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The teenage dandy's tale: how a female biographer saw Chaucer afresh

The young Canterbury Tales author was paraded by his employer in scandalously tight outfits, says Oxford academic Marion Turner He may be revered as the father of English literature, but Geoffrey...

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playtime review – boyhood laid bare

Andrew McMillan’s candid exploration of gay adolescence is sensational Andrew McMillan’s poetry is see-through – it lets us understand, in an uncensored way, how it was to grow up as a gay boy. His...

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City Lights founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti: 'The US isn't ready for a revolution'

As the poet behind the San Francisco literary institution turns 100, the city is preparing for ‘Lawrence Ferlinghetti Day’ The last couple of years have taken their toll on Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The...

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Emilia Bassano isn’t the only woman denied her place in the literary canon |...

This week’s report into the gender gap for authors is a timely reminder of bias in the media against female writersHave you heard of Emilia Bassano? I hadn’t until this week, when her name was lent to...

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Henry Graham obituary

Henry Graham, who has died aged 88, was a successful artist in the 1950s until he renounced painting for poetry a decade later. He subsequently had 10 books of his poems published and his work appeared...

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Life, liberty and the pursuit of poetry | Letters

Assisted dying | Early female poets | Mary Warnock | National Housewives’ Register | Breakup songsSimon Jenkins (Being allowed to end one’s life is the ultimate human right, 22 March) confuses a right...

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Poem of the week: Supplication by AC Jacobs

This appealingly worldly address to God makes clear that even if he is wished for, he is not believed in Supplication Lord, from this city I was born inI cry unto you whom I do not believe in:(Spinoza...

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WS Merwin obituary

Prolific American poet whose work engaged with both the bleak and the beautiful WS Merwin, who has died aged 91, was one of the most honoured and prolific poets in the US. He published some 25 books of...

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Deaf poet Raymond Antrobus wins Ted Hughes prize

British Jamaican’s debut collection challenges Hughes’s description of deaf children After fiercely challenging Ted Hughes’s description of deaf children as “alert and simple” in a poem in his first...

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‘So many of our children had a loss to mourn. Isn’t that what poetry’s for?’

In an extract from her new book, poet and teacher Kate Clanchy recounts how a school poetry club enabled often traumatised pupils to find their inner voice• Read an interview with Kate Clanchy Thirty...

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Kate Clanchy: ‘Poetry makes children feel important, that they’re heard’

The writer talks about poetry’s unique ability to unleash young voices and why 30 years of being a schoolteacher isn’t enough• Read an extract from Kate Clanchy’s book Some Kids I Taught and What They...

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Poem of the week: A dialogue in praise of the owl and the cuckoo by William...

These two songs from Love Labour’s Lost read exquisitely as poems, a light warning to not expect more from nature than it can give Spring When daisies pied and violets blue And lady-smocks all...

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Chaman Lal Chaman obituary

My friend Chaman Lal Chaman, who has died aged 85, was a television and radio presenter whose face and voice were well known to the Punjabi-speaking community in the UK. He was also a poet and...

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Raymond Antrobus: 'When my dad read me a story I'd feel it through the...

The winner of the Ted Hughes award on the poetry collections that influenced him and how George Orwell made him realise he needed to travel The book I am currently readingI always have to read an...

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Poem of the month: An east coast resident stays put

Crazy place to live,in a field, on a cliffthat every year or twentyunstitches along one edge ...Yet see it how I see it: evening after evening,considering the waves,the field a good way upyour window....

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The best recent poetry – review roundup

Witch by Rebecca Tamás; Near Future by Suzannah Evans; O Positive by Joe Dunthorne; Discipline by Jane Yeh Rebecca Tamás’s debut collection, Witch (Penned in the Margins, £9.99), has caused a stir, and...

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Poem of the week: Recipe for a Salad by Sydney Smith

This rhymed recipe is comfort food – an amusing and sensuous guide to making a dressing that ‘would tempt the dying anchorite’ Recipe for a Salad To make this condiment your poet begsThe pounded yellow...

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Beowulf the work of single author, research suggests

Debate over whether poem was written by multiple authors or one has raged for years Beowulf, the epic poem of derring-do and monsters, was composed by a single author, research suggests, pouring cold...

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Mark Francois reading Tennyson, and other reasons to keep politicians away...

There are no words to describe puffed up politicians reciting poetry, until someone invents a verb that is between cringing and retching Mark Francois reading all 70 lines of Tennyson’s Ulysses to a...

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'It's massive, it's hard, I don't understand it!' TS Eliot dance show hits UK

As her acclaimed take on Four Quartets heads to London, choreographer Pam Tanowitz explains why she’s still trying to crack the poem Her choreography has been hailed by the New York Times as some of...

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