News

Suspect stabbed his friend to death after victim insisted prose was superior as literary genre

Tyson Keats is said to have played nine games without proper registration

London Welsh face crippling points penalty

Deduction over Kiwi scrum-half Tyson Keats' registration could end brave relegation fight

Tyson Keats of London Welsh

London Welsh charged with fielding ineligible player in 'a number' of matches

The issue relates to the registration of scrum-half Tyson Keats

Tony Harrison's 1985 poem 'V' now reads prophetically

Radio review: Tony Harrison's V - Words that still shock when they cease to offend

In a week when much moral outrage was expended over something that was published in the London Review of Books, it was tempting to ask – what's changed? Because for Hilary Mantel in 2013 you could – in a way – read Tony Harrison in 1985.

Controversial: Tony Harrison

The Week in Radio: Tony Harrison is 75 - but he hasn't aged and nor has V

In the summer of 1972 Alice Cooper, the fright-wigged shock-rocker, sent Mary Whitehouse, the blue-rinsed umbrage-taker, a bunch of flowers along with a note of thanks. Through the latter's vociferous campaigning to have Cooper's single "School's Out" banned from Top of the Pops, she inadvertently propelled it to the top of the charts.

Book of a Lifetime: Collected Poems 1937-1966, By Martin Bell

The only book Martin Bell published in his lifetime was his 'Collected Poems', a hardback between mustard-coloured paper covers with a wood engraving showing a contemplative Puritan poet. There was nothing else until ten years after his death when, in 1988, Bloodaxe published the 'Complete Poems', edited by Peter Porter.

English scholar and poet Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936)

Rare unpublished A.E. Housman poem about unrequited love expected to fetch £25,000

Shropshire Lad poet A.E. Housman gave strict instructions upon his death that working drafts and unpublished poems should be destroyed. But a rare handwritten poem that was saved from destruction is set to go under the hammer and is expected to fetch up to £25,000.

Portfolio: Candida Höfer

The teatro Comunale of Carpi – a town of 67,000 people in northern Italy – opened on 11 August 1861 with a performance of Verdi's Rigoletto. It has since become one of the Emilia-Romagna region's most important municipal theatres, a venue of prestigious recitals both musical and literary, its 582 seats taken up by descending flocks of culture vultures.

Why don’t more politicians wax poetical like Winston Churchill?

There are one or two who would probably contribute to the public good much more effectively by writing poetry

Poetry slams do nothing to help the art form survive

Poetry is dying. Actually, it's pretty dead already for all intents and purposes and the rise of performance poetry slams is doing nothing to help matters. I know, I used to be a performance poet.

Hilary Mantel, winner of the Costa Novel Award for 'Bring up the Bodies'

'I won't apologise for winning another prize': Hilary Mantel claims Costa Book of the Year

Despite pleas to give other authors a chance, judges vote unanimously for 'Bring up the Bodies'

Rebecca Tyrrel: Shirley MacLaine's poems should whet the appetite of any Hallmark talent scouts

Who knew that Shirley MacLaine has insured herself, to the tune of $25 million, against being abducted by aliens? With almost any other Hollywood actor, you might have dismissed the report, in a US magazine, as fanciful. With Warren Beatty's older sister, it makes perfect sense, which is of course something all too seldom to be said for Shirley herself.

Do you want to know a secret? The Beatles gave their opinion on Elvis in an interview with a DJ in 1965, a tape of which is being auctioned

New book of poetry celebrates The Beatles' impact

It is one of the most quoted gobbets of British poetry: “Sexual intercourse began/ In nineteen sixty-three/(which was rather late for me) –/Between the end of the Chatterley ban/And the Beatles’ first LP.”

Unhitched: the Trial of Christopher Hitchens, By Richard Seymour

Sectarian and mean-spirited, this far-left attack on the late contrarian author fails to convince

Poet Sharon Olds scoops TS Eliot Prize for 'confessional' work about her husband's affair

If revenge is a dish best served cold, Sharon Olds must have been licking her lips last night. Fifteen years after her husband ran off with another woman, the poet scooped the UK’s most prestigious poetry prize for a collection that explored the experience in detail.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried