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John Cooper Clarke interview: 'Poetry is not something you have to retire from'

The one-time Bard of Salford on life in Essex, the state of our high streets and why Pam Ayres was an inspirationYou are quite well into your national tour. Do you still enjoy being on the road?Yes,...

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The poetry that moves men to tears

A new anthology celebrates the poems that really move men with revealing contributions from the likes of Ian McEwan, Jonathan Franzen and Salman RushdieLate one afternoon some 20 years ago, a close...

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The eating habits of poet Shelley revealed: from the archive, 7 April 1941

Miscellany: In his 1858 biography, Thomas Jefferson Hogg claimed the poet had no time for food, abstaining from meat and alcohol and existing mainly on bread The poet Shelley was not one who would have...

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TS Eliot: guilt, desire and rebellion at respectability | Roz Kaveney

Eliot's revolt from duty, and Unitarian virtue and philosophy, can, in part, be blamed on a culture of repression and ignoranceWe are so used to thinking of the glum, austere person that Eliot spent...

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Poem of the week: A Quiet Neighbour by John Heywood

Wit, wordplay and affectionate teasing are at the fore in this subtle tribute to neighbourliness by the 16th-century Catholic intellectual and party animal John HeywoodA Quiet Neighbour, by the...

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Poet Adam Kammerling on the fate of Glasgow's Red Road flats video

Adam Kammerling from the underground poetry collective Chill Pill creates a performance inspired by the proposal that the Red Road flats in Glasgow will be demolished live on television. Chill Pill...

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Dylan Thomas centre awarded nearly £1m in poet's centenary year

Teetotal ex-president Jimmy Carter hails funding for Swansea centre devoted to his hero the wildly alcoholic Welsh genius Jimmy Carter, the teetotal former president of the United States, has hailed an...

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Readers recommend: eccentric songs | Peter Kimpton

Oddballs to the outlandish, it's time to define, refine and name songs that express and celebrate eccentricity in all its forms"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted...

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Moscow embraces stage version of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin

Russia's first theatrical production of the poet Alexander Pushkin's great novel in verse is lightened with danceIn Moscow's Arbat Street, tourists and souvenir shops have taken over from the bohemian...

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The five best poetry slams with a message

Jess Green's spoken word poem Dear Mr Gove has become a web sensation what other political poetry had a similar impact?"Anything can be a slaaaam poooeeeem if you say it like thiiis," says Amy...

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The Saturday Poem: The Voice

by Thomas HardyWoman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,Saying that now you are not as you wereWhen you had changed from the one who was all to me,But as at first, when our day was fair....

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Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting review 'musicality and a...

Former US soldier and award-winning novelist Kevin Powers finds order amid the chaos of war in his debut poetry collectionIn his novel The Yellow Birds, which won the 2012 Guardian first book award,...

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Poem of the week: The Anniversary by John Donne

Written with a musical setting in mind, this metaphysical celebration of 'everlasting' fidelity sings with love and intellectual honestyJohn Donne was the grandson of last week's poet John Heywood....

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Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert review

John Drury has written an exemplary biography of the influential religious poetThe devil, whatever people may say, doesn't have all the best tunes. Of all the lyric poetry our language has produced,...

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Letters: Richard Hoggart obituary

John Miller writes: In addition to his communication skills on paper or in committee, Richard Hoggart was also a brilliant broadcaster. We made several programmes together at the Open University in the...

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TS Eliot's The Waste Land: the radical text of a wounded culture | Roz Kaveney

The poem draws on draws on the Christianity of Eliot's polite and cultivated youth yet at best offers little consolationSiegfried Sassoon once wrote a poem complaining about a concert whose audience...

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Top 10 Easter scenes in literature

It can seem literature's second-string festival, lacking Christmas's glow. But writers from Shakespeare to Yates to Goethe to Tolstoy have often drawn inspiration from Easter. Here are 10 key scenes...

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How to do justice to Christ's Last Words

Haydn's meditations on Christ's Seven Last Words are among the great pieces of Easter music. But could Ruth Padel, steeped in Darwin and Freud, write poetry about this cornerstone of Christianity?Two...

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The Saturday Poem: Gethsemane

by Rowan WilliamsWho said that trees grow easilycompared with us? What if the bright bare load that pushes down on theminsisted that they spread and bowedand pleated back on themselves and crackedand...

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Sophie Hannah: 'It's surprising how many poems turn out to be about sex'

The crime writer and poet on contrasting literary disciplines, the poetry of sex and the genius of Agatha ChristieSophie Hannah's talents are unusual: she is a bestselling crime writer (author of nine...

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