April 2016 – Language

Dear Damsels,

It’s how we communicate, form relationships, and make ourselves heard. It’s in the words that we speak and in the movements of our bodies.

Conversations spoken through silence. Love letters carrying speeches. Warmth felt through taps on a phone screen.

It spills out of us when we’re talking to friends, nervously catches when talking to strangers, and gets stuck in our throats in a room full of people.

It fills our voices, hidden in our accents, tied up in our slang and the words we pretend to understand, condensing our sprawling thoughts into simple sentences.

However this theme speaks to you, tell us your stories. We can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say.

Love and thanks,

DD x

Submissions are no longer being accepted for this theme. You can read the contributions below. 

(Un)spoken Word

Emma Jennings’ poem explores the role language has played at different stages through her life: the words that would take her through school, then puberty, then to different countries.

Absorbed: Made Up Of Quotes

Sharing the quotes from books, poems and films that have been absorbed “bone deep”.

All Good Things Come to an End / Yorks Bakery Café

To kick off our theme we have the perfect duo of inventive poems by Montie Hanna.

DD Reading List: Language

Each month we pick four books relating to our monthly theme that we think you should read. Here’s this month’s suggested reading, all linking – in one way or another – to this month’s theme of LANGUAGE.

DD Reading List: Nerve

As NERVE draws to a close, we give you some further reading to keep the theme alive.

Easy as Do Re Mi

Barbican Young Poet Megha Harish on growing up in a home of four languages.

I Think We’ve Said Enough

A short story from Katie Mosses about the body language we use when words are not enough.


A intricate poem playing with writing, wordplay and literature, by Louisa Stark

Lessons In Communication

In an extract from a larger piece of fiction, Bridie Wilkinson writes about how an interaction sparks a key communication for two characters.

My Hips Do Lie: Betrayed by my Body Language

We often find ourselves in situations that make us want to curl into a ball, but the key to mastering these situations might actually be about standing tall. Emily Ford explores the concept of power posing.

Review: YFL Presents

Dear Damsels reviews YFL:Presents 03/04

Sister Roar

Jaspreet Sangha brings us a powerful piece of poetry about using our voice to claim the space that we deserve.

The Language of Sickness

Emma Crouch takes us through the painful journey of learning a new language when a family member falls ill

What Language Means To Me

Jenny Campbell takes us on a personal journey through her relationship to language, and how it has helped and hindered her.

Word Up

There are two important facts to note about Emma’s linguistic cultivation: One, she was a teenager during the Age of the Chav. Two, she went to an all-girls Grammar school, in Kent.