From Issue Twelve

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…

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.

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…

Nuala O’Connor: Tin

Down the years there has always been an ease between Patricia and Malachy that’s hard for others to slip between. It’s as if they have an invisible rope that binds them and no one can get beyond it, not even me. Their attachment didn’t bother me overly much before, but I’m the woman of the house now and I won’t have Patricia sharing soft looks with my husband. Mrs Cahill from down the way – who has watched out for us since Mammy passed – told me I need to announce myself. So I rise now and step away from the table; I place Patricia’s old cushion onto the settle by the wall and I sit into Mammy’s chair by the fire.

Feeling Unentitled / Mary Morrissy

Mary Morrissy discusses ‘Repossession’, her new short story in Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd.   Getting the right title for a story is important and there’s usually an ‘aha’ moment when you find it, or it finds you. With ‘Repossession’ this moment never came, so as far as I’m concerned, it is still a…

Issue Twelve Preview: ‘Space is a Doubt’ by Fiona O’Connor

Fiona O’Connor introduces her new short story ‘Space is a Doubt’, featured in ‘Five Years’: Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd. The Lonely Crowd · Read by the Author: Introduction to ‘Space Is A Doubt’ by Fiona O’Connor   Fiona O’Connor is a former Hennessy Short Story Award Prize winner. She contributes to The Irish…