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Now We Can Talk Openly About Men by Martina Evans – poetry review

A pair of contrasting monologues set in 1920s Ireland are witty and humane to an outstanding degree Kitty Donovan, a dressmaker in the time of the Irish war of independence, arrives on the opening page...

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Maya Angelou and me: adapting her memoirs brought me eye to eye with an icon

She lived a sensational life – but it was her assumption of her equality that made Maya Angelou radical, as I rediscovered when turning I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings into radio drama I’ve been...

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70 years of the NHS: a revolution that is reborn every day

The creation of the health service changed Britain. Yet while this vision is under severe threat, it has also never been more keenly cherished In writing To Provide All People, I hoped to create a...

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Donald Hall, US poet laureate and prize-winning man of letters, dies at 89

Daughter confirms death at home in New Hampshire Hall was known for work on love, loss, baseball and the past Donald Hall, a prolific and award-winning poet and man of letters who was widely admired...

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'A fierce bright light': poet and activist Candy Royalle dies, aged 37

After her final show on 5 June, the trailblazer said, ‘I have finally arrived at where I needed to be’ Australia’s literary community has paid tribute to award-winning spoken word artist and activist...

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From Dante to I Love Dick: top 10 books about unrequited love

Novelist Kirsty Gunn chooses books that explore a very literary kind of longing In Katherine Mansfield’s exquisite long short story At the Bay, Beryl, a middle-aged woman still fantasising about the...

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Aimless Love by Billy Collins review – whimsical and moving

The much-loved American author’s inventive collection is intelligent, accessible – perhaps a little too cosy at times Dubbed the “most popular poet in America” by the New York Times, Billy Collins has...

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George the Poet is strip-searched by police after gig

Mpanga says ‘out of nowhere’ officers put him in a van after sold-out show in Islington The acclaimed spoken word artist George the Poet has said he was strip-searched by police without cause after a...

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John James obituary

The sensual brevity of John James’s poetry reflected his personality. John, who has died aged 79, was stylish, casual, elegant, unstudied. His Welsh-Irish origins, too, underpinned his work. The only...

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Seamus Heaney’s family on life with the great poet: ‘He was always just Dad...

Ahead of a Dublin exhibition of the poet’s archive, the Heaney family explain how they put together a new collection to reflect his life as a husband and father, as well as a Nobel laureate In 2011,...

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Slam from Sudan: how Emtithal Mahmoud shook the world

She has debated with presidents, been comforted by the Dalai Lama, and been called one of the world’s most inspiring women – but it’s as a poet that Emtithal Mahmoud truly shines Emtithal Mahmoud was...

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Poem of the week: Us by Zaffar Kunial

An only apparently informal riff on an only apparently straightforward concept of identity finds some sparky complications Us If you ask me, us takes in undulations–each wave in the sea, all insides...

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Meic Stephens obituary

Literary editor, arts administrator, translator and poet who promoted Welsh cultural causesMeic Stephens, who has died aged 79, was one of the most productive and influential figures in Welsh writing...

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Best summer books 2018, as picked by writers – part one

Surrealist artists, dogged detectives, modern lovers and spies behaving badly ... leading authors pick their best books to enjoy these holidays If you only read one book this summer … make it this one...

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Poem of the week: from The Gododdin by Aneirin

From an ancient set of Welsh eulogies and elegies, these verses on the impact of war remain potent – and very readable XXIThe men went to Catraeth; they were renowned;Wine and mead from golden cups was...

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Useless Magic: Lyrics and Poetry by Florence Welch – review

Pop’s high priestess bares her soul in this candid collection charting her transition from wild child to grownup You’d think, after four hugely successful albums, that Florence Welch would know her own...

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Ancient find may be earliest extract of epic Homer poem Odyssey

Clay slab believed to date from 3rd century AD discovered near ancient city of Olympia Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient tablet engraved with 13 verses of the Odyssey in the ancient city of...

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England: Poems from a School, edited by Kate Clanchy – review

A poetry anthology by immigrant schoolchildren in Oxford are full of heart and resolveThis is the work of pupils at Oxford Spires academy, written over the nine years the poet Kate Clanchy has been...

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Dylan Moran: ‘Britain is sending itself to its room and not coming down’

The comedian’s new show questions how to cope with the relentlessness of today’s politics. He discusses the ‘cult’ of Catholicism, his love of poetry and giving up his vices “I’ve been doing this for a...

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Poem of the week: Animal Planet by Ana Blandiana

A plainly spoken reflection on a violent, guilty world adds up to a kind of ‘anti-prayer’ that does not rule out belief Animal Planet Less guilty, though not innocent,In this universe whereThe laws of...

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