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Mary Wollstonecraft Open Weekend

In celebration of Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), author, early feminist and human rights advocate, teacher, and mother of Mary Shelley, the artist and publisher Louisa Albani will be hosting an open weekend at St Pancras Old church in collaboration with Heritage Open Days. The event comes off the back of Albani's recent pamphlet Ghost Ship, which was inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft's Letters from...

Fiction | The Word Necklace by Suzannah V. Evans

The word necklace was intricate, beautiful. When she put it on it felt light, beautiful, as if she were wearing coral, or air. The word necklace whispered in her ear: very- violet-sweet, how manymermaidcrowded, ten fragments of clockwork. When she walked, the word necklace swung against her skin (pat pat pat pat), and sometimes she raised her fingers to it, fondled it, felt...

Four Poems by Ted Hughes

First published in the April/May 1976 issue (Vol. 16 No. 1) of The London Magazine (ed. Alan Ross).   AFTER THERE WAS NOTHING THERE WAS A WOMAN Whose face had reached her mirror Via the vulture’s gullet And the droppings of the wild dog, and she remembers it Massaging her brow with cream Whose breasts had come about By long toil of earthworms After many failures, but they were here now And...

Review | A Perfect Mirror by Sarah Corbett

In the increasingly urbanised world in which we live, as encapsulated by 'The Commute', the first poem in Sarah Corbett's latest collection, A Perfect Mirror, it can be difficult to remember and make contact with the soothing properties of nature. This distance – both in real life and towards the start of this collection – can initially make it...

Contributor’s Picks August/September 2018

Here are the latest Contributor’s Picks! Recommendations for the very best in arts, culture and literature from the writers for The London Magazine August/September 2018 issue. Read their writing in our latest issue, available now.  Andrew Lambirth (Review: Artist and Bon Viveur) Henry Lamb: Out of the Shadows - Salisbury Museum - until 30 September Few people know the extent of Lamb's achievement,...

Review | The Built Environment by Emily Hasler

Poetry is not a mass market – perhaps thanks to its reputation for being stylistically obscure and frequently focused on nebulous and intangible subjects or messages. Happily, readers who choose to delve beyond this often find it to be false – and Emily Hasler's diverse debut collection, The Built Environment, is no exception, deftly combining the notion of architecture...

Interview | Sophie Mackintosh

Last month Megan Girdwood reviewed Sophie Mackintosh’s debut dystopian novel The Water Cure, rendering it uneasy, hypnotic and yet so captivating. We asked Sophie about her feminist piece which tells the story of three sisters, excluded from the rest of society and the literal toxicity of men by their parents. They struggle to navigate themselves around the disappearance of...

Review | Break.up by Joanna Walsh

Review | Break.up by Joanna Walsh By Matthew Turner The online world often seems clean and seamless; it doesn’t have any scars to reveal its traumas or accidents. Bodies, on the other hand, appear to be different, yet not all our injuries can be seen. Collagen binds our wounds, but that binding is constantly rewoven throughout our lives. It’s in this...

Review | Nowhere Nearer by Alice Miller

Review | Nowhere Nearer by Alice Miller By Jack Solloway ‘We are no longer quite here and not yet there at all’, writes Anna Freud in 1938. Nazi troops have arrived in her home town of Vienna, and she is soon to leave the city, along with her father, Sigmund Freud. Despite her father’s ill health, Anna will flee to London...

Essay | Living in the Country— 1 by James Stern

I had the good fortune to live in the country until after I came of age. I could recognize and name most of the wild flowers of Ireland, ride a horse and milk a cow, before I went to school. I believe that to have had no kinship with nature in childhood, no relationship with the earth or animals,...

Review | Daido Moriyama: SCENE at Hamilton’s Gallery

Some of the silk-screen photographs at Daido Moriyama’s exhibition at Hamilton’s gallery depict wide shots of the bustling Tokyo street, the others close-ups of the body— a pair of parted lips, the intersection of crossed legs in fishnet stockings.These two types of imagery create, in combination, an uncanny inverting effect. This supplements the sense of inversion already produced by...

Poetry | Synopsis and The Wedding Frame by Hugo Williams

Synopsis People are taking sedatives in boats Going to America. Their names drift back to me— Hollowed out, unpronounceable. I walk through the crowds in the arcades And on the sands.     The Wedding Frame Her veil blows across his face As they cling together. Propped on the mantelpiece, The photograph preserves their ecstasy. Each night they touch The heart-shaped frame of their reliquary And sigh for love.

Essay | The Commune of the City by Ian Stone

On 28 October 1272 King Henry III (1216-72) lay dying at Westminster Palace. His eldest son, Edward, returning from crusade, was about to land in Sicily. True, there was no credible challenger to this fearsome prince’s succession, for which preparations had already been made; however, there were, too, grounds for concern. Only one eldest surviving son, in the two...

Review | Berenice Sydney: Dancing with Colour at Saatchi Gallery

SALON, Saatchi Gallery’s project space at its Duke of York’s HQ, is currently showing Dancing With Colour, a presentation of works by the British artist Berenice Sydney (1944 – 1983). A peer of British artists such as John Hoyland and Trevor Bell, Berenice Sydney was born in Esher, Surrey, in 1944. A prolific artist, she produced a substantial body of...

Review | Feel Free by Nick Laird

Nick Laird’s new poetry collection, Feel Free, shares a title with his wife Zadie Smith’s January-released essay collection, and while Laird deserves a closer look, outside of his wife’s enormous shadow, their shared title provides a useful lens through which to identify each writer’s concerns. While Smith’s version of this freedom comes across in her cool yet ravenously wide-ranging...

Poetry | Poem by Kyriakos Frangoulis

The moon is a sealed coffin A boast The moon of poets The moon of dogs The moon of ovaries The moon of astronauts The invisible moon Knived Sick Yellow Waning Moon-wreath of everyday Moon of gallows Moon-spider Moon-Coin Moon-flag Twenty-eight eights of moon Nailed on Calendars And on the walls of memory. Translated by Nanos Valaoritis

Review | A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wilton’s Music Hall

Sitting in Wilton’s Music Hall on a sticky summer evening during a heatwave, it is not hard to find yourself lulled into the tale of four delirious lovers, fairies and magic. The Faction’s latest production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes a play that we think we know, strips it of all previous associations and traditions, and rebuilds it in a...

Review | Florida by Lauren Groff

A recurring character binds the eleven stories in Lauren Groff’s Florida. Sometimes she is narrator and protagonist. Some of the stories never mention her— she simply waits under the surface, her own neuroses radiating across the book, the force that spurs each narrative. Like Groff, this woman is writer with two young sons, and a transplant from the North...

Fiction | A Third Presence by Nadine Gordimer

When Rose and Naomi, daughters of poor Rasovsky the tailor, left school in the same year there was no discussion about what they should do, because there was no question about the necessity to do it. Naomi was pretty and must marry the scrap metal dealer who would give a home to the old Rasovskys and the girls’ brother....

Review | Killed Negatives at Whitechapel Gallery

A woman slumps at a table, one eye guarded and watchful, the other replaced by a perfect circle of blackness. In the frame next door, a young girl gazes up from in front of a wooden fence, a black hole where her stomach should be. “Killed Negatives,” at Whitechapel Gallery, features photographs produced by the New Deal’s Farm Security...

Poetry | A Letter from Brooklyn by Derek Walcott

An old lady writes me in a spidery style, Each character trembling, and I see a veined hand Pellucid as paper, travelling on a skein Of such frail thoughts its thread is often broken; Or else the filament from which a phrase is hung Dims to my sense, but caught, it shines like steel, As touch a line, and the whole web will feel. She describes...

Review | A Dark and Stormy Night by Tom Stacey

In this new novel by Tom Stacey, our narrator, the Anglican priest Simon Chance, is lost. Lost in his thoughts, yes, for this stream-of-consciousness narrative circles and weaves, but lost in the woods as well. Chance, when we encounter him, is rambling at nightfall on a solitary hike gone awry. A scholar of Dante as well as a cleric,...

Review | The New Generation of ‘Instagram Poets’ And Their Fierce, Revolutionary Voices

In November 2014, a courageous 21 year-old woman self-published her first collection of poetry. The arresting poems that filled the pages revealed her experience of abuse, loss and femininity; they were sweet and joyful, dark and tortured, with the power to stop the reader in their tracks. That young woman was Rupi Kaur, and her debut collection, Milk and...

Review | The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

In this beautifully nuanced debut novel from Syrian American author, Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar, two parallel journeys alternate with and counter each other, highlighting the connections between the vital importance of the stories we tell and the psycho-geography of maps. In the present day Nour is 12 and lives with her Syrian family in Manhattan. When her father dies, her...

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