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Poem of the week: Rendition by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

The Australian poet's blunt language describes the expectation of abuse and offers a metaphor for the suffering of old age "Rendition" used to be an innocent sort of word, likely to be found in a...

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Marcel Theroux discovers Liverpool's dead good poetry society – video

The Guardian sent Marcel Theroux to Liverpool on a mission to write and perform a poem at one of the city's famous open mic nights. Poet and performer Phil Bowen guides Marcel through the art of...

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A Dark Water - remembering Sylvia Plath in Hebden Bridge

Rachel Pickering reflects on her brooding West Riding valley and how its two great poets might have fared in the town of today This February sees the 50th anniversary of Sylvia Plath's death. We're...

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Collected Poems by Edward Dorn – review

Patrick McGuinness suggests three places to start an enormous collection of Dorn's poetry "You don't disappear. You reappear, dead," wrote Ed Dorn, who died in 1999 and emphatically reappears here:...

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Pondlife: A Swimmer's Journal by Al Alvarez – review

A watery testament to the frailties of old age Al Alvarez has always been one of literature's hard men: a poet, yes, but also a rock climber, a poker player, a scrutineer of suicides. On the face of...

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My hero: William Cowper

He was a genius for reconciling extreme emotion with patient appreciate of life I am newly in love with some of the most ordinary things in my life (the fireplace, the garden, the walk round the...

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Sylvia Plath in New York: 'pain, parties and work'

Sylvia Plath travelled to New York City in June 1953 full of excitement and ambition about a guest editorship at Mademoiselle magazine. But soon her anticipation turned to suffering. She was to return...

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Draft Siegfried Sassoon poem reveals controversial lines cut from Atrocities

Manuscript shows World War I poet toned down piece about British soldiers killing German prisoners A draft of one of Siegfried Sassoon's most famous anti-war poems has come to light, revealing that...

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George the Poet: 'Rappers have so much power to do good and they squander it'

George the Poet is the hottest name in spoken word. And his journey from tough London estate to university has convinced him that entertainers have a duty to educate young people George Mpanga looks...

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David Tipton obituary

My friend David Tipton, who has died aged 78, was a writer, translator, publisher and teacher. In Peru in the 1960s he began translating some of the country's poets, including Antonio Cisneros, often...

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The Pike: Gabriele D'Annunzio – Poet, Seducer & Preacher of War by Lucy...

Italian poet Gabriele D'Annunzio might have been a repellent human being, but he's perfect for a page-turning biography When Liane de Pougy, one of the most celebrated Parisian courtesans, visited...

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Lucretius, part 3: chaos and order | Emma Woolerton

The swerve atom is a simple idea that explains both the existence of the world and our ability to act freely within it Lucretius deduces the existence of atoms and void from the complex world of...

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Poem of the week: Love-Letter-Burning by Daniel Hall

A meticulously crafted poem, balancing informality with a tight formal structure, folds a Zen legend into a reflection on the end of an affair This week's poem, "Love-Letter-Burning", is by the...

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English literature's 50 key moments from Marlowe to JK Rowling

What have been the hinge points in the evolution of Anglo-American literature? Here's a provisional, partisan list BBC Radio Three is currently broadcasting a fascinating series on the "50 key works"...

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A writers' weekend in 1920s Paris

The Rest Is Noise festival is about to focus on this thrilling artistic era. I'd like to go, but I'd rather time-travel to the city as it was then The Rest is Noise, the investigation of the culture...

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Winston Churchill manuscript reveals his poetic side

Only known poem written by the adult Churchill, now dismissed as 'heavy-footed', expected to fetch up to £15,000 at auction Winston Churchill was a journalist, essayist, author and novelist; a...

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Maurice Riordan takes on Poetry Review editorship

Poet will begin job this summer, following Fiona Sampson's controversial resignation last year Irish poet Maurice Riordan has hailed the "disturbing and creative energy in the air" as he takes on...

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Poster poems: Licence to steal

This month, your challenge is take up the example of many other poets and pick up another writer's line. Then see where it leads you This month, our eggs are poached. As Oscar Wilde once wrote,...

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Alan Martin obituary

Alan Martin, who has died after an accident at home, aged 49, was an extraordinary dancer, musician and poet based in Merseyside. Affected by cerebral palsy from an early age, he was profoundly...

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Carol Ann Duffy on her collection Love Poems – Guardian book club

The sonnet is the perfect form for the love poem – the little black dress of poetry The churn of stale words in the heart againlove love love thud of the old plungerpestling the unalterablewhey of...

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