PICK OF THE WEEK
Saturday 09 January 1999
Paul Muldoon (above), the much-imitated grand wizard of playful punning narratives, makes the trip over from the States to read from his latest collection, Hay. A skittering whirligig of words, Hay offers curious illuminations on emu-catching, takes a spin round his record collection (Nirvana to Leonard Cohen) and dips into the double-scoop vanilla cleavage of the girl in the ice-cream shop.
Alongside Ken Smith and David Harsent, Fred D'Aguiar delivers his sequence Bill of Rights, about the 1978 Guyanese mass-suicide at Jonestown; while clever-boy formalist Glyn Maxwell reads from The Breakage, with its jaunty catalogue of sorrinesses such as "Robert Falcon Scott who lost the race to a Norwegian, / And anyone who's ever spilt the pint of a Glaswegian."
Late Review polymath Tom Paulin reads from Ted Hughes' Birthday Letters, Susan Wicks reads for Welsh newcomer Sarah Corbett who'll be busy having her baby; and last year's prizewinner Don Paterson reads on behalf of Jo Shapcott: "Lean forward and put a finger / on the spot you think the dream is", Shapcott invites in her sultry collection, My Life Asleep. Enjoy her fantastical leaps into the minds of mad cows, metamorphising nymphs, and the lovelorn dove left behind on Noah's ark while his mate went looking for olive twigs.
Jackie Kay slips wittily between the themes of disease and racial prejudice in her spirited collection Off Colour, diving from dentist's chair to sick bed, to dissect the "scary bits cowering inside the flesh" fortified by a bottle of "orange nostalgia" Lucozade. In Rembrandt Would Have Loved You, Ruth Padel conducts the "fugue of held-in hurt" of a passionate affair, trilling with joyous late-night sing-songs, and broken liaisons: "Whatever self is, I'd like mine to wake up with yours."
TS Eliot Prize Reading, Almeida Theatre, London N1, tomorrow, 7.30pm (0171-359 4404) pounds 8/pounds 6 concs
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food