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Translation Tuesday: Poems for Michael Jordan by Francisco Ide Wolleter

Chilean writer Wolleter presents a selection of poems on observing the movements and grace of US basketballer Michael Jordan while in play By Francisco Ide Wolleter and Tim Benjamin for Translation...

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Ruth Padel and Lucinda Hawksley – books podcast

Poetry and poison combine as we look at a lavishly illustrated history of arsenic in the home and a book-length Christmas poem Christmas is a time for beautiful books and we have two on this podcast....

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Lemn Sissay: ‘Everything in life is connected, and everything is connected to...

The poet grew up in children’s homes and never knew a real Christmas. Now, he makes sure hundreds of care leavers feast in style each year. How – and why – does he do it? Christmas, says the poet Lemn...

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The King of Christmas

A new Christmas poem by Carol Ann DuffyIllustrations by Lara Hawthorne Bored, the Baron mooched in his Manor on the brink of belligerence. Life lacked glamour and Christmas was coming. The Baroness,...

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Poem of the week: Jolly Jankin by Anonymous

Blending the language of high mass with ribald vernacular, this mischievous carol is melodious even without the music that would once have accompanied it Jolly Jankin ‘Kyrie’, so ‘kyrie’,Jankin syngeth...

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John Montague obituary

Prolific poet, writer and translator inspired by his Irish homelandThose who enjoy the Chieftains may not realise that the band took their name from a collection of short stories, Death of a Chieftain...

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A new year that changed me: my partner said I would publish a book – so I had...

After the new year announcement to friends, I panicked and suffered writer’s block. It was broken by an absurd dream about rare cheeseSixteen years ago, long before there was any prospect of my work...

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Readers’ books of the year 2016

Writers and critics have had their say, now readers pick their books of the year – from Brexit to bohemians, emperors to existentialists Of the many books that have engaged me this year, three stand...

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Odes to hope (and techno): poems to get you going again

Need a shot of a something powerful to launch you into 2017? Poet Carol Rumens introduces 10 irresistible poems about everything from collapsing beds to birds singing in storms More uplifting culture...

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Richard Baker obituary

My husband Richard Baker, who has died aged 66 of cancer, was a sailor, museum attendant, writer and gardener and, for more than 30 years, lead builder of the Skinningrove bonfire, east Cleveland....

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Watership Down was no utopia for the does | Brief letters

Guardian letter-writers | Moral values in Watership Down | Grimsby church | Cheesy poetryTrevor Masters (Reasons to be cheerful about the world in 2016, Letters, 31 December) thanks the Guardian for...

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Poem of the week: Italy to Lord by Jane Draycott

This gentle, subtle reflection on a child’s-eye view of an encyclopedia’s exotic secrets is also a vision of a lost world Italy to Lord It’s dark in here and forest green: Britannica,sixteen oak trees...

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John Berger obituary

Critic whose TV series Ways of Seeing posed questions about art and society, and a writer whose fiction reflected his life in rural FranceThe art critic, essayist and novelist John Berger threw down...

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Toadstools in a Shrewsbury graveyard

Shrewsbury We walked to the grave of Mary Webb and found the fungi growing around her neighbours’ headstones The toadstools opened from the graveyard like fleshy satellite dishes – ears of the...

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The Last Poets – books podcast

Famed for militant spoken-word poetry about black America from the height of the civil rights struggle, the Last Poets join us to perform and talk about their own battles Celebrated for their eloquent...

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John Fuller: ‘I feel in my heart quite radical, but powerless to do anything...

As the poet and novelist turns 80, he muses on mortality, the Beats and open mic evenings John Fuller’s house is deceptive. It sits at the end of a quiet street in north Oxford, whose broad, leafy...

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Poetic injustice and literary look aheads | Letters

Thank you for telling us once again which books we need to read over the next 12 months (Book ahead, Review, 7 January). But how do you know? Presumably no one at the Guardian has read all these books,...

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Poem of the week: Daughters of the Dust by Rhiannon Hooson

Moving beyond ordinary travel writing, this conjuring of the Mongolian steppe brings the reader a sharp sense of intimacy with what might seem very ‘other’ Daughters of the Dust There can be no...

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Translation Tuesday: The War is Coming by Jazra Khaleed

Chechnya-born Greek poet Jazra Khaleed’s sobering poem laments the death and chaos of the Syrian war, documenting his experience in the country where there is ‘one grave for every thousand corpses, one...

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Found in translation: the English-language writers who succeed abroad

Authors Donna Leon, Laura Kasischke and Simon Beckett ponder the happy mysteries of scoring hits with foreign-language readers For the American writer Laura Kasischke, the first inkling of her second...

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