Culture Articles

‘The Silence Diaries’, by Jennifer Kavanagh

31 October 2019 | by Joseph Jones

Close-up of the book cover. | Roundfire Books

I should begin with an honest disclosure: I was duty-bound to read this short novel. The author had asked me to interview her as part of its launch, so it became a work task. Fortunately, it was no chore. I’m confident I would have read it anyway. Jennifer Kavanagh...

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‘Outgrowing God: A beginner’s guide’ by Richard Dawkins

17 October 2019 | by Reg Naulty | 2 comments

Close up of the book cover. | Penguins Book.

In its early pages, this reads like a book for children. But its author soon gets into his stride, and it becomes vintage Richard Dawkins: clear, vigorous, going in for the kill. Religion has nothing going for it; it is sheer superstition which can be explained.

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‘Can I Tell You About…?’ Four books by Liz Gulliford

03 October 2019 | by Hazel Nelson

Close up of 'Can I Tell You About... Forgiveness?' | Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

This groundbreaking set of books is a welcome addition to the literature on how to overcome negative aspects of children’s behaviour. It focuses specifically on developing children’s psychological strengths and I cannot recommend it too highly for parents, grandparents, teachers and anyone else involved with children developing positive...

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‘Pamphlet 39: The Language of Spirituality’ by Alan York

03 October 2019 | by Kitty Parsons

‘The author goes on to argue that a third experience of the universe...is necessary.' | Mark Rasmuson / Unsplash.

In The Language of Spirituality, Alan York sets out to examine the various ways in which we perceive the world, and the limits upon the language that is available to us to use.

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‘I don’t think poetry can be apolitical.’

FREE 26 September 2019 | by Joseph Jones

Jamie Hale. | Becky Bailey, the Barbican.

Your work often deals with your own sense of mortality, and it’s not often we do interviews on hospital wards. Can you tell us a bit about why you’re here? I’m on a treatment that is difficult to provide at home. I’ve got an underlying condition...

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Three bereavement poems

19 September 2019 | by Jean Harbour

'...hankering for the walks we shared.' | Oliver Hihn / Unsplash.

August 7th 2017 Today is not the day, but even in the early dawn I knew it as a day of change, of certainty of things to come. That day was close. Nurses worked with kindliness while visitors inhaled the tension and departed. But mostly I remember a day of whispering...

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‘The Kabul Peace House’ by Mark Isaacs

12 September 2019 | by Reg Naulty

Close-up of the book cover. | Hardie Grant Books.

This book tells the story – and tells it well – of a house set up in Kabul, Afghanistan, by a community of volunteers pursuing nonviolence and equality. These volunteers were young; the originator, a medic called Insaan, seems to have been in his thirties. At the house they taught and learned...

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O brother man

05 September 2019 | by John Greenleaf Whittier

'Love shall tread out the baleful fire of anger, / And in its ashes plant the tree of peace.' | Rob Mulally / Unsplash.

O brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother; Where pity dwells, the peace of God is there; To worship rightly is to love each other, Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.

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Imperial Voyages of Discovery

29 August 2019 | by Penelope Quinton | 2 comments

'...I am no better than I ought to be.' | Himesh Kumar Behera / Unsplash.

Imperial voyages of discovery – rich chancers manning expeditions almost always equipped with the following: (1) pith helmet (ivory coloured), (2) expensive English public-school education, (3) penis. (the third item made compulsory by the second – although this item is now seen as optional at more progressive fee-paying educational establishments).

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The last days

22 August 2019 | by Sam Donaldson

'If these days are the last days...' | Caleb Ekeroth / Unsplash.

If these days are the last days I will prepare my hours a will and testimony each breath a gift each smile a legacy to pass on to the soil for the next great ascendency

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