Posts

Sappho

Jessica Worden on Sappho

We were casting around for a classic (a Linda Snell-esque word) poet to use in our first issue. It’s always difficult, though – the past. After deliberation, we chose Sappho: the foremost erotic poet of antiquity (imagine how Ovid’d shudder if her work was more than fragment!) We asked Jessica Worden to write about her for us, and she delivered more than the scholarly summing up we’d half-expected and not, really, wanted. Her essay begins

I think of Sappho by the sea. She sings against the noise of the wind and waves crashing, standing on the sand of Lesbos. She knew many forms of love.

And ends

She acknowledges the bitterness of absence in this fragment but pairs it with the perpetuation of desire through the corporeal traces within memory. I think of Sappho by the sea. She sings against the noise of the wind and waves crashing, standing on the sand of Lesbos. She knew many forms of love.

Jessica’s is a beautiful piece, gently lyrical, humble even. She does not force the poet into this or that corner, does not decide what Sappho meant, but shows her to the reader in the palm on her hand: a flower, a weed, a gorgeous blade of grass. By the sea.

– Jago Rackham

Read Jessica’s full article in issue 1: subscribe and support our Kickstarter here.

Bezo Uznadze - photography

The Photography of Beso Uznadze

Issue 1 features the work of the London based Georgian photographer Beso Uznadze. LYRA’s editor Jago asked him some questions about the role of identity and nudity in his photography.

Read more

Ailsa Ogden Feminism

Nikki van der Gaag on Feminism & Men

In our first issue, the feminist campaigner Nikki van der Gaag argues that men, boys especially, must be inducted into feminism if the movements success is to be ensured because

boys who witness their fathers using violence against their mothers are more likely to use violence against their partners when they grow up. At the other end of the spectrum, boys who see their fathers sharing the housework, looking after the children and being respectful towards women are likely to replicate this positive behaviour when they become adults.

Read more

Molly Parkin describes her shoot for LYRA

Molly Parkin had the best idea for her photo shoot in issue 1

… I could hurl numerous garments together, it is so easy for me, and I thought that I wanted to do something different. I don’t recoil in shock and horror when I take my make up off and after I cleaned my face. I could be like this happily in front of myself and in front of the lover or anybody. There is something moving about it, the kindness and connection in that bare face. So, let’s shoot that.

And here’s the woman herself talking about growing old, and the beauty this brings.

Photo: Molly Parkin by Anthony Lycett, who photographed Molly for us earlier this year. Check out his wonderful portraits.

Subscribe to LYRA and support our Kickstarter here.

Ailsa Ogden education

Constance Watson on Sex Education

Earlier this year the education secretary Nicky Morgan announced that PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) would not become compulsory, leaving the choice to teach children about sex and sexual health, among other things, up to the whims of heads.

Read more

Woman's Emporium

Sh! Woman’s Emporium

I used to live across the street from Sh! Woman’s Emporium in Hoxton, but I didn’t go in until I interviewed their founder, Ky.

I’m not sure why: partly, until recently, men needed to be accompanied by a woman. And it was too close. I don’t like having to say hello to someone every morning (a problem I had with Goodhood) because, often, I am in no mood to do so. And, I always figured, if I needed to buy something from them I’d rather the experience be somewhat alien finding the erotic, generally, to reside in the unknown. After a few weeks, it simply ceased to really exist for me. It was just another shop I walked past, like Goodhood or, latterly, Prohibition Vapes.

Read more

Fighting Bricklayer - Masculinity

David James Fox On Aggressive Masculinity

Earlier this week, the artist Grayson Perry attacked Bear Grylls’ (that name!) for promoting a ‘useless’ brand of masculinity that’s ‘a hangover from a more violent age’. He argued that the sort of thing Bear (!) gets up to, hunting, killing, climbing et al, are useless in our modern age – well, obviously.

Read more

Mauritshuis Borch - Woman Writing a Letter

Why I started LYRA

I don’t relate to the way the mainstream media portrays women, and it makes me angry. All the time. It’s the paradox on which they operate: selling unobtainable beauty while shunning women for being, well, women. Relying on an ugly sexualisation, using sex to sell, while leaving the issues that make many of us, women especially, uncomfortable around sexuality and nudity. Never spreading an understanding of sexuality because such an understanding liberates.

Read more

We’ve launched our Kickstarter!

We launched our Kickstarter yesterday, and – obviously – celebrated last night. Well, to clarify, we all stayed up – at our respective laptops – until the small hours. Still, at least one of our team popped to the pub, for one drink.

Read more

Roots Frida Kahlo - Hair

Luisa Fernanda on hair shaming

My London friends had no idea that my natural hair is curly and unruly.

My natural hair is curly, undisciplined and frizzy. I have straightened it since I was very young. I liked it more: it was silky, sophisticated and, somehow, people reacted differently to it. I was definitely a fan of my straighteners.

My mum was a straight hair advocate, and I followed her steps. We used to spend hours and lots of money at the hairdresser’s. I never questioned our moth-daughter tradition of despising all hairstyles that were not straight and silky. When I came to London I realised that African hair, braids and corns where considered ‘unprofessional’.

Read more