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‘A rocket up the backside of conformity’ - how Allen Ginsberg’s Howl...

It was the epic, groundbreaking poem that tore down the cultural barriers of the 1950s and paved the way for everyone from Patti Smith to David Bowie. And, 60 years since it appeared, its influence...

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Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life by Jonathan Bate review – sex and...

He had ‘sex as strong as it comes’, Sylvia Plath said, and there’s plenty of bed-hopping, as well as torment, in this scrupulous and lucid biography As Jonathan Bate acknowledges in the last chapter of...

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Michael Rosen reads Oh Dear

Watch Michael Rosen read his new poem ‘Oh Dear’ from A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young Continue reading...

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Poetry secrets: How to read a poem aloud

Poet Paul Cookson orders you to unzip your lips and get poetry off the page and into the air One of my favourite poets, John Cooper Clarke, once said something to the effect that “if a poem doesn’t...

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Clive James: 'Still being alive is embarrassing'

The broadcaster, writing in the Guardian about life after his leukemia diagnosis, talks of surviving beyond expectations – and his love of the Great British Bake Off It will delight his family and his...

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Sean O'Brien: How I fell under WH Auden's spell

Auden’s love of the Pennines has inspired a new song cycle by Bolivian composer Agustín Fernández. Its librettist, the poet and playwright O’Brien, reveals the origins of Notes from Underground WH...

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The week in radio: We British: An Epic in Poetry; The Loss of Lostness; All...

The BBC’s poetry day was certainly epic. Elsewhere, the lost art of getting lost, and Gabby Logan on 5 Live We British: An Epic in Poetry Radio 4 | iPlayerThe Loss of Lostness Radio 4 | iPlayerAll...

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Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life review – a man smouldering with life

Jonathan Bate’s unofficial biography of Ted Hughes captures the great poet in all his wild complexityThere was so much of him. He lived the lives of many men called Ted Hughes. Driven, all of them, by...

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Poem of the week: Vada That by Adam Lowe

Street slang gives vivid, swaggering life to this portrait of a young man keeping up his style while working as a rent boy Aunt nell the patter flash and gardy loo!Bijou, she trolls, bold, on...

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Ben Okri: A New Dream of Politics – a poem

The Booker prize-winning writer Ben Okri was called a genius by Jeremy Corbyn in his Labour party conference speech. Here he responds They say there is only one way for politics.That it looks with hard...

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Ben Okri salutes Jeremy Corbyn in poetry with A New Dream of Politics

Exclusive: Nigerian writer, cited as inspiration by Labour leader in speech, pens new verse suggesting ‘There’s always a new way’ and sends it to the Guardian The poet and novelist Ben Okri has repaid...

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Ted Hughes’ widow criticises ‘offensive’ biography

Carol Hughes says unauthorised biography by Jonathan Bate, shortlisted for Samuel Johnson prize, is riddled with factual errors Ted Hughes’s widow has described a new unauthorised biography of the late...

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Readers recommend: songs that contain talking | Peter Kimpton

Incidental chat, rambling openings, snatched dialogue or spoken asides? Sift out favourite songs containing spiel to help make this week’s list the talk of the town Sometimes when walking down a city...

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What is an ideal childhood?

We asked five people who have reason to know about it – Michael Morpurgo, Cerrie Burnell, Lemn Sissay, Jacqueline Wilson and Laura Dockrill – what makes for the best start in lifeA child needs to feel...

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How 555 nights in jail helped to make Paul Verlaine a ‘prince of poets’

A new exhibition in Mons recalls the drunken row with fellow poet Arthur Rimbaud that led to a charge of attempted murderSitting in prison cell number 252 in Mons city jail, Paul Verlaine, the then...

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On my radar: Michael Rosen’s cultural highlights

The poet and novelist on the delightful excess of The Wolf of Wall Street, the art of Egon Schiele and the complexities of FalstaffMichael Rosen is a writer, a former children’s laureate and a...

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Michael Rosen's Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Bad Things - in pictures

Get a sneak peek into Michael Rosen’s world as the former children’s laureate and author of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt introduces his new exhibition in which you can step inside a huge chocolate cake,...

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Poem of the week: Claimant by Dai George

An enigmatic narrative about a man, whose status seems to shift from verse to verse, reveals some stubborn social structures Commoner. Groundling. Outside now with a ticket stubwhile your worships...

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Ted Hughes biography: publisher calls estate's attack 'defamatory'

HarperCollins defends book as a work of ‘impeccable scholarship’ after the Hughes estate accuses author Jonathan Bate of factual inaccuracy The publisher of Jonathan Bate’s controversial biography of...

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Fly, funky and fearless: meet the Black Romantics

London is seeing the rise of a new wave of young black creatives, from style queen Swanzy to painter Barka and performance poet Belinda Zhawi. Is this the future of Afropolitanism? The women in Barka’s...

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