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Castles in the Air | Stephen Chambers : The Court of Redonda

Princes, prefects, urchins and poets; these are just a few in a court of luminaries setting sail to Venice. But all is not as it seems, for this royal court is not to be found on the passenger list - all are actually cargo, nestled safely below deck. From May to November, The Court of Redonda, a solo exhibition...

Essay | Marion Coutts: ‘Aiming or Hitting’ by Annie Carpenter

These are busy times for the writer and artist Marion Coutts. Her first novel, The Iceberg, which was published in 2014, has proved a runaway success. It was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and won the Wellcome Book Prize. And this month Coutts is exhibiting at Tintype gallery in Islington, her...

Review | Louder Than Hearts by Zeina Hashem Beck

‘Louder than Hearts has it all’, writes Betsy Sholl, judge of the 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize, ‘compelling language and a sense of moral gravitas the ability to address a larger world with passion and artfulness’. High praise, though not at all mistaken in describing Lebanese poet Zeina Hashem Beck’s second collection, which brings together new...

Statues Missing Chunks

In the Roman Art wing of who-knows-which museum ancient torsos are on exhibit some of which are missing chunks. Time was meticulous in choosing what to carry off (the rst parts to fall varied according to gender: there are Three Graces without heads a penisless Phoebus) surely there must be some place anatomy abounds for here it’s left wanting— marble-carved heads charming (albeit anemia bleached) sundry torsoless phalli (forlorn and without use) shall...

The Hurt

These days are sadness at its most vivid. You have, at dawn, at dusk, the prayer call, the Ezan , the Takbir and the Shahada sung like smoke caught in the heat of the throat, a prayer-wisp, a delicate meandering. Then the bells from St. Sophia will start. Their self regard rattling the valley with sudden gusts, a pressure change of sounds hanging at their temperatures, the clatter...

The Match Factory

  Are you troubled by SPIRITS? Call FRANÇOIS, GIFTED MEDIUM, on 07812 678321. The advert was in the back of a folded-up newspaper someone had left on the bus, between the personals and furniture for sale. There was a little sketch underneath of praying hands with waves of rainbow light coming off them. I stared at it for a long time. Then,...

Ha Ha Ha

I didn’t like their album cover This was long before we met He teetered to his digs after the gig Tiptoe boots and a bottom I’d’ve Traversed Leeds for. Ha Ha Ha A jeer on the back of his jacket In red sticky tape. Is that what Attracted them? He must have been a fan. They stopped their van Promised they’d see him home But swept him over the moors To...

Wife by Tiphanie Yanique

Intimacy and infidelity, warmth and vacuousness, possessed and free. These are all the paradoxes that are found, lost, and found again in Tiphanie Yanique’s debut collection Wife. It is to no surprise that such an effortlessly honest portrayal of the female, as both confined and fierce, has won The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection. The collection is organised...

The Red and Yellow Nothing by Jay Bernard

It is difficult to put a finger on the immediate aftermath of reading The Red and Yellow Nothing: there is puzzlement, rage, and wonder, but ultimately the sense that Jay Bernard has created a rare and beautiful thing. Part contemporary verse drama, part mythic retelling, the pamphlet – containing one long poem, broken into sections with stage directions –...

Yerma at the Young Vic

Australian theatre’s “enfant terrible,” Simon Stone, rewrites and directs Lorca’s Yerma through a glass darkly. Opening night of Yerma at The Young Vic provided some of the most curious pre-show moments of the year. A luminous glass cage encloses the stage, dissecting the Main House into two sections. Once seated, for a split second, you are shocked to stare straight...