In the latest issue:

Robespierre’s Chamber Pot

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Fifteen days from now

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The Yorkists

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Gordon v. O’Connor

Rupert Thomson


Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

Two PoemsHugo Williams


Ten, no, five seconds
after coming all
over the place
too soon,

I was lying there
where to put the
line-breaks in.

Creative Writing

Trying to persuade about fifteen
Creative Writing students (Poetry)
to put more images into their work,
I was fiddling in my pocket
with an old contraceptive packet,
put there at the start of the course
and long since forgotten about.

If you don’t mind my saying so
you seem to see everything
from the man’s point of view
exactly like my husband.
What happened to women’s poetry
in the last two thousand years?
What about Sappho?
What about Sharon Olds?

The foil wrapper of the Durex Gossamer,
weakened by hours of friction,
gave way and my fingers found themselves
rubbing together in a mess
of spermicide and vaginal lubricant.

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