Arts and Entertainment Sinéad Morrissey is the winner of the TS Eliot Prize

Winning the TS Eliot Prize is hardly a matter of life and death. But the film of that name inspired Sinéad Morrissey to pen a collection which finally secured the UK’s most prestigious poetry prize for Belfast’s first poet laureate.

Books: Humour made even Planer

Audiobooks for the indolent, the ill and the intellectual, rounded up by Sue Gaisford

We must get a head of state who hob-nobs

Walsh On Monday

Edinburgh Festival: Homer's where the art is

After 3,000, years the stories of the Trojan War are still gripping actors and audiences.

Omagh Remembers: Streets full of dignity, despair and raw wounds

ONE PRETTY Omagh teenage girl has only one leg, her other limb having been scythed off by the bomb. Another is blind, robbed of her sight by shrapnel. A third, who has a scarred face, was none the less radiant with happiness and hope for the future when she married in March.

Edinburgh Festival `99: Fringe Theatre - The Cure at Troy

Oxford University Touring Company Over-Seas Hse, Venue 19, (0131-225 5105) 6.15pm, to 30 Aug

The Sunday Poem: No 30 Geoffrey Hill

Every week Ruth Padel discusses a contemporary poet through an example of their work.

Books: The random rattle bag of modern Russia

In the Grip of Strange Thoughts: Russion Poetry in a New Era

A safe pair of hands? New Britain's new versifier could surprise us all

ANDREW MOTION'S eighth and most recent collection of poems, Salt Water, contains a wry little piece with something sharp to say about the vexed relation between poets, politics and public life.

Walcott tipped to be Poet Laureate

WESTMINSTER ABBEY will host a memorial service today for Ted Hughes, the late Poet Laureate. Many of Britain's finest writers will assemble to hear tributes to a great poet who took his ancient office more seriously than any Laureate since Alfred Tennyson.

Festival: From the heart

Hot on the heels of St Patrick's Day comes the Barbican's annual Irish knees-up. "From the Heart" taps into the Emerald Isle's rich cultural vein to present concerts, literature, poetry, dance, film and comedy. Highlights include: Nobel-prizewinning poet Seamus Heaney, who joins forces with uilleann piper extraordinaire, Liam O'Flynn; madcap comedy trio, The Nualas (28 Mar); Mary Coughlan in an evening celebrating Irish divas (27 Mar) and a selection of gaelic-themed films including Dancing at Lughnasa (5 Apr, left), adapted from Brian Friel's award-winning play and starring Meryl Streep and Kathy Burke

Books: Pick of the week - To "E" or not to "E".

Survival or oblivion: that is our quandary or, our curious task anyway, if you want to try to adapt a tragic royal Danish play without using a vital symbol of script. But why do this you ask. So as to play with stylistic forms which a group known as "Oulipo" still find artistically nourishing. This band of lunatic wordsmiths most notably had fun writing "lipograms" such as this - which inflicts particularly crazy vocabulary constraints.

The Critics: Jazz: The poet pipes the tune

Seamus Heaney and Liam O'Flynn Gate Theatre, Dublin
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A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

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Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

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Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

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Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

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Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

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Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

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Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

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Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

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Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?