Graham Tugwell

Graham Tugwell is a writer and performer of Irish distraction. The recipient of the College Green Literary Prize 2010, his work has appeared in over forty journals, including Anobium, The Quotable, Pyrta, THIS Literary Magazine, and L’Allure Des Mots. He has lived his whole life in the village where his stories take place. He loves it with a very special kind of hate. His website is grahamtugwell.com.

Work by Graham Tugwell

Graham Tugwell

June is Corn and Coaldust

JULY July is lost to growing and the counsel of the mother shelves, preparing her, making her ready to produce. And soon she’s big enough: “Don’t ruin those clothes,” says the withered thing that was her mother, “They’ll have to do the next one.” (Men are gathering on the street, waiting for the woman to come, to wheel before her this month’s child. And when there’s no sign of her, furtive and silent looks are exchanged. It’s a birthing month. Nothing new will come for weeks. Silently and furtively, they leave.) And July ends in mint and marigolds. The women watch as it has its first. A beautiful ...

Read More

Graham Tugwell

June is Corn and Coaldust

JUNE And June is corn and coaldust, and the failure from the month before, quartered, rolled in honey. Swollen once more, and a day from birth, she lowers herself in stages, down the steps and through the door, and into the dark of the kitchen. All the things on shelves start screaming: “What have you brought us? What have you brought us?” A plastic bag is a wrinkled sac hanging heavy from a hand. She upturns it on the sideboard, releasing in slithers a hundred sachets of oxtail soup—today the things on the shelves must be fed. She cooks a pot of umber soup ...

Read More

Graham Tugwell

June is Corn and Coaldust

MAY May is glass and garlic oil, eaten in delicate fistfuls, the sharp edges guided between the lips and crunched between her bleeding teeth. Three weeks of that—that pungent sharp— and she feels it growing, the stretch marks fresh striations like livid scald-wounds, a cage across her. It moves inside and aims a listless kick. She sits in the dark and feels it. This is an old house. Thorn bushes swallow windows, arching like backs to block the light. The stone floor is a shallow bowl, sunk lower than the ground so entry is by stepping down, ducking under the lintel. What light there ...

Read More

From the Archives