Beth O’Brien is an English Literature student at the University of Birmingham. She is the Editor of Mad Hatter Reviews, a site that reviews books, e-books, theatre, music, and even the odd podcast. Having been born visually impaired, Beth grew up on audiobooks and audio-described theatre, and these loves are still going strong.
She is also a reviewer for Riggwelter Press, and has quite happily picked up a range of jobs that require her to write, whether that be travel articles, student blogs, or website content. She has had her poetry (and the odd short story) published in Foxglove Journal, Nine Muses Poetry, Dear Reader Poetry, BellaOnline Literary Review, Eunoia, Pulp Poets Press, Peculiars Press, Picaroon Press, and Bonnie’s Crew.
When not reading, writing, or listening to an audiobook at double speed, she will most likely be found snacking, drinking tea, and/or planning a trip to somewhere or other.
I line up the empty-but-not-for-long jam jars
and relabel all the flavours,
to remind myself that what the labels say
have nothing to do with what’s inside.
And then I begin to make jam.
I LEFT THE ROOM BURNING - a narrative poetry collection from Beth O'Brien will be published in February 2021.
LIGHT PERCEPTION by Beth O'Brien
My right eye is essentially blind. My left eye does her best but, really, she struggles too. Especially if you want her to read more than the top two rows of the eye test chart.
I have next to no peripheral vision, which means I only see exactly what I’m looking at and nothing around it. If I look at the letter g on my keyboard, I can see the letter g, and h, and that’s all.
My brain works over-time every single day, filling in the blanks with a mixture of logic and sheer guesswork...
this is exhausting.
The woman in the coffee shop stares at the way I hold
the way I trace my fingers around the coffee cup
to find the handle,
and although part of me wants to ask what she is looking at,
I ignore her because I know exactly what,
and I don’t want to hear her answer.