The sun is shining, the birds are singing and spring has finally sprung – the first issue of The Reader for 2013 is here!
In Issue 49, we recreate in print the charged RISE (Reading in a Secure Environments) event, which saw poet and writer Jackie Kay reading from her work to women at HMP Styal. There is a question-and-answer session led by Charlie Darby-Villis, along with extracts from Jackie’s memoir Red Dust Road, and poetry too, including ‘Here’s My Pitch’, a poem which she would later read to the crowd at Sheffield United’s Bramhall Lane stadium as part of the ‘Kick it Out’ campaign (against racism in football) but which she premiered for the women prisoners.
There is new poetry from David Constantine and new fiction from John Kinsella, and a searching interview with publisher David Fickling on the power of books to guide you without programme or instruction. They do it by involving the reader in the telling of the tale and not by the attempt to educate:
‘Reading is an invitation to think and if you reach for the issue you close down the thinking and the creativity in your own head, and the dialogue between the author and you. The best stories are not ones where the writer excludes the reader from the book but the ones that include you, where the story is completed by the reader reading it.’
You will also find Niall Gibney’s honest and heartfelt account of his visit to South Africa, delivering books to schools with Liverpool Football Club Foundation; here too there is the amazing photography of some very different readers by street photographer Ourit Ben-Haim. Her website (The Underground New York Public Library) is dedicated to capturing the readers travelling on the NYC subway. Strongly recommended!
If you’re already a subscriber, then you can expect the magazine through your letterbox any minute now. If not, and you don’t want to miss out on this jam-packed issue of literary goodness, why not head over to our website and purchase the magazine or a full subscription now? Happy reading!