Online Fiction & Poetry

Writing ‘A Prolonged Kiss’ / Jonathan Gibbs

Jonathan Gibbs discusses his short story in Issue 12. You can listen to Jonathan read the opening of the story here. ‘A Prolonged Kiss’ has since been shortlisted for the prestigious Sunday Times / Audible Short Story of the Year Award. ‘A Prolonged Kiss’ is a story that was a long time coming. It grew…

Winter Readings: ‘A Prolonged Kiss’ by Jonathan Gibbs.

Jonathan Gibbs reads an extract from ‘A Prolonged Kiss’, featured in Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd.   The Lonely Crowd · ‘A Prolonged Kiss’ By Jonathan Gibbs Jonathan Gibbs is the author of ‘Randall’ (Galley Beggar Press) and ‘The Large Door’ (Boiler House). His short stories have been anthologised in Best British Short Stories…

Responsive Literary Writing in Two Acts / Hisham Bustani

Hisham Bustani discusses the creative process behind his two poems in Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd.   Act I We met in front of the closed door of a martial arts training centre, in a drab building located in the heart of what was (at that time) a haven for well-off Iraqis who fled…

Winter Readings: ‘Badlands’ by Fergus Cronin

Fergus Cronin reads the opening of ‘Badlands’ from Issue Twelve. The Lonely Crowd · Winter Readings: ‘Badlands’ by Fergus Cronin Read Fergus Cronin on ‘Badlands’ here. Fergus Cronin  is a native of Dublin.  He has had a variety of occupations ranging from water engineering to theatre. In 2004 he moved to north Connemara in Galway. …

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.