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Don't look for e-literature in novels

There is a great deal of literature emerging from the new technology, but most of it is not in traditional forms Robert McCrum asks writers some searching questions about where the literature of new...

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Dominic Hibberd obituary

Leading authority on the life and work of the war poet Wilfred Owen Dominic Hibberd, who has died aged 70, was the world's leading authority on the life and work of Wilfred Owen. In 1973 he became the...

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Notes & Queries: What were William Blake's dark satanic mills?

Plus: Summer – what summer? When did women stop fainting in public? William Blake was a radical Christian, so his dark satanic mills were not the factories of the industrial revolution but the...

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Miriam Darlington's top 10 literary otters

From Tarka to Ted Hughes, the author chooses the best attempts to capture this beguiling but elusive creature Humans have always used animals to tell their stories, and children often make their first...

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Place by Jorie Graham - review

Jorie Graham places herself at the centre of this collection. By Sean O'Brien "Untitled" from Jorie Graham's Place (shortlisted for both the TS Eliot and Forward prizes) is a meditation arising from...

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Espresso

By Christopher Reid Little cup of melancholy,inch-deep well of the blackestconcentrate of brown,it comes to your table without ceremonyand stands there shudderingback to an inner repose.Pinch it: it's...

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Nonsense by Christopher Reid – review

A brilliant long poem about the abject travels of 'a blundering widower' is the stand-out in Christopher Reid's latest collection Reading Christopher Reid's Nonsense is like being inside a theatre – a...

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Poem of the week: The Phoenix and the Turtle by William Shakespeare

An enigmatic allegory that seems steeped in Elizabethan court politics is full of music worth listening to for its own sake This week's poem, William Shakespeare's "The Phoenix and the Turtle", was...

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Smokey Robinson reinvents himself as a performance poet

Motown man will present six poems in a new spoken-word show, taking people on 'a walk through his history' Smokey Robinson is to perform his poetry at an event in Los Angeles this weekend. The former...

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Notes & Queries: How can you avoid being bitten by a menacing dog?

Plus: Was Neil Armstrong the greatest explorer? Are shiny supermarket apples any good? What are those dark satanic mills really about? How best to avoid being bitten by a menacing dog? Dogs always...

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It's not all nonsense: exhibition shows the artistic side of Lear

Surprising versatility is revealed as Ashmolean celebrates his bicentenary There once was a man known for his nonsense – but Edward Lear should also be known as one of the most wonderful of all...

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The Prophet – review

Kahlil Gibran's prose-poem may have Hallmark sentiments, but this is a cinematic rhapsody Gary Tarn is a British director creating collages of images and ideas, in the tradition of Chris Marker –...

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Write us your best political limerick | Open thread

With party conference season kicking off, and US elections looming, it's time to get rhyming and try out some comic verse As we celebrate the bicentenary of Edward Lear, it is worth remembering the...

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John Keats was an opium addict, claims a new biography of the poet

The author of Ode to a Nightingale wrote his greatest poems with the aid of opium, believes Prof Nicholas Roe John Keats, the poet of "beauty", a devotee of aesthetic isolation who swooned at the...

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The Easel

By Sharon Olds When I build a fire, I feel purposeful –proud I can unscrew the wing nutsfrom off the rusted bolts, dis-assembling one of the things my exleft when he left right left. And laying...

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John Fowles: Selected Poems – review

Maria Johnston assesses John Fowles's 'long dream' of poetry "His own verse was feeble in comparison; he would rather have died than show it to anyone else." This, from John Fowles's 1969 novel The...

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Poem of the week: Silt Whisper by Ailbhe Darcy

This week's poem has an economy of narrative that creates a playful, flirtatious feeling, yet is oblique and tender This week's poem, Silt Whisper is by Ailbhe Darcy, and comes from her lively first...

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Harry Chambers obituary

Founder and director of the publisher Peterloo Poets Harry Chambers, who has died aged 75, was the founder and director of the publisher Peterloo Poets, and described by his friend Seamus Heaney as...

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Alice Oswald, poet – portrait of the artist

'As a child, I wrote in a little notebook I hid in a bush. It was 20 years before I went public' What got you started? At eight, I made a commitment to poetry. Until then, I thought I'd be a...

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The perfect poetry lesson: how my teacher brought poems to life

Ahead of National Poetry Day, Ian McMillan remembers the teacher and lessons that inspired him to become a poet I remember the best poetry lesson I ever had as though it was yesterday; it was at Low...

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