Online Fiction & Poetry

Winter Readings: ‘Foot and Mouth’ by Laura Morris

Laura Morris reads an excerpt from ‘Foot and Mouth’, her short story in Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd.   The Lonely Crowd · Winter Readings: 'Foot and Mouth' by Laura Morris   Laura Morris’s fiction has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and featured in the Honno anthologies Safe World Gone and All Shall Be Well. She’s…

Winter Readings: ‘Grey Wizard’ Catherine Wilkinson

Our Guest Non-Fiction Editor Catherine Wilkinson reads her short story, ‘Grey Wizard’, originally published in Issue Ten. The Lonely Crowd · Winter Readings: ‘Grey Wizard’ by Catherine Wilkinson Catherine Wilkinson was first published in Issue 11 of this publication with her story GREY WIZARD. Introduced as ‘an exquisite painterly story concerning the death of a…

Writing ‘Plainsong’ / Mark Blayney

Mark Blayney discusses ‘Plainsong’, his new short story in Issue Twelve. My friend Dennis is obsessed with building a model of St Paul’s Cathedral out of matchsticks. This might seem a rather pointless endeavour, but think about your own obsessions, if you have any. I’ll wager they’re not too closely aligned to reason or logic.…

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…