Blog, Creator of the Month, Spotlight

November Creator of the Month: Max Cunliffe

We are so excited to introduce our November Creator of the Month! Every month, we will be spotlighting creators from the QM student community across different art forms. 

Our December Creator of the Month is Max Cunliffe!

Scroll down to check out our interview with Max and to read about Max’s creative process and work!


The creative spark comes and goes, but there must be trust that it always returns.I use poetry as a form of catharsis and processing, and I often write as an automatic process in response to sense impressions and perceptions within a particularly powerful moment.I make a point to capture these moments as they come; they seem fleeting and I’m often disappointed when one passes unquestioned. However, I am always confident in the arrival of the next moment and try to prepare myself for it to come. Carrying a notebook and pen at all times is a necessity.  In the moment I aim to achieve deconstruction in images and sonic qualities to produce my writing, and I work at this by viewing the page as a space for experimentation and play; there is a great sense of joy from putting pen to paper, and this is key to my writing process.  


*Max’s interview will be available shortly

Max’s work:

The Human-Animal 

This night is blinding, 

glaucoma is hereditary, 

A white noise – a humdrum – a hiss, 

the tinnitus screams 

the body is the beast 

and the mind is a blur. 

Yet still I breath. 

Why bother to learn to read when you can smell meat a mile away? 

Red, raw and bloody. 

Bloodshot eyes hold tight 

brain bubbles fit to burst 

pop, pop, pop. 

Starve for the feast 

then rage into the night 

and fight fierce and fight fast 

with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that I can fight anything. 

I’ll give anything. 

How much for 2 pounds of steak and a rack of ribs? 

How much for a breast and a couple of thighs? 

How much for a heart and all the giblets? 

Would you take a raw squid and an affordable bottle of bubbly? Would you take my hand? 

would you take the time to hear me out? 

Would you take all the diamond stuff I am made of? 

Naked and blue. 

This road is empty, 

this road is a dead end 

then the sea stretches on forever, frozen, 

then there’s a home on the other side. 

I fear the waves and the cold pricks my skin. 

Strike the axe to break the frozen sea 

then stick needles in my eyes so I might pretend I have a heart to cross. 

Any heart will do – the heart of a dog. 

A distinctly worryingly human animal is now on the loose. 

It’s an old habit, the way I talk to myself 

bark, bark, bark. 

Always on the edge. 

Edge is the difference between one thing and another, It’s the brink. The brink of the human-animal. 

Revel in your filth. 

Now the sheets are stained again, 

and when the sun rose there was a white fog, 

very warm and clammy, 

and more blinding than the night, 

I did not shift or drive.

This Hole 

Eyes of milky white 

land loosely 

lost look 

then watch. 

Whats tick ticking? 

This hole holds bones, 

this hole holds peace, 

this hold stands firm through it all, 

this hole twists then turns the comes up on a cold and frosty field. 

Up rises a body, 

then comes down again with the screeching of birds 

blown in a gale 

then down on the tail end 

feeling so frail 

and crashing down with a clip of the wing. 

Then the aloneness of this hole is coming to me again. 

Eyes of piercing black 

lock hard and lock fast, 

hear now the creaks and the cracks, 

don’t wait to waste away. 

This hole is hungry, 

this hole holds worms in the walls, 

this hole holds rage, 

this hole collapses in on itself. 

Cold and frosty soil comes down. 

Up rises a body. 

Birds stare silent amidst the gale. 

With tooth and nail 

and a frightening wail 

the wing holds fast 

upon a breeze. 

Then the freedom of this sky is coming to me for the first time.