Utopia is the second of Five Leaves’ annual journals and features contributions from 23 writers, essayists, songwriters, poets – some living, some dead – loosely based on the subject of utopia; although Utopias (plural) might read more accurately.

Utopiaross

If Utopia has a hero then it must be William Morris. No matter how diverse the essays in this book – and some veer wildly away from its avowed subject – Morris’s ideas and their influence crop up over and over and remind us that he was an eminently practical visionary. His lovely essay, A Factory as it Might Be, is included and dear Colin Ward’s The Factory We Never Had follows it immediately. How Colin’s voice is missed now and it’s good to encounter him here.

How good too to find the lyrics of Leon Rosselson’s The World Turned Upside Down and Haywire Mac’s vision of a hobo’s Utopia in The Big Rock Candy Mountain. Marie Louise Berneri’s Utopias of the Nineteenth Century is an invaluable inclusion, though a stuffy read, but there are sparky individualistic pieces by, among others at random, Ken Worpole, Deirdre O’Byrne, and Paul Barker.

Available in store & online.

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