About Maria Stadnicka

Maria Stadnicka is a writer, editor and freelance journalist based in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. She is currently a PhD researcher at University of the West of England, Bristol, exploring psycho-social aspects of migration and socio-cultural trauma in Britain. She completed her MA in Creative and Critical Writing at University of Gloucestershire. She read poetry at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, London, Oxford, Bristol, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Plymouth Language Club, Stroud Book Festival, Tears in the Fence Festival, Winchester University. Maria Stadnicka published poetry in: ‘Wienzeile' (Austria), ‘Cronica’, ‘Poesis’, ‘Hyperion’, ‘LiterNet’, ‘Convorbiri literare’, 'LitMag' (Romania and Republic of Moldova), 'Dissident Voice', 'Osiris' (USA), 'Stride', 'International Times', 'Tears in the Fence', 'Litter', 'Molly Bloom', 'Shearsman', 'The Journal', 'The Moth' (United Kingdom), 'Meniscus', 'AXON', 'Social Alternatives', 'TEXT' (Australia), 'Noon' (Japan), 'The Ofi Press Journal' (Mexico). Published anthologies and poetry collections: - ‘Somnia' (2020, Knives, Forks and Spoons Press); - 'Bearings 2' (2019, The Poets' Republic); - 'The Unmoving' (2018, Broken Sleep Books); - 'Imperfect' (2017, Yew Tree Press); - 'A Short Story about War' (2014, Yew Tree Press). Follow on Twitter: @MariaStadnicka Copyright notice: © Maria Stadnicka, 2007-2020. All Rights Reserved. All works, writing, images, and information found herein are protected under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Any unauthorized reproduction or usage is in direct violation of the law and is strictly prohibited. No part or parts of this content may be reproduced, copied, modified, published, or constructed from in any way without the express, direct written permission of Maria Stadnicka.

Flash News – ‘Imperfect’ Book Launch – 19th May @Black Books Cafe, Stroud, 7.30pm

Maria Stadnicka

Front cover design: @Andrew Morrison

We had to stop the car several times.

Weeks of anxious waiting finally ended.

A new, small, wrinkled, bloody, placental book


It had a natural birth and I called it ‘Imperfect’.

The book launch will be on Friday 19th May 2017, at Black Books Cafe, Stroud. 7.30pm for 8pm start. Free entry.

The book is available for pre-order at mariastadnicka@yahoo.co.uk.

The evening will be a vibrant performance with poetry and music, featuring Maria Stadnicka, Adam Horovitz, Katie McCue and ‘Souled and Healed’.

Yew Tree Press – Philip Rush

Design and printer – Andrew Morrison

Books, drinks, sounds will be available! Come along!

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The World According to a Child Soldier (II)

The paper records showed that I was

Girl Eleven-Thousand-Two-Hundred-And-Seven and

I talked only to walls in an unknown language.


The children avoided the pew under the great oak tree

where I sat, knees bent, staring at

my notebook with many blank lines.


On a solitary battlefield, inside the rusty ceiling ghetto,

I learnt to hold my breath under water, counting the steamy bubbles

in the over-boiled dry wood soup.


Nobody had heard my voice until that afternoon

during the Propaganda Lectures when mister Opal stood me up

by the blackboard

to recite, loud and clear, verses from The Pupils’ Manifesto;

pages two, three and four.


The first page was missing but, coming to think of it,

all our books had the first page torn out.


Mister Brown Jacket lifted my chin up,

glared at my bitten fingertips and

dismissed the whole class.


In a cupboard behind the stairwell,

the world gave birth to a



The World According to a Child Soldier

In a well-typed-bold letter, with very little spelling mistakes,

the headmaster invited my father to a political chat.


This morning, I turned up in assembly bare feet, with a red notebook.

At half past nine I escaped through a window

during the weekly fire drill and

someone noticed me drawing a swastika on the toilet door.

It was the only detail I could remember

from the history lessons up to that point.


I spent the entire day up on a hill,

editing my own handwritten freedom-pamphlet,

in the company of a shepherd and his dog.


It rained at about three o’clock and the world smelled of people.

It smelled of my father in navy-blue overalls, pacing up and down

in the quiet corner of the school library.


That night I coughed and spat out a nuclear war,

a big lump of poetry stuck in my throat;

from a hospital bed, still in recovery.


The Tortures of Freedom

Let it be known. This morning another cultural revolution starts

with a fight between my sister and I

over a plate of stale breadcrumbs.


The newsreader recites the questions during

an imaginary interview with a war hero,

minutes of silence follow and then

the high pitched hissing noise of a boiling samovar.


Water and grain – the tortures of freedom for orphans and trees.


The view from the kitchen window captures the sea of people

steadily moving towards a distant border.


No school today. The bomb exploded on our playground,

the real fight carries on at the dinner table where

the rhythm of my unacceptable rebellion grows – rooted deep well.


I am packing for England grey maps, libraries and colours;

the neighbours say just essentials.

A world on foot in my satchel.

Tissue paper wraps up the infinite possibility of a one-way road.


What will happen with my Facebook account when I die?
Will Facebook inherit my photographs, friends, preferences, statuses, history and, ultimately, my life?
What will happen with my Facebook friends when I die? With what I left behind, in my haste? Will they die too? Or will they just keep being friends with me? The dead me.
Will my Facebook friends still like me online and post their love letters and say good bye and hello to me?
But me, when I die, will I get to keep my friends, the alive friends, and take them with me?
Will my friends be dead too or alive?
If they alive, me dead.


I look at how things are between us.
You on a long bed, silent,
Covered in sheets.
Thick tubes coming out of your nose,
Inwardly breathing.

My face, an exclamation mark,
Staring at this pile of bones; says good bye.

We both know
This love is not going to survive the night.
I am going to see the day.
While you, locked in the shiny white box.
Without return.

A Beautiful Cage

copyright 2011: M.Butunoi/G.CalinescuEverything used to be new once.
My face, open like a fresh orange, with writing marks on it, with letters and signs, a new book coming out of the press.
My belly, new,
Ready for unborn life, squeezed between sheets with delirious happiness.
My left leg, the leg behind the eye,
(used to ground the world, to set fire to all the unnecessary sadness) new.

I sit still, looking down at you, struggling to cover the marks of the war with fabrics and ash.
My forehead pressed against the glass, cold.

I observe how you drink the tea on the other side, with precise, calculated sips.
And the day passes.
A beautiful, new cage for both of us.


copyright 2011: M.Butunoi&G.Calinescu