Patrick McGuinness

Patrick McGuinness’s latest novel is Throw Me to the Wolves.

Poem: ‘The Cooling Towers of Didcot’

Patrick McGuinness, 4 May 2023

It was the inattentive eye that saw them best:breeze-block vases with their tapered waists,their smoky pouts. They were modest,

middle-distant; they had the permanenceof grey things: seen but rarely noticed;or, if noticed, only once.

When the dynamite sapped them, a rippleclimbed their flanks; their mouthswere trying to say something difficult.

They hesitated, as if falling was a choice,and when...

On Joan Murray: Joan Murray

Patrick McGuinness, 20 December 2018

Joan Murray​ died of a heart defect in 1942, at the age of 24. Her first book, Poems, was published five years later, after her manuscript won the Yale Younger Poets Prize, which was judged by Auden. Murray had been his student at the New School in 1940 and, not caring for any of the manuscripts he had been sent, he asked her mother if he could publish her work instead. She agreed, but not...

Diary: Railway Poetry

Patrick McGuinness, 2 November 2017

I spent​ my childhood in a small post-industrial town called Bouillon, in southern Belgium, that became more and more post-industrial as I grew up. That hyphen between the ‘post’ and the ‘industrial’ looks abrupt and short; it wasn’t. It was a slow thinning of the thread, a long unmooring during which the habits and reflexes of work remained as the work...

Book of Bad Ends: French Short Stories

Paul Keegan, 7 September 2023

Voltaire regarded the short tale as a duel with the reader, and a form of complicity. He went out of his way to disparage the ‘littleness’ of the form, and to ridicule all fiction, as fables without...

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