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Poetry | The Fixer by Martha Sprackland

The opening and shutting of the door / for seven years has shorted the wire / that keeps the children’s food fresh and cold. / She will have to defrost the icebox. / Whilst he swears in refrigerated goods I flip / the switches on a deluxe kettle / turn on all the deluxe gas / on my deluxe six-ring burner / plan a feast for all five of us [...]

Essay | My Father’s Coat by Stephanie Sy-Quia

There is a garden here, with a yew hedge, a lavender border, peonies, a vegetable patch, herbs, and a washing line. The house is made of bricks, painted cream and, on the inside, it has big exposed beams and old, at times slanted, floors. It feels as if I’ve been lifted sideways out of my normal life and into a hyperreal painting, some potent archetype of the English imaginary, and a stability of existence which is so inconceivable to me, it is almost laughable. Until a few weeks ago [...]

Essay | Preface by Matthew Scott

Samuel Beckett’s discomfiting formulation of ‘a mind like the one I always had, always on the alert against itself ’has been playing around my own mind over the past few months. To be alert to complacencies of thought is surely a good thing but Beckett’s phrase also seems to imply a mind at work against its own well-being. In my case, that quality of the mind working against itself has been a mark of this difficult period [...]

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