John McAuliffe

Editorial

“I had finally arrived at the place / where nothing is written.” So Joshua Weiner, an old friend of The Manchester Review, writes in one of the terrific poems we are glad to publish in this overdue new issue. At a reading in Manchester last month, Michael Hofmann and Igor Klikovac discussed the increasing sense […]

Toby Litt

So Long, Whale Bum

So Long, Whale-Bum    To give you some idea how seriously I took it, that’s what I called my first solo album.    The public, if such a noble beast still exists, agreed with my low opinion of myself-as-a-musical-entity. If we’re counting individuals, there are only three-hundred-and-three of them to blame for my desire to record a […]

Deryn Rees-Jones

Fires | Erratum

FIRES It is New Year’s Eve, a darkening afternoon, and I have pulled my two young children away from a gleaming fire because of my impatience to visit a lighthouse. The temperature has fallen below freezing. When I look back now at that time, six months after my husband died, I barely inhabited myself. I […]

Sheri Benning

Kelly Wiens

Kelly Wiens (1978-2018) For the long-limbed dance of you,              your hair in my mouth, rye-and-coke breath, drugstore shampoo,                           baby-powder sweet stink of you.                                                          The nicotine buzz,                           ice off the lake, jump in, eyes shut, nose plugged,                                        freshwater-on-skin scream of you.                                                  Bar-closed drive home, 2am, Highway 5,              Quill Lake, Watson, Englefeld. In the rearview, you: passed […]

Thomas McCarthy

Three Poems

QUEEN OF THE MAY It was Fr. Sydney McEwan who crowned us with blossoms That day in Cappoquin, a day I slipped off the vortex of childhood And found myself at your feet, you hardly more than thirteen And I thirteen and worn down with the weight of my father’s Humanism, his teaching me that […]

Steven Heighton

Expecting

EXPECTING The calendar indicated spring, but the weather was equivocal and kept the city on hold. Steep sunlight, as yet unfiltered by any leaves, dazzled the eyes and burned the skin, but the winds were icy. A month of recidivist weather: tomorrow it might easily snow. Leonard and Halli Losco were driving home after their […]

Norm Sibum

Three Poems

The Doings in a Small Backyard The tulip tree in my old landlady’s patch Of semi-private paradise, every blade of grass Fought for, used to lord it over the garden blooms, Its trout-bright blossoms showing off, she gone away                             to rot in a home as she waits to die. Yes, our summer is history, —the […]

Ian Pople

Three Poems

Crawl Space   The railway track divides where the road slopes up beside a genteel,   Georgian terrace. Where do we doubt what it means to follow,   what it means to lead, like water settling behind the swimmer,   as if the body encroached, wanted to talk, then spread its sleep?  

Anthony Caleshu

Miranda July

MIRANDA JULY It should not have surprised me that during a business trip to LA, my father arranged to meet Miranda July. One of the reasons people like my father is because he listens… and when he listens he acts. If you mention a particular wine to him, he’ll go out and drink it; a […]

Jack Boulton Roe

The Bicycle Thieves

The Bicycle Thieves I remember going to a shop with rabbits and a wall of fish tanks in the back room. Tiny sunken castles in lurid pinks and greens and surrounded by pebbles at the bottom of tanks inhabited by fish that had no business being coloured so outrageously, brighter inside their tanks than anything […]

Susan Karen Burton

Japanese Bookshop Buzz

JAPANESE BOOKSHOP BUZZ In Japan after dark, the big chain second-hand bookshops buzz with activity. Bright and clean and ringing with the tinny sound of J-Pop music, they are literary supermarkets, their shelves crammed with paperback novels, business handbooks, holiday guides to Guam and Hawaii, calligraphy practise books, educational primers, and of course manga in […]

Jackie Wills

Flora and Pomona

Flora and Pomona The two mediators are late. Karen has lit the fire and run upstairs twice to try and find the email confirming the appointment. Perhaps she was meant to go to their office? She finds the office number and rings, leaving a message, apologising if she’s got the arrangements wrong. She goes to […]

James Clarke

Rosco of the Pineys

Rosco of the Pineys When me and my friends started at the paper mill the other guys who worked there said we’d get used to the stink, but I was the only one never did. I suppose I always saw the job as temporary, so why bother trying to come to terms with it? Other […]

William Pittam

Territories

Territories          He was waiting for her, sitting on a bench in the garden of St Paul’s, and he seemed to be watching the cathedral roof where three dirty white doves squabbled noisily. Mary was dressed for the office, in her tweed skirt and winter coat. She hoped her appearance would make him forget, for […]

Rhoda Greaves

Escape to Victory

Escape to victory Whose fault was it? Well, it was Michael Caine’s: John Colby’s if you think about it. He had to have Hatch back on the football team, see. And the only way he could do it was to break the goalkeeper’s arm. He knew the Germans would check it, so it had to […]

Holly V. Chilton

High Rise

High Rise Jaime lived in the apartment opposite Anna, on the fifteenth floor of the last surviving high rise block in the town. The other neighbours had no time for Jaime, people don’t for drunks, as a rule. Marco lived on the ground floor, you passed his door going in or out of the block. […]

Phillip Gross

Two Poems

Writing Into the Lines ‘I want my funeral to include this detour.’ Michael Longley, Detour. We come apart. In time. The nerve-knitting that we call an ‘I’ unravels. Which of you is at home when I ask, Where do you want to go today? We’re going nowhere. I hardly know if it is your or […]

Karen Wheatcroft

Three Poems

An Economic Value sonnet (with no Volta) for Joseph Beuys to tallow-cream slabs of animal fat.   to moulded chalks & life-sized stacks of felt.   to a reconciliation with brown.   to kerosene burns, honey, horse-hair roughs.   to blankets soothed by blanket-stitch & the gentle invitation for body.     to everything the colour of Crimean steppes without the […]

J.S. Westbrook

Three Poems

Thoughts of a Dry Brain in a Dry Season Noon is my darkest hour for it absolves me of my shadow. Now to water the orchids and straighten the postures of dolls in seaside rooms. The protagonist won’t not wake from the coma. No man is an island but he can be stranded on one. […]

Current Issue

John McAuliffe

Editorial

“I had finally arrived at the place / where nothing is written.” So Joshua Weiner, an old friend of The Manchester Review, writes in one of the terrific poems we are glad to publish in this overdue new issue. At a reading in Manchester last month, Michael Hofmann and Igor Klikovac discussed the increasing sense […]

Read More 0 Comments
Toby Litt

So Long, Whale Bum

So Long, Whale-Bum    To give you some idea how seriously I took it, that’s what I called my first solo album.    The public, if such a noble beast still exists, agreed with my low opinion of myself-as-a-musical-entity. If we’re counting individuals, there are only three-hundred-and-three of them to blame for my desire to record a […]

Read More 0 Comments
Deryn Rees-Jones

Fires | Erratum

FIRES It is New Year’s Eve, a darkening afternoon, and I have pulled my two young children away from a gleaming fire because of my impatience to visit a lighthouse. The temperature has fallen below freezing. When I look back now at that time, six months after my husband died, I barely inhabited myself. I […]

Read More 0 Comments
Sheri Benning

Kelly Wiens

Kelly Wiens (1978-2018) For the long-limbed dance of you,              your hair in my mouth, rye-and-coke breath, drugstore shampoo,                           baby-powder sweet stink of you.                                                          The nicotine buzz,                           ice off the lake, jump in, eyes shut, nose plugged,                                        freshwater-on-skin scream of you.                                                  Bar-closed drive home, 2am, Highway 5,              Quill Lake, Watson, Englefeld. In the rearview, you: passed […]

Read More 0 Comments
Thomas McCarthy

Three Poems

QUEEN OF THE MAY It was Fr. Sydney McEwan who crowned us with blossoms That day in Cappoquin, a day I slipped off the vortex of childhood And found myself at your feet, you hardly more than thirteen And I thirteen and worn down with the weight of my father’s Humanism, his teaching me that […]

Read More 0 Comments
Steven Heighton

Expecting

EXPECTING The calendar indicated spring, but the weather was equivocal and kept the city on hold. Steep sunlight, as yet unfiltered by any leaves, dazzled the eyes and burned the skin, but the winds were icy. A month of recidivist weather: tomorrow it might easily snow. Leonard and Halli Losco were driving home after their […]

Read More 0 Comments
Norm Sibum

Three Poems

The Doings in a Small Backyard The tulip tree in my old landlady’s patch Of semi-private paradise, every blade of grass Fought for, used to lord it over the garden blooms, Its trout-bright blossoms showing off, she gone away                             to rot in a home as she waits to die. Yes, our summer is history, —the […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Three Poems

Crawl Space   The railway track divides where the road slopes up beside a genteel,   Georgian terrace. Where do we doubt what it means to follow,   what it means to lead, like water settling behind the swimmer,   as if the body encroached, wanted to talk, then spread its sleep?  

Read More 0 Comments
Anthony Caleshu

Miranda July

MIRANDA JULY It should not have surprised me that during a business trip to LA, my father arranged to meet Miranda July. One of the reasons people like my father is because he listens… and when he listens he acts. If you mention a particular wine to him, he’ll go out and drink it; a […]

Read More 0 Comments
Jack Boulton Roe

The Bicycle Thieves

The Bicycle Thieves I remember going to a shop with rabbits and a wall of fish tanks in the back room. Tiny sunken castles in lurid pinks and greens and surrounded by pebbles at the bottom of tanks inhabited by fish that had no business being coloured so outrageously, brighter inside their tanks than anything […]

Read More 0 Comments
Susan Karen Burton

Japanese Bookshop Buzz

JAPANESE BOOKSHOP BUZZ In Japan after dark, the big chain second-hand bookshops buzz with activity. Bright and clean and ringing with the tinny sound of J-Pop music, they are literary supermarkets, their shelves crammed with paperback novels, business handbooks, holiday guides to Guam and Hawaii, calligraphy practise books, educational primers, and of course manga in […]

Read More 0 Comments
Jackie Wills

Flora and Pomona

Flora and Pomona The two mediators are late. Karen has lit the fire and run upstairs twice to try and find the email confirming the appointment. Perhaps she was meant to go to their office? She finds the office number and rings, leaving a message, apologising if she’s got the arrangements wrong. She goes to […]

Read More 0 Comments
James Clarke

Rosco of the Pineys

Rosco of the Pineys When me and my friends started at the paper mill the other guys who worked there said we’d get used to the stink, but I was the only one never did. I suppose I always saw the job as temporary, so why bother trying to come to terms with it? Other […]

Read More 0 Comments
William Pittam

Territories

Territories          He was waiting for her, sitting on a bench in the garden of St Paul’s, and he seemed to be watching the cathedral roof where three dirty white doves squabbled noisily. Mary was dressed for the office, in her tweed skirt and winter coat. She hoped her appearance would make him forget, for […]

Read More 0 Comments
Rhoda Greaves

Escape to Victory

Escape to victory Whose fault was it? Well, it was Michael Caine’s: John Colby’s if you think about it. He had to have Hatch back on the football team, see. And the only way he could do it was to break the goalkeeper’s arm. He knew the Germans would check it, so it had to […]

Read More 0 Comments
Holly V. Chilton

High Rise

High Rise Jaime lived in the apartment opposite Anna, on the fifteenth floor of the last surviving high rise block in the town. The other neighbours had no time for Jaime, people don’t for drunks, as a rule. Marco lived on the ground floor, you passed his door going in or out of the block. […]

Read More 0 Comments
Phillip Gross

Two Poems

Writing Into the Lines ‘I want my funeral to include this detour.’ Michael Longley, Detour. We come apart. In time. The nerve-knitting that we call an ‘I’ unravels. Which of you is at home when I ask, Where do you want to go today? We’re going nowhere. I hardly know if it is your or […]

Read More 0 Comments
Karen Wheatcroft

Three Poems

An Economic Value sonnet (with no Volta) for Joseph Beuys to tallow-cream slabs of animal fat.   to moulded chalks & life-sized stacks of felt.   to a reconciliation with brown.   to kerosene burns, honey, horse-hair roughs.   to blankets soothed by blanket-stitch & the gentle invitation for body.     to everything the colour of Crimean steppes without the […]

Read More 0 Comments
J.S. Westbrook

Three Poems

Thoughts of a Dry Brain in a Dry Season Noon is my darkest hour for it absolves me of my shadow. Now to water the orchids and straighten the postures of dolls in seaside rooms. The protagonist won’t not wake from the coma. No man is an island but he can be stranded on one. […]

Read More 0 Comments
Joshua Weiner

Three Poems

The Seventeenth Blow After years of instruction, application, effort, and further study of the masters; after years of slow but steady progress in my so-called art and modest success that comes from isolated acts of recognition paid me by those who took an hour from one day; after years of worry and wonder at the […]

Read More 0 Comments