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Derry is this year’s City of Culture, but the nerve centre of the celebrations will forever be associated with its troubled past
When Faber & Faber announced in June they were offering TS Eliot's The Waste Land as an iPad app, a lot of us Luddites snorted and rolled our eyes to heaven, and said, "My dear, what would poor Tom Stearns have made of this?" But we agreed that, if you really couldn't get to grips with the actual words of the Modernist masterpiece, the app certainly offered you a lot for £7.99 – recordings of the poem being read by Alec Guinness, Ted Hughes, Viggo Mortensen and TSE himself (sounding like a depressed bank manager throughout); a dramatised, intensely physical reading by Fiona Shaw; and hyperlinked commentaries from 30-odd literary chaps from Seamus Heaney to Craig Raine.
"As an artist, he has gone his own way, explored the Irish landscape and enhanced Irish landscape painting through the discovery andelaboration of an individual style," Seamus Heaney wrote in 1995 in a tribute to his friend TP Flanagan. The occasion was a major retrospective of Flanagan's work at the Ulster Museum in Belfast, in which the full range and distinctiveness of the artist's accomplishments were acknowledged and applauded. Atmospheric, elegant and enchanting, the works on show were an endorsement of Flanagan's high standing among Irish artists of the 20th century.
This novelisation of a year in the young life of the poet John Clare is a testament to a lifetime's groundbreaking commitment to folk culture. A renowned folk performer, but a first-time novelist, Hugh Lupton is neither a prose stylist, nor a formal innovator of fiction. But he is a master in two areas: storytelling and English rural folk culture. Lupton knows Clare and his village of Helpston, Northamptonshire, as well as anyone, and reconstructs Clare's times with a rare conviction. The context, landscape, language and texture of Clare's life and landscape are re-imagined in enchanting and accurate detail.
First Jack Straw, then Lt-Col Henry Worsley – now Alastair Campbell has become the latest public figure to fall victim to one of the credit crunch's money-laundering scams.
The race for the Oxford Chair of Poetry had everything, from sex claims to allegations of character assassination. Emily Dugan reports
It was two in a row for the Irish in London last night when Nobel prize winning poet Seamus Heaney took home one of the most important UK literary awards.
Glitzy readings, throngs of fans – verse has never been more vibrant. John Walsh works the crowd at the TS Eliot prize, and witnesses the birth of a star