK. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3′s The Verb.

Zelda Cahill-Patten

      Street-preacher She looks at me with that fearsome oil-sheen in her eyes, the weighty conviction of milk-heavy gaze and breasts, telling me (the spittle-flecked words like Words made flesh) of her Father, how he is unseen, felt unstirring in the Godless air. She is seized with her preaching like a fist about the neck, the knocks and blows of the world, wonderfully inflated with FATHER. I wish to tell her of my own faith, of my own father who, like hers, is a lack, a hole, an unfleshed thing, something I must believe in, remember. But there is a Rule — we do not talk to street-preaching loon-women, dear. We do not look in their shockingly flammable eyes, their eyes like cheap synthetic cloth that’s ripe for burning.     Zelda Cahill-Patten is a twenty-year-old university student from London. She is studying English Literature and has recently been awarded the Lord Alfred Douglas Memorial Prize for her sonnet...

Maeve McKenna

      Dream State Covers tight as clingfilm. Tell them you fell headfirst, steadied yourself, sucked out what was left in your throat, coughed that creamy polyethylene onto the pillow. Eyeballs infused with miniature blue irises plunge into the well. The drop is colossal, blinking, brick by brick. I haul my right foot to a cold corner. Thousands of bed mites riot, gnaw at toenails, mouths like shoplifters’ swelled pockets, until I enter the last passage to a sandy beach, where sunrise is a palette of spiteful jellyfish, grains of sand gyrating on blades of grass, dew overly clingy on the spine of a leaf. Breath-draughts howl translations of every human sin. From the ceiling light, spiders swing their busy silk limbs over rising sea levels to the green carpeted corner; punishment to watch for its ingenuity. It won’t be long until olfactory organs locate victims.  On architraves, baby-eggs crack open, lock eight infant eyes as webs on the Bluebottle fly’s flat-winged...

Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

      Widows Walk Evenings she puts on her second-best hat skewered with a tortoise shell pin, buttons up her heart in a mauve mohair coat sallies forth to pick a bone with the moon. On the red-leaded step she scans the stars imagines them white sparks from his hammer. Her heart is fierce: keen as his chisel, weighs like a bag of four inch nails. In her pocket she carries a fistful of humbugs matches, twenty Players Weights. She recalls the black kettle on stand-by on the stove hears the voice of the clock in the hall. On her tongue, a retort fit to slice a man open. In her head, a dozen what ifs.     Abigail Elizabeth Ottley writes poetry and short fiction from her home in Penzance. She has been published in a wide range of journals and anthologies, and is currently working on her first novel. Find her on Facebook and Twitter @AbilgailLaLoca.

News

Word & Image

Video Channel

Previously featured

Maeve McKenna

      Dream State Covers tight as clingfilm. Tell them you fell headfirst, steadied yourself, sucked out what was left in your throat, coughed that creamy polyethylene onto the pillow. Eyeballs infused with miniature blue irises plunge into the well....

read more

Abigail Elizabeth Ottley

      Widows Walk Evenings she puts on her second-best hat skewered with a tortoise shell pin, buttons up her heart in a mauve mohair coat sallies forth to pick a bone with the moon. On the red-leaded step she scans the stars imagines them white sparks...

read more

Recent Prose

Michael Bloor on National Flash Fiction Day

      Stirring Ambition As they'd agreed that morning, the three old women met again at the crossroads on the heath, when the sun was sinking. They were beggars, clad in beggars' rags. War was once more in the land and beggars'...

Ella Dorman-Gajic

    Happiness is Free Wifi - After the billboard in Ealing Broadway shopping centre.   Contentment walks into a coffee shop, is offered super-speed free Happiness with her blueberry muffin, under 100 calories. ‘FUCK ME’, Contentment...

Robert Garnham

      Cutting Through The tea-light flames would dance as if a modernist ballet were being staged in each of the glass dishes from expensive supermarket puddings. He had dotted them around his ground floor flat, on various pieces of...

David Sapp

      Groundhog Bachelor and Drunk Ganders Before the art opening, over appetizers downtown, leisurely and expansively, my aunts Evelyn and Jane swapped stories availing the phrase “it’s true, it’s true” too frequently. According to...

Harry Wilding

    DIY with Biscuits The sound of the drill was not enough to completely drown out his voice. ‘Sure that’s in the right place?’ Gerry asked. I focussed on the screw disappearing into the wall. ‘Mary? You hear me? You sure that’s not too...

Recent Haiku

Kamrun Nahar

      Manipulation the song of silence can demolish thousands springs Today I tell a story about a young girl who was very skittish in her childhood . Couldn't seat a single place for a minute, couldn't remain few seconds silence...

Mona Bedi

      Four Haiku * a date with myself inside the fortune cookie a love note * migraine... the storm fails to subside * museum tour my husband lingers at the kamasutra painting * renovation I refuse to remove the pigeon's nest  ...

Cheng Tim Tim

    Hi, you. Mouth slightly open to the sight of dandelion: why’d you shove it in? Bitter lion teeth, breathtakingly ticklish, seed in a wrong bed.     Cheng Tim Tim is a teacher and a poet born in Hong Kong to a Hokkien family....

Samo Kreutz

      Haiku * small boy under his feet skyscraper shadows * kitchen table at the master's place a tiny spider * evening forest not quite big enough for all the shadows *     Samo Kreutz lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Besides...

Helen May Williams

    Winter solstice 2020   13/12/2020 dream haiku small hours of Sunday morning family’s little strength guarded for mourning   17/12/2020 still growing on old apple tree— mistletoe   21/12/2020 the peanut feeder disappears...

Picks of the Month

Reviews