News

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

Tony Harrison's infamous poem can still shock and divide people

Radio 4 plans to air 'obscene' 1980s poem V by Tony Harrison

Mary Whitehouse must be spinning in her grave. A quarter of a century after she led the uproar over Channel 4 broadcasting the notorious poem V, the work is to be reprised by BBC Radio 4.

Haunted: Fiona Shaw and Daniel Hay-Gordon in The Ancient Mariner

IoS theatre review: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Old Vic Tunnels, London
So Great a Crime, Finborough, London
Fiesco, New Diorama, London

Fiona Shaw leads her audience a surprisingly merry dance to Coleridge's bleak epic poem

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Old Vic Tunnels, London

Fiona Shaw is rightly renowned for her dazzling ability to bring poetry to the stage. Her one-woman performance of The Waste Land was an extraordinary feat of psychic ventriloquism.

The Customs House, By Andrew Motion. Faber & Faber, £12.99

We need to renew the language of remembrance. Even before state-funded commemorations of the First World War begin in 2014, a year of solemn preludes looms. Factor in the political push for exit from the EU, and on the national stage the warmer, more inclusive climate of the Olympic season may yield to a backward-looking, introspective mood: a chilling cult of the dead and the past.

Well versed: Andrew Motion is included in the 'Oxford Elegists' by Fiona Simpson in her poetry guide Beyond the Lyric

IoS Books of the Year 2012: Poetry

Proust out of reach? Try some dandies instead

Love hits all the right notes

Few can have done such extensive fieldwork into the matter of men than artist, writer and fashion-designer Molly Parkin.

Sachin Tendulkar’s 76 was effective but no thing of beauty

The Indian Angle: Tendulkar keeps ego at bay to scrape one of his ugliest innings

Sachin Tendulkar finds himself in unfamiliar territory. If he fails, he raises the decibel level of the cries for his retirement; if he scores runs, he gets the other side excited. It is a head versus heart debate that has been exercising cricket fans in India for a while now. His 76 at Eden Gardens will probably preserve the status quo since it has given both sides of the divide equal ammunition.

Place, By Jorie Graham. Carcanet, £9.95

Jorie Graham's Forward Prize-winning collection of poems marks a radical shift in style. Long the leading exponent of line-of-thought poetry, she habitually "scores" each phrase or idea on the page: much in the way that a musical score shows the sound of a piece. All poets do this; but Graham's use of long, often stepped lines within free verse has been distinctive. These produce an impression of movement, of thought caught in the very moment of going on; and also a generous musicality.

Jack Gilbert: Major voice in American poetry

Jack Gilbert, who died on 13 November, was a prize-winning poet known for his clear and subtle verse. His many honours included the Yale Younger Poets prize for his 1962 debut Views of Jeopardy, and a National Book Critics Circle award for Refusing Heaven. Born in Pittsburgh in 1925, he wrote often about his native city, as well as about his childhood, food, sex and personal pain. He also wrote the novels My Mother Taught Me and Forever Ecstasy.

IoS album review: Tulisa, The Female Boss (Island)

The public image of Tulisa Contostavlos has taken a battering over the past year, her positive approval ratings diminished by factors both beyond her control (the leaked sex tape), and very much within it (the tacky tattoo she flashed to pimp her perfume on The X Factor).

So many shades of grey – but none is lovelier than this bird’s

The shrike is a scarce winter visitor to Britain, so keep your eyes peeled

Former teacher Mark Grist stands his ground at the Edinburgh Fringe

Poetry, please: language lovers give verdict on attack of the scientist

Sir James Dyson’s derision of the study of verse has drawn protests from academics and writers

Is dear Sir James Dyson clueless as well as bagless?

Sir James Dyson is the latest public figure to be sucked into the old arts vs sciences trap, when any fool knows a civilised society needs them both

The Dark Earth and the Light Sky, Almeida Theatre, London

The beautiful poetry of Edward Thomas – ostensibly pastoral but often leading us to the mysterious, unsettling edges of consciousness – came in a late spurt of creativity.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup