A Kind Of Magic: The Binding By Bridget Collins

I have heard of, and understand the value of, writing something down as a form of catharsis. A means of being able to move on, without having to dwell on unhappy or unpleasant details while knowing that they are safe should you ever need to revisit them; The Binding takes that idea to a whole new level.

Poem Of The Week: Mercies By Don Paterson

Mercies She might have had months left of her dog-years, but to be who? She’d grown light as a nest and spent the whole day under her long ears listening to the bad radio in her breast. On the steel bench, knowing what was taking shape she tried and tried to stand, as if to sign that she was still of use, and should escape our selection.

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Harrogate’s 2024 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has kicked off to yet another successful start as the sun shines down on an audience that can't hide in the shadows. A staggering 18,000 ticket holders over the weekend will be able to get close to their favourite authors.

This Floating Ground: Broadlands By Matt Howard

There is a benediction hidden amongst the East Anglian reeds in Matt Howard’s beautifully constructed new collection of themed poems for Bloodaxe. For the relationship between us and our increasingly abused and neglected natural environment sometimes throws up surprises for which we should be grateful.

Money Is A Cruel Master: The Woman Inside By M. T. Edvardsson

Imagine doing a jigsaw – I used to love them. First, find your corners, then gather the straight edges and then start building images. I often found scraps here and there and, fitting several pieces together, would lay them down ready to find the right place to slot them in. That’s the best way to describe The Woman Inside.

Poem Of The Week: Innocence By Thom Gunn (1929-2004)

Innocence (to Tony White) He ran the course and as he ran he grew, And smelt his fragrance in the field. Already, Running he knew the most he ever knew, The egotism of a healthy body. Ran into manhood, ignorant of the past: Culture of guilt and guilt’s vague heritage, Self-pity and the soul; what he possessed Was rich, potential, like the bud’s tipped rage.

Poem Of The Week: Barn Owl By Jack Thacker

Barn Owl My cave drip footsteps fill the barn before I sense the silent sound of wing in darkness – a carpet beat out of my dimension sent from the vacuum of space, a pure white blade of soft steel with a baby face.

Poem Of The Week: Chicago May 1971 By Edwin Morgan (1920-2010)

Chicago May 1971 The elegant vice-presidential office of US Steel is the scene of a small ceremony. A man has placed a miniature coffin on the vice-president’s couch, and in the coffin you can see frog, perch, crawfish, dead. They have swallowed the laborious effluent of US Steel in Lake Michigan.

A Ragged Life: The Unpicking By Donna Moore

From page one of this unusual novel, we are swept into another era, one of coaches and carriages, of balls and ballgowns, ladies and gentlemen. Recently orphaned Lillias Gilfillan is a wealthy young woman, looked after by her aunt, Evelina, who is as wise as Lillias is naïve. Not good for either of them, as it turns out, given the patriarchal society in which they live.

Meeting A Theakston Old Peculier Shortlisted Crime Author: William Hussey

William Hussey, the author of Killing Jericho, has the same captivating effect as a Ferris wheel rotating on its axle, drawing the casual fairground watcher into its magical world. He is charismatic and has a wealth of fascinating tales about the lives of Travelling show people.

Meeting A Theakston Old Peculier Shortlisted Crime Author: Jo Callaghan

My interview with Jo Callaghan starts late because of technology. This provides me with the ideal opportunity to enquire about artificial intelligence (AI) the technological concept underlying Jo Callaghan's first and unique crime novel. What are the benefits of AI? Does it interfere with the crime process, or do you think it genuinely helps?

Children’s Book Review: Edward Pureheart And The Forever Children By Jennifer Munro

In a market surfeited with children’s books of good intention but variable quality, it is liberating to find a genuinely affecting story, sincerely told and with sufficient animation to hold a young reader’s attention throughout.

Poem Of The Week: After The Dive By Isobel Dixon

After the Dive to the icy green pool with the river’s rocks like ancient submerged vertebrae and knucklebones, lie on your back and look at the sky. It’s not just contrails and the clouds against the blue, a lone up-current swift, a wafting spore – you can see the breeze, the breath of the air stirring in wisps.

Shortlists Revealed For The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel Of The Year 2024 And Inaugural Mcdermid Debut Award

Harrogate International Festivals has announced the shortlists for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2024, the UK and Ireland’s most prestigious crime fiction award, and the inaugural McDermid Debut Award for new writers. The winners of both awards will be revealed on the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Thursday 18 July.

Poem Of The Week: 35/10 By Sharon Olds

35/10 Brushing out my daughter’s dark silken hair before the mirror I see the gray gleaming on my head, the silver-haired servant behind her. Why is it just as we begin to go they begin to arrive, the fold in my neck clarifying as the fine bones of her hips sharpen?

Haunts And Apparitions: Grief’s Alphabet By Carrie Etter; Fantastic Voyage By Amanda Dalton

There is a point at which Carrie Etter and Amanda Dalton’s poems melt into seamless authenticity.

Behind The Curtain Drummer Martin Fitzgibbon Chats About The Rocky Horror Show

Drummer Martin Fitzgibbon became one of the first people to witness the splendour of Tim Curry strutting impressively in women’s high heels during rehearsals for The Rocky Horror Show’s original stage production in a London theatre in 1973.

Vengeance Is Mine: Murder On Lake Garda By Tom Hindle

It is always blissful on a cold, damp, English day, (and we’ve had a few) to turn your back on miserable weather, curl up in a comfy chair and lose yourself in a good book. That this novel begins with a wonderfully atmospheric description of the perfect location for a sumptuous wedding, in the romantic Castello Fiore, on an island on Lake Garda, is just a bonus.

Institute Of Economic Affairs Publishes 75th Anniversary Edition Of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four

Orwell’s iconic dystopia continues to resonate, but his prediction of the inevitable decline of liberal capitalism proved premature. Nineteen Eighty-Four was a prescient warning about how a small group could use technology, manipulate language, and rewrite history to impose a totalitarian regime on society. Orwell, however, was too pessimistic about the rise of totalitarianism, stemming from his misconceptions about economics and liberal capitalism.

Interview With Crime Novelist Glenda Young

Glenda Young is the renowned Sunderland-born author of several novels, whose themes dovetail neatly with the wildly popular genre of 'cosy crime'.

Poem Of The Week: Funicular Railway By Roger McGough

Funicular Railway Halfway up the mountain it stops. Slips back. Judders. Slips again. ‘Scheisse!’ screams a Fraulein ‘Scheisse!’ Word for word, you think exactly the same thing in English. Two little maids in white dresses, toting Prada bags, think the same in Japanese. The wind rocks the cradle, but not gently. No driver. No door handles on the inside.

Born And Bred: A Woman Of Courage By Rita Bradshaw

They say there are only ever six degrees of separation and when I picked up this book there was only one: not a person but a place since I was born and bred in Sunderland where this novel begins.

Poem Of The Week: Still-Life By Elizabeth Daryush (1887-1977)

Still-Life Through the open French window the warm sun lights up the polished breakfast-table, laid round a bowl of crimson roses, for one - a service of Worcester porcelain, arrayed near it a melon, peaches, figs, small hot rolls in a napkin, fairy rack of toast, butter in ice, high silver coffee pot, and, heaped on a salver, the morning's post.

Neighbours Of Zero: The Body In The Mobile Library By Peter Bradshaw

The stylistic simplicity of Guardian film critic and novelist Peter Bradshaw’s short stories is a blind.

Meeting A Theakston Old Peculier Crime Author: Simon Mason

Simon Mason has a wealth of interesting anecdotes to share: his father was a professional footballer and captain of Sheffield United; his mother was a sex therapist; he has publicly been hissed at; admits he doesn't read much crime; and he expresses gratitude to Chief Inspector Morse! And if that’s not enough, like all good crime writers he has a reveal at the end. So, where do I begin?

Poem Of The Week: Pevsner's Staffordshire By Charles Penty

Pevsner’s Staffordshire A bespoke-made Gladstone bag still holds items stowed for two decades or more: linen jacket, lido ticket, an annotated edition of Boswell’s Life of Johnson, armbands to shore up your shirt sleeves.

Meeting A Theakston Old Peculier Crime Author: Jane Casey

What a faux pas, but at least Jane Casey has a sense of fun. As I settle to start the interview, I find myself struggling with a frog in my throat, and all I manage to say is, "Your husband is a criminal." After a seemingly long pause, I swiftly added the word 'lawyer'.

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 2024 Looks To The Future

Harrogate International Festivals has revealed the full programme for this year’s 21st Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, a celebration of crime fiction and thriller writing, at a special reception at Hachette in London last night.

Winners Of 2024 CrimeFest Awards Announced

CrimeFest, one of Europe’s crime fiction conventions, has announced the winners of its annual awards. Now in their 16th year, the awards, which honour the best crime books released in the UK last year, were announced at a gala dinner event during CrimeFest in Bristol [Saturday 11 May.

Poem Of The Week: Widow By Carrie Etter

Widow The plateau she stands on extends flat in all directions, prairie without a crop. When she looks, he is too plainly not there. The sky, whatever the weather, renders absence vast, apparently limitless. This is a fallow field- who knows what it can bear? Carrie Etter’s fine poem, like so many in her new collection, carries an indelible photographic quality.