By The Lonely Crowd

Writing ‘Goosey’ / Cath Barton

‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there’ is the oft-quoted opening line of L P Hartley’s novel The Go-Between. Before checking the quote I wrote it as ‘The past is another country’ and then found that I am far from being the first to make that mistake. Our memories are unreliable and apt to deceive us; indeed, they are remade every time we call them to mind, so multiplying the possibilities of distortion. In ‘Goosey’ I explore ways in which the past can hold us hostage and the means by which we can escape its tyranny. As befits the form of the short story, the dramas faced by my central character, Rodney, are small in scale, but none the less real or challenging: his mother has died and he has to sort through her affairs, including photographs of his life in the theatre, which evoke for him other loves and losses. ‘Goosey’ is the story of how he copes and finds ways to carry

Writing ‘Badlands’ / Fergus Cronin

Fergus Cronin discusses his short story ‘Badlands’, featured in Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd.    It’s a dangerous time. Truth is shy. Hate slakes fear. Fixes are scarce. But poetry and fiction can do their thing: use their own ‘lies’ thoughtfully; untwist some of the awfulness; reclaim the meaning of words; mean to be…

Winter Readings: Two Poems by Niamh MacCabe

Niamh MacCabe reads two new poems from our special anniversary issue. The Lonely Crowd · ‘And Her Father’ by Niamh MacCabe Niamh MacCabe is an award-winning writer and visual artist, with experience as collaborator and director on many multi-disciplinary art projects. She is published in over forty literary journals and anthologies in Ireland, the U.K.,…

Winter Readings: Two Poems by Angela Graham

Angela Graham reads her two poems from our special anniversary issue. The Lonely Crowd · Winter Readings: Two Poems by Angela Graham   After Iconoclasm: A Reflection on Technique The emptied niche is a womb, Perpetually conceiving And the great window, burst, A stone-stringed larynx And the gouge-marks on the eyes of saints Record in…

Winter Readings: ‘Tenderness’ by Justine Bothwick

Justine Bothwick reads ‘Tenderness’ from Issue 12 of The Lonely Crowd. Justine Bothwick grew up in Kent and Hampshire, and studied in London. She is a graduate of the Manchester Writing School’s Creative Writing MA programme and has short stories published in Fictive Dream, Virtual Zine, Confingo Magazine, and forthcoming with Nightjar Press. Her work…

Books of the Year 2020: Part Four

Contributors old and new to The Lonely Crowd choose the books that they have most enjoyed reading in 2020. Given the nature of the year, not all of these titles were published in 2020. David Hayden Here are some of the books I read, and reread, this year, which made a difference to me. African…

Books of the Year 2020: Part Three

Contributors old and new to The Lonely Crowd choose the books that they have most enjoyed reading in 2020. Given the nature of the year, not all of these titles were published in 2020. Hisham Bustani Inua Ellams, The Actual It is surprising how much writing in general, and poetry in particular, have succumbed to…

Winter Readings: ‘Blackbird’ by Jaki McCarrick

Jaki McCarrick reads ‘Blackbird’ from Issue Eleven of The Lonely Crowd. Jaki McCarrick is an award-winning writer of plays, poetry and fiction. Her play LEOPOLDVILLE won the 2010 Papatango Prize for New Writing, and her most recent play, THE NATURALISTS, premiered in New York to rave reviews: “Best Bet” International Theatre, Theatre is Easy; “Impeccable,…

Winter Readings: Two Poems by Laura Wainwright

Laura Wainwright reads her two poems from the special five year anniversary issue of The Lonely Crowd. Laura Wainwright is from Newport, Wales. Her poems have been published in a range of magazines, journalsand anthologies. She has been shortlisted in the Bridport Prize poetry competition twice and awarded a Literature Wales Writer’s bursary in 2020…

Winter Readings: ‘The Skink’ by Aoife Casby

‘Because Angela said to you often, ‘My Mam is dead,’ in a way that sounded like she wished your Dad was dead.’ Watch Aoife Casby read an extract from ‘The Skink’, her new short story in Five Years: Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd. Aoife Casby lives on the west coast of Ireland where she works as a writer, editor and visual artist.

On Writing ‘P.O. Box 37864’ / Craig Austin

Craig Austin discusses his story in Issue Twelve: Five Years. This is a tale about what it feels like to be an outsider, geographically, culturally, and ultimately emotionally. It’s a story that’s materially set in the Midwestern state of Ohio but one that’s psychologically rooted in the metropolitan city of Boston, Massachusetts; a place that,much like Liverpool, exists as a state of mind as much as it does a bricks and mortar conurbation. A city that righteously defines itself as much by what it’s against as what it’s for. The Beantown pubs and bars referenced within it, The Hub Pub, The Silvertone, are no works of fiction and I heartily…

Books of the Year 2020: Part Two

Contributors old and new to The Lonely Crowd choose the books that they have most enjoyed reading in 2020. Given the nature of the year, not all of these titles were published in 2020. Marc Hamer One of the books I have read this years that has stayed with me is Teaching a Stone to…

Books of the Year 2020: Part One

Contributors old and new to The Lonely Crowd choose the books that they have most enjoyed reading in 2020. Given the nature of the year, not all of these titles were published in 2020. Mary Morrissy History dominated my reading this year, perhaps because the present was so insupportable. Plague crept in, regardless, particularly in…

The Writing of ‘Tin’ / Nuala O’Connor

‘Tin’ is a commissioned story and, therefore, I approached and wrote it differently to the stories that occur to me in a natural way. Firstly, the story had to be designed to be read aloud. BBC Radio Ulster and 14-18 NOW – the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary – asked a…