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On writing ‘A Dog Called Orgreave’ | Craig Austin

Any mention of the 84/85 miners’ is unavoidably evocative of a time and a place that did not deal in shades of grey. I may only have been a child at the time but that didn’t mean that I was unaware of the inky ‘NUM’ inscriptions that increasingly peppered the school-bags of the older kids on the bus into town; three fat initials that jostled for attention with equally fervent homages to The Smiths and The Bunnymen; a khaki collegiate collage of faith and unquestioning devotion. For adults and teenagers alike it was a period that sought to define which…

On Writing ‘CartWheeling’ | Jay Merill

I am just starting to write a whole collection of stories set in a mythic space which I’m calling The Botanical Gardens and I’m delighted by the response so far: Acceptance of ‘CartWheeling’ by The Lonely Crowd and the second story by Unthank Books for Unthology 10. Existential and moral issues are the themes which seem to be prevalent and it is gratifying to feel that I’m writing about questions people may find interesting. And I so much enjoyed writing ‘CartWheeling’ as it expressed something I really wanted to say about choice, decision and resolution. How do you choose between…

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On writing ‘Black-Eyed Susan’ | Rachel Trezise

I’m not entirely sure when I became interested in boxing. If it happened because of Rocky IV or because stories about boxing and boxers are inevitable in the Rhondda Valley, in South Wales, or maybe anywhere that’s predominantly working class. But since a fairly early age boxing and boxing stories were there in the way that oxygen was.

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How I Wrote ‘Leftovers’

I think that a lot of the horror of life, sometimes, is realising what a tiny part of the world you are; that moment of knowing, after a few years, that you won’t matter. There’s nothing like an animal to make you realise that. Buildings go up, people fall down, and it’s all just background noise.

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On Poetry & Prophecy

I’m currently working towards a second poetry collection, which will revolve around ideas of prophecy. Of course, there is an ancient connection between poetry and prophecy, which goes back, via the Book of Revelations, to pre-Christian, pagan documents. Enuma Anu Enlil (When the Gods Anu and Enlil …) is a case in point: it dates back well over three thousand years to the ancient Babylonian empire, and consists of a large number of tablets, on which astrological observations and omens are carved.

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On writing ‘JOHN’

‘The purpose of fiction is to transfigure the quotidian!’ was a disappointed friend’s response to reading my story, ‘JOHN’. The friend was upset by the repetitions, erratic chronology and the protagonists’ mundane existence; they felt I was reinforcing a sense of isolation and entrapment, when writing should be an escape from these states. You can’t excite everyone. As Vonnegut put it: ‘Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia’.

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On Writing ‘Rubbish’

Alix Nathan You know those questions people tend to ask of fiction.  Did it actually happen?  Is it the writer’s story?  In the case of ‘Rubbish’, no, it didn’t, no, it’s not.  I’ve never slept with a man researching liver fluke in sheep, never given into the particular temptation the story describes. Never quite.  I…

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Tony Curtis: The Lonely Crowd Poems

These three poems, my first appearance in The Lonely Crowd, are quite distinct and represent some of my central concerns, poetic strategies and aims. “Pro Patria” is a confessional poem, the sort of deeply personal exposure which characterized my work in the late seventies and early eighties. I had lost my father and grandmother and…

READ BY THE AUTHOR: ‘John’ by Carla Manfredino

Carla Manfredino is currently studying for an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths in London. She also reads for The White Review and volunteers as a writing mentor at The Ministry of Stories. You can read ‘John’ in Issue Five of The Lonely Crowd, which may be purchased here. You can hear Carla Manfredino read ‘John’ at our event at The Murenger, Newport, this Wednesday Oct. 19th, 730pm. © Carla Manfredino, 2016.