The Manchester Review

Editorial

It is a truism that Elizabeth Bishop was in the habit of waiting for decades for her material to discover an apt form, something her friend Robert Lowell celebrated in a poem:                                                                     Do  you still hang your words in air, ten years  unfinished, glued to your notice board, with gaps  or empties for the unimaginable phrase–  unerring […]

Anne Compton

Three Poems

Girls Rowing after Sailing to Byzantium, W.B. Yeats, 1926 What with all the mackerel, and the trees full of birds the left-behind elderly women still see possibility though it’s no country for old men, or so they say, having listened long to the sages or figured themselves in that way. The last to leave – […]

Frances Holland

Beehives

Beehives       “Cartwright, Patrick, 2nd January, 1982, aged 28, Hewer. Killed by a fall of stone. When filling coals at a longwall face, a large stone fell between two slips and killed deceased. The place had been carefully examined by the deputy, and was found to be insufficiently timbered.” If an asteroid hit […]

Jonathan Ellis

‘For a Child of 1918’: Elizabeth Bishop at Seven Years Old

‘For a Child of 1918’: Elizabeth Bishop at Seven Years Old by Jonathan Ellis                                                                              1 ‘Bishop is parenthetical. Her parentheses create emphases even when their purpose is to hesitate not asseverate.’ These are Maureen McLane’s words, not mine, from her astonishingly sharp essay on Elizabeth Bishop and Gertrude Stein in which she reflects on how she came […]

Grevel Lindop

Three Poems

REMEMBERING THE AMBOS MUNDOS They gave us the room next to Hemingway’s: the hotel’s best view — harbour, fortress, green wooded slopes right opposite our rusted balcony. Still we’d drag the shutters closed at noon, struggling to twist the eggshaped handle that kept them locked and stopped the wind banging them on the frames. And […]

Vesna Main

My Family and Other Immigrants

My Family and Other Immigrants (Mixing Memory and Desire)   The other day I heard someone say that one should treat all recollections with suspicion.                                                                                  ***   In 1892, nineteen-year old Adolf Ondruš, travelled from his native Brno in Bohemia to Zagreb. In this town of 80 000 inhabitants, the capital of the autonomous […]

Ken Babstock

Three Poems

The Plural of Unconscious, or Painting The Forth Bridge   Single example in the OED of its use                                           being owned, at least, by a volitional subject, is Norman                                            Mailer, of all people, havering, ‘but that may be my unconsciouses speaking.’ Living ten flights up, the sky’s traffic                                            comes to displace street level stuff, […]

Mark Martin

Book Learning

BOOK LEARNING   A young man emerged from the Tube station looking positively heroic. For a moment, Gareth was uncertain, not quite believing his eyes, but, yes, it was Sebastian stepping into the sunlight, tall, tanned, and desperately handsome—more his mother’s son than ever. Here was Gareth’s only child, back less than a week from […]

Diane Mulholland

The Fates Visit A House Which Is Not Charles Darwin’s

THE FATES VISIT A HOUSE WHICH IS NOT CHARLES DARWIN’S                                  I The Fates stand by the crib. It is midday, but they have darkened the room for effect. The baby’s mother stands opposite them, her hands folded over her apron. First Fate: This child is destined for great things. Second Fate: This child will change […]

Charlie Hill

The Life of Roberts

The Life of Roberts   hello! I’d forgotten it was you today. I’m all over the place this week! What’s that? No, no, nothing to worry about. I’ve just changed my blood pressure meds and I’m not sleeping so well on these new ones. It was like that when I started on the Statins. Yes, […]

Ian Pople

Three Poems

Baptism When the brick work becomes important, and then the wall, perhaps the river will help us, offering its taut surface and mild depth, in the way that a horse so loves the alien taste of peppermint, or molasses rubbed on the bit.

Evan Jones

‘I know I’m from here’: An interview with Anne Compton

‘I know I’m from here’: An interview with Anne Compton by Evan Jones   Anne Compton was born in Bangor, Prince Edward Island. A two-time winner of the Atlantic Poetry Prize, she won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for Processional, her second collection; and the Raymond Souster Award for Alongside, her fourth. In 2008, […]

Finuala Dowling

Four Poems

Q&A for an unfair world Will this meeting ever end? No. What are we saying goodbye to? Everything. Is the wrong person in charge? Yes.

Anthony Macris

Transfiguration

Transfiguration An indifferent god raised his fist and before my eyes crushed my son. I stood frozen in the yellow light of the tiny spare bedroom I’d made into a study, breathless at the cruelty. I’d failed the first test. I felt sorry for myself, stunned by rage at the corruption of my new father’s […]

Natasha Cabot

Family Traditions

Family Traditions   It was February 29 again, and I was wondering which member of my family would try to kill me this time. An hour ago, cousin Luke attempted to murder me with a rope. My guard was down, damn it, giving him just enough time to creep up behind me and wrap the […]

David Butler

Time to Murder and Create

Time to Murder and Create   I see it all. I see it all, but who sees me? You could say I run the show. Well sure, you nod. From a technical point of view. The lighting-guy gets the cues wrong or goes AWOL, the actors perform on a dark set. But that’s not what […]

Karen Rigby

Two Poems

To Carolina Kostner on Boléro XXII Olympic Winter Games, Sochi Because I live for the comeback staged in black—cold expanse waiting to be writ—because I love the way one arm lifts in time to what Ravel imagined as a masterpiece with no music, repetition made magic only because each shift intensifies, piston or hammer in […]

Miriam Burke

Vincero

Vincerò   I love my job. I love standing in the darkness taking in the smell of their cooking, a whiff of perfume, or a trace of lemon fabric conditioner on a clean tea-towel. Tony and I stand very still for a few minutes to make sure we haven’t been heard. We come in the […]

Sam Webb

Flowers Are Prettier When They Grow Wild

Flowers Are Prettier When They Grow Wild   Some people find reading hard. They can’t finish a book in one month, one year, if at all. Some people, and Jonathan knew these people and he liked them, didn’t read any books at all, wearing it like a badge of honour. It wasn’t a problem he […]

Current Issue

The Manchester Review

Editorial

It is a truism that Elizabeth Bishop was in the habit of waiting for decades for her material to discover an apt form, something her friend Robert Lowell celebrated in a poem:                                                                     Do  you still hang your words in air, ten years  unfinished, glued to your notice board, with gaps  or empties for the unimaginable phrase–  unerring […]

Read More 0 Comments
Anne Compton

Three Poems

Girls Rowing after Sailing to Byzantium, W.B. Yeats, 1926 What with all the mackerel, and the trees full of birds the left-behind elderly women still see possibility though it’s no country for old men, or so they say, having listened long to the sages or figured themselves in that way. The last to leave – […]

Read More 0 Comments
Frances Holland

Beehives

Beehives       “Cartwright, Patrick, 2nd January, 1982, aged 28, Hewer. Killed by a fall of stone. When filling coals at a longwall face, a large stone fell between two slips and killed deceased. The place had been carefully examined by the deputy, and was found to be insufficiently timbered.” If an asteroid hit […]

Read More 0 Comments
Jonathan Ellis

‘For a Child of 1918’: Elizabeth Bishop at Seven Years Old

‘For a Child of 1918’: Elizabeth Bishop at Seven Years Old by Jonathan Ellis                                                                              1 ‘Bishop is parenthetical. Her parentheses create emphases even when their purpose is to hesitate not asseverate.’ These are Maureen McLane’s words, not mine, from her astonishingly sharp essay on Elizabeth Bishop and Gertrude Stein in which she reflects on how she came […]

Read More 0 Comments
Grevel Lindop

Three Poems

REMEMBERING THE AMBOS MUNDOS They gave us the room next to Hemingway’s: the hotel’s best view — harbour, fortress, green wooded slopes right opposite our rusted balcony. Still we’d drag the shutters closed at noon, struggling to twist the eggshaped handle that kept them locked and stopped the wind banging them on the frames. And […]

Read More 0 Comments
Vesna Main

My Family and Other Immigrants

My Family and Other Immigrants (Mixing Memory and Desire)   The other day I heard someone say that one should treat all recollections with suspicion.                                                                                  ***   In 1892, nineteen-year old Adolf Ondruš, travelled from his native Brno in Bohemia to Zagreb. In this town of 80 000 inhabitants, the capital of the autonomous […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ken Babstock

Three Poems

The Plural of Unconscious, or Painting The Forth Bridge   Single example in the OED of its use                                           being owned, at least, by a volitional subject, is Norman                                            Mailer, of all people, havering, ‘but that may be my unconsciouses speaking.’ Living ten flights up, the sky’s traffic                                            comes to displace street level stuff, […]

Read More 0 Comments
Mark Martin

Book Learning

BOOK LEARNING   A young man emerged from the Tube station looking positively heroic. For a moment, Gareth was uncertain, not quite believing his eyes, but, yes, it was Sebastian stepping into the sunlight, tall, tanned, and desperately handsome—more his mother’s son than ever. Here was Gareth’s only child, back less than a week from […]

Read More 0 Comments
Diane Mulholland

The Fates Visit A House Which Is Not Charles Darwin’s

THE FATES VISIT A HOUSE WHICH IS NOT CHARLES DARWIN’S                                  I The Fates stand by the crib. It is midday, but they have darkened the room for effect. The baby’s mother stands opposite them, her hands folded over her apron. First Fate: This child is destined for great things. Second Fate: This child will change […]

Read More 0 Comments
Charlie Hill

The Life of Roberts

The Life of Roberts   hello! I’d forgotten it was you today. I’m all over the place this week! What’s that? No, no, nothing to worry about. I’ve just changed my blood pressure meds and I’m not sleeping so well on these new ones. It was like that when I started on the Statins. Yes, […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Three Poems

Baptism When the brick work becomes important, and then the wall, perhaps the river will help us, offering its taut surface and mild depth, in the way that a horse so loves the alien taste of peppermint, or molasses rubbed on the bit.

Read More 0 Comments
Evan Jones

‘I know I’m from here’: An interview with Anne Compton

‘I know I’m from here’: An interview with Anne Compton by Evan Jones   Anne Compton was born in Bangor, Prince Edward Island. A two-time winner of the Atlantic Poetry Prize, she won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for Processional, her second collection; and the Raymond Souster Award for Alongside, her fourth. In 2008, […]

Read More 0 Comments
Finuala Dowling

Four Poems

Q&A for an unfair world Will this meeting ever end? No. What are we saying goodbye to? Everything. Is the wrong person in charge? Yes.

Read More 0 Comments
Anthony Macris

Transfiguration

Transfiguration An indifferent god raised his fist and before my eyes crushed my son. I stood frozen in the yellow light of the tiny spare bedroom I’d made into a study, breathless at the cruelty. I’d failed the first test. I felt sorry for myself, stunned by rage at the corruption of my new father’s […]

Read More 0 Comments
Natasha Cabot

Family Traditions

Family Traditions   It was February 29 again, and I was wondering which member of my family would try to kill me this time. An hour ago, cousin Luke attempted to murder me with a rope. My guard was down, damn it, giving him just enough time to creep up behind me and wrap the […]

Read More 0 Comments
David Butler

Time to Murder and Create

Time to Murder and Create   I see it all. I see it all, but who sees me? You could say I run the show. Well sure, you nod. From a technical point of view. The lighting-guy gets the cues wrong or goes AWOL, the actors perform on a dark set. But that’s not what […]

Read More 0 Comments
Karen Rigby

Two Poems

To Carolina Kostner on Boléro XXII Olympic Winter Games, Sochi Because I live for the comeback staged in black—cold expanse waiting to be writ—because I love the way one arm lifts in time to what Ravel imagined as a masterpiece with no music, repetition made magic only because each shift intensifies, piston or hammer in […]

Read More 0 Comments
Miriam Burke

Vincero

Vincerò   I love my job. I love standing in the darkness taking in the smell of their cooking, a whiff of perfume, or a trace of lemon fabric conditioner on a clean tea-towel. Tony and I stand very still for a few minutes to make sure we haven’t been heard. We come in the […]

Read More 0 Comments
Sam Webb

Flowers Are Prettier When They Grow Wild

Flowers Are Prettier When They Grow Wild   Some people find reading hard. They can’t finish a book in one month, one year, if at all. Some people, and Jonathan knew these people and he liked them, didn’t read any books at all, wearing it like a badge of honour. It wasn’t a problem he […]

Read More 0 Comments
Livi Michael

Callow

Callow   The girl who brought the tea trolley leaned over their mother’s chair. ‘You’ve got visitors today, Mrs Lindley,’ she said. ‘that’s nice, isn’t it?’ Their mother tilted an emaciated face in her direction. ‘I’m slim now,’ she said. ‘You are,’ said the girl, whose name, according to her badge, was Jade. ‘More than […]

Read More 0 Comments