News | Nicole Flattery wins The London Magazine Prize for Debut...

The London Magazine Prize for Debut Fiction 2020, now in its third year, has been awarded to Nicole Flattery for Show Them a Good...

News | Poetry Prize 2020: Rosamund Taylor wins first place for...

The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2020 awards first place to Rosamund Taylor, for her poem 'The Proof', as part of its annual competition. Steven O'Brien, co-editor of The London Magazine, praised ‘The Proof’ for being “apt, polished and daring”, commenting further that “Rosumund Taylor's urgent, gem-like winning submission shows that the great linguistic machine of poetry still thrives. “Congratulations also go to the second and third prize winners Toby Campion [...]

Review | The Loneliness of the Soul at The Royal Academy...

I have written about Tracey Emin many times and have always felt that her self-absorption and solipsism undermined her art. So I was sceptical as I got myself along - mask-protected - for my socially distanced visit to the Royal Academy to see The Loneliness of the Soul, a show in which she has double billing with Edvard Munch. What hubris, I thought! She’s bound to be dwarfed by the master of angst. To be the junior partner. The also-ran. This, after all, is the [...]

News | The London Magazine Debut Fiction Prize 2020 shortlist announced

This year, the judges have remarked on the extraordinary variety of offerings that is reflected in their shortlist and Matthew Scott, the chair of judges, comments that "though it's a cliché that the quality of submissions is ever improving, the excited enthusiasm of the judges across the board does seem to bear this out: it has been a rich year, and a wonderful one for reading - a rare positive in an otherwise extremely difficult time [...]

Interview | Seán Hewitt on Tongues of Fire, the androgynous lyric...

I’m not actually a fan of Wordsworth. Of all the grand Romantic poets, I love John Clare. What I balk at with Wordsworth might be something that I’m concerned about in my own writing. We do this a lot. I say I don’t like people that are perhaps similar to me. Or I recognise a tendency in myself for the Wordsworthian, which is something I try to hold back on. Perhaps when I read Wordsworth it makes me cringe because I recognise my own tendencies to want [...]

Review | Calling Out the Destruction: Collected Non-Fiction Meditations on Violence...

Karl R De Mesa’s collection. despite belonging to a very different genre, reminded me of John Wayne’s classic Western movie True Grit (1969). It places conceptions of mettle, both physical and emotional, under a high-intensity microscope. In examining the nuances of grit, violence and determination, the Filipino author and reporter digs deep beneath the lazy, surface-level musings of an all too modern journalism. His profiles of mixed martial artists (MMA) such as [...]

Review | The Assignment by Liza M. Wiemer

Liza M. Wiemer’s novel, The Assignment, is a frighteningly realistic portrayal of modern antisemitism in a small-town community that blurs the lines between past and present, fiction and reality. The novel is a fictionalised account of a real assignment that is given to students, which instructs them to debate the Final Solution, the Nazi’s plan for genocide of the Jewish people. When students Logan March and Cade Crawford protest holding the debate [...]

Review | Artemisia by Anna Banti

On 4 August 1944, as the Nazi occupation of Italy was coming to an end, the German forces evacuating Florence unleashed a final barrage of destruction, deploying mines across the city to bring down all but one of the historic bridges which had lined the River Arno for centuries. The blasts brought down many of the houses on each side of the river, including the house of writers Anna Banti and Roberto Longhi. Buried among the rubble of the house was the near-completed [...]

Review | Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold by Virago Press

Hag is an anthology of stories responding to classic folk tales from the British Isles, penned by some of the most exciting women writing in Britain and Ireland today. Originally conceived as an Audible podcast, the book version from Virago Press also has two new stories as well as copies of the original tales on which they are based. Daisy Johnson starts Hag off with a story that poses the question at the heart of any retelling: Is it mine to tell? [...]

Essay | The Maestro and the Apocalypse by Leonard Quart

I have never been optimistic about the human condition, or believed that the flow of history moves progressively forward. And although I have a passion for art, cities, friendship, and a belief in love and marriage, I have always felt that the life we live is more than touched with despair and darkness. It bounds our everyday lives –  and my favourite filmmakers echo that vision. The director who was – and remains – most meaningful to me is the maestro of angst, Ingmar Bergman, whose work [...]

Interview | ‘Our societies tend to reduce Islam to its political...

My aesthetic approach is primarily poetic and doesn’t really fit into ‘-ist’ suffixes. But I would be lying if I denied my intentions. One of those is providing models of strong women with intimate, sensual and intellectual responses to life. Another is to offer a different perspective of the Orient, and particularly of Islam. Because of the radicalism and terrorism that confront us [...]

Fiction | The Swallowed Man by Edward Carey

I am writing this account, in another man’s book, by candlelight, inside the belly of a fish. I have been eaten. I have been eaten, yet I am living still. I have tried to get out. I have made many attempts. But I must conclude that it is not possible. I am trapped within an enormous creature and am slowly being digested. I have found a strange place to exist, a cave between life and death. It is an unhappy miracle. I am afraid  of  the  dark. The dark is coming for me [...]

Interview | ‘The party that never stops’: Sarah Lucas on The...

I was with Damien Hirst and Angus Fairhurst (I imagine) and we popped in. It was dingy, green and crowded. Also smoky. Ian Board was behind the bar insulting people and swearing as they came in. I thought he was horrible. Someone said, ‘He’s alright when you get to know him.’ I thought, I’ll bear that in mind. I didn’t go back for a long while. By that time Ian was dead. He was still there in the form of his sculpted head which contained his ashes. Michael Wojas said that you can roll a pinch up [...]

Essay | The Fate of the Artist: Wyndham Lewis and Saul...

Wyndham Lewis’s adult life spanned two world wars. In the First he fought on the front lines and was also a war artist; in the Second he lived in poverty in America and Canada. An innovative painter, he wrote fierce polemics on art and the role of the artist in society but held a bleak view of modern life. Auden called the self-styled ‘Enemy’ and conservative advocate of western culture ‘That lonely old volcano of the Right.’ Lewis idealistically believed that the power of [...]

Preview | Dreamsongs: From Medicine to Demons to Artificial Intelligence at...

In the window of the Colnaghi Gallery is a black and white close-up of a sleeping man. Young, beautiful, serene, perhaps dreaming. It is a still taken from Andy Warhol’s first avant-garde film, Sleep (1964), and the man in it is John Giorno, a beat poet and Warhol’s lover at the time. The film was nearly six hours long and Giorno went on to become famous in his own right, leading a life with a string of lovers that included Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg [...]

Interview | ‘Stories don’t protect us, but they do prepare us’...

Here's the thing: I like to be a queer writer. Being a writer is a part of my identity; being queer is a part of my identity. I don't know that they're the most important parts – but they're important to me. Every writer wants their work to be read on many different levels. I want people to read my books and enjoy the stories – just on a surface level – and to be swept up in the narrative and transported somewhere else for a while. I'd also love it if readers enjoyed the language [...]

Interview | Artist hana on ‘Inventing Artist Paints’ – her exhibition...

The art world is awash with self-taught painters these days, but the emergence of artist hana (styled in lower case) has taken many by surprise, not only because of her talent but because she has re-invented oil paint. Her paint is made from coconut shells, algae, seaweed, dried fruits and vegetables. All this has caught the eye of Noel Fielding, among others, who is endorsing her ground-breaking innovations. This week sees the opening of her first solo show [...]

Interview | Alka Bagri on the Bagri Foundation ahead of ‘Tantra’...

For the last thirty years, the Bagri Foundation has quietly supported projects that promote Asian culture in the UK. While some of its partnerships are high-profile — it is the lead donor of the British Museum’s blockbuster Tantra exhibition — it also supports a variety of smaller projects for the visual arts, literature, music, dance, performance and lectures, and is now expanding its activities into other territories [...]

Essay | The Ring by Tomoé Hill

I still have my wedding ring – platinum with a pear-shaped, grass-green tourmaline, and small diamond baguettes flanking either side, facets refracting both light and superficial values. Sometimes I take the cursed object from its black octagonal leather box with the gold bird on the lid, wondering what illness it slowly introduced to me in the guise of joy. ‘Green stones are bad luck,’ said a friend of my then-fiancé, on admiring my ring. It was automatic; one of [...]

Interview | Michael Cisco on Weird Fiction, Cheerful Nihilism and Sex...

Michael Cisco has been hailed by China Miéville as being 'of a different kind and league from almost anyone writing today'. He is best known for his first novel The Divinity Student, winner of the International Horror Guild Award for Best First Novel of 1999. His novel The Great Lover was nominated for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel of the Year, and declared the Best Weird Novel of 2011 by the Weird Fiction Review. His work has attracted attention in [...]

Review | Outsiders: A Short Story Anthology by 3 of Cups...

‘We all secretly see ourselves as outsiders in one way or another.’ This, argues Alice Slater, editor of new anthology Outsiders from 3 Of Cups Press, is why readers are attracted to characters who do not fit in. But the very fact that the experience is universal exposes the paradox of the ‘outsider’ label. If we are all outsiders, then none of us are. The outsider then must mean something different to different people. Often, an outcast narrator, as Slater says, can be a representative for [...]

Review | Sleepless: A Musical Romance at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre

Sleepless: A Musical Romance, based on the classic nineties film Sleepless in Seattle starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, had its official opening night at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre last night (01 September). Originally slated to premiere in March earlier this year, the show has the unenviable task of serving as an experiment for theatre re-openings across the country, with social distancing still a specified requirement for indoor venues [...]

Interview | Sculptor Guy Portelli on ‘Wight Spirit, 1968-70’ and the...

This summer sees Portelli also take on the role of curator for Masterpiece Art Gallery’s major exhibition Wight Spirit, 1968-70. History has been somewhat unkind to the 1970 Isle of Wight Music Festival. Its riotous atmosphere which saw over 600,000 people descend on Afton Down led Parliament to ban large open-air gatherings in the Isle of Wight County Council Act of 1971. But the festival remains a cultural landmark: it saw legends such as Jimi Hendrix [...]

Essay | The Eccentricity of Lydia Davis’s ‘Essays’ by Eliza Haughton-Shaw

Ironic, self-conscious and full of weird humour, in Lydia Davis’s hands the short story is economical to the point of obsession. Having published short fiction as well as translations for many years, she came to widespread attention with the publication of The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis in 2007, for which she won the International Man Booker in 2013. While Davis remains less well-known outside the United States, for readers familiar with [...]

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