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....

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 [...]

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 [...]

Review | A Frank O’Hara Notebook by Bill Berkson

A Frank O’Hara Notebook, Bill Berkson, No Place Press, 2019, 278 pp, £35.00 (hardcover) Frank O’Hara’s poetry has previously been described as being written like entries...

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 [...]

Review | Parsifal at Bayreuth Festspiele

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...

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 [...]

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

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

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 [...]

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 [...]

Review | Trodden Before by Patricia McCarthy

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

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 [...]

Review | Grace Under Pressure: David Foster Wallace on Tennis

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 [...]

Review | Patience by Toby Litt

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 [...]

Review | La Fille du régiment at the Royal Opera House

Donizetti’s familial, romantic French comedy has its fourth revival in Laurent Pelly’s fabulous production at the Royal Opera House. The opera is about Marie, who...

Review | 58th Venice Biennale

Venice, that city of dreams and the inspiration for artists and writers from Turner to Italo Calvino, sees its 58th art biennale. As thousands...

Review | Il Trovatore at Teatro Real

Verdi’s Il Trovatore is notoriously difficult for opera houses to produce. Caruso once said that all you needed for Il Trovatore to work was...

Review | Giovanna D’Arco at Teatro Real

Verdi’s seventh opera, Giovanna D’Arco premiered in 1845 and tells the story of Joan of Arc, an exceptionally popular subject at the time. Madrid’s...

Review | Kiss My Genders & Urban Impulses: Latin American Photography...

Art endows people with the power to take control of their self-expression, to create themselves and identify themselves in a manner unadulterated by social...

Review | Group Hat and How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s...

The waves come and go, breaking on the shore at their own singular pace. Grains of sand become whole under their release, imagination finding...

Review | Jellyfish at the National Theatre

Ben Weatherhill wrote Jellyfish specifically for the actress Sarah Gordy, and after seeing her incredible performance at The National Theatre, you can see why....

Review | Ten Years of Towner Art Gallery

The building itself is an intricate dance of angles, edges and corners; the colours and lines are a call to life, an open invitation...

Review | Nan Goldin & Jenny Holzer at Tate Modern

In two exhibitions by Jenny Holzer and Nan Goldin currently on display at the Tate Modern we are presented by two collections of socially...

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