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Deaths of the Poets by Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts – the high...

A thoughtful interrogation of the idea of the doomed poet avoids ghoulish sensationalism Not thelives of poets, which Dr Johnson wrote about, but their deaths – whether early or late, in bed or in...

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The Saturday poem: Hôtel Idéal Séjour

by Adam O’Riordan The winter sea and perhapsin the distance the sound of waves. The women at your bedsideare dressed against the chill. Continue reading...

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Deaths of the Poets by Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts review – a...

Tracing the final footsteps of our great poets makes for a lively jaunt – but what does it say about their work?On the grey January morning when the news reached the world that David Bowie had died,...

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Poem of the week: On the Mountain by Lavinia Greenlaw

A careful engagement with nature ‘in its fault and fold’ is also a watchful flight from human complication On the Mountain To travel the world explicitin its fault and fold. Continue reading...

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Translation – and migration – is the lifeblood of culture | George Szirtes

Even the literature that seems most rooted in one place is animated by writing from elsewhere – and trying to keep that influence out is profoundly dangerous Culture is not a purely national business....

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Clive James: ‘When I am a break down to Nadal in the fifth, I contemplate...

More and more I need to be told things are happening. Only then can I turn my majestic attention to them, like a rusty old weather vane miles behind the action As the last traces of anaesthetic haze...

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The Saturday poem: Tanager

by Billy Collins If only I had not listened to the pieceon the morning radio about the former asylumwhose inmates were kept busyat wooden benches in a workshopmaking leather collars and wristbandsthat...

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Former lover of the poet known as Iran's Slyvia Plath breaks his silence

Fifty years after Forough Farrokhzad’s death, Ebrahim Golestan talks about his affair with the giant of Persian literature Forty miles south of London, in a quiet West Sussex village, lives a...

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Poem of the week: In the Studio by Nancy Cunard

Superficially traditional, this 1923 sonnet on an artist and his model conceals some of the daring that made the author a groundbreaking modernist In the Studio Is it March, spring, winter, autumn,...

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Jackself by Jacob Polley review – sinister and mysterious

Polley’s haunting verse narrative blends nursery rhymes, riddles and cautionary tales with a dash of Coleridge Instead of the onerous first person – the “I” from which most autobiographical narratives...

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Omens turn to charm in Ted Hughes' badlands

Mexborough, South Yorkshire No longer ‘more or less solid chemicals’, the gunmetal waters of the Don are clean enough for salmon There were wisps of snow in the liverish sky over Main Street,...

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The Saturday poem: Last Muse

by Elaine Feinstein A bossy ghost I work for: she who only lives in words on the pageand has no thoughts I do not give her. She has no flesh, and will not age. Why should I careif she survives when I...

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A Herring Famine by Adam O’Riordan review – poems of craft and guile

A promising poet’s second collection delivers work full of subtle music that wears its heart on its sleeveParadox is one of the cornerstones of poetry. Emotion jostles with meticulous craftiness,...

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The 2017 Stephen Spender prize – a callout for poetry translators

The Stephen Spender prize for poetry in translation opens for submissions on 27 February. Award judge Margaret Jull Costa reflects on today’s need for translators I was thrilled to be invited to be one...

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The Bughouse: The Poetry, Politics and Madness of Ezra Pound – review

Daniel Swift’s account of the disgraced poet’s years in a mental hospital is enthralling but leaves us little wiser as to his state of mindThe psychodrama surrounding one of America’s greatest 20th...

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Poem of the week: No Moose by Mark Waldron

The engaging surrealism of an extremely incongruous visitor to a chip shop gives way to a distinctly grim sense of a narrow and unimaginative social world No Moose An English seaside town at dusk,...

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Walt Whitman's lost novel The Life and Adventures of Jack Engle found

Described by Whitman scholar as a ‘a fun, rollicking, creative, twisty, bizarre little book’, the discovery has been made available free online A “rollicking” anti-lawyer revenge fantasy by Walt...

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Poetry, love and psychosis: can writing help us come to terms with mental...

In hospital in 1972, Paula Keogh fell in love with the poet Michael Dransfield. In her new memoir she captures the voice of her illness and the man she loved Paula Keogh never intended to write about...

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Clive James announces new poetry collection – Injury Time

Celebrated broadcaster, critic and poet to publish sequel to Sentenced to Life – which was seen as farewell volume after his struggle with cancer The much-loved broadcaster, critic, memoirist, novelist...

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Jack Thompson's wisdom: life's crowning glory is the here and now

His voice is indelibly laid down in minds of Australians who have watched his film career unfold over five decades: from Breaker Morant to The Man From Snowy River; from Midnight in the Garden of Good...

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