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Poem of the week: Grey by Edwin Morgan

A meditation on the plain and ordinary aspects of life finds virtue in the unspectacular – but also provides some formal dazzle Grey What is the nub of such a plain grey day?Does it have one? Does it...

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Clive James: ‘My granddaughter’s school was connected by video to the...

Now when she and I ask each other questions, both of us pause before answering. It’s a space conversation Too suddenly gone, Sir Terry Wogan was the most charming after-dinner speaker I ever heard,...

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Poetry, breastfeeding and sex

Poet Hollie McNish felt she wasn’t ready to be a mother when she got pregnant at 26, six years ago. She is also a poet who has channelled her feelings about parenthood into verseBreastfeeding and sex...

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Wendy Cope, Simon Armitage, Andrew Motion … love sonnets for the 21st century

Contemporary poets revisit Shakespeare’s verse for Valentine’s DayMy glass can’t quite persuade me I am old –In that respect my ageing eyes are kind –But when I see a photograph, I’m toldThe dismal...

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The Saturday poem: Square Ring

by Ian Duhigfor Tom Duhig A Sixties man thing: Dad, us, circling to bondas hard as Ingemar Johansson’s glue in the adaround our huge box, its screen a snow globeof American static. The night Johansson...

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On my radar: China Miéville’s cultural highlights

The writer on a moving comic about life in 80s Turkey, disquieting composer Carolyn O’Brien and poet Caitlin Doherty’s tribute to the first dog in space Brought up in north-west London, author and...

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Catullus’ Bedspread by Daisy Dunn review – ancient Rome’s most erotic poet...

A finely crafted biography of the poet and libertine fascinates without being titillatingThe subtitle of Daisy Dunn’s first book – “the life of Rome’s most erotic poet” – may prove something of a...

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Poem of the week: Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount by Ben Jonson

From the introduction to a sharp Elizabethan satire, these lines still come about as close to music as words can getSlow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears;    Yet slower, yet, O faintly,...

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Fathieh Saudi obituary

My Jordanian friend Fathieh Saudi, who has died aged 76, was a doctor, writer and poet. She studied medicine in France and worked as a paediatrician in Lebanon from 1976 to 1982, producing L’Oubli...

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Unseen JRR Tolkien poems found in school magazine

Two works by the Lord of the Rings author discovered in the 1936 annual of Our Lady’s School in Oxfordshire Two poems by JRR Tolkien, in which The Lord of the Rings author writes variously of “a man...

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Omar Musa, Australia's star slam poet, brings 'in-betweener' perspective to US

The Malaysian Australian poet will share his debut book, Here Come the Dogs, an intimate portrayal of race and class issues in Australia, in New York next month “I will never forget the black sky, the...

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Chapter and verse: how Saul Williams broke out of the lyricists' lounge

Slam poetry, acting and activism – there’s not a lot Williams hasn’t tried, and on the release of his latest album MartyrLoserKing he explains why Reddit AMAs and J Cole can be dull and why his new...

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Aid work: an insult to the poor? - poem

A Zimbabwean aid worker shares his reflections on the NGO sector through a poem Decades ago, I heard life was simple and it was soWhere there was need, a hand would helpWhere there was a tear, a heart...

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Measures of Expatriation by Vahni Capildeo review – ‘language is my home’

Literary tradition and linguistic play square off in a timely collection about belonging Readers of Vahni Capildeo’s previous poetry collections will not be surprised by the verbal intensity and wide...

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The Saturday poem: Bad Moon

by Claire AskewThe moon must be sick of being in poems – always gripped by fingers of late honeysuckle,always filtered in the lake through the jetty’s slats,always silvering the flicked tails of the...

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The 100 best nonfiction books: No 4 – Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes (1998)

These passionate, audacious poems addressed to Hughes’s late wife, Sylvia Plath, contribute to the couple’s mythology and are a landmark in English poetryPoetry will be braided into this series like a...

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Poem of the week: Autumn Rain by DH Lawrence

Intensely alive to the details of the natural world, Lawrence here combines the energy of his free verse with formal invention Autumn Rain The plane leaves fall black and wet on the lawn; Continue...

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The sequel to Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: women, look upon these works and...

Anthony Holden on the ‘female’ sequel to Poems That Make Grown Men Cry – the surprise bestselling anthology he put together with his son Ben While my son Ben and I were compiling our 2014 anthology,...

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Jhalak book prize launched for under-recognised UK writers of colour

Prize creators hope it will ‘inspire the publishing industry to look beyond its present narrow margins’ Following the recent backlash against lack of diversity in UK publishing, a new annual literary...

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Hubert Essakow: Terra review – new Ben Okri poem accompanies earthy dance

Print Room at the Coronet, LondonDancers’ limbs twist and thread in this highly atmospheric conclusion to an elemental trilogy that veers between the airy and the grounded The tiny Print Room theatre...

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