1. Articles

Fiction | Request for a More Complete Obituary by Viken Berberian

‘‘I was tired of being the other,’ you said during one of our Scrabble games. ‘You know, these days they even discriminate against bald, clean-shaven white men with weird- sounding names. Well, I am not exotic. I am exhausted.’’

New fiction by Viken Berberian.

Essay | Literary Professionals and Other Mythical Creatures by Fernando Sdrigotti

‘To insist on seeing writing as a profession is both delusional and symptomatic of the LinkedInfication of everyday life – that very neoliberal desire to establish hierarchies between culture producers: the pros and the amateurs. This validation-seeking division is senseless, for what’s so wrong with amateurism?’

Fernando Sdrigotti on Literary Professionals.

Essay | The Secret Earth by Charlotte Stroud

‘It is for this reason that I never go to my field at this time of day but wait instead until I can be alone. Only then, in my experience, will it show me a secret.’

Charlotte Stroud on the secrets of the countryside.

Fiction | A Brief History of Dogs in Barcelona by Kieran Wyatt

‘I noticed she had listed three options. To hurt her. To get her attention. To make a point. I remembered learning about the rule of three at school, and I realised that it was probably a universal thing – or maybe she only used three examples when she spoke English.’

New fiction by Kieran Wyatt.

Fiction | Sump by Sheila Armstrong

‘When you are unhappy wherever you go, the common denominator is you, Teddy’s ex-girlfriend told him, with a cruelty so uncharacteristic as to be true.’

New fiction by Sheila Armstrong.

Review | The Truth about My Mother by Lucy Thynne

‘In A Woman’s Story, Ernaux more than fills de Beauvoir’s feminist and existentialist shoes. And as the family’s ‘archivist’, she is every bit the dutiful daughter.’

Lucy Thynne on Annie Ernaux’s A Woman’s Story.

Essay | Frock Consciousness by Katie Tobin

‘So what is the power of literary fashion, then? For me it lies in its virtuality, that imaginary quality of the ekphrastic, something so beautiful that it cannot exist in real life as we know it on the page. That virtuality also ties into the codification of clothing, and how it might suggest something about its wearer without saying as much.’

Katie Tobin on the Bloomsbury Group and fashion.

Fiction | Strange Day in Berlin by Gráinne O’Hare

‘I knew that the building had been turned into a block of luxury condos and bore no internal resemblance to the halls my favourite writers would have walked; and I knew it hardly mattered either way, that I could have curled up in Sylvia Plath’s unwashed sheets and it wouldn’t make me a better writer.’

New fiction by Gráinne O’Hare.

Fiction | Falling by Hadley Franklin

‘She was going to have a large life, an important life. She could feel it.’

Fiction by Hadley Franklin, winner of the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize 2023.

Poetry | It’s About Time by Michael Bazzett

‘I’d rather let roots slip between my ribs / and knit these bones into the black soil / to keep them still and ease what restlessness/ might remain.’

New poetry by Michael Bazzett.

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