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David Hockney at Tate Britain

Visiting a gallery in London during the February half term is a rookie error. In a bid to occupy restless children, and driven inside by the drizzle, the families of London descend on its cultural delights. Most are free, accessible by tube, and educational; those who dare to enter will be faced with overexcited kids shouting over distressed parents,...

Hair by Sam McKnight at Somerset House

Follow lipstick red arrows pasted on the floor of Somerset House round winding steps down the rabbit hole, and you will emerge in the world of Sam McKnight’s ‘Hair’. The exhibition’s first piece is a styled wig, disembodied and backlit, hanging in a glass case. The piece has no accompanying caption or explanation; the hair is expected to speak...

Poetry and the Public by Paul Gittins

The prestigious T.S. Eliot Award in January that kicked off the poetry establishment’s crowded calendar of poetry competitions served to highlight the ever widening gap between the poetry featured in the competitions and the poetry reading public.  Any doubt on this matter can be dispelled by figures from The Bookseller.  They show that the small publishers who specialize in...

Stranger, Baby by Emily Berry

Freud is dangerous territory for poets. He did more than just make his mark on the literature of the twentieth century: he cross-hatched it. Psychoanalysis might have been discredited as a way of understanding the mind, but it still permeates the world of words. Freud’s hold on literature is so extensive that even the phrase describing the author’s fear...

Bright Celestial Objects by Rebecca Goss

After Alison Watt, ‘Venus’ (2015) Their backs against the grass, she felt a pull, as if the leaves on the trees were lodestones, the hairs on her skin rising at once. They reached for each other’s fingers, succumbing to the lift that took them above crowns of oak, all the way to the cumulus. How lost they got, inside the billow, reaching through white - their arms slippery with moisture. Then...

Seamus Heaney and Jan Hendrix: A Shared Landscape of Inspiration

The long friendship and collaboration between Seamus Heaney and Jan Hendrix has been hitherto a little known story and began on paper and in inspiration many years before they first met in person. When the late Nobel prize-winning Irish poet and the Dutch-born artist and architect finally met backstage at the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam in 1993 it was,...

Madness by Patrick Cash

There’s a stream by the Avon ward Where I stand to watch the water flow And unwind the whirlpools of my mind When it’s dark I let its rhythms Strum me to an unquiet peace Away from the shouts and rips The banging on locked doors By day I watch the water flow I think about your beauty’s mind Because to me you seem fine Though they tell me...

The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York’s Theatre

Cherry Jones returns to the role of Amanda Wingfield in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, directed by John Tiffany. This London revival of American theatre’s classic memory play may be the timely antidote we need. Like a softening dust, olive-ashen light floats among fading Victorian-style lampshades, a writing desk, a frumpy crimson settee, the trove of animal statuettes centre-front. Looming in...

An Actor in the Wings: Notes (1980 – 2009) by Andre van Loon

Charles I could see him from beside the door. He was surrounded by men in suits, pointing at the ceiling, looking at their drinks or at what their wives were doing. I remember the sight of them perfectly, as though it was yesterday, but strangely enough, always without sound. I put my hand on the door knob, in the same way...

Chalk Poets by Stephanie Norgate

The otherness of nature, the gap that separates its permanence from our finite experience, is as much a part of its constructed character as its scenic wonder.  This contrast forms the fulcrum of the Chalk Poets collection, twenty-one poems from seven poets that attempt to capture the sublime environment of the South Downs. First evoked by the title, Ice by...

Adventures in Moominland at Southbank Centre

“What do you know of the Moomins: the books, the television series, or maybe you just recognize the characters?” That was one of the first questions asked at the Adventures in Moominland tour, an immersive exhibition currently on at the Southbank Centre; the span of all the different mediums mentioned perfectly encompassing the much loved Moomin’s longevity across generations and...

In The Split Screen of the Heart

  What do you say when both here and two hundred ---------and twenty latitude degrees away no one lines up on the bottom of the sea ---------to rescue coral reefs, the coasts full of people driving, windows up and music on. ---------Once you ran to the waves the moment you arrived, squealing with pure delight below the ---------sharp cries of excited gulls, the tide out. The past now...

A Different Kind of Prison & Philomel

  They were always there at the window when I awoke, nostrils squashed against the pane, gnarled fingers tap-tap-tapping: macaques, threatening entry. As if they were the gaolers, myself in the cage of a foreign zoo. ‘Never look a rhesus monkey in the eye’, it was said. But I caught a stare that the Brahmin priests and sadhus warned was a dervish’s glare. Though a mosquito net hung over me like...

Talkin’ ’bout my Generation

  Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s, from the Verbund Collection at The Photographers’ Gallery, 7 October to 15 January 2017 The day after the American election that put Donald J. Trump in the White House and the morning I heard of Leonard Cohen’s death, I went to the exhibition of 1970s feminist avant-garde photography at the Photographers’ Gallery. What a difference...

Puddocks by John Greening

for SECH   Clare would have called these five red kites circling above dead or stag’s-headed oaks like iambs broken from a line of English pastoral by a name that signifies a deed without a name by a call that only says and you too soon as they spin and entertain us, then our chances   John Greening received a Cholmondeley award in 2008. His latest collections are Heath (Nine Arches, with Penelope Shuttle),...

Hammer and Tongue Poetry Slam Finals at the Royal Albert Hall

I had watched countless videos on YouTube, attended other poetry slams and kept abreast of the ‘scene’ on social media, but nothing quite prepared me for the electricity in the air when I arrived at the Royal Festival Hall for the hotly-anticipated National Finals of Hammer and Tongue’s annual spoken word circuit. The tension, after all, had built over...

The London Magazine Short Story Competition 2016 | Winners

Thank you so much to everyone who entered The London Magazine's Short Story Competition 2016. We were delighted to see such a large volume and high standard of entries. Judges Max Porter, Erica Wagner and Angus Cargill have made their decision, and we are very pleased to announce the winners: First place: The Match Factory by Emma Hughes Second place: I Have Called You By Your Name...

Diasporic Guilt by Mohamed Keshavjee

‘Shoeshine, sir?’ asked the young lad with a shoeshine box in his hand, as I peered into the window of a shop in New Delhi’s fashionable Connaught Circus. ‘No thanks’, I responded. ‘I’m in a hurry. I have to go somewhere.’ ‘Will be quick, and make like new’, he said reassuringly. ‘No’, I said again. ‘I do not want to shine my...

The London Magazine Savoy Lunch 2016

We were delighted to host a lunch on Monday 12th December in The D'Oyly Carte Room, welcoming Anthony Horowitz, Frieda Hughes, Damon Hill, Robert McCrum, Hugo Williams, Daisy Dunn. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped us round off a great year for The London Magazine.

The 1922 Committee reception sponsored by The London Magazine

On Tuesday 13th December, The London Magazine sponsored the reception of the 1922 Committee at the House of Commons terrace. We were honoured to present the Prime Minister, Theresa May, with a copy of our latest issue.  

Chan by Hannah Lowe

Hannah Lowe’s latest collection of poetry Chan (Bloodaxe, 2016) revisits the characters and stories from her first collection, Chick (Bloodaxe, 2013), which won the Michaels Murphy memorial Award for Best First Collection, and was short-listed for the Forward, Aldeburgh and Seamus Heaney Best First Collection Prizes. Named one of the 20 Next Generation poets, the bar variably has been...

Unity in Variety VI at Gabriel Fine Arts

In the sixth edition of their most recent collaboration with Barikee, Gabriel Fine Arts showcased an expansive array of work, from the interpretive calligraphy of Bin Qulander to the poetic photographs of Adriaan van Heerden. The mere diversity in artistic origin, from Pakistan to South Africa and New Zealand to Germany, serves homage to the title and ethos of...

They Would Have All That by Mary Jean Chan

To sing the evening home, the lover prepares a pot of lentil stew – her phone lighting up to the news of love’s imminent arrival, imagining her lover’s footsteps across the swollen field, damp with longing, her lover’s steady hand gripping her smartphone to navigate towards some notion of home, their flat an unfamiliar place of worship, their bodies growing close and moving apart with the regularity of heart- beat, blood-breath....

Publishing the ‘New’

  ‘It is very good of you to throw a pound into our jaws, when you know nothing of what you may get out of them. Mr Eliot is an American of the highest culture, so that his writing is almost unintelligible; Middleton Murry edits The Athenaeum, and is also very obscure. I mean you’ll have to shut your door...
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