Essay | Becket back in the cathedral

Great drama has a way of always being relevant whenever it is performed, even if, like T. S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, it isn’t performed very often. The play is, of course, about the assassination of Thomas Becket [...]

Review | Flesh-Coloured Dominoes by Zigmunds Skujiņš

On the face of it, Flesh-Coloured Dominoes is a book of two novels spliced together: its chapters alternate between two wildly different narratives. One is a bildungsroman of sorts [...]

Review | Robyn Denny: Works on Paper

Charlie Dixon Robyn Denny: Works on Paper Robyn Denny’s work soared with the post-war momentum of 60’s London, helping to define the visual culture of a generation....

Essay | Tony Harrison: Poetry & Class

Patrick Maxwell Tony Harrison: Poetry & Class The use of poetry as a form of class war has arguably never had particularly significant results in much of...

News | Collyer Bristow Prize: Caoilinn Hughes wins for Orchid &...

The Collyer Bristow Prize for Debut Fiction 2019, now in its second year, has been awarded to Caoilinn Hughes for her novel Orchid & the Wasp, a Bildungsroman about Gael Foess, a young woman navigating Dublin, London and New York, as she strives to build a life raft for her loved-ones amidst economic and familial collapse [...]

Review | After the Formalities by Anthony Anaxagorou

In ‘Cause’, the second poem in Anthony Anaxagorou’s collection After the Formalities, the poet reclaims the phrase ‘flames lambent’ – an image taken from Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech and quoted by historian David Starkey in a 2011 interview following the London riots – for poetry [...]

Interview | Elise Ansel: yes I said Yes at Cadogan Contemporary

As arguably the biggest week in the London art-world calendar sets in, there is a striking exhibition on display at Cadogan Contemporary in which the acclaimed American artist Elise Ansel reclaims female identity from the old master paintings [...]

Fiction | Blue Nude by Charlotte Newman

It was ironic, she thought. Her first shift at the museum was understaffed, it was just the two of them in ceramics. He was dark-lashed, very slight – given more to edges than the centre of things [...]

Essay | A Dream of Maps: Notes from a Book Launch...

Chris Rice first met Matthew Sweeney at a poetry workshop in London in 1976, and they remained friends for forty-two years until Matthew's death in 2018. Chris Rice's elegy to Matthew and their long friendship [...]

Review | Underland by Robert Macfarlane

How should writers respond to the ecological crisis? Both 'crisis' and the much-contested term ‘Anthropocene’ appear to bring us to the brink: there is, they tell us, no return to a state of innocence. If the possibility of an alternative future ever existed (and some claim it never did), then now it must be foregone [...]

Review | Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Company at Sadler’s Wells

I first saw the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Company during a visit to New York between Christmas and New Year in the mid-90s. I was entranced by the troupe and have never since missed a chance [...]

Essay | Foreword to Zigmunds Skujiņš’s Flesh-Coloured Dominoes

Jelgava, lying just a short distance south of the Latvian capital Riga, once the seat of the Dukes of Courland as well as being a western outpost of the Russian Tsarist empire, has historically been something of a cultural crossroads. Whereas Riga became prosperous [...]

Review | Fur Coats in Tahiti by Jeremy Over

“The best way to live in the present is less carefully”: for better or worse, Jeremy Over’s winningly preposterous fourth collection, Fur Coats in Tahiti, follows its own advice to the letter. On the whole, I think, the better wins out, but let’s start by getting some of the worse [...]

Essay | Unmitigated Disaster: The Beatles’ Abbey Road by Kenneth Womack

The following essay is an extract from Kenneth Womack's forthcoming book Solid State: The Story of “Abbey Road” and the End of the Beatles,...

Review | Seen by your fingertips: Queen Mob’s Tea House and...

Anyone who thinks fiction and poetry are dying art forms needs to stay at home and get online more. As Russell Bennetts wrote in The Digital Critic ‘the revolution might not be televised, but will almost certainly be seen by your fingertips.’ Bennetts’s two literary websites [...]

Poetry | Letter to Bez by Chris McCabe

Bez, post-Victorian Boz, Viz incarnate / and Viceroy of the sinew, what is the name / for light that detracts from the stars? / Urban pollutants de-lux distant galaxies / as we walk after / parties through school fields, / via car parks, past vacant vats & waste lots [...]

Review | William Blake at Tate Britain

Thought to be mad by Wordsworth but considered a genius by Coleridge, William Blake (1757 - 1827) was an oddity during his lifetime — a genius engraver of images with a penchant for public nudity and political radicalism, a poet who would break off [...]

Interview | Oliver Payne on The Art of Warez

Acclaimed artist-filmmaker Oliver Payne, with the help of one-time ANSI artist Kevin Bouton-Scott, brings the lost computer-generated art scene back to life in a new film entitled THE ART OF WAREZ. The film carefully documents the ANSI art scene [...]

Review | The Nowhere Man by Kamala Markandaya

"Real danger is never born of anything concrete. There are only words in the beginning," writes Kamala Markandaya. There were 71,251 race-related hate crimes recorded in 2017/18, according to a Home Office report. That’s an average of 195 racist incidents every day [...]

Interview | Sam Lock: Now/here at Cadogan Contemporary

This September Cadogan Contemporary presents Now/here, the largest solo presentation to date from acclaimed British artist Sam Lock. The artist’s third exhibition with the gallery, Now/here will display fifteen medium- and large-scale paintings, sculpture and a suite [...]

Review | The Fallen by Carlos Manuel Álvarez

The Fallen is only 136 pages long, but it bursts with resounding voices of unbridled pain. Carlos Manuel Álvarez’s polyphonic novel takes us across a Cuban family, each member with individual chapters — the son, the daughter, the mother, the father [...]

Interview | Ben Turnbull: Manifest Decimation

Since his first show in 2002, London-born artist Ben Turnbull has produced a compelling body of work exploring America in all its glory and iniquity. His forthcoming show American History X volume III, Manifest Decimation, will be on display [...]

Interview | AlanJames Burns on Entirely Hollow Aside from the Dark

This September sees a powerful art event transform the unique setting of Cresswell Crags Cave, Nottinghamshire. In complete darkness, visual and environmental artist AlanJames Burns stages a psychoacoustic sound artwork entitled Entirely hollow aside from the dark [...]

Essay | A.E. Housman: Loveliest of Poets by Patrick Maxwell

A. E. Housman was an introverted man whose poetry is somewhat unique in its widespread appeal. Despite only producing two collections of poetry in his lifetime (A Shropshire Lad in 1896 and Last Poems in 1922), his reputation as a master of lyricism [...]

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