In the latest issue:

Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne


Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester



If I could read music
And play the piano
I’d interrupt you
With no notice
Wherever you are
In some seminar
In Edinburgh
Or sitting alone
In your office.
I’d haul my piano
In medias res
And play
Like Géza Anda,
Like Alfred Brendel,
Like Frédéric Chopin,
Like Claude Debussy,
Like all the alphabet
Of subtle pianists
So impossibly
When we kissed
It would make us both cry.


Be my Harley, my girly, paunchess roadie,
So I can launch my fifty-something boy band:

I need you as midlife midwife, ministering angel,
To birth my crisis. O She, O Isis, come

O Rolling Stone, O Mick-chick, O stone-age Raquel,
George Eliot-brained, late-teen Emanuelle,

Let me embrace you, let me hide my light
Under your bushel, come, O come

Now to my achy-breaky heart, the one
Still unattacked, unmurmuring, forever young.

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