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

Two PoemsSelima Hill

Upstairs, in the heat, beside the handkerchiefs,
my mother’s navy-blue horsehair mattress

still, although it’s August, smells of damp,
of horses in the hush of damp forests,

of Spassky, still a child, playing chess
all day long, with nobody, in silence –

Spassky, whose seductive ingenuity
my mother has no need to understand.

The eerie bittern – this may sound unfair –
spends her days pretending to be reeds

and people think she’s sulking, but she’s not,
she’s like my mother: sunlight gives her headaches.

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