A talented young poet and writer from Lancaster has had her very first book on discrimination and gender published.

21-year-old Elizabeth Train-Brown is going into her fourth year studying English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Lancaster.

Salmacis: becoming not quite a woman is Elizabeth’s take on gender, love and identity through the popular tales of Greek mythological history.

Her work has been shortlisted for various awards and published internationally in various anthologies and journals.

Lancashire Telegraph: Salmacis: becoming not quite a woman by Elizabeth Train-Brown Salmacis: becoming not quite a woman by Elizabeth Train-Brown (Image: Elizabeth Train-Brown)

Speaking on what it was like to publish a book whilst studying full time at university, Elizabeth said: “On top of studying I’m also an editor for the student newspaper I write for and a lot of other things.

"I take too much on but with poetry, they’re tiny little poems and I just have this kind of love for creative stuff.

"There’s such a special thing about creativity so you just find the time for it, I guess. I’d rather give up sleep for it.”

Elizabeth’s poetry has been shortlisted for the Stratford Young Poets Competition 2021, Wells Festival of Literature Young Poet award 2021, Erbacce Prize for Poetry 2021 and Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year 2021.

The 21-year-old decided she wanted to become a writer and poet from a very young age, mentioning her dad and British poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy as her inspiration.

She said: “I used to have a lot of stories read to me as a kid so I got into writing novels when I was quite young. I really liked that poetry didn’t have to be writing about old white men writing about flowers. It could be about witches and gods.”

Elizabeth mentioned the lack of diversity in English subjects at school and why the curriculum should diversify.

She added: “The best opportunity to teach kids about diversity is through literature.

"It’s important to have writers who reflect minorities, and have children be able to learn about and read from writers who look like themselves and recognise themselves in people who are accomplishing great things.”

Elizabeth was raised Catholic and Pagan so she grew up with a lot of stories centered on the morals of the religion.

She said: “It was when I was reading the Greek story about how Salmacis and Hermaphroditus became one in Western literature, so I really wanted to use that metaphor to capture that and explore why gender identity is so fluid.”

Salmacis: becoming not quite a woman is available to purchase for pre-order on Waterstones and is released on August 31.

Elizabeth will be doing a book launch with a pre-reading at the Waterstones in Lancaster next month.