In Issue 27, The Reader tries for happiness and we couldn’t be more happy that it has arrived so we can share its delights with our subscribers! The collection of stories, poetry, essays and recommendations in this issue focus on moments of joy and simple pleasure, moments that we should try to capture and remember how important they are to our lives.
This is also the first issue of The Reader with Phil Davis as editor, taking over the helm of the magazine from his wife and colleague Jane Davis. It is an exciting time in The Reader office, lots of changes are afoot – a new design for the magazine, extensions of The Reader‘s outreach projects – yet the magazine’s heart and soul remains concerned with the human content to be found in literature. That will not change. You can read Phil’s editorial here.
Highlights in this issue include poetry by Omar Sabbagh, a young new poet we’re thrilled about publishing, reading his poems makes you aware of the solidity and lightness of life. There is also poetry by Tom Paulin, R. S. Thomas, Martin Malone, Sean Elliott and Andrew Shields. Bernard Beatty writes an animated essay on ‘Ecstatic Moments’ and Josie Billington focuses on the late love of the Barrett Brownings. David Constantine and Jo Canon provide us with some great short stories in which the chance of happiness in glitteringly present and real but is often transient. You can read more about this very full issue on The Reader‘s website.
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Posted by Jen Tomkins
The Reader is going to this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival to bring you news from the festival direct to this blog. The focus of this year’s festival is ‘What does change mean to us?’ and there will be reports on the dynamic debates, critical conversations and inspiring ideas that the festival guests have to offer. The festival is up on our calendar and I’ll add specific events as tickets are confirmed. Hopefully I’ll be able to interview some of the speakers formally (although I look forward with great anticipation to ‘bumping’ into them more informally), to get a unique insight into their experiences of the festival and ask how important books and reading are to their lives. I’ll be jumping at every opportunity to ask the literary folk in Cheltenham for their book recommendations, top tips on who to keep an eye on and will report it all back via The Reader Online. The best way to get updates is to subscribe our RSS feed.
By Jen Tomkins
Philip Davis, editor of The Reader writes to say that Ian MacMillan, poet, performer and broadcaster is to become a regular contributor to the magazine, starting with the Christmas 2007 edition. Ian MacMillan, who has been described by the TES as “the Shirley Bassey of performance poetry”, presents The Verb on BBC Radio 3 and has recently been appointed Poet in Space by the Yorkshire Planetarium. We’re pleased to be on his trajectory.
As of today The Reader has a new website, which includes news and information about the magazine, about Reader community projects and events. There is also a revamped and easier to use shop where you can subscribe to the magazine and buy back issues.
Issue 26 highlights include:
• New poetry by Connie Bensley, Angela Leighton, Howard Wright, Mark Leech, Mike Hoy, Nicola Daly and Carrie Etter; plus the continuation of our innovative new poetry feature, ‘The Poet on his Work’ (or her Work) in which poets give us a rare glimpse of the complex skeins of thought and words underneath the neatly woven surface of a finished poem. Neil Curry writes on his poem ‘Among the Ruins’ and you can read his piece online now.
• Fiction by Roy Kesey
• Michael Symmons Roberts, ‘An Accidental Career’, an insight into the life of a librettist.
• Adam Piette answers a reader’s question on a poem by George Herbert
• The conclusion of Phil Davis’s conversation with Jonathan Bate about Shakespeare at the RSC
• A short interview with Edward Hardwicke who played Dr Watson opposite Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes in the outstanding Granada TV adaptation of the Conan Doyle books.
• Readers Connect looks at Shirley , one of Charlotte Brontë’s lesser-known novels
• Plus recommendations of Peter Taylor, Susanna Clarke, Antony and Cleopatra and Raymond Chandler and all our usual features.
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