A prolific essayist, Chris Arthur’s writing is marked invariably by an expansive curiosity, an omnivorous reading life and spooling philosophical enquiries that begin with an attentiveness to the ordinary. His finely wrought essays are what challenged me to think about essaying as an activity outside the schoolroom, beyond those dry-as-dust abstracts and arguments of professionalised, templated writing that sometimes masquerade for life in the Humanities….
Maria Stepanova has been a popular and prolific poet, essayist and journalist in Russia for many years, but 2021 was the year her work was brought to the English-speaking world. In Memory of Memory is one of three books published in translation this year; a poetry collection War of the Beasts and the Animals (Bloodaxe) and The Voice Over, a collection of poems and essays (Columbia University Press).
This little book addresses big themes. It is a serious but engaging essay which invites reflection on loss and the ways we respond to it, individually and collectively, and how these have changed culturally over time. Josipovici tightly structures twelve short sections, each focussing on an aspect of forgetting and its counterpart remembering, weaving them Read More
How do you cut into what Elizabeth Chakrabarty terms ‘the Trojan horse’ of the essay? Whether it’s lyrical, discursive, inter-medial, associative, reflective, self-reflexive, or something yet undefined, from the outset of Imagined Spaces, the form is as far from the familiar academic expectation as may be dreamt. What then is this literal try, this attempt, Read More
‘Antlers of Water’—the phrase is MacCaig’s—and for several reasons it’s an apt title for this new anthology of ‘Writing on the Nature and Environment of Scotland’. That craggy map. A land that is as much water, as land. Those antlers, perfectly seen by the poet, delve deeply into what it is to live in Scotland. Read More
The essay’s star is in the ascendant. While there has been a long—even noble—tradition of essay writing going all the way back to Montaigne’s Essais, many people associate essays with classroom forms of assessment. Yet, of late, more writers have felt emboldened to call their prose ‘essays’. Make it Scream, Make it Burn is a Read More
ROUND 1 I’m greeted by the acrid stench of sweat, the whirring of blurred skipping ropes spinning. Whips, cracks, and grunts echo; defenceless leather bags hang at the mercy of those that pound at them. From the depths of the hall, voices rise above the clamour, shouting instructions, followed by an artillery of punches Read More
Thomas Lynch is an American award winning poet and writer. He won the American Book Award for his publication, Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, which was also short-listed for the National Book Award, and his essays and poems have appeared in a host of distinguished magazines and newspapers including Harper’s, The New Yorker, Read More
“Before I Knocked” – the title is from a Dylan Thomas poem – focuses on three images from the past: a postcard sent from California to Belfast in 1931; a photograph of two British soldiers in Jerusalem during World War II; and a family snapshot taken on an Irish beach in 1954. The essay unravels/imagines Read More