Review | Parsifal at Bayreuth Festspiele

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Uwe Eric Laufenberg's thought-provoking, sometimes flawed production of Parsifal is revived for audiences at the Bayreuth Festspiele. The Bayreuth Festspiele is a type of pilgrimage...

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

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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

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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 [...]

Extract | Paradox by Incognito

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Incognito Paradox i get lost in my head sometimes tangled and stuck in my thoughts. it took me years of trying to find ways to outsmart myself to realize...

Review | September 1, 1939: A Biography of a Poem by...

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September 1, 1939: A Biography of a Poem, Ian Sansom, Harper Collins Publishers, 2019, 352 pp, £16.99 (hardback) W.H. Auden’s image in the popular imagination...

Review | William Blake at Tate Britain

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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

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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

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"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 [...]

Review | Trodden Before by Patricia McCarthy

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Our age is rich in lyric poetry; no age perhaps has been richer. But for our generation and the generation that is coming the lyric cry of ecstasy or despair, which is so intense, so personal, and so limited, is not enough. - Virginia Woolf, ‘Poetry, Fiction and the Future’, 1927

Interview | Sam Lock: Now/here at Cadogan Contemporary

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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

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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

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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 [...]

Essay | The King of Hay-on-Wye

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A maverick anarchist, bookseller and entrepreneur, Richard Booth, who has died aged 80, transformed the small Powys town of Hay-on-Wye into a mecca for the second-hand book. His significant and colourful legacy in the book trade inspired a formula [...]

Interview | AlanJames Burns on Entirely Hollow Aside from the Dark

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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

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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 [...]

Essay | Come Back West, Magic Realism, We Need You Too

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In 2016, Roisin O’Donnell published an article in The Irish Times which addressed the curious fact that so few Irish writers wrote in the magic realist mode. Putting in a plea for magic realism, she argued that “Ireland, with its healthy litany of bread-crusts-make-your-hair-go-curly superstitions, along with its hand-me-down myths [...]

Review | Grace Under Pressure: David Foster Wallace on Tennis

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Many writers have played tennis: Nabokov, Frost, Pound, Hemingway, Theodore Roethke, Randall Jarrell, even Solzhenitsyn in Vermont and Martin Amis today. Like poetry, tennis has strict rules and requires technical skill. It is individual yet social, aesthetically pleasing, intellectual, at times erotic. Despite its formal rituals [...]

Interview | Robert Lundquist: Never say sorry or common words again

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My Father was a boxer. He taught me how to box when I was nine. This commonality, and the need to impress him, informed a great deal. When Charles Bukowski at an event asked me to ‘take it outside’ over a girl, I said okay. I was 21 and shy. Everyone at the party kept telling him [...]

Review | Patience by Toby Litt

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In every first-person narrative readers are ultimately trapped in the mind of the protagonist, doomed only to know what they know. In Patience, author Toby Litt takes this concept further by sharing the story of Elliott, who is himself trapped in his mind, as his disability inhibits most of his physical movement [...]

Interview | Varun Grover: Of Paper Thieves and Nuclear Ducks

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One of Varun Grover’s cats is called Chhenapoda, which translates to “Roasted Cheese” in English and is a beloved dessert from Odisha in eastern India. The writer and comic, who likes to name his favourite felines after confectionary, is perhaps best known instead for his biting satire [...]

Fiction | We Can Be Friends by Lauren Sarazen

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There was a cluster of coats and hats careening over the railing, and when I got closer I could see what they were looking at. The basin, which had been full of water the last time I’d passed, was drained to the dregs and men in coveralls and tall rubber boots were crawling around in the sludge [...]

Essay | W.H. Auden: The Man Who Spoke for the Dumb...

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One of the hallmarks of a great artist is their often lugubrious disdain for their own work. The reclusive French composer Paul Dukas was self-critical to the degree that he only allowed fifteen of his works to be published. Needless to say, they have become much loved [...]

Interview | Gryphon Rue on Calder Stories

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Calder Stories at the Centro Botín, Spain, is a major exhibition spanning five decades of Alexander Calder’s career, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and...

Essay | On the Benefits of Dancing Naked in Public

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In the pub, Jemima raises both her arms above her, then swings one back, turning her head to follow the arc it makes in the air. “Something like that,” she says, sitting back down and taking a chip from the plate between us. We are attempting a reconstruction. What we are attempting to reconstruct is a theatre show called Trilogy, made by an artist called [...]

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