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Fiction | Coming Up for Air by Sarah Leipciger

I was still alive when I was pulled from the black water. The batelier who hauled me out slapped my face once or twice and, when he got no response, assumed I was dead. I seemed dead, and anyway moments later, I was. Besides, he wouldn’t have been able to resuscitate me had he known there was still a beat to [...]

Essay | A Life of Purpose and Pleasure by Madeleine Feeny

Born in 1911 in Berlin to a ‘hopelessly incompatible’ couple – a withdrawn, eccentric Bavarian baron and a vivacious, intelligent beauty – Sybilla von Schoenebeck would live to ninety-four, dying in London in 2006 under another name. Writer, bon viveur, lover, friend, she would be subject to the vicissitudes of twentieth-century politics, her writing shaped by her knack for survival. She endured abandonment, loss, exile, fascism and war – yet through it all, she never lost her [...]

Poetry | Water Birth by Rachel Bower

No-one wants to be born at sea / but I’m a midwife, squeeze my hand, / that’s it, we’ve got this girl. / She squats, not time to push / yet. Bile rises with the swell. Breathe / through the surge, keep your head. / The baby’s well positioned, head / down, curled and smooth like a sea- / sucked pebble. That’s it, keep breathing, / squeeze those ice packs in your hands, / let’s cool the bruises down. I push / hair from her eyes, scrap of a girl [...]

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