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from Affiliation

from Affiliation

Mira Mattar

‘on our knees in bathrooms internationally / dependent on a disguise of sovereignty’

On Vulnerability

Katherine Angel

‘Is anyone an authority on themselves, whether on their sexuality or anything else?’

Two Poems

Wendy Xu

‘Somewhere in America a white boss / in a dandelion dress-shirt is raising / his voice again’

Fat Bodies

Forsyth Harmon

‘Justine was at my lab table, pulling at the ends of her black bob, shoving her hair into her mouth.’

In Conversation

Madeleine Watts & Lucie Elven

‘The moments of relief in this awful year that will stick with me are roaming around at strange hours, walking in the middle of the road.’

Three Poems

Najwan Darwish

‘I’m not dead yet / so why are the mourners here?’

Return

Niki Bañados

An excerpt from the graphic novel, Return, by Niki Bañados.

Introduction

Sigrid Rausing

‘Perhaps in isolation a new form of communication is emerging, expressing what readers and writers have always told one another, via books and letters and on the literary stage: I hear you. You are not alone.’

Permafrost

Eva Baltasar

‘This never made sense to Roxanne, whose whole life was a treat.’

Translated from the Catalan by Julia Sanches.

I’ve Been Away for a While

Dan Shurley

‘When the world releases him from its oily grip will there still be a world?’

The Stinky Ocean

Ian Jack

‘It was a peculiar, alopecic landscape of hummocks and gullies, with patches of grass growing on what looked like white earth, and rarely a soul to be seen.’

In Bright Light

Paul Dalla Rosa

‘The hard thing, as Alice saw it, was that something bad had happened to her and it was private and then it wasn’t.’

In Medias Res

Jesse Darling

‘I walk the broken line like I once walked into the bar’

Colville

Fergus Thomas & Duane Hall

‘You can really feel the horses, when you’re around them, you can feel their spirit coming to life.’

When the Cholera Came

Lindsey Hilsum

‘It was hard not to wonder if the disease was a kind of divine retribution – collective punishment for a collective crime.’

Victim and Accused

Vidyan Ravinthiran

‘I’m curious about the refusal to countenance a connection between disparate experiences – a route by which empathy could travel.’

The Scarecrow

Diaa Jubaili & Chip Rossetti

‘Just at the time of the ceasefire between Iraq and Iran in 1988, an infantry platoon discovered that they were in a minefield.’

Translated from the Arabic by Chip Rossetti.

Abbandonati

Rory Gleeson

‘One day, 200 people’s X-rays showed they needed intensive care in order to survive.’

On a Farm near Junction City

Nate Duke

‘broiled thoughts / cool in labor’s mute thrum’

Al-Birr Islamic Trust Morgue, Greenwich Islamic Centre, April 2020

Gus Palmer & Poppy Sebag-Montefiore

‘Palmer’s portraits of Kafil Ahmed sit alongside those of other people risking their lives to take care of others.’

Naming

Jason Allen-Paisant

‘I have started to see that nothing is itself’

My Phantoms

Gwendoline Riley

‘I’m not sure I even thought of him as a person, really. He was more just this – phenomenon.’

The Mezzanine, or: The Most Important Book About Nothing You’ll Ever Read

Joel Golby

‘It’s like taking an escalator trip into someone else’s mind for an hour, finding nothing of actual substance up there, and realising, as you retreat mournfully back into your own skull, that there’s nothing there, either.’

Death Takes the Lagoon

Ariel Saramandi

Ariel Saramandi on the sinking of the MV Wakashio off the coast of Mauritius.

In Conversation

Nadia Owusu & Caleb Azumah Nelson

‘Out of those roots, radical possibilities bloom. Future is created with each note.’

Interview

Sonia Shah

‘Non-native species have been blamed for being invasive the way that immigrants have been blamed for causing crime.’

Two Poems

Holly Pester

‘Abuse is the conjuring of madness’

In Conversation

Ellen Coon & Isabella Tree

‘The soil itself is filled with divine feminine energy. It’s alive, it’s pulsating.’

The Valley and the Stream

Danyl McLauchlan

‘Why does serotonin make you happy? How does it affect mood? What is mood? What is depression? How does any of this stuff work?’

Your Delicate Body

Caleb Azumah Nelson

‘And it wasn’t that day, or the day after, but sometime after that, you cried in your kitchen.’

In Conversation

Peter Ho Davies & Celeste Ng

‘Some of the wisest things friends have said to me have been over text! But it’s a different kind of thinking.’

Asylum Road

Olivia Sudjic

‘She’d blinked at me kindly and said it must be sad when your country no longer exists, then returned to pulverising her asparagus.’

Notes on Craft

Ho Sok Fong

‘While writing we recover memories, recover moods, and we start to interpret them.’

Notes on Craft

Natascha Bruce

‘The reader doesn’t need to have answers, but they do need to have theories.’

Night as It Falls

Jakuta Alikavazovic

‘There wasn’t much money. His father had been blunt: the classes were fine, the rest wasn’t.’

Bleak Midwinter

Catherine Taylor

‘In a sense, we had been waiting for the Ripper to visit for months, even years.’