From Issue Eight Preview

‘Learning to sleep’ John Burnside

Though the hunter returns at first light, bearing a heart   in which all warmth has ceased, the gut hook   sticky in his hand, his misdeed visible to everyone he sees   – the horseman on the road, the miller’s girl,   the foreign delegation with its gold and furs, old   pilgrims, crowding…

Philip Gross – thinking about about-ness

Philip Gross is a poet, librettist and writer for children. He won the T.S. Eliot Prize 2009 with The Water Table, and Wales Book of The Year 2010 with I Spy Pinhole Eye. Deep Field dealt with his Estonian refugee father’s final years and loss of language, an exploration into our place in the world broadened steadily through later collections, most recently A Bright Acoustic (2017). Recently liberated from 25 years of academic life, he is an insatiable collaborator across art forms, e.g. with artist Valerie Coffin Price on A Fold in the River, and with composer Benjamin Frank Vaughan on The King in the Car Park, a cantata about the re-discovery of Richard III, performed in Leicester Cathedral.

Read by the Author: ‘How He Lay’ by Philip Gross

Philip Gross is a poet, librettist and writer for children. He won the T.S. Eliot Prize 2009 with The Water Table, and Wales Book of The Year 2010 with I Spy Pinhole Eye. Deep Field dealt with his Estonian refugee father’s final years and loss of language, an exploration into our place in the world broadened steadily through later collections, most recently A Bright Acoustic (2017). Recently liberated from 25 years of academic life, he is an insatiable collaborator across art forms, e.g. with artist Valerie Coffin Price on A Fold in the River, and with composer Benjamin Frank Vaughan on The King in the Car Park, a cantata about the re-discovery of Richard III, performed in Leicester Cathedral.

Timothy Richardson’s Return: On Writing ‘The Least of These’ – Jenn Ashworth

In Shirley Jackson’s work there is a single recurring character – often a very minor one. He appears under a number of different names: James or Jimmy or sometimes Jim Harris, and sometimes only as a mysterious unnamed man in a blue suit. Mr Harris is sometimes a writer. At other times he’s an academic, a researcher or a bookshop owner. The mysterious visitor is intimately connected with the written word, with books and the production of text. This charismatic and often dangerous stranger has been suggested by some critics to be evidence of Jackson’s intricate, career-long engagement with an old Scottish Ballad in which a women’s dead lover returns to lure her away from her husband. The lover, as most versions of this ballad emphasise, is the devil himself.

Inside the ‘Skin’ – Jo Mazelis

Jo Mazelis discusses her new short story ‘Skin’ published today in Issue Eight of The Lonely Crowd. (Jo will be reading ‘Skin’ as part of our event in Swansea this evening, do join us if you can). I went to New York for the first and probably only time in my life in early March about…

‘Kepler 452B’ by Medbh McGuckian

Medbh McGuckian was born in 1950 in Belfast where she continues to live. She has been Writer-in-Residence at Queen’s University, Belfast, the University of Ulster, Coleraine, and Trinity College, Dublin, and was Visiting Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Among the prizes she has won are England’s National Poetry Competition, The Cheltenham Award, The Rooney Prize, the Bass Ireland Award for Literature, the Denis Devlin Award, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize, and, in 2002, The Forward Prize for Best Poem. She received the American Ireland Fund Literary Award in 1998. She won the Forward Prize for Best Poem for ‘She Is in the Past, She Has This Grace’. Her latest collection is Blaris Moor. Medbh McGuckian is a member of Aosdána.

READ BY THE AUTHOR: ‘Skin’ by Jo Mazelis

Jo Mazelis is a prize-winning novelist, short story writer, poet, photographer and essayist. Her debut novel Significance (Seren, 2014) won The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize in 2015. Her first collection of stories Diving Girls was short-listed for Commonwealth Best First Book and Welsh Book of the Year. Previously she worked as a freelance designer and photographer in London. She has photographed Tilda Swinton, PD James, Kathy Acker, Nan Goldin and Miranda Richardson amongst many other leading artists, writers and actors. Her work has been exhibited at Camerawork, London, The Pontardawe Arts Centre, Glyn Vivian Art Gallery and Dylan Thomas Centre. Her latest book, a collection of short stories entitled, Ritual, 1969 (Seren, 2016), was long-listed for the Edge Hill Prize and shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year in 2017.

‘Samhain’ by Ingrid Casey

On the Wednesday before Samhain, I am making a typo in the IM to my besto about the summer of 1816, the summer of no sun, I say summer of no sin, is there such a thing, we emojicate, jocular, of course not, but Shelley’s summer, as I’d been reading over the clouds of gothic…