Previous Issues

May Issue


A collection of all the articles we’ve published over the past month, for those who like to savor their Magpies’ tidings as an issue.

Pinhole Photographs: Harvey Mills

“I find that one has to take an almost Zen-like approach to image making with pinholes – you can’t rush the process! Your subject matter and compositional decisions need to be very carefully considered – although framing is usually imprecise. The simplicity is perfect as you can concentrate on the creative aspects of photography rather than being bogged down with technicalities.”

Poets Love Bruegel (and so do I)

This is written not as an art historian, a poetry professor, or an academic or expert of any kind. This is written as a lover not a scholar. Though I’ve probably said too much, there’s so much more to say.

Flash Fiction: Pond

Cars wait at the light. You are at the breakfast table in bare feet, wearing Jillian’s robe. A woman in a heavy coat labors onto the bus carrying all her things, a line of riders shuffle behind. Brakes release.

An Interview With Suzy Birstein

I felt the need to create beautiful images, nurturing, reflecting, mentoring. The Tsiporas became pregnant – pregnant with life, pregnant with hope and appreciation for all we have had and need to continue to create – To heal our beautiful world…

La Chinoise

“They talk about class struggle, they talk about the workers, but they never work. Except for Yvonne, one of two women in the group, who is constantly cleaning, and tells of her part-time work as a prostitute so that she can afford things.”

Fortunes in Apples: Photo Essay by Mark Ludak

“Photographing places particularly hard hit by the transition from an industrial and agrarian economy to an economy of unfettered consumption on the margins of mainstream society is a story I feel compelled to tell.”

Mark Cohen/Vivian Maier/Thierry Guetta

Work that lies dormant and unseen is like the art we create in our dreams, so perfectly full of potential and possibility- glimpses into the memories of others and the collective memory of all of us.

Character Study: The Pencil Collector

Someday he’d write the most perfectly beautiful story ever written, and he’d use one pencil for each word, and then he’d put each pencil back in its chipped plastic drawer until the next time. Some day.

Letter from the Editor: May

At the end of Voltaire’s Candide, Candide famously meets a character known only as “the Turk,” who tells him that he doesn’t concern himself with the affairs of the world, rather he contents himself with tending his garden. He has twenty acres, and he cultivates them with his children, “work keeps away three great evils: […]

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APRIL


A collection of all the articles we’ve published over the past month, for those who like to savor their Magpies’ tidings as an issue.

Interview with filmmaker Ana Maria Vallejo

I think there is a rather subversive character of animation that can be used … as a strategy to take a reality, maybe an oppressive one, and show a different  perspective over it, by the creation of other realities

Garden

“The paintings in this exhibition, and the photographs that inspired them, are a testament to the capacity of nature to nurture and heal even in the most challenging times.”

Retablos

Time runs backwards and forwards, memories mingling with anticipation, and saints occupy the same strange space as sufferers, glowing in the corner of their visions.

The Two of Us

It’s so simple, in the end, it’s so raw and so sweet: to know one another and to love one another, this is what will wake us from the hypnosis.

Magpies Mix Tape: Big Ears

I wanted to put together a playlist that was a bit of what you might hear if you had tuned into one of my broadcasts. I hope you find a few things you’ve not heard before – maybe a surprise or two.

Film: The Mill Where Time Stood Still

This mill is not only the last standing Klotz mill, it is the last of its kind. Its doors were closed in 1957, and today it stands remarkably intact: 48,000 square feet of mill floor, 360 twisting, winding, and spinning machines, steam and drying chambers, and tons of parts and accessories – left exactly as they stood 56 years ago.

My Pop Life: A Salty Dog   –   Procol Harum

Following the death of Gary Brooker at the age of 74 last week, I feel compelled to pay tribute to his finest song, or perhaps his second finest song. Obituaries have been full of praise for the songwriter and lead vocalist of Procol Harum, concentrating on his first celebrated hit single A Whiter Shade Of Pale which reached Number One in the UK singles charts in the Summer of Love, July 1967. This piece shines a spotlight on a lesser -known song which is nonetheless full of power and emotion. 

What is the use of talking? (Letter from the editor, April.)

What is the use of talking? I’ve been thinking about this so much, though in my head it’s not just talking, it’s any manner of creating. Any manner of recording what you see and feel, of capturing moments of your lives and dreams, or the lives and dreams of the people in your head.

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MARCH


A collection of all the articles we’ve published over the past month, for those who like to savor their Magpies’ tidings as an issue.

Kevin Specht: Strangers

The recurring faceless figures that can be found across his paintings attest to the felt anonymity of the system we are all a part of.

My Pop Life: The Right Thing to Do – Carly Simon

I’ve often wondered in subsequent years whether a career in acting was The Right Thing To Do. I have a complex relationship with my ghost career as a barrister, and often peek over to see how he’s doing.

Movies of Local People

The footage is beautifully relentless, streams of people in different cities leaving work and school, streams of people smiling at the camera. You wonder about all the thoughts in their head. The fears and loves and worries. You wonder about their lives before and after this moment.

Letter from the Editor: March

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of creating something important. Been thinking about what it means to create, and how we define important. During the pandemic our definition of “essential” underwent constant revision, and I think the revision is ongoing.

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FEBRUARY


A collection of all the articles we’ve published over the past month, for those who like to savor their Magpies’ tidings as an issue.

Rosa Loy

Rosa Loy creates fantastical realities in paintings that immediately entrance, but her work rewards inquiry, becoming more enriched with each new allusion and connection made. 

Peter Ydeen: Easton Nights

The night has its own visual rules, its own color wheel, and its own ethereal presence. Here, in the small hours, the world we see as mundane, cascades into dream.

Short Film: Coal’s Kingdom

In our last issue we posted a tribute to artist Harry Sternberg, by Marc Reed. In the essay, Reed wrote, “Seventy years after Sternberg marveled at the industrial might of Bethlehem Steel, I was there marveling at its decay.” Sternberg also chronicled the power of “King Coal,” and Reed visited coal country decades later to record the depths of the industry’s decline. The result is a moving examination of the history of coal and of the lives of coal miners–promise and power turned to decay, captured in this short film.

Island of Star-Crossed Lovers

“They would only need a little bread to eat; and even if there was only enough for one of them, he would give her the whole piece. What was the point of wanting anything else? Was there anything in life worth more than that?”

Ikiru (and why I love it)

In English “Ikiru” means “to live,” and for the rest of the film Watanbe examines what it means to be alive, what it means to be human, and what makes being alive valuable to him.

Magpie Mix Tape: Songs of Freedom

“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: NO FEAR! I mean really, no fear. If I could have that half of my life. No fear. Lots of children have no fear. That’s the only way I can describe it. That’s not all of it, but it something to really, really feel. Like a new way of seeing. Like a new way of seeing something.”

Letter From the Editor: February

My insomnia thoughts turned to the idea of making the world by creating, and of all the ways we make worlds, continually and subconsciously, in our waking lives as well as in our dreams.

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JANUARY


A collection of all the articles we’ve published over the past month, for those who like to savor their Magpies’ tidings as an issue.

Paintings Found Through Painting

“I like the pictures to push and pull at their perimeters, the ghostly presences within them bound in a landscape I could not have imagined when I first began the painting.”

Things Were Never Normal

This exhibition highlights “third spaces”: components of an area’s social infrastructure, communal spaces outside of  home and work such as taverns, church picnics, diners, restaurants, and movie theaters—sites where we might gather,  if we could agree.

Chicken Castle

These observations and the pictures taken from them don’t speak in specifics, but when you are in a place where people, over time, have been able to imprint parts of themselves on the built environment, you can feel the city speaking to you in some way, though the language is only partly translatable or transferable.

Harry Sternberg: Coal and Steel

This post is a tribute to the work and passion of an artist I almost missed…Seventy years after Sternberg marveled at the industrial might of Bethlehem Steel, I was there marveling at its decay

Il Sorpasso

The heart of the film is the unlikely friendship between Bruno and Roberto.

Francis Bacon: The Essays

“I doe now publish my Essayes; which, of all my other works, have been most Currant: For that, as it seems, they come home, to Mens Businesse, and Bosomes.”

Letter from the Editor: January

We’re all gleaners, finding beauty and meaning and sustenance in the unlikely, the odd, the overlooked. We’re all magpies, lining our nests with beauty where we find it.

A New Business Plan

And “business as usual” will be benevolence, cheer, and generosity of spirit the whole year long.

Syllabub Cookies

Suffice to say that Syllabub, sometimes a drink, sometimes a desssert, is a very very old recipe. It’s the sort of thing Old Fezziwig would serve at his holiday party in A Christmas Carol. It’s the sort of thing David Copperfield would serve at his bachelors’ dinner party, the party which resulted in the best description of being drunk in all of literature.

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DECEMBER


A collection of all the articles we’ve published over the past month, for those who like to savor their Magpies’ tidings as an issue. We’re really honored this month to share photography from Paris, art from Ottawa, a brilliant article written in Tokyo about a Ugandan record label, along with beautiful poetry, memoir, and more.

Frédéric Carrayol: Lost Images From the Sink

This craftsman, as he likes to define himself, photographer and shooter, freezes a free and wild nature with the sandstone of his wanderings across the continents. Then he returned it on paper with coffee toning, complex emulsions and rare treatments.

Featured Artist: Sharon VanStarkenburg

My work is blasphemous: I take symbols of proper, normative femininity and make them transgressive within contexts in which the female protagonists resist and reinvent their meanings.

Breaking Away & Seamus Heaney

It’s deceptively spare and simple in a manner that hides a genius of elegance and grace, which places it in the tradition of Ozu or Rohmer.

Why I Love: Little Fugitive

Francois Truffaut: “Our New Wave would never have come into being if it hadn’t been for the young American Morris Engel, who showed us the way to independent production with his fine movie The Little Fugitive.”

As ever, submit, support, subscribe. And have a look at Tidings of Magpies on Instagram.

NOVEMBER


A collection of all the articles we’ve published over the past month, for those who like to savor their Magpies’ tidings as an issue.

Blue Jays

It left me wondering: If attention leads to love, then what is the best way to love a wild thing? And if all living things are connected, what is my human role? How do I play my part?

My Pop Life: Help! by The Beatles

They were at the height of their power, where they would stay for another 4 years. I was at the depths of my weakness, and forever afterward lived in fear of repeating it. I built my heart’s castle wall from the mud of Selmeston village. I wouldn’t start to unravel it until I was in my mid-fifties.

Is 20th century “classical” music really that difficult?

(And Magpies Mix Tape) Firstly, a confession. I am not a musicologist and I cannot play any of those serious woodwind, brass or stringed orchestral instruments. However, I listen to a huge range of what always ends up being called Classical Music, even though that term really describes music written in the period from around […]

Chekhov’s Gooseberries & The Student

He went on eating greedily, and saying all the while: ‘How good they are! Do try one!’ It was hard and sour, but, as Poushkin said, the illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths. 

Wildflowers in the Fall

The scenes of fall wildflowers seem accidental, and because we’re often alone with them, more intimate. 

Why I Love: Melody

I could imagine the filmmakers watching the dailies and brimming over with gladness that they’d captured the shots they’d captured, and then adding just the right soundtrack, editing it perfectly, and sitting in the dark, full of joy, watching the finished movie.

Gateau chipolata

“L’intérieur du gateau doit rester moelleux.” Says my cook book. Oh yes, say I, the interior of the cake should stay soft!

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OCTOBER

Featured Artist: Julia Soboleva

Julia Soboleva’s images seem to come from another world, a world that lures you in, ominous and irresistible. The light is different here: eerie, but so beautiful, glowing through cracks in the darkness.

Homage to Manhatta

The rediscovery of an old film by Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler inspired me to watch the view every morning with anticipation. Sometimes the old, dirty windows in the office further embellished the buildings with new and ethereal qualities of light. Each day, the weather and changing seasons brought a new discovery to what I was witnessing.

Starling Arcadia

“We cling to narratives of our association with a local ecosystem, and want to believe that we fight as hard as we can against that ecosystem’s eventual disappearance under a light-blotting alien invasion as if it were our own lives and works at stake. Part of that may be delusory – this ecosystem is not our own, has no love for us, and it is our own force that keeps it from eradicating our efforts and our lifeways.”

Flash Fiction: Hallelujah

The sky on one side stayed bright as day, but along the other it was dark and purpling like a bad bruise. The trees were caught up in the glow, but their leaves were all turned upside down, stark and white against the dark sky. The weather was coming, it was coming fast.

Hip Hop Pop Art: Sari Lennick

Sari Lennick’s bright vibrant collages combine pages from art school aesthetic theory texts with iconic irreverent hip hop and pop song lyrics.

Why I love: William Carlos Williams (on his birthday)

His work and his career as a writer seem to embody so much of what I value in art: a desire to shape the way you see the world around you through creativity, but always grounded in an appreciation of the ordinary, the every day. His writing and his thoughts on the writers of his time are full of generosity, sincerity, and a constant questioning examination of life and art.

SEPTEMBER

Fiction: Moving Day

The sixth trip up the stairs I see them. Sometimes you can go the whole day without seeing anyone, and I thought it was going to be like that. Little did I know.

Letter from the Editor

Hello, fellow magpies! Thank you for taking the time to read our magazine. Here is the beautiful September issue of Tidings of Magpies. In some ways this is an apology, or at least an explanation. For this, our second issue, I contacted a lot of people I admire and asked if they would share their […]