The Manchester Review


After a long, pandemic-induced hiatus, we are very glad to bring you this new issue of The Manchester Review. If the pandemic brought us to a standstill, the machinery of editing and preparing a new issue has suffered from the new pressures of 2022, as additional tasks and work piled in to the week-by-week maintenance of the site and responding to readers.

If it has been a hectic return to ordinary time, the habits and observations of the pandemic still survive. Over the past month, the Forward Prize readings were hosted by our friends at the Contact Theatre, and we have hosted in-person readings by Zaffar Kunial and Tara Bergin, and by Joe Reed and Sam Leith, and look forward to Jeanette Winterson’s Christmas event at the Rylands Library. But we are also still catching up with friends and students on zoom, and connecting to the networks we formed in 2020. Reading back over the poems and stories we publish in this issue, we often returned to Sarah Corbett’s “April”:

                  We all breathe, breathe –
                  and birds sing their true notes.

                  What has art to do with any of this?
                  The mind slips from the specifics.
                  I sketch three birch trees, muses.
                  Across the paper soft lines,
                  filigree of branches, ellipses.

We are, as ever, keen to see new writing, and already planning a Spring issue with more ‘soft lines’: do submit work to us at


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