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.

Free verse joins the free market

Tuesday Book; THE DEREGULATED MUSE BY SEAN O'BRIEN, BLOODAXE BOOKS, pounds 10.95

A gentle soaking in Celtic mist

Tuesday Book: THE OXFORD BOOK OF IRELAND EDITED BY PATRICIA CRAIG, OUP, pounds 18.95

Tuesday Book

DARK HORSES: AN EXPERIENCE OF LITERARY JOURNALISM KARL MILLER, PICADOR, pounds 16.99

Straight from the author's mouth

Some writers reveal a natural eloquence when they read from their work. The Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison has such a gift. By Michael Glover

Letter: Body of work

I HOPE I can comment on a couple of points in Judith Palmer's supportive piece on The South Bank Show's forthcoming programme on "Body Art".

Literature: Craicing night out

"I owe London a huge amount - and not just for the free teeth and glasses we got back then. It's good to be able to put something back in," gushes Maeve Binchy (right), one of the six Irish writers lining up to read at Islington's Union Chapel tonight. This annual St Patrick's Day (or thereabouts) charity read-in, organised by Seamus Heaney, is always a lively affair, teaming an eclectic evening of Irish Lit with a full- on ceilidh, complete with traditional band, dancing and late bar.

Books: Poetry: A man's aesthetic

THE YELLOW BOOK by Derek Mahon Gallery Press pounds 12.95/pounds 6.95

Hughes wins Whitbread Prize

For a renowned recluse, the Poet Laureate Ted Hughes has had an overwhelmingly public airing in the past couple of weeks.

Backroom talent has a muse

Vanessa Thorpe on Faber's secret weapon

Book: Sweeney erect

The Salesman by Joseph O'Connor Secker & Warburg, pounds 9.99

Audio Books

The world of audio books has its own stars. There's Robert Hardy, continuing his romp through the sea-sagas of Patrick O'Brian (the latest titles are The Surgeon's Mate, The Fortune of War, and Desolation Island, HarperCollins pounds 8.99 each, or available as a box set). There's Alan Cumming, so charming as the 13-year-old narrator of Rose Tremain's The Way I Found Her (HarperCollins pounds 8.99), and one of the few male readers not to make female characters sound like drag acts. And there's Kerry Shale, whose expertise with accents is demonstrated in Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge (HarperCollins pounds 8.99). He's particularly good on sinister, outsider-hating hillbillies as A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson's bestselling funny about walking the Appalachian trail, shows: "There's wun o'them! Did y'all remember to bring the rope?" (Corgi Audio pounds 9.99). Shale is screamingly funny, and this would be a great stocking filler.

Monday's book: Homage to Robert Frost by Joseph Brodsky, Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott

Robert Frost has passed into the poetic pantheon as the apotheosis of Yankee values: crustily cynical and dry, but with long roots in a source of homespun wisdom earthed deep in the landscape of the American north- east. Frost himself, during his long career, did much to propagate the myth. Here, three major poets set out to reclaim his work from the grasp of the authorial persona.

Son gives rhyme and reason for poet's achievements

Adam Horovitz is an angry young man. Stomping around the bars and performance venues of the Cheltenham Festival, the son of the establishment poet Michael Horovitz is outraged by his father's dismissive comments last week about the rock staresque performance poet Murray Lachlan Young. "His work sucks," Horovitz senior had spluttered. "It's not poetry."

Poetry: Quite a performance

Poetry

First night: What's he worth on paper?

In the run-up to National Poetry Day on Thursday, editors assess the newly published efforts of Murray Lachlan Young (pictured right), a performance poet who has penned very little save for his signature on a few lucrative contracts.
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