Readers will recognise more than a few names on the contents page in The Reader No. 30. By coincidence, they all seem to be Philips of various kinds. We have Philip Pullman talking about the responsibilities of being a writer, three poems by the ubiquitous Phill Jupitus and an interview with the psychologist, Adam Phillips (‘the best psychotherapist in England’, according to Nicholas Fearn in The New Statesman), plus our own Philip Davis, editor of The Reader, of course, lighting fires and being encouragingly astringent along the way. Read his editorial here.
But the Phils haven’t taken over entirely. You will find new fiction by Melvyn Bragg (extracts from his book in progress); Les Murray’s choice of the best ten Australian poems; Blake Morrison’s full article on The Reader organisation’s Get Into Reading programme; Ian McMillan of The Verb (BBC R3); Myra Schneider, Morgan Meis, Tessa Hadley, Josie Dixon, and many others.
Issue 30 highlights include:
- New poetry by Phill Jupitus, Matt Simpson, and Stephen Sandy, plus we publish the first installment of Les Murray’s choice of favourite Australian poets.
- Phillip Pullman considers the writer’s responsibility to the reader, the work and to his imagination.
- We print Blake Morrison’s extended essay, originally published in The Guardian, which examines the work of The Reader Organisation and bibliotherapy more generally as a force for change.
- Morgan Meis takes us back to the beginnings of sea-faring, bridge-building hubris and tackles Melville and Hart Crane on the way.
- The Poet on her Work: Myra Schneider talks about her poem ‘Field’ and the way that finding the right form helped let the vibrancy of memory into poetry.
- Tessa Hadley looks squarely at the difference between stories and reality in her essay ‘Crying at Novels’.
- Melvyn Bragg lets us read some early manuscript extracts from his new novel, Remember Me, and so witness the not-quite-in-control beginnings of a book taking shape.
- The Interview: in a far-ranging discussion The Reader editor Philip Davis and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips thrash out a line between imaginative possibility and responsibility, Bellow and Malamud, inspiration and reality principle. Nothing is decided but all seems clearer.
- Readers Connect is reborn with a panel of five readers giving us their ratings for Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Not to be missed. Which judge will turn out to be the Simon Cowell figure?
- Plus reviews, recommendations and all our regular features, including the new regular ‘The Old Poem’. Brian Nellist introduces Sir Walter Raleigh’s ‘Like Truthless Dreams’. Enid Stubin writes from the heart in her latest ‘Our Spy in NY’
If your subscription to The Reader is about to lapse, please note: this is not an issue you would want to miss. Visit the shop now.
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If you’re thinking about subscribing but want to feel the quality of the cloth first, why not take a look at the previous issue of the magazine, issue 29, now available online for free. Visit The Reader download page.