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Tavener's final broadcast: the cheerful serenity of a 'radical wizard'

Last Monday, Sir John Tavener appeared on Radio 4's Start the Week. Its host reflects on the composer's wit and wisdom• Read Nico Muhly's tribute to his fellow composer Sir John Tavener has been an...

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Krakow's story: a Unesco City of Literature built out of books

Home to two literary festivals, busy book fairs, clubs and writer after writer – this is a town where people queue for poetry To mark Krakow's appointment as Unesco City of Literature, a set of...

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A dose of reality for literary events

Should literary promoters take a leaf out of Simon Cowell's book? With authors grumbling about giving their time for free and television executives becoming increasingly suspicious of the value of...

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War Reporter by Dan O'Brien – review

This collaboration between a haunted war photographer and a poet is a masterpiece of truthfulness and feeling This book, which has just been awarded the Fenton Aldeburgh prize for best first...

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Cosmic Disco by Grace Nichols – review

Grace Nichols's children's poetry is filled with wonder, ordinariness and a kind, auntly wisdom What poems are loved by children? Or, rather, what poems are loved by adults for children? The Opies'...

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Poem of the week: 'On the Eastern Front' by Georg Trakl

John Greening's translation of a German poet's experience in the first world war sets the raw colour of combat against the ghostly shadows that followed This week's poem is John Greening's translation...

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Broken Hierarchies: Poems 1952-2012 by Geoffrey Hill – review

If the phrase 'greatest living poet in the English language' has any meaning, then we should use it to describe Hill The 1985 edition of Geoffrey Hill's Collected Poems was, by comparison with this, a...

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Hull residents in heaven after city of culture win

News that Kingston-upon-Hull has won the race to be UK city of culture in 2017 has delighted those who live there "It's not long ago that this place was in the Crap Towns book, but there has been a...

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TS Eliot's widow's art collection sells for more than £7m

Valerie Eliot's collection was auctioned at her request to continue her charity's work encouraging young poets A museum-worthy collection of British art amassed by the widow of TS Eliot has sold for...

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Peter Blake's portaits of characters from Under Milk Wood go on show in Cardiff

Visualisations flowing from 28-year study of Dylan Thomas's play are part of celebrations to mark 100 years since the writer's birth Beloved characters, scenes and dream sequences from Dylan Thomas's...

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Writers and critics on the best books of 2013

Hilary Mantel, Jonathan Franzen, Mohsin Hamid, Ruth Rendell, Tom Stoppard, Malcolm Gladwell, Eleanor Catton and many more recommend the books that impressed them this year Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie...

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Division Street by Helen Mort – review

Helen Mort's debut collection is a finely wrought disappearing act Helen Mort keeps giving herself the slip. The beauty of her debut collection, Division Street, is partly the sense that it has been...

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Poem of the week: Cradle Song at Twilight by Alice Meynell

An unsettling picture of a young woman and her infant charge reveals a writer far less 'ladylike' than we might expect The author of this week's poem, "Cradle Song at Twilight", might have been the...

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Costa book awards 2013: late author on all-female fiction shortlist

Posthumous nomination for Bernardine Bishop on list that also includes Kate Atkinson, Maggie O'Farrell and Evie Wyld For 50 years Bernardine Bishop worked as a teacher and psychotherapist before...

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A Strong Song Tows Us: The Life of Basil Bunting by Richard Burton – review

In this entralling, expertly researched portrait, the modernist poet is revealed as more active than Eliot and more pugnacious than Pound Basil Bunting's Collected Poems opens with "Villon", drafted...

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Pablo Neruda: A Passion for Life by Adam Feinstein – review

A fascinating biography of the Chilean poet that paints him as exuberant and heroic "The apolitical writer is a myth created and given impulse by modern-day capitalism," declared the Chilean poet...

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Sleeping Keys by Jean Sprackland – review

Sean O'Brien on a collection that offers the history of a marriage In gothic literature, the house, or more likely the castle, is often viewed as a metaphor of the body. In her fourth collection,...

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Poem of the week: The Line of Beauty by Arthur O'Shaughnessy

A remarkably gentle vision of the end of days, and what little might survive The title of this week's poem, "The Line of Beauty" by Arthur O'Shaughnessy, will be familiar to many readers as the title...

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Jamie Oliver, Malcolm Gladwell, Jeremy Paxman and co read 'Twas the Night...

A host of celebrities, including Emma Thompson, Charlie Higson – and even Malcolm Gladwell – join an all-star Christmas story reading Jamie Oliver Jeremy Paxman Clare Balding Colm Tóibín Charlie Higson...

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Byron and his dogs – in pictures

After Byron lost his beloved Newfoundland Boatswain, the poet called the dog his 'firmest friend'. Geoffrey Bond introduces some of the Romantic pioneer's favourite canine companions

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