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by Anna De Vaul

“It always comes down to space ... to the emptiness that is not empty but a void”

The poems in Cosmonaut work together to tell a story. As our poetic narrator embarks on her literal and figurative journey, the cosmonaut and space itself become flexible metaphors, used to explore the narrator’s place in and perceptions of her world. Shielded and distanced from the world by the glass of the cosmonaut’s helmet, the narrator’s journey is ultimately internal, played out against a backdrop of the accidental details of life – from Star Wars bandaids to conversations about trauma theory, from climate change to Scotch whiskies.

Give and Take

My lover told me he
quite likes his wife;
he never said love.
He said he loves me, but

our love is a shadow
splayed across the walls
of Plato’s cave, written
in verse with a shaking hand

on university letterhead
left pinned to my door
with a post-it note smile
as if it were a gift

as if I could return it
for a better fit.


Anna De Vaul was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and later moved to first Cardiff and then Norwich. She currently lives in Wenzhou, China, where she is a lecturer in literature and writing. She is also an editor, working with both Lighthouse literary journal in the UK and Nimrod International Journal in the USA. Her writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize (fiction) and Forward Prize (Best Single Poem), and ‘Broken Up’ won Eyewear Publishing’s Fortnight Prize.

Her first collection Volcano (2019) was published by Unsolicited Press under the heteronym Elosham Vog. A pamphlet, Cosmonaut (writing as A. E. De Vaul), was published by Valley Press in September 2021.


Edition: First

Date Published: 2021-09-02

ISBN: 9781912436675

Catalogue Number: VP0188

Number of Pages: 36

Cover design: Peter Barnfather
Commissioning editor: Tess Dennison

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