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Shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year, 2022


Limbo, a queer nightclub in 1933 Berlin, with Germany under Nazi rule, is where we first meet B and the dazzling array of characters who inhabit this episodic narrative sequence, almost a film noir in verse: singers, dancers, comperes, shopkeepers and secret policemen rub up against each other with suspicion, complicity, love, betrayal and freedom never far from their minds. A study of paranoia, tyranny and perseverance. And tension that will keep you guessing until the final line.


‘If, like me, you’re fascinated by queer life in 1930s Berlin, there is

much to savour in Georgi Gill’s Limbo. The compelling narrative is a

page turner on first read, and then the distinct voices of the watched

and the watching, the hunters and hunted, and Gill’s rich, startling

imagery pulls the reader back. I was particularly moved by the poems

about the burning of documents in the Institute for Sexual Science

and what this meant for the denizens of Limbo, deciding when, and

if, to flee. These are poems about queer life as performance, as a way

of life, as escape and ultimately survival.’ —Jay Whittaker

Limbo by Georgi Gill (ISBN: 9781916405172)

  • Georgi Gill is an Edinburgh-based writer and researcher whose poems explore a range of themes including the personal and cultural impact of illness and disability, and queer history. She often collaborates with other artists and writers on print, digital and performance projects. Georgi was the inaugural poet-in-residence at the Anatomical Museum in Edinburgh and she is the editor of The Interpreter’s House magazine. Limbo is her first collection and was awarded the Michael Schmidt Prize for Best Portfolio.

  • Chimera

    My father was a tall man, skin tough
    as a razor’s strop. He shaved with care
    at the kitchen table while I held up the mirror.
    He said I had too much to be a woman,
    not enough to be a man. Prayed each night
    for God to cast a dense veil of shame
    over my flaws. A well-meaning man
    but not well-read. Mother, hands in lap,
    sat silent. She had studied Ovid: knew the danger
    of petitioning the petulant gods; recognised me
    as her Hermaphroditus, her own living myth,
    her carelessly glued together child of legend,
    her chimera. A dandelion growing bright, defiant,
    on the manicured lawn, I was not born for the suburbs.
    No, she told me, better to get out, find a fairy
    tale, live there or, failing that, Berlin.

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