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Mr Salary

Sally Rooney

‘My love for him felt so total and so annihilating that it was often impossible for me to see him clearly at all.’

All We Shall Know

Donal Ryan

‘Thoughts sharpen themselves on the flints of one another and pierce me like a knife in my middle, sunk deep and twisted around.’

A Visit to the Zoo

Colm Tóibín

‘The two chameleons in a glass case appeared to interest all of them, Heinrich thought, because of their beauty and their stillness. They looked like a pale painting.’

The Butcher

Stephen Sexton

‘Outside deer are nowhere to be seen and inside / the radio spectrum fills up with sorrowful little packets of data.’

On Shakespeare and Aemilia Lanyer

Sandra Simonds

‘I gently propose that for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death we stop reading Shakespeare and shift our attention to the poems of Aemilia Lanyer’. Sandra Simonds on Shakespeare and Aemilia Lanyer.

Two Poems

Sandra Simonds

‘Police brutality makes me want to starve / myself to death and loneliness / is a drag’

Icons

Cortis & Sonderegger

Cortis & Sonderegger make the premise that there is truth left in photography more doubtful than ever before.

Five Things Right Now: Katy Simpson Smith

Katy Simpson Smith

Katy Simpson Smith shares five things she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

Torn Silk and Garlands of Garlic

Teffi

Teffi remembers the Armenian refugees in Novorossiisk during the Russian Revolution.

In the Third Person

Daniel Poppick

‘Over an exit, and deeply dreaming / A guard brutally splayed’

Civilization Spurns the Leopard

Solmaz Sharif

‘To step out of my door and hope to see something like a life, something passably me.’

Possible

Wendell Steavenson

‘I don’t know how to think about this. How to stretch compassion for one person into a million.’ Wendell Steavenson on Europe’s migrant-refugee crisis.

The Conveyor Belt

Louise Stern

‘Tall men that looked like insects crept out of cracks in the stones.’

The Fencing Master

David Treuer

David Treuer on learning to fence with Maître Michel Sebastiani and learning to write with Toni Morrison.

Introduction: No Man’s Land

Sigrid Rausing

‘We tangle and project, in exile; we make it up as we go along.’

Propagandalands

Peter Pomerantsev

Peter Pomerantsev’s anti-travelogue on Putin’s Russia, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible, has won the 2016 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize.

Force Visibility

Solmaz Sharif

‘Full or empty / was impossible to see.’

A Play on Mothering

David Rakoff

‘His hands are a jewel box and I lean forward and peer in.’

Last Day on Earth

Eric Puchner

‘Despite my efforts at denial the new reality of our lives was beginning to sink in.’

Then

Mark Slouka

‘It was in January, I think. That weekend, more than any other, the thought of her leaving seemed impossible.’

Cat

Katy Simpson Smith

‘I didn’t dream because I had no memories.’

First Sentence: Mika Taylor

Mika Taylor

‘I didn’t want reality to overwrite the story that was forming in my head.’

Love in the Graveyards of Industry

Jeremy Seabrook

‘Love was no longer encoded in recognised behaviours, but became subject to private desires and idiosyncratic needs.’