Researcher, writer and translator based between Ireland and Guatemala. LLM in International Human Rights, BA in Sociology, Politics and Spanish.
Issue 4 Spectrum (Special Edition).pdf
This issue of Powders Press came about thanks to the ignorance of a stranger. I was
on a train heading home from work with my noise-cancelling headphones on and my
hand repetitively tapping my rocking leg. For any readers who don’t know, this is
called stimming (self-stimulatory behaviour) and is a common process that autistics
do to self-regulate and in my case to calm my anxiety. Someone sat down across
from me. After minutes of staring they taped me on the shoulder to ask, ‘what’s
How to be a Writer When You’re Highly Sensitive to Rejection
Don’t Write Alone | Toolkit
Throughout my writing journey, I’ve been working hard to cope with the inevitability of rejection in ways that work for me. I hope that what I’ve learned can help others.
No writer enjoys rejection, but we are reminded at regular intervals—on social media, in writer’s advice columns, and in think pieces—that rejection is part of the process and we shouldn’t take it personally. Rejection is so much a fixture of the writing world that we are told to get our work out ...
Finding a Hero in Wednesday Addams as a Closeted and Neurodivergent Tween
Aisling Walsh Celebrates the Return of the Iconic Outcast
“Have you ever been told you’re different, odd, or simply don’t belong? In a world full of normies, do you feel like an outcast?” So says principal Larissa Weems (Gwendoline Cristie) as she introduces Nevermore Academy in the upcoming Netflix series Wednesday. In Tim Burton’s adaptation of the classic Charles Addams cartoon, premiering on November 23rd, Nevermore Academy receives Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) after her eighth public ...
The Witching Hour by Aisling Walsh
‘They have come to find joy, create explosions and reach ecstasy. The circle throbs with the pulse of shared expectations.’
MMCF Competition Winners
Congratulations to our winners and our runners-up whose entries can be read below.
Stone of Madness Press
I thought she would scream at me but, it was worse. She just stared. At the shock on my face, my reddening cheeks and the shards of glass glinting on the carpet.
‘I didn’t mean to,’ I said in a rush, expecting my mother’s retort of: ‘that’s what you always say.’ But she didn’t. She said nothing. She turned around, got in the car and drove away, leaving me to gape at an empty square of air where the pane of frosted glass should have f...
Malevolent Vulvas Collapse the Veil Between Worlds in “Stranger Things”
In the climax of Stranger Things 3 a giant laser punctures the wall of an underground bunker, breaching the veil between ours and the Upside Down. An alternative dimension which lies parallel to our own, the Upside Down is governed by an evil hive-mind intelligence known as the Mind Flayer. The fissure between worlds looks remarkably like a vulva.
I see vulvas like Cole sees dead people in The Sixth Sense: in rock faces, in clusters of petals, in art, in TV and film. My own predilection for v...
Finding My Authentic Voice as a Late-Diagnosed Autistic Writer
Don’t Write Alone | Writing Life
I had always used writing to try and make sense of myself, without realizing just how much of this was a way of processing a divergent experience of the world.
In the first short story I ever attempted to write (still unpublished), an adolescent girl wakes up to an empty house, her family apparently disappeared. Rather than looking for an explanation for the sudden state of abandonment or trying to resolve the situation, the girl embraces the freedom granted b...
My cervix has been weeping for longer than I know. The pearl-pink nub at the neck of my womb is marked by a lesion which releases a constant trickle of blood. The ulcer was first spotted by my gynaecologist, Linda, when I first visited her clinic on moving from my home country of Ireland to Guatemala in 2014. It is like a grazed knee, but one that refuses to heal.
There is no apparent cause: no infection, no bacteria nor virus; no growths, no other alterations nor injuries. I’ve...
The Broken Men—Aisling Walsh
content warning: sexual content
People often believe witches should look a certain way. They imagine us as haggard crones with black hairs curling out of warts protruding from the tips of hooked noses. They project us on screen with our gnarled fingers, tipped with black talons, wrapped around the shaft of straw brooms as we speed across the sky. Or they show us cackling as we wave our wands over steaming cauldrons to cast our spells. On Samhain they dress their daughters in our image – point...
Of Terminator and Motherhood: Why My Mom’s Franchise Fandom Finally Makes Sense
The last Christmas I spent with my mother, we watched two movies of her choice: Casablanca (1942) and The Terminator (1984). Between rounds of chemo and radiation for the cervical cancer which would soon be declared terminal, Mum had little energy to do more than watch TV. Twenty-three at the time, I skipped the usual holiday revelries at the local pub to join her for a glass of wine and fill in some of the gaps in my cinematic history.
Casablanca made sense: the romance, the impossibility of...
MORE TIME THAN LIFE
The city of Galway is protected from surging tides and increasingly ferocious, year-round, storms by a fabricated wall of rocks stretching from the modest docklands four kilometres west. The promenade, snaking alongside this wall, has allowed the city’s residents a much-needed outdoor respite throughout a year of rolling lockdowns. It is, mercifully, within five kilometres of my sublet and so I break no rules by going there.
I park my bike at the shelter by the diving board where, no matter t...
They did not believe in ghosts but they were scared of them. On weekend visitations they would sleep three-in-a-bed in the guest room of the rented cottage. The older two would fight over who got to share the double bed with the little one and who had to roll over onto the fold-out camp bed. A single bed lay at the far end of the room, but they were ever annoyed enough with each other to banish anyone to that lonely corner. The unfortunate occupant would have to squeeze their eyes shut agains...