Alice Munro

Essay

24th May 2024

‘There’s nothing to compare to that satisfaction for a reader: reading as assent, when words close on their matter with such precision, such clean truth. Only if you’ve tried to write can you know how difficult it is to achieve that transparency and wholeness.’

The Road (Not) Taken

Essay

13th March 2024

‘Before I became a writer, I had already failed quite a lot. I like to think it was good practice.’

After the Alphabet: What we do with words

Essay

26th January 2024

The text of our 2023 lecture, which was delivered by short-story writer and novelist, Evelyn Conlon.

We can’t all be a fresh new voice in literature

Essay

9th November 2023

‘When I say I am lonely, my friends tell me, “At least you have your book,” as if the publicity stands in for a partner.’

The Curse

Essay

4th October 2023

‘As I write the curse, my daughter turns inside me like a root shifting underground, carving a path through tonnes of soil and rock, cracking the paving stones. I send the curse speeding through the ether to its target. I feel, for the first time in a long time, emptied of hornets.’

Caerphilly Flyers

Essay

6th September 2023

‘Thinking about friendship now, I think about the ways in which we are able to do things with others that we could never do on our own. The way that friends drag unknown parts out of our bodies, allowing us to be braver than we can feel by ourselves.’

The House That Shame Built

Essay

10th May 2023

‘Writing is the only time when the papery thinness of my skin feels like an asset; when curiosity climbs over shame to burn like a guiding beacon; when the right arrangement of words feels like the gentle closing of a door.’

On waitressing

Essay

28th September 2022

‘Waitressing is a career of invention. An old manager of mine once convinced a table that a nail that had fallen into a guest’s grilled fish from a loose shelf in the kitchen was, in fact, just part of a fish hook, leftover from the fisherman’s own line that morning.’

Notes on rejection

Essay

28th July 2022

A series of short essays reflecting on the experience of rejection. Contributors: Danielle McLaughlin, Jill Crawford, Neil Hegarty, Angelique Tran Van Sang, Anna Walsh, Mia Gallagher, with an introduction by Thomas Morris.