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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The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

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From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
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Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
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Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

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Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

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