In the latest issue:

In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich

Meetings with their Gods

Claire Hall

‘Generation Left’

William Davies

At the North Miami Museum: Alice Paalen Rahon

Mary Ann Caws

Buchan’s Banter

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali


James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

Two PoemsBill Manhire

Old Man Puzzled by His New Pyjamas

I am the baby who sleeps in the drawer.
Blue yesterday, and blue before –
and suddenly all these stripes.

The Question Poem

Was there a city here?

We were sitting with friends. It was a sunny day.
We were boasting about the local coffee.
Strange self-congratulations, flat whites.
These were friends we had only recently
found our way back to. For a long time
we were far apart.

Did you all survive?

On that first day of school, I mostly remember
being terrified: the dark interior, the children in rows
at their separate desks, and I was now to be one of them.
In a field by the school, there were bales of hay.
I remember inkwells.
That was perhaps a harder day.

Did you hear the bells ringing?

I keep trying to remember.
Somehow I learned to write my way round things.
The teacher made circles on the blackboard
and none of us said a word. Rubble,
then revelation: inside, we were stumbling.
And at the end of the day we all went home.

Did you all survive?

We will never sit in such places again.
A father chasing his small daughter,
both of them laughing.
The girl, a toddler, was calling out, No, no, Matilda!
Perhaps she knew the song from somewhere
but I think that must have been her name.

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