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Archive | Poetry | Peter Bland

Peter Bland, the New Zealand writer and actor, has written extensively over his long career, and has been lauded with many accolades, among them the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in 2011. He wrote two poems for The London Magazine in 1978, here transcribed in full from our archive for the first time. First published in the February 1978...

Event Preview | HighTide Theatre

  After a hugely successful year in 2017, HighTide Theatre returns to Walthamstow for a second outing. Bringing a varied programme of theatre, comedy, music and activities for children, HighTide has announced an enticing line-up of local vendors and performers to lure residents back to the pop-up festival site of Walthamstow Town Square Gardens.  The event will take place from 18th-30th...

Fiction | On His Own Ground by Vis Nathan

  First published in the December 1976/January 1977 of The London Magazine (Volume 16, No.5) Gopal entered his cubby-hole surrounded by huge racks bulging with musty files. He removed his cycle clips with a practised flourish and placed them carefully by the inkstand on his table. Then he sat down on his chair, pulling it into a comfortable position. He opened...

Archive | Why I Write — Joan Didion

First published in the June/July 1977 of The London Magazine (Vol. 17, No. 2)  Of course I stole the title from George Orwell. One reason I stole it was that I like the sound of the words: Why I Write. There you have three short unambiguous words that share a sound, and the sound they share is this: I I I In many ways writing is...

Review | Promising Young Women by Caroline O’Donoghue

This year has truly brought to the fiction scene some of the most stunning and powerful female characters. From the extreme – such as My Absolute Darling’s Turtle Alveston – to the proudly millennial – such as Sally Rooney’s characters – there is now an abundance of female leads holding up a mirror to today’s society, reflecting many, often as of...

Fiction | Just for Five Minutes by Alla Melenteva

It was an early May day. The war was considered over, though it had not yet been officially declared. A Russian junior lieutenant went through the streets of the destroyed Berlin. He didn’t know the city and had to catch solitary passers-by and inquire the way several times. The passers-by tend to try to run away the moment they...

Interview | Ben Aleshire

Ben Aleshire makes his living as a travelling poet, writing poems on his typewriter for whatever his readers can spare as a donation, a venture which has seen him travel all over Europe and America, and with his most recent tour taking in a performance at London's legendary venue The Troubadour, and a stay at Shakespeare & Company bookshop...

Archive | Poetry | Rin Ishigaki

Known in Japan as the 'bank clerk poet', with her work frequently featuring in the bank newsletter where she was employed, Ishigaki's poetry stretches from the dreariness of domestic life to more complicated implications relating to Japan's history of conflict. Never before reprinted, two poems have now been transcribed in full from our archive. First published in the Feb/March 1976...

9 of Europe’s Best Bookshops

A good bookshop can be many different things - a haven from the world, a counter-cultural space, and a meeting point for friends, as well as somewhere, to, you know, buy books. It's perhaps for this reason that despite the numerous death knells that have been called over the last 50 or so years, physical spaces to buy books...

Event Preview | Focus Kazakhstan

A groundbreaking exhibition series focusing on the contemporary art of Kazakhstan is coming to London next month, seeing the start of the an international exhibition series which will also tour through Germany, the USA and South Korea over the next 7 months. In the first major overview of the country's contemporary art, Focus Kazakhstan will explore post-Soviet identity through multiple generations,...

Archive | Notes on Raymond Chandler — Ian Fleming

With the protagonists of their respective novels being so similar, it is perhaps little surprise that the writers Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler struck up a friendship in the 1950s. After Chandler's death in 1959, Fleming wrote a long piece about his friend in our December 1959 issue. Never before reprinted, it has now been transcribed in full from...

Review | Notes from the Dream House

Notes from the Dream House encloses half a century of films reviewed for the Observer by legendary critic Philip French. The book is a compact reminder of French’s immense knowledge of film and the cinematic world, spanning from 1963 to 2013, almost half the history of film, throughout which French's ability to convey dense ideas in a short and easily digestible format shines through, whether the high-brow or low-brow is being reviewed.

Staff Picks – August 2018

Staff picks for the month of August at The London Magazine! Here's what we've been reading recently:   Steven O'Brien - Editor  The Music of Chance - Paul Auster A frustratingly annoying, yet brilliant story.         Lucy Binnersley - Assistant Editor My Year of Rest and Relaxation - Ottessa Moshfegh An arresting and original read with the premise of a 24-year-old woman deciding to take a daily...

Review | DRAG: Self-portraits and Body Politics at the Hayward Gallery

DRAG: Self-portraits and Body Politics 22 August - 14 October 2018 HENI Project Space, Southbank Centre's Hayward Gallery In what may be the first major institutional show of its kind, exploring drag culture beyond traditional representation and stereotypes, DRAG: Self-portraits and Body Politics provides a fascinating look at how drag has been used as a trope that has empowered individuals from wildly...

7 London Museums That You Might Have Missed

London is full of big-name museums, but it is also home to numerous small and hidden establishments. While The British Museum merits infinite visits, this bank holiday weekend why not explore private collections of esoteric material from the Victorian era, walk in the footsteps of one of Britain's greatest poets, or even enter a baroque painting or two? Here...

2018 Essay Competition | Judges’ Interview Nicola Griffith and Pico Iyer

We had a quick conversation with the judges of our 2018 Essay Writing Competition — Nicola Griffith and Pico Iyer — about their writing, big names in non-fiction today, and any tips they might have for essayists entering our competition. About our judges: Nicola Griffith is an award-winning novelist and essayist, who has been published in a number of journals,...

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...

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