Review | A Frank O’Hara Notebook by Bill Berkson

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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

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“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

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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 [...]

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 [...]

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

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Review | La Fille du régiment at the Royal Opera House

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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

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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

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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

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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...

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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...

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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

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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

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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

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

Review | Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell

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Orange World and Other Stories, Karen Russell, Penguin, pp. 288, £14.99 (hardcover) Karen Russell’s third short story collection Orange World is every bit as inventive...

Review | Frank Bowling at Tate Britain

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Born in 1934 in what was then British Guiana (now Guyana), Frank Bowling studied at the Royal College of Art alongside David Hockney and...

Review | Fabulosa! The Story of Britain’s Secret Gay Language by...

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Fabulosa! The Story of Britain's Secret Gay Language, Paul Baker, Reaktion Books, 2019, pp. 320, £15.99 (Hardcover) Polari is a language that was used mainly...

Review | Edvard Munch: Love and Angst at the British Museum

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Known for the haunting anguish of The Scream, Norwegian painter and printmaker Edvard Munch produced less notorious pieces with a similar apocalyptic gloom. The...

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