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Books of the Year 2019 / Part Three

Contributors to The Lonely Crowd pick the best books that they have read this year. Lisa Harding When I was gifted the much-hyped bestseller Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, I was sceptical. The grandiose claims that this a ‘once-in-a generation book’, that it is a ‘masterpiece’,’ astonishing’, ‘compelling’, an ‘instant classic’ made me weary and wary, and yes, prone…

Books of the Year 2019 / Part Two

Contributors to The Lonely Crowd pick the best books that they have read this year. Jo Mazelis Around January of this year I began writing and researching a novel set in London in the 1970s. My research was varied, covering everything from music, history, politics and subculture. One of the key books, A Hero For High Times by Ian…

Books of the Year 2019 / Part One

Contributors to The Lonely Crowd pick the best books that they have read this year.  Mary Morrissy Maybe because I’m far advanced into the writing of a novel, I’ve found myself reading a lot of non-fiction this year, and reluctant memoirists, in particular, it would seem. As a result, all of these writers seem to write slant about personal…

Writing ‘Traces’ / Darragh McCausland

As a commuter, I became interested in repetition. For the guts of a decade, I’ve worked in a part of Dublin that is out in the suburbs, miles away from where I live. To get there by 8.15 am, I walk a bit, then get a tram, then a train. The entire process takes about…

On Writing ‘Town Talking’ / Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards discusses his four new poems in Issue Eleven. John Lennon once said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. For a poet, it’s often the case that a poem is what happens when you’re doing something else. Poems have a terrible habit of leaping out at you when you’re…

‘Grey Wizard’: The Seeds / Catherine Wilkinson

Catherine Wilkinson discusses the creative process behind her short story ‘Grey Wizard’, featured in Issue Eleven. The forensic analysis of a story is an exercise I relish, including the detection of which nuggets have snuck in from what aspects of a writer’s life or research: the ornamental eggs from Monique Roffey’s memoir (With the Kisses of His…

Composition Notes: boggled, distraced … / Polly Atkin

Polly Atkin discusses her two poems in Issue Eleven of The Lonely Crowd. ‘Distraced’ I have an ever-growing pile of poems that have been generated by mishearings, misreadings or mis-spellings of words. I find I often have a different interpretation of the fractions that make up words, in sound or on the page, to those…

Writing ‘Summer’ and ‘Victims’ / Natalie Crick

Natalie Crick discusses the writing process behind her poems in Issue Eleven of The Lonely Crowd. In my poetry I tend to write about lonely places with stark, bleak qualities and most importantly a sense of abandonment. Such places are usually houses or rural farming land, with hints of desertion and decay pervading each stanza.…

In Memory of Mark Montinaro

Tim Evans I first got the news by text, at 8.40 in the morning. I double-checked it on Facebook and phone and eventually realised it was true. But I still couldn’t really believe Mark was dead, because he was the last person I could ever imagine dying…. Not just in his performances, but in his conversation,in his writing, in everything, his life energy was there, keen-edged, mercurial. I had seen him, just weeks ago, at Spoken Word Saturday.  To never see him again seemed, well, impossible. I first bumped into him in Swansea years back at a Howl poetry night in Mozarts, in the dark, fin-de-siecle, sticky–floor decadence that was Mozarts’ trademark. In the gloomy back room, Mark’s lanky, loose-jointed frame seemed too tall for the place. And then once he started speaking, started using his voice, you realised you were in the presence of a rare talent. Yes, he was…