Granta | The Home of New Writing

Four Poems

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.’


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.’


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.’

Notes on Craft

Rebecca Watson

I was possessed, for a year, by a woman whose name I do not know.

Laundry Bills and Manifestos

Francesca Wade

‘The great pleasure of archive work lies in searching for these secrets known and unknown.’

In Conversation

George Saunders & Natasha Randall

‘The way I write in general is basically just to move, in as a quiet-minded a manner as I can, toward what I feel as heat.’

Having and Being Had

Eula Biss

‘What does it say about capitalism that we have money and want to spend it but we can’t find anything worth buying?’


Ian Williams

‘The moment in childhood when one realizes that one is Black is profoundly disorienting.’

Four Poems

Sylvia Legris

‘Carboniferous cockroach. / Gregarious cockroach.’


Jay Bernard

An interview with the winner of the 2020 Sunday Times / University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award.

Two Poems

sam sax

‘grief is an animal. we all know that. but which animal / exactly? what kingdom, what family, is it ever a fish?’

On Running

Larissa Pham

‘This makes more sense to me as a bodily practice: that desire to push one’s physical limits well beyond their natural bounds.’

Best Book of 1891: The Birds of Manitoba

Sylvia Legris

‘During the pandemic, birds (along with many insects and wild plants) have landed in my life and poems again.’

Best Book of 1978: Who Do You Think You Are?

Emily LaBarge

‘I have read them so often that sometimes I cannot remember what is mine and what is hers’

Best Book of 1992: The English Patient

Stephanie Sy-Quia

‘I had been in England, a semi-foreign country, for a few months, and when I was asked where I was from, I had no easy answer.’

Best Book of 2019: Better Never Than Late

Ukamaka Olisakwe

‘This book is about how to navigate the thorny valley of dead dreams. Some will survive the ordeal; others will tip over the edge, irredeemable.’

Best Book of 1886: The Masterpiece

Summer Brennan

‘Zola’s characters are, in every sense of the term, art monsters.’

Best Book of 1959: Mrs Bridge

Sindya Bhanoo

‘When the book was published, my own parents were children in India, then a newly independent nation.’

Best Book of 1946: The Years of Anger

Robert Chandler

Robert Chandler on why The Years of Anger by Randall Swingler is the best book of 1946.

Best Book of 1480: MS Egerton 1821

Elvia Wilk

‘The original owners of many devotional books kissed, licked, rubbed, scratched at, and cried upon their pages.’ Elvia Wilk on the best book of 1480.

Best Book of 1998: Symbiotic Planet

Daisy Lafarge

‘Symbiogenesis is horizontal and anarchic, a frenzy of illicit fusions and mergers – energies coming together for mutual benefit.’

Daisy Lafarge on the best book of 1998.

Best Book of 1924: The Beggar

Bill Manhire

‘I still have, somewhere at the back of my head, the notion that there are real poets out there and that all the rest of us are just pretending.’