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The Afterlives of Georg Trakl

  In the early 1950s, the American poet James Wright, wandered by mistake into the wrong classroom while studying at the University of Vienna and joined a seminar on the poet Georg Trakl. He describes how the professor leading the seminar read Trakl’s poems slowly, with enormous patience, in the twilit room. The only other…

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Sweets for Breakfast

Sweets for Breakfast   Sweets for breakfast, all the crap of the day complete in one convenient sitting like a read-through of some ‘creative writing’ exercise, or speeded-up Dies Irae at one hundred and fifty beats per minute. One day, my beaten heart gives up on it,   packs in: the veins and arteries hardening…

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The Im/Im Podcast

THE IM/IM PODCAST   1. – Arthur Havens? – On the line. – Pardon me. He’s on another line? – Sorry. It’s what my father always said. You know, when the call was for him and he answered it. What do you say? – When? – When you pick up and somebody says your name…

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Three Poems

Hannah Kimbal lives in Alexandria, Virginia, where she teaches high school. Her poetry first appeared on The Ellen Show. Recent works have appeared in the inaugural issue of Virga Magazine and the Contest Issue of Atlanta Review, in which she was a Finalist and received an International Publication Award. She is pursuing her MFA at…

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Guests

  It was starting to become a thing, my going up to the wrong person. I would go up to a guest, for example, thinking it was one of my parents, and only when the person responded would I realize that it wasn’t one of my parents. It had happened four times in the past…

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Terminal Light

Kenneth Phelps lives in Washington with his wife and three children. He teaches creative writing at a local college and works as a freelance editor and proofreader. These poems are taken from his upcoming collection, Terminal Light.   AFTER THE GALA   When you introduced me as a poet a part of me died; I…

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Tap Water

Tap Water   Cool drink of water from the kitchen sink at midnight, faucet turned as the rain comes down— through the window car lights reveal the latest wild cat running from under the porch. It’s been so dry for so long and now this— another drink, replacing of glass, closing of cabinet, then back to…

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Transverse Orientation

Transverse Orientation   To watch moths as a pastime is known as mothing. Nothing is known about what makes one inclined to mother or less inclined to that sort of glow curio. Moth-er with — unexpectedly — the short O of body rather than the O Oh of that longer load zooming in on the…

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Robert the Painter

Leontia Flynn is the author of three collections of poetry. Her most recent, Profit and Loss, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her work has received many accolades including an Eric Gregory Award, the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. She lives in Belfast where she…

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Sacrifice

SACRIFICE   I don’t want to die and go to Hell but then I don’t want to die at all and not even for Heaven, where, Miss Hooker says, I should want to live when I’m dead, my soul she means, my body will just turn to dust she says, but I think at first…

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The Furthest Distance

A series of illustrations by the Irish artist, Rachel Clarke, commissioned by Netherlea Press for Lucy Caldwell’s novella, The Furthest Distance       Paltform 1         Journal         New York         In the pub         Passing train      

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A Particular Friendship

Medbh McGuckian was born in Belfast in 1950. She studied at Queen’s University, earning a BA and MA, and was later appointed the institution’s first female writer-in-residence. She has won the National Poetry Competition, The Cheltenham Award, The Rooney Prize, the Bass Ireland Award for Literature, the Denis Devlin Award, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize…

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Juhani Pallasmaa: Towards an Architecture Fit for the Human Body and Spirit

The Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa has led an exemplary career, completing buildings such as the sober and sensual Finnish Cultural Centre in Paris (1991) and the vast Kamppi bus terminal in Helsinki (2003). A gregarious, generous figure, full of energy at the age of 73, he has influenced generations of architects through his teaching around…

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The Universal Key

The Universal Key     My father collected keys. He’d always collected keys, from childhood. He had thousands. Maybe more – tens of thousands. But of course the one key that he was looking for had always eluded his grasp. His collection was never complete. There were some keys – important collectors’ keys – that…

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Alfred Polgar: the limitations of culture

“The fate of the emigrant: a foreign country cannot become a homeland. Yet the homeland becomes a foreign country.” Born in Vienna in the latter part of the 19th century, the critic and essayist Alfred Polgar died in a Zurich hotel room in 1955. Exiled by Hitler’s rise to power, and only relatively recently returned…

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Paris

Images from Athur Schumann’s Paris portfolio:                                                                        

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The Tipping Line

This is an extract from a longer poem still in progress, ‘The Tipping Line’, written to the son of my friends Ken and Jane Vickers. Rowan studied drama at Julliard and is now acting professionally in New York. Earlier sections of the poem reference WWI veteran James Whale who found fame in 1928 directing R…

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The Good Guy

This is an extract from Susan Beale’s novel, The Good Guy (John Murray), shortlisted for the 2016 Costa First Novel Award. Ted, a car-tyre salesman in 1960s suburban New England, is a dreamer who craves admiration. His wife, Abigail, longs for a life of the mind. Single-girl Penny just wants to be loved. When a…

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Belle de Jour

It’s not enough to see Belle de Jour as an erotic classic. Such an appellation might be justified of a film preoccupied with a conventional cinematic rendering of soft focus bodies breathing heavily over a melodious soundtrack. Not so Belle de Jour. Certainly it is an erotic picture, but not for the reasons one might…

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Two Poems

George Hayles was born in Manchester in 1980. He has taught in South Korea, Japan and Mozambique. His poetry has been published in The Frogmore Papers, Cicero, Trans-Capita, and several other journals in the UK and United States. Five years ago he moved to Galway to teach English. He is currently working on his first…

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Interview with Ciaran Carson

The interview was conducted as part of Jenny’s Ph.D. which was completed in 2013. JM In your essay “’Whose Woods These Are… ’: Some Aspects of Poetry and Translation” in the second issue of The Yellow Nib (2006), you recount how as a child you would lie awake at night saying the English word horse…

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St William and the Ghost

Tom Brody lives in Beijing, where he runs a small school teaching English as a second language. In 2015 he travelled to the Antarctic as part of a research team of botanists, geological engineers and artists to study the effects of climate change on marine species, inspiring a documentary and collection of essays entitled Coulee….

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Threepenny Therapy

Call it what you will – Fate, luck, happenstance, stupidity. It doesn’t matter. I had been feeling a bit edgy for quite a while. So, when someone assaulting me on a bus suggested, between landing a series of painful blows to my head, that I should get some therapy, I decided that perhaps, after all…

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Ash

Pam Cummings was born in Middlesbrough where she worked as a GP until retiring in 2009. She has since begun writing, and recently gained a Masters in Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University. Her first novel, Blunt Knife, is due to be published in 2018.   ASH   One by one the applewood slats splintered over…

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Poetic Self-Defence

When using poetry as a method of self-defence you need to start with the basics. It’s easier to disarm or incapacitate a potential assailant with form and structure than with content. Not that content can’t have devastating effects – it can. But generally only in expert hands.   The simplest moves in poetic self-defence are…

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Pebbles of Amber Picked up on the Easternmost Edge of Eurasia

It was in 1990 when T. J. G. Harris, my mentor of poetry and a regular contributor to P N Review at that time, kindly gave me The Irish for No and Belfast Confetti, saying ‘the poet might have something.’ Through these Bloodaxe paperbacks, I was initiated to Carson’s newly invented style of long lines….

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Solid Objects

“He did not see, or if he had seen would hardly have noticed, that John, after looking at the lump for a moment, as if in hesitation, slipped it inside his pocket. That impulse, too, may have been the impulse which leads a child to pick up one pebble on a path strewn with them,…