In the latest issue:

Boris Johnson’s First Year

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: In the Bunker

Thomas Jones

Theban Power

James Romm

What can the WHO do?

James Meek

At the Type Archive

Alice Spawls

Where the Poor Lived

Alison Light

At the Movies: ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Michael Wood

Cultural Pillaging

Neal Ascherson

Jenny Offill

Adam Mars-Jones

Shakespeare v. the English

Michael Dobson

Poem: ‘Now Is the Cool of the Day’

Maureen N. McLane


David Trotter

Consider the Hare

Katherine Rundell

How Should I Refer to You?

Amia Srinivasan

Poem: ‘Field Crickets (Gryllus campestris)’

Fiona Benson

Diary: In Mali

Rahmane Idrissa

Two PoemsDaniel Kane

Two Ornithology Variations


It’s OK that the material world is tenuous.
However, I must remind myself to ‘grab it

by the shoulders’ and ‘give it a shake’ in case
it gets cancelled entirely. If the phone rings,

I’ll pick it up on the first chirp – why wait
for the second or the third? The desire to impress

in this way is depressing. Now is the time
to look out my window in case I miss the sparrow.


I talk on the phone to Julie, who wants to meet
me tomorrow at 1.15. Imminence of lending a book,

owing a dollar. Will I make it until then?
When she called I picked the phone up on the first

ring. That gave her a little shock; the immediate
crackle of my voice. Julie, where does the grackle

live? Is its plumage variegated?

Albatross Slaughter

I am very sad that albatrosses’ wings
are getting lopped off by European windmill
blades it’s not like there’s a glut of albatrosses

I was thinking the other day by the pond
that I know so little of what’s going on on the surface
of the pond its lily pads or are they even lily pads

That said I have seen the albatrosses – which can have a wingspan
of up to 11ft – while sailing in the southern oceans. The sight is one
      that I will never forget and I find it impossible to accept

      that the albatross might one day be lost for ever. Isn’t anyone else
sad I mean come on isn’t anyone else sad. I’m a little bird in the wilderness
all sad like dry glue on paper or a blind butterfly or some kind of weird shape

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