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Interview| Barry Miles, founder of the International Times

This week sees the opening of the exhibition The British Underground Press of the Sixties, at A22 Gallery, Clerkenwell, featuring the covers of every countercultural publication from the 1960s. The show is curated by Barry Miles and James Birch. Miles along with John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins were the founders of International Times, the underground magazine that initiated the counterculture media...

Essay| Shetland Norn by Simon Tait

Shetland is a quiet, self-possessed nation of 22,000 whose population still considers itself to be more Norse than British. They like celebrations, foys they call them, but the big one comes on the last Tuesday of January, a midwinter relief when male Shetlanders dress up as Vikings, process through the capital, Lerwick – or Lerook in the vernacular -...

Review| The Letters Page Vol.2 published by Book Ex Machina

To pick up a book, writes Ioanna Mavrou, is ‘as if stepping out of the world for a beat and taking a much needed breath.’ Mavrou runs the independent publishers Book Ex Machina, responsible for the exquisite collection of epistolary reflections: The Letters Page Vol. 2. Edited by author Jon McGregor (If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things), the volume...

Interview | Karen Ashton, founder of the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Sale

  This Sunday, the Art Car Boot Fair Pulls Back In To Vauxhall Back to its roots in the heart of South London, this year’s Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair will pull up in Vauxhall on Sunday the 9th of July for an afternoon of art, bargains, fun and frivolity but this year with a brand new theme, ‘The Original.’ From...

Review | ArtCircle’s Focusing Space at 48 Albermarle Street

On entering the doorway of 48 Albemarle Street and walking up its makeshift staircase of simple wooden boards you are taken into a world that couldn’t be more apart from the fleshpots of Mayfair. A neon sign bearing the letters ‘AC’ guides a visitor upward, with dusty exposed brick walls on either side making them question if they are...

Fiction | The Root of it All by Charlotte Newman

  Pavements slick from rain and a market at night, risen dripping from the oily roads like a brand new continent. Brunch alongside nails alongside jerk fish alongside brooms, alongside bright, bright Iro skirts and sweet and sour £2 and Dark & Stormys £8 and hair removal calls to Russia kale juiced with yogurt is better rubber soles plastic spoons...

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...

Competition Rules

Before entering a competition please read these rules carefully. General If submitting by any means other than Submittable, please include a completed entry form. All entries must never have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast, nor have won or placed (as in 2nd, 3rd,, runner up etc) in any other competition. It is advised...

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...

Poetry | Translated Love Letters by Andrew McMillan

from Norwegian / oh love, doesn't the fact that the world is so big, / laid out like ripe fruit / make you want to stay? / from Arabic / how I long to cleanse you / in the waters of the Tigris / how I long, as though you were a small and / priceless artefact, / to take you in my arms / from Ant-speak / I will carry you carry you / through legions of grass / protect you from the thumb, / the sole; the eager-feathered bird / will not swoop for you / from American / love is just love, and I'm in it / for the ride, o.k.? that tells me just exactly

Poetry | Full Fathom Five by Sylvia Plath

Old man, you surface seldom. / Then you come in with the tide's coming / When seas wash cold, foam- / Capped: white hair, white beard, far-flung, / A dragnet, rising, falling, as waves / Crest and trough. Miles long [...]

‘Birdsong’ at Richmond Theatre

Now in the final week of its critically acclaimed tour, Rachel Wagstaff’s stage adaptation of Birdsong will be running at Richmond theatre until 4th July. Based on the hugely successful and much loved novel by Sebastian Faulks, the play navigates the murky waters of love, honour and memory amongst the all-consuming deathly terrain of WW1. The Somme is revisited,...

Duane Hanson at The Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Occupying prime exhibition space in the cosmopolitan Serpentine Sackler Gallery are ordinary and often overlooked working class (which Americans call middle class) figures sculpted by the late American artist Duane Hanson. A cleaning lady with her trolley, Queenie II, is placed alongside a variety of labouring or reflective figures in slouched stances. These include a man on a lawnmower,...

Interview with Maggie Butt on ‘Degrees of Twilight’

Poet Maggie Butt talks about writing today, her style, and the themes that inform her stunning new poetry collection Degrees of Twilight. The poems in Maggie’s fifth collection were written over an eight year period, and make the passage of time tangible with astounding clarity and poise. Maggie uses history, memory, work and travel as lenses to examine the inevitable pains and sharp pleasures...

Interview with Louise Brealey on ‘Constellations’

Following its critically acclaimed run on Broadway, Nick Payne’s award-winning play Constellations is coming back to London. Directed by Michael Longhurst and starring Louise Brealey alongside Joe Armstrong, the Royal Court’s UK tour of Constellations will run at Richmond Theatre from Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 June. Based on quantum multiverse theory, this romantic drama continues to explore life with...

New Labour a Cataclysm of Charisma by Bruce Anderson

The Labour party is struggling. Not only is there no sight of a strong new leader. The debates leading up to the leadership election have failed to clarify a basic point. What does today's Labour party believe? But Labour has a problem. In normal circumstances, political parties try to navigate around future hazards by drawing on the lessons of...

11th May, Hay Fever

Press night for Hay Fever on a summer’s eve: the red carpet rolled out in front of the Duke of York theatre; expectant photographers at the ready. I spot a few familiar faces: Jim Carter (the Butler Carson from Downton Abbey), Maurine Lipman, Lesley Joseph from Birds of a feather. Seated in front of me was Alessandro Nivola the actor and producer who starred in American...

Interview with Colin Barrett, author of ‘Young Skins’

We spoke to Colin Barrett about his writing career and his truly brilliant short story collection ‘Young Skins’. As a young and emerging author he has already won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Guardian First Book Award and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Impressive to say the least. The short stories of Young Skins are centred in a...

‘Just Books and Language’ – Interview with Abel Cutillas by Heather Wells

‘Just Books and Language’ – Interview with Abel Cutillas, co-owner of Llibreria Calders, Sant Antoni, Barcelona by Heather Wells Bernat Puigtobella walks me to the Calders bookshop in the trendy neighbourhood of Sant Antoni, Barcelona. On our way he tells me that this bookshop has a certain reputation among literary circles and it is increasingly becoming known by anyone in...

Portraits of Artists and Friends – John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent – Portraits of Artists and Friends, National Portrait Gallery 12 February – 25 May 2015 If you did not know this was a John Singer Sargent exhibition, you would think this a highly skilled collection of artist’s work that showcases a range of styles and techniques. But it isn’t, clearly, which makes this not just a remarkable...

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