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John Agard reads his poem Half Caste and talks about race children's books...

Listen to John Agard read his well known poem Half Caste and talk about how his Guyanan upbringing helped him become the writer he is today Continue reading...

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Poem of the week: Once there came a man by Stephen Crane

The 19th-century American poets free-verse parable about a nonsensical war reminds us that conflict rouses desire as powerfully as love Stephen Cranes poems are distinctive. Typically, theyre short,...

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A Dylan Thomas Trilogy review Coriglianos Mahlerian-scale vision

Brangwyn Hall, SwanseaSingers and orchestra rose well to the challenge of the composers work, more secular oratorio than song cycleJohn Corigliano felt an immediate affinity with the poetry of Dylan...

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National Book Awards shortlist honours cartoonist Roz Chast

Chast is first cartoonist ever to make it onto the adult nonfiction prize, while fiction shortlist stacked with newcomers Comment: Doerr should win, but Robinson will For the first time in the National...

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Dylan Thomas: beer and loafing in Fitzrovia

Think of Dylan Thomas and you think of Milk Wood and the endless green of Carmarthenshire. But was he as much a London writer as a Welsh one? Fellow Fitzrovian Griff Rhys Jones raises a glass to the...

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Giving a musical voice to wars unsung victims

Composer Sally Beamish has turned one of Andrew Motions war poems into a new oratorio. The former poet laureate explains their tribute to the damaged livingOne of the best things about my laureate...

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Ode to Didcot Power Station by Kit Wright review joyful experimentation with...

This jaunty collection of light verse is also a conspicuous formal accomplishmentIn "Blemish", Kit Wright quotes 19th-century visitors who came to Tintern Abbey with preoccupations rather different...

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The Saturday poem: My Father's Wardrobe

by Pascale PetitIn the late afternoon he begins his toilette he has limestone pyjamas threaded with fossils,a nightshirt of catacombs through which his dreams drip.He has a dressing gown woven with...

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On my radar: Laure Prouvosts cultural highlights

The acclaimed conceptual artist on Hampstead Ponds, Mexican sculptures and the connection between raspberries and artFrench artist Laure Prouvost moved to London aged 18. After graduating from Central...

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Poem of the week: Lament for Stinie Morrison by Kit Wright

The British poet tells the tale of a Russian-Jewish immigrant sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of an unpopular landlord in 1911 Kit Wrights work is a bracing reminder that rhythm is a...

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A Modern Don Juan: Cantos for These Times by Divers Hands review a fun Byron...

Rhyming Minervas Owl with Simon Cowell, 15 poets have fun hauling Byrons hero into the modern age Lord Byrons original poem stops abruptly in its 17th canto, after enough words to fill a fat novel,...

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There was once a campaign for good limericks

The founders of the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form are seeking a limerick for each meaning of every word in the English language by 2043. Have long have you got?Thanks to Neil Gaiman...

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Mercury nominees 2014: Kate Tempest

Bookies favourite Tempest has awards for her poetry but with hip-hop album Everybody Down she has moved towards the mainstream and the Mercury judges love a female MC Mercury nominees 2014: Jungle...

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Ezra Pound: Poet Volume II, The Epic Years, 1921-1939 review

In this second volume of A David Moodys biography, the controversial poet, creator of The Cantos, is preoccupied by music and Mussolini Theres a gut-wrenching moment about 100 pages into this latest...

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TS Eliot prize shortlist joins conflict and reconciliation in the Middle East

Ruth Padels exploration of religious understanding, Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth, and Kevin Powers Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, drawing on his Iraq war service, among the...

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Frank Miller obituary

Frank Miller, who has died aged 86, was a well-known poet and jazz musician in New York, although wider public recognition evaded him. Whereas his contemporaries and, in some cases, his friends, such...

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Cerys Matthews on setting Dylan Thomass poems to music

It was a Christmas in South Carolina that reawakened the musician and Radio 6 DJs love for Thomas and inspired her to mark his centenary with her most ambitious project yetDylan Thomas, whose centenary...

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Happy 100th birthday, John Berryman

Despite a lifetime of chaos and alcoholism, John Berrymans poetry is brilliantly funny. Sam Leith toasts his pal, whose work he has adored since he was a teenagerThe great American poet John Berryman...

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Kristen Stewart will take acting break to 'make some stuff with my hands'

One-time highest-paid female actor in the world has announced shes swapping front of screen work for a stint pursuing other creative endeavours such as directing and poetry Kristen Stewart, the...

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Wars of words: literatures most powerful portraits of the battlefield

On St Crispins day, historically a day of battles, we look back at some of the literary canons most vivid depictions of the heroes and hell of combatToday is St Crispins day and, as such, the...

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