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My hero: Martha Gellhorn by Sinéad Morrissey

One of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century, Martha Gellhorn changed what it was possible for a woman to achieve Poetry, wrote WH Auden, makes nothing happen. This may or may not be...

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The Saturday Poem: Last Winter

by Sinéad Morrissey was not like last winter, we said, when winterhad ground its iron teeth in earnest: Belfastcolder than Moscow and a total lunar eclipsehanging its Chinese lantern over the...

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Amiri Baraka's funeral marked by rousing musical procession

Actor Danny Glover expected to officiate at ceremony for celebrated but controversial poet-playwright

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On my radar: Juliet Stevenson's cultural highlights

Juliet Stevenson, star of films, stage and TV series such as The Politician's Wife, on poetry, Iranian film and Mark Twain Born in Essex, actress Juliet Stevenson, launched her stage career with the...

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Pilgrim's Flower by Rachael Boast – review

Rachael Boast mediates between the past and present in her intoxicating new collection This is a book of poetry as homage – there is even a poem with that name which offers this definition: "homage...

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Poem of the week: The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson

Not a protest, but in no way a celebration of a disastrous historical event, it remains a compelling dramatisation of battle Once enormously popular and much-memorised, this week's poem, Alfred...

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Funky Chaucer reboot by Patience Agbabi due for April launch

The award-winning poet's modern take on the Canterbury Tales to come complete with ladettes, rappers and self-help gurus This April, when the "shoures soote" immortalised by Geoffrey Chaucer in the...

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Juan Gelman obituary

Argentinian poet whose life and work were infused with the fight against his country's repressive regimes and the 'dirty war' The life of the Argentinian poet Juan Gelman, who has died aged 83, was a...

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Choose February's Reading group: William S Burroughs

The godfather of the Beats would have been 100 next month. Yet his appetite for controversy never lost its edge with age, as an inviting canon of work attests. Which shall we pick? William S Burroughs...

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David Hockney: the poets that make me paint

A new retrospective reveals Hockney's 60-year obsession with literature – especially poetry. From Walt Whitman to William Blake, here are the writers that mean most to him "He still does not really...

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Speak, Old Parrot by Dannie Abse – review

With its seemingly simple, wry humour, Abse's late collection explores beauty and mortality with a deceptively light touch Dannie Abse's 17th collection, shortlisted for this month's TS Eliot prize,...

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The Saturday poem: The Day Etta Died

by John Burnside I was marking a stack of essayson Frank O'Hara and each had a Wiki-paragraph to say who Genet was, and whowas Billie Holiday – just as this poem stumbles to its end,...

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Adam Foulds: 'As a kid my nightmares weren't about generic monsters, but real...

The poet and novelist on his latest book, a war story set in Africa and Sicily, and how poetry increasingly informs his prose About a third of the way into Adam Foulds's latest novel – In the Wolf's...

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Poem of the week: Psyche by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Coleridge's meditation on the soul moves swiftly from the butterfly's exalted state to the mundane misery of the caterpillar This week's poem, Psyche, is one of Coleridge's Visionary Fragments, brief...

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José Emilio Pacheco obituary

Award-winning Mexican poet and author of the bestselling novel Battles in the Desert In 2010, as he was on his way to collect the Cervantes prize, the Spanish-speaking world's prize for literature,...

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Brecht's feelings about war cast in new light by emergence of teenage poems

Two newly attributed poems find Brecht, a writer later known for his trenchantly anti-war views, in surprisingly patriotic form Two poems showing a teenage Bertolt Brecht urging "real German men, of...

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WB Yeats: looming larger through the mists of time

It is 75 years since Yeats died, but in Ireland his poetry is still part of our mental furniture Seventy-five years after the death of William Butler Yeats, his brooding form still towers among the...

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Tyrrells spices up its crisp packets with image of fiery poet RS Thomas

Late Welsh nationalist is inadvertently used to promote English crisps – chilli-flavoured, of course Lip curled and eyes ablaze, an image of the fiery Welsh poet and clergyman RS Thomas has...

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Russian 'kills friend in argument over whether poetry or prose is better'

Investigators say drunken literary dispute led to 53-year-old former teacher, who preferred poetry, killing friend with knife A former schoolteacher killed his friend after a drunken argument over...

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Sappho: two previously unknown poems indubitably hers, says scholar

University of Oxford papyrologist convinced poems preserved on ancient papyrus are by seventh-century lyricist of LesbosRead one of the poems here Sappho is one of the most elusive and mysterious – as...

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