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Interview with Selina Nwulu – Young Poet Laureate for London

Yesterday, Selina Nwulu was chosen from 6 young poets to be the new Young Poet Laureate for London. Supported by Foundation for FutureLondon and London's Writer Development Agency Spread the Word, this year-long role offers the London Laureate the opportunity to work with young people across the city's diverse communities to encourage the development of new poetic talents and to provide...

This Dark Art by Neil Burns

This Dark Art If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow, and which will not. Speak. - Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 3, Banquo The Black-throated-diver sat low in the water; A closely cropped head Which runs smooth as grey-shale. With chequered mantle, and A bill - daggerish and dark in its art. Dandelion heads fluct By the bumping shoreline - A flood of...

TLM limited edition Keats tote bags

The London Magazine tote bags are here, and they're a little bit special. Featuring a quote from 'A Dream' by John Keats, a sonnet originally published in The London Magazine in 1821. Composed by Keats in April 1819 and sent in a letter to his brother and sister-in-law, George and Georgiana Keats, it is possible to draw links in the...

Difficult Cup by Isabel Galleymore

after Wu Hao’s Duke Cups The china cup is frilled at the rim like tired lace and all over it ceramic tentacles extend to whisper if you drink me that way I’ll poke your eye out, you can’t quite press your fingers here your lips – like walking a mountain ridge at night with some romantic ideal ahead, you are not not figuring each step among the rocks – there’s want...

Lifesaving by Wes Lee

Lifesaving They don’t do it anymore, breathe into the mouth to save. We had learnt it reluctantly, lined up beside a recumbent dummy, waiting to take our turn to kneel at that mouth. The simplest things disturb – at night when the fluoros shut off and the cover is pulled, the tiles swabbed – there it lies open, not even a ventriloquist’s dummy is so exposed. 'Lifesaving' won second place in...

What Follows by Theophilus Kwek

What Follows Deer cull, Wytham 7th February 2015 A moment’s pause before a fist of swallows spooks the sky above the nearest trees. Something shakes the fence-bound rows, bursts through bracken, reappears on fallow earth: two deer, mud-sprayed and plunged with melt, lips puckering to a hoarsened bark, dark eyes like slate fired in the run. My finger leaves the shutter for long enough that bounding across seed-rows they are gone, the...

40 Sonnets by Don Paterson

  Paterson is at his best when writing about heartbreak. “The Six,” this reviewer’s favourite piece in 40 Sonnets, speaks of a guitar picked up and played ‘like a novice / or like Orpheus,’ through which the player, reasons out the things he’d say to her and the song he plays is sad, because it’s now too late, and joyous, as somewhere the...

40 Sonnets by Don Paterson

Don Paterson, 40 Sonnets 56pp, Faber, £14.99 Paterson is at his best when writing about heartbreak. “The Six,” this reviewer’s favourite piece in 40 Sonnets, speaks of a guitar picked up and played ‘like a novice / or like Orpheus,’ through which the player, reasons out the things he’d say to her and the song he plays is sad, because it’s now...

The BFI London Film Festival

  The BFI London Film Festival is the UK’s largest and most star-studded film event. This year’s line-up includes 240 films from over 70 countries. Exhibiting both independent and mainstream films, the BFI truly has something for everybody, from historical romance to martial arts madness. While not everyone can swing tickets to galas and previews of the festival proper, here are our...

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

In 2009, Ursula K. Le Guin caused something of a stir in the science-fiction community by contradicting Atwood’s claim that her novels belonged to the ‘Speculative Fiction’ genre, as opposed to that of straight sci-fi (if such a thing exists). This generic disagreement between the two literary giants has since been resolved with a mutual agreement on the permeability...

The New World by Chris Adrian & Eli Horowitz

The New World Chris Adrian & Eli Horowitz Granta, £12.99 (paperback) The New World opens grippingly by immersing the reader in the consciousness of Jane, a surgeon who has just been informed that her husband has died. The onomastic similarities in the names Jim and Jane indicate from the outset that they are as close as it’s possible to be. The...

The New World by Chris Adrian & Eli Horowitz

The New World Chris Adrian & Eli Horowitz Granta, £12.99 (paperback) The New World opens grippingly by immersing the reader in the consciousness of Jane, a surgeon who has just been informed that her husband has died. The onomastic similarities in the names Jim and Jane indicate from the outset that they are as close as it’s possible to be. The...

Iain Sinclair and Will Self on Walking London

I’ve got a new eternal certainty to file alongside death and taxes: if you walk around London enough, and you know what he looks like, you will eventually see Will Self. My friend Hannah noticed him outside a Chinese restaurant near Charing Cross. My buddy Ben saw him on the road between St. Pancras and Euston. I’ve bumped into...

Open House London 2015: Our picks

Open House London 19th & 20th September 2015 Open House London throws open the doors to some of London's most astonishing architectural sights. This year’s Open House boasts a whopping seven hundred and sixty one locations, including parliamentary buildings, schools, private houses, and even tithe barns. 'But what about libraries?' we hear you bibliophiles asking. We thought that too, so here are The...

Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick DeWitt

'Cheerily, then, as one making teatime conversation, she asked “do you yourself ever think of suicide?” Lucy pondered this. “No more than is customary, ma’am.” The baroness looked on approvingly. “That is a stylish reply.”’ And so Patrick DeWitt sets the tone of Undermajordomo Minor, whereby he swaps the fantastic anti-western Coen Brothers-esque oddness of The Sisters Brothers for a...

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

The Heart Goes Last Margaret Atwood Bloomsbury, £18.99 Reworked from an e-serial, Atwood’s latest novel is as captivating and humorous as her previous work. The America inhabited by her focal characters, Stan and Charmaine, is steeped in the twenty-first century equivalent of the Great Depression. The unemployment rate in the hardest hit East Coast area has soared up to 40%, almost twice...

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

The Heart Goes Last Margaret Atwood Bloomsbury, £18.99 Reworked from an e-serial, Atwood’s latest novel is as captivating and humorous as her previous work. The America inhabited by her focal characters, Stan and Charmaine, is steeped in the twenty-first century equivalent of the Great Depression. The unemployment rate in the hardest hit East Coast area has soared up to 40%, almost twice...

Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Franzen likes big books. Each one of his critically acclaimed works are weighty door-stoppers but their tangible size in no way matches the scale of what lies within. Those who have already read The Corrections and Freedom will know how Franzen novels work: interrogative writing on State power, injustice and secrecy is his trademark. In prior novels, Franzen has...

The Man Booker Prize 2015 Predictions

Here at The London Magazine we're getting excited about the upcoming announcement of the shortlist for this year's Man Booker Prize. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015 is chaired by Michael Wood, with the judges for this year's award including former Deputy Editor of Granta Ellah Allfrey, the award-winning poet John Burnside, along with authors Sam Leith and Frances Osborne. Six titles will make...

My Salinger Year – Joanna Rakoff

‘"We need," she said, as I arranged myself in the chair across from her large wooden desk, "to talk about Jerry."’ Who’s Jerry? The J in J. D Salinger. Who’s I? The young Joanna Rakoff, starting out in 1996, the literary world spread out before her for the taking, a Salinger virgin, fed instead on the works of Sylvia...

An Interview with Calisi Press

In recent months Ferrante Fever has been catching. If you haven’t already heard of the anonymous Italian female author who’s achieved international acclaim, the entire finished series of her famed Neapolitan novels awaits you: go, read and remain awed. With the release of the final installment just days ago, the success of the Italian series has sparked a renewed interest...

Dark Fairytale – Review of McQueen at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

McQueen Theatre Royal Haymarket Limited run from 19th August Reviewed by Lauren Hepburn It's been five years since Lee McQueen took his life. The exquisite dress worn by Kate Middleton on her wedding day along with the V&A's fabulous 'Savage Beauty' exhibition this year have meant that the name Alexander McQueen has become synonymous with British design. James Phillips’ play, currently enjoying a...

Defining the Unfinished – Works from The Courtauld Gallery

Unfinished…Works from The Courtauld Gallery Summer Showcase Special Display 18th June-20th September 2015 Unfinished masterpieces tend only to come to light upon the artist’s death, though they may have a long and influential afterlife. Gilbert Stuart’s original Portrait of George Washington, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Adoration of the Magi, and even Michelangelo’s The Entombment, all exhibited posthumously, are great examples...

Short Story Competition 2015

This competition is now closed. Thank you so much to all entrants. The winners will be announced in the new year. The London Magazine has published short stories by some of the most well-respected literary figures over the course of long history. Our annual Short Story Competition seeks out new voices to join them. Established to encourage emerging literary talent, the award...

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