A Meditation on Hauntings

I am newly qualified and working with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. My social work mentor is a brawny Forest supporter with absolute conviction in humanitarianism, a man who provides me with more space to think than I have ever experienced before. Rather than going case by case during supervision in that typical managerial way of the …

Ritual and Adolescence in Lucie McKnight Hardy’s ‘Water Shall Refuse Them’, Dead Ink, (2019)

‘Robin’s egg, magpie’s egg, duckling bill and bone. Blackbird’s egg, feathers of wren, the skull of a crow.’ p.256 Lucie McKnight Hardy’s 'Water Shall Refuse Them', when it was published by Dead Ink last year, had such a profound personal impact on me because it pairs themes of ritual and photography during adolescence with the …

Book Review: A Witness of Waxwings by Alison Lock

  Alison Lock’s A Witness of Waxwings is a tantalising collection concerned with metamorphosis and reminiscence. Age, retrospection and transformation emerge time and again in these brief narratives which spool imaginatively across time and place, frequently shapeshifting in form. Selkies and ghosts spook the pages, there are fast-forwarding clocks and masked villagers, there are ancient children, houses choking …

The Cartography of Others by Catherine McNamara

Catherine McNamara’s The Cartography of Others is a collection which maps out the geographies of relationships and far-flung locations with acumen and grace. These short stories are eclectic in form with a broad range of themes but each feels elastic with movement, transporting us to contemporary London, Ghana, Hong Kong and along the jagged peaks …