Today and tomorrow will be dedicated to the work of a young Glaswegian poet, Maria Sledmere. In today’s piece, ‘Zelda’, Maria pays homage to Zelda Fitzgerald, American expat in Paris and often overlooked writer and artist.

How strange, that you gave your name

to a princess from a video game.

Maria Sledmere, by Kath Warren, courtesy of the Scottish Writers’ Centre


How strange, that you gave your name

to a princess from a video game.

Curly-haired, wild and aflame

with a will to break the shell of a book

that you wrote while broken inside yourself.


Such drinking works up quite the sweat

when you dance like that, the swirl

of bourbon bubbling in your pores.


You saved us all the waltz and

I love the swish and sashay of your prose,

its meandering adjectives

potent as the spells

you cast on errant men,

who misunderstood the fire of your mind.


You were an eagle, a faerie,

listless and mystical; the chance encounter

with arguments, martinis and rye.


You screamed at the world

as a ballerina could, twisting your limbs

in tightened time; while agony

laddered your gossamer stockings

and sent you back down upon the void.


I read you for an essay, but you made me dream

of love and tulle on steroids;

the sweetness and suffering both

bloodied and pretty, scheduled for shock therapy

and writing blind.


It seemed effortless, the bounce of your lines.

Into their flow I go sometimes,

biting your name on my tongue: Fitzgerald

crisp as a morning cigarette;

I guess too bright to burn just fine.


Maria Sledmere is a postgraduate student, studying for an MLitt in Modernities at the University of Glasgow. In her free time, she writes poetry, reviews music for RaveChild Glasgow, is assistant editor of SPAMzine and works as a waitress. Her chief passions include making mix tapes, painting and Tom McCarthy. She’s currently working on a collaborative zine called ‘Gilded Dirt’, and blogs about everything from Derrida to Lana Del Rey at


2 thoughts on “International Women’s March Fortnight: 9th March, ‘Zelda’ by Maria Sledmere

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